September 18, 2004
Nashua House is a large, old-fashioned, white Victorian -- quite different in scale and color from the rainbow of miniscule gingerbread cottages which compose most of Oak Bluffs. The entry is shaded by a porch that runs the length of the building, complete with porch swings for relaxing. The desk staff is friendly and helpful. Be aware, though, that you may have to wait a minute to get in if you arrive in the evening -- the main door is locked, and you have to ring the bell to alert the staff that you're there and need to be let in. Also be aware that if you need a place to leave your luggage between checkout and when your ferry leaves, the staff will let you leave your things in the lobby (if you ask nicely), but there is no secure luggage room.
The hotel has a Nantuckety sort of charm. My friend and I stayed in the double-bedded, lavender room on the third floor. It's light and bright, the rustic beadboard walls painted pale lavender, with a white coverlet and lavender linens upon the bed. Its bay window looked out over Oak Bluffs, with a view of the ocean to the right. Fluffy towels and cakes of glycerin soap are provided for guests.
Most of the rooms on the second floor have two twin beds, except for the two double-bedded rooms in the front, which have ocean views and porch access -- book early if you want them. There are also one or two single rooms in the hotel.
All of the rooms are decorated similarly to the lavender room -- pastel colors and beadboard walls, old-fashioned quilts, and coverlets on the beds. Staying at Nashua House is sort of like going to grandma's rambling old house -- especially as the bathrooms are shared.
Each floor has six rooms and two bathrooms (shower/sink/toilet) which are, hands down, the most spotlessly clean I've ever seen. They're squeezed into odd crannies in the house, and tend to have quirky details like funky windows, old-fashioned taps in the sink, and hardwood floors. The hotel was fully booked when I stayed, yet, I never had to wait for the bathroom at all.
The Nashua House is two blocks from the beach (one block from an ocean-front park), one block from an ATM and Linda Jean's restaurant (great for breakfast), a block from Zapotec (southwestern food), and three blocks from the ferry landing and the famous Flying Horses Merry-go-round.
Rooms run from $49 per night (for a single bedded room in the low season) to $119 per night for a double or twin in the high season -- a bargain on an island where rates easily top $300 per night in season. You can check the place out at their website, http://www.nashuahouse.com.
From journal Vineyard, Cape Cod, and South Shore Smorgasboard