Tale of the White Elephant - A Part of Nantucket History
The White Elephant has graced Nantucket's waterfront since the 1920's. Originally a collection of rustic cottages, the hotel was the dream of a prominent Nantucket socialite, Elizabeth T. Ludwig. She believed it would one day be a fine harbor side hotel.
Her passion project became affectionately known as "Mrs. Ludwig's white elephant" - a witty name that stuck. As Mrs. Ludwig's hotel business prospered, additional buildings were added, including a new dining room, lounge and vacation cottages.
In the early 1960's, new owners transformed the property from a quaint seaside escape into a vacation destination. The original White Elephant was dismantled. The wings were moved to a nearby destination where they are still used as housing for summer employees. The cottage were relocated next to the main building, and are today the Garden Cottages. The current main building was designed and built so that the rooms would offer view of the ever-changing harbor.
During 1999, the White Elephant underwent another stunning transformation. The traditional comforts and amenities of the hotel were made all the more welcoming and beautiful. Rooms and suites became more luxurious. New interior designs and decorations reflected the gracious charm of Nantucket. The grounds were beautifully and meticulously landscaped. And the service level was heightened to meet and exceed the expectations of a new generation of guests.
Much has changed at the White Elephant over the decades. But one thing has remained the same. Just as it was years ago - but for very different reasons - the breathtaking White Elephant is still the talk of the town and a prominent piece of Nantucket history.