The Wild Side of Nantucket is now app bookable


Wellness tech has finally landed on New England’s favorite vacation island, and it’s designed to help you switch off.

Crossing the sand dunes in a van, a soft-tailed doe leaps past us as if delighted to have company. Seagulls rise and fall on blue-green waves. Lazy seals with stomachs full of striped bass float in shallow water, while dozens of sandpipers frantically scurry away from the sea foam shore – just to turn around and start all over again.

It’s life on the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge, a remote barrier beach encompassing over 1,000 acres of heather and beach grass. Nantucket has strict rules for accessing this part of the island, issuing a limited number of vehicle permits, and requiring tires to be deflated before venturing out. While these rules protect the natural ecosystem, it’s easier to let a local guide take care of the logistics. Because today more than ever, the wellness journey must be easy.

That’s why I sit cross-legged on a yoga bolster in the sand, meditating on nothing but the sound of the waves and the warmth of the shining sun sinking deep into my skin. Thirty minutes later, as layer after layer of pent-up pandemic anxiety slowly fades away, the sound of a Tibetan singing bowl brings me back to consciousness.

I open my eyes and here is Brandon Jellison, personal trainer, massage therapist and co-owner of Lavender Farm, a wellness center with functional medicine. He just happens to be training for an Ironman triathlon and is one of the most laid back people you will ever meet. The kind of guy who really needs a haircut, but you know it’s gonna happen when it does.

There’s just no reason to rush into her world, which is part of the reason it took so long to bring working wellness tech to Nantucket, an island impervious to change. But that is changing, because it is after all the Amazon era, when services come to you and above all if you are on this 14 mile island off Cape Cod. Behind the perfect facade of cobblestone streets, manicured gardens and matching cedar shingle houses hides significant purchasing power. It’s here that the world’s elite “been” like it was a verb, wearing seersucker costumes, drinking gin sparkling wine and wondering what time their cranial-sacred massage will take place. Or the cliché goes …

Meanwhile, Jellison, his wife and business partner Ugne Aleknaite, and a team of developers in India have just launched a booking app that brings together the talent of practitioners on and off the island to provide discerning clients with up-to-date services. demand, including everything from trainers to massage therapists to private chefs. They call it the “open table of wellness,” which has officially joined the saturated market of mobile fitness apps designed to help people stay healthy on the go. It’s still a nascent technology, but what makes this new application unique is its local niche; it is designed only for visitors and seasonal residents of Nantucket and Nantucket.

To attract mid-season guests, Lavender Farm is also running three-day weekend retreats starting in December in partnership with Greydon House of Nantucket, which just opened a spa treatment room on the ground floor. of its 20-room boutique. Hotel.

Fashioned by Manhattan design firm Roman and Williams, it’s a classic retreat with tasteful nods to the island’s nautical heritage as the whaling capital of the 19th century. Quite on purpose, there is nothing modern about it – except for the app itself. Now, hotel guests can book à la carte massages or participate in a weekend retreat that includes a functional medicine consultation, massage, nutritional cleanse, and guided meditation off-site (ideally on the beach at Coskata-Coatue).

“Most of the people who come to us lead hectic lives, always chasing their own momentum,” says Jellison, her bare feet sinking into the wet sand. “What we’re doing is offering a way to change the pace, which can open up a whole new perspective.”

When it comes to cleaning, Nantucket isn’t the easiest place to hire, given its ubiquitous lobster rolls, ice cream parlors, and famous Cisco Brewery pizzas and beers. But a born and raised island native named Tessa Cressman and her business partner Jenny Bence have just opened a health-conscious outpost called Green Market, selling local plant-based products and ready-made meals. picnics on the beach that won’t blow your diet. Filled with fresh flowers and clean skin care products, this is the kind of place that gently pushes you towards cold-pressed beet or carrot juice, freshly baked zucchini bread, and hand-made chocolates. the hand.

“This is really a store on all my favorite things,” says Cressman, a blonde, statuesque mother of two who is on a mission to become a permanent fixture on the island. “It’s super seasonal. Most places close during the winter months because it is expensive to stay open without the business. But we try to stay open. Right now, part of that effort is providing room service meals to guests at Greydon House – where cleaning is completely optional.

Nantucket is known for a lot of wonderful things, but modernity is not one of them. Visitors come here for predictable traditional luxuries, like beautiful harbors filled with hand-polished sailboats, easy bike rides along privet-lined sand dunes, and shopping on Main Street. If you can add meditation and massage to the mix with the help of an app, even better. Otherwise, do what the privileged do: turn off the screens, walk towards the deep blue horizon, and let nature set the pace.

Further reading: American Beauty: 5 places to visit as US borders reopen


About Shirley A. Tamayo

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