Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Flags of the Week

Monday May 30, Antigua and Barbuda, and Montana
Tuesday May 31, Argentina and Nebraska
Wednesday June 1, Armenia and Nevada
Thursday June 2, Australia and New Hampshire
Friday June 3, Austria and New Jersey
Saturday June 4, Azerbaijan and New Mexico
Sunday June 5, The Bahamas and New York

Monday, May 30, 2005

Memorial Day on the Common, Salem, Massachusetts

The following four photos are of two different memorials to soldiers that are located on the Common, right next to the Hawthorne Hotel.

We salute the soldiers who have died in the defense of our country, and remember today that they are responsible for keeping us free -- we do sincerely appreciate the freedoms we enjoy in the United States.


Veteran's Memorial on the Common Posted by Hello

Closeup of the First Muster Memorial on the Common Posted by Hello

Detail of Veteran's Memorial on the Common Posted by Hello

First Muster Memorial on the Common, looking toward the Hawthorne Hotel Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 29, 2005

More Flag Furor

Now we're beginning to wonder. . . why are the flags raising so much ire amongst the locals? Yesterday we had two more irate folks contact us about the flags. What could the problem be, one might ask, with flying a different country and a different state's flag each day, along with a giant flag of the United States on the top of the hotel?

Well, one person stopping by thought we shouldn't be flying the flag of Mississippi, because it has a confederate symbol embedded in it. The other thought we should have two more U.S. flags on the front of the hotel in place of the state and country flag, because it is Memorial Day weekend.

Hey folks, we don't manufacture flags at the hotel, we accommodate guests who want to stay with us, or eat in our restaurants or have a function there. I'm sure that there are much bigger issues in the world for you to worry about than our flags. Sheesh. . .


"Roger" on a Sunny Day in Salem Posted by Hello

Roger Restored

Roger Conant Statue across the street from the Hawthorne Hotel Posted by Hello

The Salem Common Neighborhood Association has been fundraising for the past several years in order to acquire enough money to complete restore Salem's statue of its founder, Roger Conant. The Hawthorne Hotel is proud to have been a leading contributor to this effort, and very happy that the work is now done.

In addition to the Hotel, this effort was given help by the Essex National Heritage Area and one of Roger Conant's descendants. The official dedication will take place on June 12. Stay tuned.


Saturday, May 28, 2005

Finally, the Rain seems to be over

If you have followed the weather in this area for the month of May, you would think we should stop blogging and start building an ark. Rain, followed by periods of rain, with drizzle and intermittent rain, followed by afternoon thundershowers and more rain.

This morning it looks like all is forgiven. The sun is shining, and its getting warmer -- hallelujah!

Maybe we'll dry out now and the tuckpointing can begin.


Friday, May 27, 2005

Flag of the Day Raises Red Flag?

Flags of Minnesota and Algeria Posted by Hello

See the next post on our blog for information about the nature of today's excitement for the Hawthorne Hotel management and staff. It's not about Minnesota, although having moved here from Iowa, I can tell you that would be a big subject in my last home state.


"Saturday Night Live" on Friday Morning at the Hawthorne Hotel

Today I felt like I was in the middle of a skit in the old version of Saturday Night Live. The one with Roseanna Roseanna-Danna.

A woman came storming into my office, demanding that we not fly the Algerian flag on the front of the hotel. She was livid, to say the least.

I tried to explain to her that we fly all of the flags of the United Nations, in rotation, one day at a time, and that we fly the state flags alongside, and that it was our way of trying to contribute to world peace. She was literally in a rage, bringing up the subjects of gay marriage, the ten commandments, 9-11, and a number of other issues.

I tried to explain that this was a free country, and that freedom of speech and expression were one of the reasons that this was a great place. She wasn't interested in hearing about that.

In the end, she finally heard me when I pointed out to her that we fly the flag of the United States on the top of the building. She said, "oh." It was then that she realized what I had been saying about changing the flag every day. All of a sudden, the light came on and she realized that we weren't deferring control of our plot of ground to another country, but that we were indeed also patriotic, U.S. Flag-waving Americans.

I felt like I was at that part of the skit where Gilda Radner used to snort, push her glasses up on her nose and say "Never mind," thus ending the discussion.

My 'guest' walked out, apparently satisfied at that point.

Never a dull day at the Hawthorne Hotel. . .


Thursday, May 26, 2005

Hawthorne Hotel Presents Historic Preservation Award

Michael J. Harrington and Bill Tinti discussing historic preservation at the Hawthorne Hotel Historic Preservation Awards ceremony Posted by Hello

Tonight the Hawthorne Hotel honored local preservationist William Tinti with its annual Historic Preservation Award. Both Mayor Stanley Usovicz of Salem, and Michael Harrington of the Hawthorne Hotel noted that this recognition of Bill's work for the preservation of Salem was long overdue.

In his remarks, Mr. Harrington added "No one has contributed more over a professional career to insure that there is a degree of core integrity preserved in Salem for future generations. It was thanks to Bill's vision that the City took the direction toward preservation in the late 1960's, early 1970's that it did. We are all the beneficiaries of both his foresight and determination."

The recipient of the award is chosen by a committee of the past recipients. Many of those were present in honoring Bill tonight. For a complete list, please see our blog of May 23.

This award is presented in conjunction with and in honor of National Preservation Month, which is a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Hawthorne Hotel is a proud member of Historic Hotels of America, another of the programs of the National Trust.


Bill Tinti receives a proclamation from Mayor Usovicz at the Hawthorne Hotel Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Salem Chamber of Commerce and the Hawthorne Hotel

The Salem Chamber of Commerce recently announced the nominees for this year's annual awards program. The Hawthorne was nominated for a Long-Term Achievement Award. We were happy to be so honored, and find ourselves in the company of other businesses in Salem that we are pleased to support, such as A & A Services, Bernard's Jewelers, Community Credit Union, Heritage Cooperative Bank, Salem Five Cents Savings Bank and Wire 4 Hire.

The awards will be presented on Wednesday June 1, right here at the Hawthorne Hotel. The event is open to the public -- simply contact the Chamber office for your ticket by calling 978-744--0004. We hope to see you then.


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Roger Conant Statue

It appears that our neighborhood statue of Salem's founder, Roger Conant, has had his facelift completed. However, the weather is hardly conducive to photography today. I do promise to get a photo of him up on this site as soon as the weather cooperates.

Was it W.C. Fields who said "Everyone complains about the weather but nobody does anything about it?" That would be the case in the Northeast this May.

Good weather for ducks, watching movies and going to museums.


Flags of the Week at the Hawthorne Hotel

Monday May 23 -- Zambia and Massachusetts
Tuesday May 24 -- Zimbabwe and Maryland
Wednesday May 25 -- Afghanistan and Michigan
Thursday May 26 -- Albania and Micronesia
Friday May 27 -- Algeria and Minnesota
Saturday May 28 -- Andorra and Mississippi
Sunday May 29 -- Angola and Missouri

Monday, May 23, 2005

More comments from our guests. . .

Here are some excerpts from some recent guest comments cards that we received:

The meal that we received as part of the Sweetheart Package was awesome and the serving staff member could not have been more polite or friendly. Our stay at the Hotel was such that I would recommend it to anyone. :-)
Guest from Northborough, Massachusetts

Everything was wonderful. Michael was very professional and helpful. We enjoyed our stay very much. If we ever return to Salem we will stay here. We'll brag to all our friends about this hotel!!
Guest from Fort Knox, Kentucky

We spent the first 2 days of our honeymoon here and it has been wonderful. From the time we made reservations until our stay, the staff has been so helpful and friendly and accommodating. This is the 4th time we've stayed here and we will continue to return. We love the Hawthorne Hotel and the great service we experience every stay.
Guest from Concord, New Hampshire

Thank you all. (I) sold my home and (my) husband (is) in Salem Hospital. Melissa made my reservations and was most helpful, along with Danielle, while I went back and forth to the hospital. So much support when they said he might die (from Susan). James in the Tavern, the housekeeping staff were all 5+. I will return in September for the birth of a new grandchild.
Guest from Warren, Michigan

The service and ambiance were superior! We enjoyed our meal here very much (taste and food presentation.)
Guest from East Brunswick, New Jersey

Tony -- a most attentive wait person not unwilling to converse. We've visited independent hotels in Quebec and Aruba. This meal was by far the most superior.
Guest from Beverly, Massachusetts

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Scallops Sophia with Fresh Maine Lobster is a specialty of Nathaniel's Restaurant at the Hawthorne Hotel Posted by Hello

Our Staff Invites You to Nathaniel's for Dinner

From now through July 15, if you know one of our staff members, you may be able to get a coupon good for $10 off on your dinner in Nathaniel's. This limited time promotion is being offered to the friends and acquaintances of Hawthorne Hotel staff members as our way to remind you of just how good the food and service is in our lovely restaurant.

Think you don't know any of our staff members? Well, think again, because you know me! Just drop me a comment on this BLOG, and I'll send you your very own coupon. I do need to be able to mail it to you, either by U.S. Mail, or by E-Mail, so be sure to include one or the other in your post.

Thanks, and I look forward to seeing you at the Hawthorne Hotel.


Saturday, May 21, 2005

Our Favorite Harpist

Nina Vickers plays the harp at the Hawthorne Hotel wedding tasting Posted by Hello

One of the most charming things about our favorite harpist is the fact that she makes most of her own clothes, and she always is wearing something new and different for each and every engagement at the Hawthorne Hotel. If she is playing for a wedding, she will make certain that her outfit matches the colors chosen for the wedding party (if that is what the couple desires, of course), and her outfits are always beautiful.

This is not to make light of the fact that her music is also enjoyable, and chosen to perfectly compliment the event as well.

If you are having an event at the Hawthorne Hotel, and you desire to have some harp music as part of it, please consider contracting with Nina Vickers. You can reach her through the catering office of the Hawthorne, by calling 978-825-4358.


Friday, May 20, 2005

Salem's Most Famous Statue (up until this month)

Roger Conant Gets a Facelift Posted by Hello

I read a blurb in Time Magazine today about the controversy surrounding the newest statue that will be coming to Salem. It's a quote from my good friend, John Carr, who is a former member of the Salem Historic District Commission. He was talking about TV Land's proposal to erect a statue of Samantha, of TV's Bewitched, in our town. The quote was "It's like TV Land going to Auschwitz and proposing to erect a statue of Colonel Klink."

While I love the quote, and adore John and his family, I do think this is all a bit of a tempest in a teapot. Life is too short to argue about statues. Just think of it this way, now when people point and stare at a witch statue in Salem, it will actually be (sort of anyway) a statue of some kind of witch, instead of a statue of one of our founders.

More interesting than all of that brouhaha is what is currently happening to the statue of Roger Conant, one of the founders of the City of Salem, at the corner opposite the Hawthorne Hotel. The Salem Common Neighborhood Association has spearheaded a drive to get dear old Roger a facelift, that is long overdue. Thank you Maryanne Curtain and Michael Coleman!

A team of conservationists from Rika Smith McNally & Associates has been brought in to clean him, to stop the damage from years of neglect and acid rain and a runaway vine, and to restore the statue as much as possible. The project is estimated to take about 11 days, and should be completed by May 27, weather permitting of course.

So, here he is in all of his repair regalia. I'll post an 'after' shot when he is done.


Thursday, May 19, 2005

Hawthorne Hotel Salutes National Preservation Month

Hawthorne Hotel's Historic Preservation Award Posted by Hello

The National Trust for Historic Preservation honors preservation efforts around the country each May. As part of that effort, and as part of our participation in Historic Hotels of America (a program of the National Trust) each year for the past 13 years the Hawthorne Hotel has given out its own Historic Preservation Award to a person in the Salem community who has advanced the issue of preservation of our city.

Here is a list of the past recipients of the Hawthorne Hotel Preservation Award:

1992 Professor Whitney White and Professor David Allen George
1994 Dean Lahikainen
1995 K. David Goss
1996 Peter D. LaChapelle
1997 Jim McAllister
1998 Alice and Delores Jordan
1999 Tom Leonard
2000 Staley McDermet
2001 Edward W. Carberg
2002 Richard Rennard
2003 John Goff
2004 Joan Boudreau

The award for 2005 will be presented to William Tinti on Thursday May 26.

If you have any suggestions for the committee for upcoming nominations, you may submit them to Susan Babine, our Director of Sales and Marketing, at SusanB@HawthorneHotel.com


Susan Babine, Director of Sales and Marketing of the Hawthorne Hotel Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Hawthorne Hotel Hosts Salem Five's 150 Year Celebration

Joseph Gibbons, President and CEO, Salem Five Posted by Hello

The Hawthorne Hotel was very happy to be able to host the 150th anniversary celebration for Salem Five last night. Our relationship with Salem Five extends back over the lifetime of the Hawthorne, which we admit is only 80 years long.

Salem Five is an independent mutual bank, and its 150 years of service to the community is part of the stability of Salem and the North Shore. If you wish to know more about Salem Five, here is a link to their website:


If you stop in to one of their branches, please tell them "Happy Birthday" and best wishes from the Hawthorne Hotel.


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Hawthorne Hotel Welcomes You and Your Pet

Britony Wells and Stella at the pet-friendly Hawthorne Hotel Posted by Hello

Yesterday one of our staff members stopped by to show off her new pup, Stella, and her visit reminded me that we need to let you know that we are indeed a pet-friendly hotel.

We have two floors of rooms designated for our guests traveling with their pets, and we have a welcome package of goodies for your pet, as well as a special room service menu for your dog.

Hawthorne Hotel Doggy Room Service Menu

We welcome dogs and treat them with only fresh and wholesome foods. We request that you let us know the size of your dog so that we may offer appropriate portion sizes.

The Chef recommends the steamed hamburger with rice for dogs that are upset from travel.

Egg White Omelet with Vegetables (no onion or garlic) $5.95

Poached Chicken and White Rice $5.95

Steamed Hamburger with Boiled Potatoes or Rice $5.95

“Doggy Crudités” (blanched carrots, green beans, squash) $4.95

“Fish and Chips” Steamed Cod, Sliced Boiled Potatoes $6.95

“Special Treat” Sirloin and Rice Roasted with Veal Stock infused White Rice $12.95

In addition to the special attention at the Hawthorne Hotel, Salem now offers several pet boutiques, two of which are within an easy walk of the Hawthorne, and will welcome your pet with goodies and lots of special attention.

We hope to see you and your pet soon.


Monday, May 16, 2005

Flags of Indiana and Uraguay Posted by Hello

Flags of the Week at the Hawthorne Hotel

Monday May 16 -- Uruguay and Indiana
Tuesday May 17 -- Uzbekistan and Iowa
Wednesday May 18 -- Vanuatu and Kansas
Thursday May 19 -- Venezuela and Hawaii (special request for our Hawaiian guests this week)
Friday May 20 -- Viet Nam and Kentucky
Saturday May 21 -- Yemen and Louisiana
Sunday May 22 -- Yugoslavia and Maine

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Weddings and the Hawthorne Hotel -- The Perfect Match

Hawthorne Hotel Lobby Staircase Shows Off Wedding Gown and Bridal Party Posted by Hello

This photograph from a wedding reception that was held in the Ballroom of the Hawthorne Hotel shows how nicely many settings in and around the hotel can be utilized to make the photography of your wedding be interesting and special. This bride chose to have her florist decorate the staircase with flowers to match her bouquet, another tasteful touch to make her wedding special.

In future posts I'll show some other wedding photos, so that you can see other aspects of a wedding at the Hawthorne Hotel.

David LaChappelle of Amore Photography does an outstanding job, as you can see in this photo. Here is a link to his website:


Saturday, May 14, 2005

More nice things that our customers say. . .

The mail this past week had some really nice letters from some recent events at the Hawthorne Hotel. Here are some excerpts:

Karen Cotton,
Director of Catering
Hawthorne Hotel

Dear Karen,
. . .thank you for the wonderful retirement party we hosted at the hotel. . . the cooperation your staff gave to the committee was outstanding. The food was delicious and plentiful. The service superior. The family of the (honoree) was delighted to have her party at the same location her younger daughter had her wedding reception.

The outstanding reputation (of) the Hawthorne Hotel is certainly well deserved. We thank you for your efforts and we do plan to return to the Hawthorne in the near future.

and this one:

Christine Turner
Assistant Director of Catering
Hawthorne Hotel

Dear Christine,
. . . . and I would like to thank you for your interest and guidance in setting up for the Passover. Everything went smoothly, thanks also to Claire and, of course, the food was wonderful! Comments from all were so enthusiastic!

and this one:

Amy Jacobson
Catering Manger
Hawthorne Hotel

Dear Amy,
I plan on writing a letter to the Hawthorne to express how pleased we have been with Lisa's wedding, but wanted to dash off this little note first. You have been wonderful, supportive, and invaluable in planning this event. Our formal and email meetings were so pleasant. I shall miss them! Take care until we meet again (hopefully at some other function at the hotel!)

As you can see, our guests love each and every one of the catering professionals that handle the booking and details for our functions. You can be absolutely certain that an event at the Hawthorne will be perfectly planned and executed, due in large part to the place where each event begins -- with the booking.

I hope we will see you here some day soon!


Friday, May 13, 2005

Hawthorne Hotel's Full-time Employee of the Month, Francisco Lora

Francisco Lora, April Full-time Employee of the Month, Hawthorne Hotel Posted by Hello

In every endeavor there are those staff members who are seen and recognized by the public, and those who work behind the scenes in the support of us all. Francisco Lora is one of those terrific people who keep us all working and productive. His job is to do basic food preparation, and to wash the dishes and related items we use, as well as to help produce the employee meals that we serve every day.

When the managers nominate a staff member for employee of the month, the conversation around the conference table comes from every conceivable angle and viewpoint. This month, in discussing Francisco's nomination, the managers were unanimous in their praise of this quiet, hard-working and very pleasant man. While English is not his first language, he manages to convey a team spirit of conviviality that makes him extremely well-liked and respected by all.

Francisco comes from the Dominican Republic, and has worked at the Hawthorne Hotel for just over seven years. Congratulations, Francisco, for a job WELL DONE!


Hawthorne Hotel Culinary Team Congratulates Francisco Lora

Chef Steve Nelson, Sous Chef Ken O'Keefe, Employee of the Month Francisco Lora, Kitchen Supervisor Ramon Rodriguez and General Manager Juli Lederhaus Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Liz Dube selected as Hawthorne Hotel Employee of the Month

Claire Kallelis, Liz Dube and Wendy Walsh Posted by Hello

Today we awarded Liz Dube our part-time employee of the month award for the month of April. Liz has worked for us for over five years, and fills a key role in the banquet department. Liz is one of our wedding coordinators, as well as handling other key events.

Liz was nominated by her direct supervisor and acting banquet manager, Wendy Walsh, with much support from our director of food and beverage, Claire Kallelis. All three members of this key supervisory team are pictured above.

Among the reasons for her unanimous selection this month were the extraordinary high marks that Liz receives from the event evaluations that we send out to all of our catered event guests. Liz is particularly good with social events such as weddings. Given the fact that a wedding is a once in a lifetime event, it is reassuring to all of us to know that a wedding placed in Liz' capable hands will be perfect in every way.

Congratulations, Liz!

Juli and the Team of the Hawthorne Hotel

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

"Bewitched" in Salem

Memorabilia from the Bewitched Show at the Hawthorne Hotel Posted by Hello

The headline story in today's Salem News says "'Bewitched' statue gets go-ahead; Lappin Park's still the place." Evidently the story of where to put, or even whether to put, a statue of Elizabeth Montgomery in Salem in recognition of the television series has garnered our small town with press from Washington D.C. to New Orleans. A veritable tempest in a teapot, it seems to me.

As you can see from the photo above, the Hawthorne Hotel has an interesting connection with the old television series, in that the cast and crew stayed here and shot some footage here when they came to Salem in June of 1970.

If you want to read more of the story, you can go to the Salem News' website at:


The stories usually stay up on their site for one week, so if you are reading this post after that time, you may not find it.

The estimated date of arrival of this statue is June 15, 2005. Lappin Park is a small pocket park located at the corner of Washington Street and Essex Street.

There is more memorabilia from the "Bewitched" visit to Salem hanging on the walls of the vestibule outside the lobby level restrooms, in case you would like to view it all for yourself.

See you at the Hawthorne Hotel!


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Some Days Are Like That

Not everything in the life of a hotel is fun. Saturday May 7 was one of those days that we'd just like to have not happened.

By 11 am, the building had taken not one, but two direct hits. What kind of hits, you might ask? First the garbage pick-up truck driver miscalculated, and ran his truck too close to the gate that blocks the view of our garbage area from the rest of the world. Strike one -- back gate was down and out!

Then, a couple of hours later the linen delivery truck driver miscalculated and wiped out the awning over the Essex Street entrance to the hotel. Strike two!

Ouch! It felt like we were under seige. So, if we're looking a little battered and bruised as you cruise by, bear with us. We'll be back together in as short an amount of time as possible.

As I've written before, as a hotel manager I never really know what the day has in store for us. This one was a particularly perplexing and annoying one.


Monday, May 09, 2005

Flags of the Week

This week we will be flying the following flags:

Monday May 9 -- Turkmenistan and Delaware
Tuesday May 10 -- Tuvalu and Florida
Wednesday May 11 -- Uganda and Georgia
Thursday May 12 -- Ukraine and Guam
Friday May 13 -- United Arab Emirate and Hawaii
Saturday May 14 -- United Kingdom and Idaho
Sunday May 15 -- United Republic of Tanzania and Illinois

Our random rotation certainly makes for interesting 'political' partners.


Sunday, May 08, 2005

A Special Church in Salem

Grace Church in Salem Posted by Hello

From time to time we have couples inquire about churches nearby the hotel where they might be married. While it is not a wedding chapel, several couples have found what they are looking for in Grace Episcopal Church at 385 Essex Street in Salem.

If you would like to know more about Grace Church, here is a link to their website: http://users.rcn.com/gcis/ or you can contact the Rev. Deborah Phillips at 978-744-2796.


Saturday, May 07, 2005

Suite 212's Bedroom at the Hawthorne Hotel

Hawthorne Hotel Suite 212 Posted by Hello

I have written about a variety of topics on our BLOG, but it occurred to me that I haven't posted much about our rooms. Given the fact that we are primarily a hotel, it seemed about time to talk about the guest rooms.

Here is a photo of the bedroom of one of our suites, room 212. This is our only suite designated for our smoking guests. We do have five other suites in the hotel that are designated as non-smoking rooms. In fact, only five of our rooms and suites are designated for smoking, and the other 84 in the hotel, as well as all of the rooms in the Suzannah Flint House are non-smoking.

In future posts I'll post more photos of other rooms. One of the interesting things about our hotel is that the rooms are all so unique, so there is no such thing as a typical room.


Friday, May 06, 2005

Our Guests Say the Nicest Things

On Tuesday Amy Jacobson, one of our Catering Managers, received a lovely e-mail from one of the newlyweds at last weekend's wedding. We asked if we could share some of it with you, and were instantly granted permission. I thought you might enjoy reading the following:

"I can't say thank you enough. Friday was absolutely the most amazing day of my life, and it's all because of you and Liz. Everything went off without a hitch . . . the Hawthorne staff was absolutely amazing. Even my guests commented on how nice and professional everyone was. I could ramble on about details, but that might take a few days, so I'll save you the trauma and simply keep saying thank you."

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Our Favorite Hair Salon -- Julien Hair Networx

Ed Walsh of Julien Hair Networx Posted by Hello

Whenever I move to a new city one of the first things I do is to try to find a good place to get my hair cut. When I moved to Salem over six years ago, I did my scouting around, and quickly found Julien Hair Networx. What a find it was!

It met all my requirements:
  • Close to the Hawthorne Hotel - Yes, only one and a half blocks away!
  • Great stylists? - Yes!
  • Reasonably priced? - Yes!
  • Unpretentious? - Yes!!!
  • Works with me the way I want? - Yes!
  • Friendly? - Yes!!!
  • Open some evenings? - Yes!
  • Does nails? - No, and I don't need this, nor do I like the smell in a salon where I'm getting my hair done. They can recommend some nail salons if that is what you need.

So, if you are looking for a good place to get your hair done, close to the Hawthorne Hotel, you should definitely give Julien Hair Networx a try. Here is the phone number: 978-744-5747. An appointment made far enough in advance will insure that you can get your hair done when you want it to be done.

Now you know another of my favorite shops in the neighborhood. Please tell Ed I sent you, via our Hawthorne Hotel Blog.