Historic Getaway ✦  Melville Mansion Guest Suite


Entire guest suite hosted by Laura

  1. 2 guests
  2. 1 bedroom
  3. 1 bed
  4. 1 bath
Entire home
You’ll have the guest suite to yourself.
Enhanced Clean
This Host committed to Airbnb's 5-step enhanced cleaning process.
Self check-in
Check yourself in with the keypad.
Great location
100% of recent guests gave the location a 5-star rating.
Experience modern victorian living at The Whalehouse – a grand mansion in the heart of New Bedford's historic neighborhood. Built in 1855, it's the former home of Herman Melville’s sister. The Guest Suite's stylish decorations meld perfectly with the antique character and charm of the space.

Located minutes from the Whaling Museum, ferries to Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard and Cuttyhunk, Zeiterion Theatre, and downtown's galleries and restaurants.

The space
The Guest Suite is a thoughtfully designed two-floor apartment in the former servant's quarters of the home – exposed brick, tin ceiling and a wood fireplace give the space a historic feel with modern amenities, so you'll feel right at home.

The Guest Suite sleeps 2 comfortably, has its own private entrance, and comes fully furnished. The first floor has kitchenette, living room with a sofa bed, and a dining nook. On the second floor you will find your bedroom with a queen sized bed, a beautiful sun-filled bathroom with small stand up shower, and walk in closet.

The Whalehouse is located in this historic West End of New Bedford – conveniently walkable to downtown's amenities. Please note that while it is not directly in the city center, it is a bustling area – street noise is not uncommon.

As you arrive to The Whalehouse, you will be blown away with the ornate detailing of this historic home. The Italianate house was built in 1855 by Henry Taber, as a wedding present for his daughter Abby Taber Hunt. She and her husband and their daughter, Sarah, lived here through the 1860s. Upon moving to Western Massachusetts, they rented the home to Herman Melville's sister, Catherine Melville. The author was close with his sister and would frequent the home for visits, about 10 years after writing his famous novel, Moby Dick. As you look upon the estate, and the surrounding neighborhood, you can see how perfect Melville's words feel as he vividly describes the homes' facades. It's easy to see how he described New Bedford as "the dearest place to live in, in all New England."

During the 1950's the home was transformed into part of the Swain School of Art and Design campus, serving as the painting studios for the school. If you happen to go on a tour of the Main House, the host can show you the 3rd floor and widows walk/cupola where many of the students wrote notes that are now a part of history. In 1983 the home was transformed into a popular Bed & Breakfast for about 30 years. When the current owner, Laura, purchased the home in 2015, she promised to restore the home to its former glory, and has been working on the renovation since. Laura is happy to open The Guest Suite to visitors so they can stay in a piece of history.

Where you'll sleep

1 queen bed
Common space
1 sofa bed

What this place offers

Free parking on premises
TV with standard cable
Portable air conditioning
Hair dryer
Long term stays allowed

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4.96 out of 5 stars from 103 reviews


Where you’ll be

New Bedford, Massachusetts, United States

The Whalehouse is located in the historic West End district of New Bedford. Take a walk around the neighborhood for a glimpse into the "Whaling City" past - well-kept whaling mansions and beautiful estates surround this area. Check out the historic Downtown, and our port –  one of the last working fishing ports in the country!

Hosted by Laura

  1. Joined in March 2013
  • 105 Reviews
  • Identity verified
  • Superhost
Laura is a long-time digital design director in the advertising industry with a strong undercurrent of love for all things old houses. She runs and operates The Whalehouse, a historically significant home in New Bedford, MA that she rents as a shoot location rental and Airbnb.
Laura is a long-time digital design director in the advertising industry with a strong undercurrent of love for all things old houses. She runs and operates The Whalehouse, a histo…

During your stay

The Whalehouse owner, Laura, lives on-site in the Main House and is available for anything you might need.

Laura is a Superhost

Superhosts are experienced, highly rated hosts who are committed to providing great stays for guests.
  • Response rate: 100%
  • Response time: within an hour
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Things to know

House rules

Check-in: After 4:00 PM
Checkout: 11:00 AM
Self check-in with keypad
No smoking
No pets
No parties or events

Health & safety

Committed to Airbnb's enhanced cleaning process. Show more
Airbnb's social-distancing and other COVID-19-related guidelines apply
Carbon monoxide alarm
Smoke alarm
Security Deposit - if you damage the home, you may be charged up to $500

Cancellation policy