Thursday, November 30, 2006

Will we look like this on Christmas Weekend?

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The Hawthorne Hotel Hosts the Kick-Off to the Holiday Season

. . . and the children are the stars. Here are some photos of the crowd, that numbered about 1,000, on Thursday, November 24, here on the Common in Salem, Massachusetts.

These snapshots are the professional ones that we were awaiting, taken by local photographer David LaChapelle.

I hope you enjoy seeing Santa's arrival as much as I did.


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Santa at the Hawthorne Hotel

Santa was a real crowd pleaser.
He even got Mayor Kim Driscoll loosened up!
Maybe he'll bring Salem some budget-pleasing new ideas for 2007?
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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Winter Holidays Are Arriving

. . . at the Hawthorne Hotel here in Salem, Massachusetts.

Usually the staff of the maintenance department have to be out in heavy jackets and gloves, trying to arrange the holiday greens in the window boxes. Not so today, Monday, November 27, with temperatures in the 60's and it is feeling more like spring than winter.

The weatherman promises us more wintry conditions by the end of the week. All we want is a light dusting of snow to complete the effect.

I hope you enjoy seeing this change of the window boxes, and change of the lobby, as we enter this most festive season of the year.


Left to right are Ray Gagnon, Nick Swindell and Dean Demeter

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Santa Arrives in Salem

Every year Santa arrives in Salem on the Friday after Thanksgiving. He parks his sleigh and reindeer safely on the roof of the Hawthorne Hotel, and then climbs down the Salem Fire Department's very tall ladder to see all of the children gathered below.

Here you can see my shaky attempts at documenting this event. I believe we will have better photos coming from the professional photographer, David LaChapelle, later this week. I will post those in the place of these as soon as I receive them.

Hotel lore says this tradition got started when the hotel was built, and the fire department and the hotel management wanted to demonstrate how safe the hotel was, so they brought their big ladder truck here, and began this annual event.

One of the joys of running a historic hotel is hosting such community traditions as this one. I hope you will join us next year, to welcome Santa to the Hawthorne Hotel and Salem, Massachusetts.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ November 27 through December 3, 2006

Salem, Massachusetts, located somewhat off the beaten track, North of Boston, is a fairly unlikely place to find a self-appointed mission of the United Nations, but that is what we are -- our owner feels very strongly that we need to help to remind all who pass by our hotel that we are all part of a larger place called the world. By flying a different country's flag, and a different state's flag each and every day (while of course, continuing to fly the flag of the USA on the highest roof of the Hawthorne), we are helping to spread that word.

I hope you will enjoy stopping by to see each day's flags, and perhaps you will also stop in to the hotel to read and learn a little about each country.

Monday, November 27 ~~ Singapore and Idaho

Tuesday, November 28 ~~ Slovakia and and Illinois

Wednesday, November 29 ~~ Slovenia and Indiana

Thursday, November 30 ~~ Solomon Islands and Iowa

Friday, December 1 ~~ Somalia and Kansas

Saturday, December 2 ~~ South Africa and Kentucky

Sunday, December 3 ~~ Spain and Louisiana

I hope to see you here.


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Former Bellhop Celebrates His 90th Birthday at the Hawthorne Hotel

On Sunday, November 19, Armand Lussier was the guest of honor for his 90th birthday celebration here in the Essex Room at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem.

When our banquet staff members, Elizabeth Singer and Scott O'Meara heard more details about Armand's story, they thought it would make an interesting "connect-the-dots" story for our blog, so here it is.

Armand was a bellhop at the Hawthorne, and was working here when World War II began. He left the hotel to go and fight overseas. He said that he was pretty sure that the General Manager at the time didn't even know his name, but when he got on the bus to ship out, the G.M. was there with a special container full of coffee to see him off. That has obviously meant something to Armand, that he offered it up as a remembrance nearly 70 years later.

Armand worked with the bellhop whose photo graces the entrance to the Hawthorne Hotel. He says he enjoyed working here, which is the same thing we hear from many of our staff members today.

Today I received two 90-day employee evaluations to sign off on. The employee comments are them echo that thought, so I thought I would share them with you:

Working in the hotel industry has thus far been everything I thought it would be, fun interesting and non-repetitive.

The people I work with are great to be around and the management staff is very helpful. I am looking forward to learning more and taking on more responsibility.

We are only able to provide exemplary customer service when our staff members are enthusiastic, well-trained, and motivated. It is good to see that there has been a continuity of excellence in staffing the Hawthorne Hotel for so many years.

Happy Birthday, Armand, and thank you for celebrating with the Hawthorne Hotel.

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Our Harpists Look Lovely on Thanksgiving, at the Hawthorne Hotel

Virtually every major holiday finds us hosting yet another very special brunch buffet meal. We serve in all the main floor rooms ~~ The Grand Ballroom, The Tavern, Nathaniel's and Sophia's.

One of our traditions is to have Nina Vickers come to play her harp. And one of her traditions is to invite some of her students of the harp to accompany her for the first hour of each event.

This photo shows all of them in their finery, just getting ready to sit down to play.

Our guests are very particular, some demanding to be seated in The Grand Ballroom, and letting us know that the harp music and the view of the Common here in Salem are very important to them.

Other guests request the Tavern, with its cozy, wood-burning fireplace, and yet others want the main dining rooms of Nathaniel's-Sophia's to be able to listen to the jazz trio.

Whatever your preference, if you do have one, please let us know when you call to make your next special occasion brunch reservation. We would be very happy to try to accommodate your wishes.

If you do want to make reservations, you can call our direct line at 978-825-4311. We have a Santa Brunch in the offing on December 10 and 17, a Teddy Bear Tea on December 16, and Christmas Day Brunch on Monday, December 25.

We hope to see you here.

Juli Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 24, 2006

Twins Reunite for Thanksgiving

A last minute travel miracle allowed twin sisters, Christine Brown of Manhattan, and Carol Crawford of Marblehead, to have Thanksgiving together here at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem.

We were so pleased to welcome them, and wish them, and all of you the best wishes of the holiday season.

Juli Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Hawthorne Hotel is Visited by a Little Pilgrim on Thanksgiving

We were quite taken with Noah, who is from Gloucester. He came to brunch with his family, and wore his pilgrim outfit. Don't you love it?

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at the Hawthorne Hotel.

Juli Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Holidays Are Closer Than They Appear In Your Rearview Mirror

If you haven't already been thinking about plans for the holidays, you need to start now. The days are at the point where they are steamrollering (is that a word?) by, and you could be left scratching your head, wondering why you didn't think about a few of these details in advance.

So don't say we didn't warn you, okay?

Here is a reminder from Shannon Civitarese, our Rooms Division Manager.

Ring in the New Year in Elegant Style. Start the New Year off right and resolve to spend this New Year’s in style, at the Historic Hawthorne Hotel.

Priced at a festive $200.70 our New Year’s Eve package includes deluxe accommodations, champagne and chocolate covered strawberries upon arrival, and a full American breakfast in the morning.

Taxes are included in the package price.

I can't resist adding that this package is for two people. The very thought reminds me of a chef that used to work for me in Alaska. He was invited to appear on a television show to give out some ideas for making a special 'breakfast in bed' menu for Valentine's Day. The woman TV host, perched on her stool in the studio kitchen, pretending to take notes of the recipes, starts off by asking "How many does this recipe serve?" Our chef, quite a cad was he, says with a sly wink and without skipping a beat, "Three."

We hope to see you here for New Year's Eve. If you want to make reservations, you may do so right on our website, or you can call the Hawthorne Hotel, the North Shore of Boston's coziest winter escape by dialing directly to 978-744-4080.

I promise not to ask any questions about "how many?" However, the reservationist will probably need to know the answer to that question. I'll stay out of it!


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

We get such nice letters and comments . . .

. . . here are a few from recent mail and comment cards:

Dear Ms. Lederhaus,

I wanted to write to you and compliment you once again on making our stay at the Hawthorne a very memorable occasion. My husband and I have come to your hotel for the past few years trying to return at least twice a year. We find the same great service and staff who are always friendly and willing to help make our stay a pleasant one. The last trip this past week one of your staff even took time out to check our pillows making sure they were foam and not feather as we are both allergic to feather. His name was Tom and he was the bell boy or maintenance man, I believe. We found the maids to be very nice and thorough.

Your hotel is very inviting and we love to sit in the lobby and meet and greet new guests directing them to the right attractions and meeting their dogs as we always travel with our dogs. This year we have two dogs and it meant a lot to us to be welcome in such a spectacular hotel with them. We respect the fact that you allow dogs and take every precaution so they do not offend any guests. We find your location great with the commons and we spend a lot of time just living in your hotel. We have gone beyond the regular tourist and have many friends we seek out in local businesses when we return.

Again, thank you very much for being a part of our life.

Marie & Gary (last name withheld for their privacy)

PS We have experienced ghostly appearances in various rooms with no ill effects.


And this, from a comment card, guests were from Smithfield, Rhode Island:

Wonderful getaway to a historical, educational environment, also offering fantasy, creativity, imagination, magic & hope. Please thank Shannon at the front desk for her welcome -- open and warm.


From San Francisco, California, a guest writes:

Remarkable place -- service is A-1. Thank you so much and the special rates were some surprise (we offered these guests a bereavement rate due to the circumstances of their stay with us.)


From Voorhees, New Jersey, we read Isabel's comments:

Great place, we will recommend it. Keep it up, personal service is a joy nowadays.

And finally, this was also from a comment card, guests from Medford, Massachusetts:

I had a lovely 4-day Elderhostel stay, & the food and service is excellent!


I hope you enjoy reading these snippets from our guests' writings about the Hawthorne Hotel. We try every day to offer the North Shore of Boston's most personal hotel experience. When we read these kinds of comments, it makes all of the trying worthwhile.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week -- November 20 through 26, 2006

Here is this week's list. Please stop by and read the information in our lobby to learn more.

Monday , November 20 ~~ San Marino and Conneticut
Tuesday , November 21 ~~ Sao Tome and Principe and Deleware
Wednesday , November 22 ~~ Saudi Arabia and District of Columbia
Thursday , November 23 ~~ Senegal and Florida
Friday , November 24 ~~ Serbia and Montenegro and Georgia
Saturday , November 25 ~~ Seychelles and Guam
Sunday , November 26 ~~ Sierra Leone and Hawaii

We look forward to seeing you here.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Chef Steve Nelson's Wine Dinner Food at the Hawthorne Hotel

Wild Mushroom Crostini, white bean and goat cheese puree, baby greens, and micro herb salad.
Seared Scallops, Macomber turnip puree, brussel sprout leaves, truffle butter sauce
Cervena Venison mignons, sundried currants, red wine and cassis, cinnamon baked apples with chestnut-apple butter, braised red cabbage and carmelized butternut squash
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