Tuesday, July 31, 2007

One of our own gets married at the Hawthorne Hotel

Here you see Kelly Newell, our Catering Assistant, who got married here last weekend. On a daily basis Kelly assists brides and other customers of our catering department be sure that they have perfect events here at the Hawthorne Hotel.

We were all so happy that she chose to hold her wedding reception here at the Hawthorne, and I was tickled to be able to snap this shot of her standing next to the lobby flower arrangement.

Congratulations, Kelly!

Best wishes to you and Sean on this new portion of your lives.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ July 30 through August 5, 2007

Monday , July 30th ~~ Argentina and Virginia
Tuesday , July 31st ~~ Armenia and Washington
Wednesday , August 1st ~~ Australia and West Virginia
Thursday , August 2nd ~~ Austria and Wisconsin
Friday , August 3rd ~~ Azerbaijan and Wyoming
Saturday , August 4th ~~ Bahamas and Alabama
Sunday August 5th Bahrain and Alaska

I hope to see you here.


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Beer Dinner Dessert

There is a saying "Life is too uncertain; eat dessert first."

When I saw these photos, I decided that that saying was most appropriate for this particular dessert.

This was the dessert served at the beer dinner which was held at the Hawthorne Hotel on July 13.

Unfortunately I was on vacation at the time, so all I get is the photos. Something like what you get, fair reader, if you failed to attend this wonderful event.

DessertSoft and Warm Center Chocolate CakeCaramel and stout sauce and a short mocha frappeIpswich Oatmeal Stout

I hope to see you in September at our Bordeaux dinner. I do not plan to miss that one!


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Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Beer Dinner I Missed

Here are photos and menu descriptions from the Ipswich Beer Dinner, July 13. Because I was away on vacation, I unfortunately missed this dinner. I did speak with several of our regular guests, who said that I missed yet another terrific dinner.

Fish and Chips
Beer-battered fried local cod served in a crispy potato cup, Ipswich mustard and malt vinegar sauce, garnished with fried clams
Ipswich I.P.A.

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Sate
Mixed greens with soba noodles and sesame-soy vinaigrette
Ipswich Dark Ale

Summer Kobe Beef Sampler
The “Perfect Mini Cheeseburger”
Grafton cheddar, heirloom tomatoes and lettuce on a sesame roll

Grilled Kobe Beef Flat Iron Steak
Home-made steak sauce

Barbequed Kobe Beef Short Rib
Porter barbeque sauce, served with shoestring French fries
Ipswich Porter

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Hawthorne Hotel Names Lucie Ogeron as Full-time Employee of the Month for June 2007

When we present our employee of the month awards, all of the managers that are in the hotel at the time get together and procede to the work area of that employee. Here you can see (photo below) us surprising Lucie at the front desk with the bouquet of balloons, which is one of the gifts we bring.

Lucie is an outstanding front desk agent for us, and we are so pleased to have her as part of our team.

Congratulations, Lucie!

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

A Hotel Problem for the 21st Century

Lost and found is always an issue in the hotel business. We have long held to the practice of not calling or sending any unsolicited information to any guest, such as calling to say "Oh, by the way, you left your XYZ item in your room." Why is that, you might ask?

Because not every guest is staying in a hotel with the full knowledge of the other persons at his or her home. Oh, now it becomes clear, right!

So we hold on to things until the guest calls to find out if we have their particular item, log all the items we find, and then donate them to a shelter or thrift store after 90-days.

Lost and found has been one of the plagues of housekeepers for a really long time. So why is this a new problem for the 21st century? Well, the actual problem is the number of cellphone and other kinds of chargers, cords and other associated electrical devices that are left behind.

Here is a photo of our Executive Housekeeper, Josh Miano, holding a basket of just 'some' of these that we have collected in the past month or two! Today at the managers' meeting he asked if there was some way that we could ask each guest as they depart the hotel if they have all of their cellphone and related equipment.

So if you are traveling to the Hawthorne Hotel, and you FORGET your charger, just ask! We may actually be able to lend you one from our huge basket of left-behinds.

I hope to see you here, and I pray that you and your cellphone charger stay together.


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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Our Staff is Growing

Here you see Shela of our Tavern staff, with her new baby, who she brought by for us to meet.

Congratulations to Shela and Mike!

She is every bit as pretty as they come. How soon until she can start bussing for us?

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Hawthorne Hotel Names Duo as Part-time Employees of the Month for June

This month we had an usual nomination for part-time employee of the month -- a twosome who work together and share the same last name.

June's employees of the month, part-time, are seen in this photo, along with their supervisors. Left to right are Margarita Gonzalez, Josh Miano, Lourdes Gonzalez and Shannon Civitarese.

Margarita and Lourdes both work as room cleaners in our housekeeping department. They are both so good, so dependable, and so committted, that their manager could not nominate one over the other, and therefore asked if we could consider them for co-nomination. As you can see, we did, and they won!

Congratulations to you both!

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Heritage Days are coming soon

The week of August 6 through August 12 is designated Heritage Days in Salem. This is an excellent time to come and experience the small-city feel that we have in our charming seaside town. There are a number of events scheduled, such as the Ice Cream Scooperbowl, right next door to us on Salem Common.

For a complete listing of events, go to http://www.salem-chamber.org/ and check out the special events list. I hope to see you here.


Monday, July 23, 2007

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ July 23 through July 29, 2007

Here are this week's flags. As you can see, we are back to simply alphabetical order since there were no special requests for this week.

Monday , July 23rd ~~ Zimbabwe and Rhode Island
Tuesday , July 24th ~~ Afghanistan and South Carolina
Wednesday , July 25th ~~ Albania and South Dakota
Thursday , July 26th ~~ Algeria and Tennessee
Friday , July 27th ~~ Andorra and Texas
Saturday , July 28th ~~ Angola and Utah
Sunday July 29th Antigua and Barbuda, and Vermont


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Eighty-two years ago at the Hawthorne Hotel

As you can see, this is a scan of the program that was part of the grand opening ceremonies the night the Hawthorne Hotel opened. For more information, see the next post.


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Opening Menu and Program

Here is a scan of the menu and program from the grand opening of the Hawthorne Hotel, which took place on Thursday July 23, 1925, exactly 82 years ago tomorrow, in the Williamsburg Room of the Hotel. That room is now called the Grand Ballroom.

There are many other differences between then and now in the world of the Hawthorne Hotel.

Turtle soup cannot be served because sea turtles are no longer hunted, there are non-smoking laws and customs that would prevent the serving of cigars and cigarettes after dinner, we would be highly unlikely to serve sweetbreads to a large group of people any more because most people just don't eat them (while they do eat sweet breads primarily at breakfast), they are not the offal that would have been served in 1925.

The Hawthorne is no longer owned by a group of investors, so there would not be the kind of guest list that you see here. We only have 89 rooms in our main building, where there were 150 when the hotel first opened. Rooms have been combined to increase their size, and give all rooms a private bathroom, something the original hotel lacked.

However, the hotel still has the graceful charm of a building that was built so many years ago, and the service is more consistent with an age past, where individuals were respected, and the phone was answered by a human being.

I do hope you enjoy this little slice of Hawthorne Hotel history. This scan was provided for us by a friend of the Hawthorne Hotel.

(Happy Anniversary to Us!)


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Saturday, July 21, 2007

The history of our site

When I first arrived at the Hawthorne Hotel a little over eight years ago to take over as the general manager, I had a West Coast frame of mind regarding history. You see, in San Francisco, if a building dates before 1904, it is REALLY OLD. So, since I knew fairly early that the Hawthorne Hotel was built in 1925, I simply surmised (very incorrectly), that the hotel was built on vacant land.

That was decidely not the case. It was built on the site of the Franklin Building which was built on the site of Samuel McIntire's Archer Block. The Archer Block burned down in 1860, and the Franklin Building took its place in the early 1880s. The Franklin Building was built for the Salem Marine Society, which now has its home on the rooftop of the Hawthorne Hotel.

While the caption on the photo says "Franklin Place", it clearly does not say "Franklin Building", and was likely a way of naming a building by its location, a custom still employed today.

Frankly, now that I know a lot more about Salem's history, I would not be surprised to learn that other buildings preceded the Archer Block on this site. Do you have any more information for us to share?

For those of you without super-duper vision, the caption on the photo says it was taken on October 21, 1860.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Our Namesake's Boyhood Home

Here are some photos of Nathaniel Hawthorne's boyhood home. They were taken for us by Scott Richard, a friend of my administrative assistant,and a local resident, who thought that you might be interested in seeing them.

The home is located in Raymond, Maine, just north of Portland.

I hope you enjoy this additional tidbit of pictorial information about Nathaniel Hawthorne.


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Thursday, July 19, 2007

More from the history of the Hawthorne Hotel

This photo is part of our connection to our past. It was brought to us by Dr. Jackson, the son of John Jacob Jackson, in the form of a scan. Dr. Jackson still resides in this area, a place his father brought he and the rest of his family to, in order for him to build the Hawthorne Hotel.

This represents a merger of one of the traditional methods of relating history with technology, that I really enjoy because it enables us to share much more about 'us' with the entire world. That is if the entire world reads my blog!

I hope you enjoy seeing this additional slice of Hawthorne Hotel history.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

More of "Our Guests Say the Nicest Things"

Running a small hotel with high ideals for excellence is so rewarding, especially when we hear from guests like these. By the way, in case you don't already know, Karen Cotton is our Director of Catering. She has been with us for over 20 years.

From an Event Evaluation:

Karen was wonderful to work with and despite our "not too typical rouine"
Karen always made us feel important.

Liz was great! Anticipated our needs and was able to run interference when needed at a moment's notice! We were able to enjoy this special night.

Liz Dube (our Banquet Manager) was very professional and made the evening
go smoothly -- extremely accommodating and efficient!

Karen made us feel very welcome and understood our taste and constraints. Her suggestions were impeccable! Thank you, Karen & Liz for making this a truly
memorable event for my daughter & us.

My daughter, Becky, who at times was overwhelmed with details (we only had
6 weeks to pull this together) has repeatedly thanked me for making this the
wedding she truly wanted -- elegant and fun. I couldn't have done it
without your expertise!

The room, ambiance and food (also, the wait staff were great!) couldn't
have been nicer!

Our guests were extremely complimentary regarding the whole
experience. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend your hotel for any

With sincere gratitude,

Maureen A.

-- and here is another letter --

Dear Karen:

This is just a quick note to compliment you and your staff. You will
recall that you catered a post-funeral luncheon for my family on Monday in the
Essex rom. You and your staff did an excellent job. The meal was
delicious and the service was prompt and courteous; truly superb.

Several of the family members remarked how wonderful it was to know that
all of the dinner arrangements were taken care of at a time when we had so many
other challenges to deal with. It was a blessing to be able to meet with
family and friends knowing that we didn't need to worry about any of that. . .
your staff had it covered.

Please thank your staff personally on our behalf.


Alex H.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Honeymoon Happening at the Hawthorne Hotel

We received this letter some time ago, and I put it in my "blog folder" for a future post. I didn't intend for it to be quite so far into the future before I posted it, but nonetheless, here it is:

Dear Hawthorne Hotel,

We would like to thank you so much for our lovely stay in your hotel during our honeymoon.

It was after midnight on Tuesday in early October. We had no reservations and got lost on the way to Salem from Boston. After stopping at two hotels, both saying they were closed, we were sent your way. Though we were tired and completely frustrated, the lady at the front desk treated us so kindly and got us into the best room we had throughout the entire honeymoon.

Both my husband and I enjoyed our stay so much that we told all our friends and family about the hotel when we got back. We've made plans to come back for an anniversary in the future. I'm so thankful that we ended up at your hotel because our anniversary is around Halloween, the best time of the year to be in Salem.

I visited your wonderful city 16 years ago and couldn't wait to get back. Luckily, this time I was able to spend more time looking around the city and taking in the sites. I can't wait to get back to see more. We will definitely call and make reservations this time.

Thank you again for a wonderful, unforgettable stay in the best hotel in Salem.


Kristi & Wes

Monday, July 16, 2007

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ July 16 through July 22, 2007

This week we are flying the flag of Columbia on July 20 in honor of Columbian Independence Day, by special request.

Monday , July 16 ~~ Vanuatu and New York
Tuesday , July 17 ~~ Vatican City and North Carolina
Wednesday , July 18 ~~ Venezuela and North Dakota
Thursday , July 19 ~~ Vietnam and Ohio
Friday , July 20 ~~ Colombia and Oklahoma
Saturday , July 21 ~~ Yemen and Oregon
Sunday , July 22 ~~ Zambia and Pennsylvania

Do you have a special flag request? Let us know.



Sunday, July 15, 2007

Summer in Salem, Massachusetts

There are a number of very special events happening in Salem this summer. Here is one of them:

July 21, 2007 at 12 p.m
The Witch House
310 Essex St.
Salem, MA 01970
Tel: 978-744-8815
Colonel Bailey's Second Massachusetts Regiment of reenactors will visit the Witch House in July and demonstrate aspects of colonial daily life. Come enjoy these demonstrations and participate in colonial games and crafts. This event is FREE to the public.

I hope to see you here.


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Special Summer in Salem Events

Anniversary Exhibition: “Stephen Phillips, Salem Preservationist”
Now through – October 31, 2007
Phillips House
34 Chestnut Street
Salem, MA 01970
Tel: 978-744-0440
Visit the Phillips House and celebrate the life of Stephen Phillips (1907-1971), preservationist who saved the Phillips House so that it could become a museum. Mr. Phillips was instrumental in saving other historic structures in Salem.

I hope to see you here.


Friday, July 13, 2007

Which Witch House? THE Witch House

This house, located at the corner of Summer (North) and Essex Streets in Salem is open to the public during the season, and is owned by the City of Salem.

It is worth seeing, for both the architecture and the ties that it has to the Salem witch trials.

Check http://www.salem.com/, which is the City of Salem's website, for more details regarding hours and admission costs.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Ropes Mansion Garden is Blooming

If you are a regular Hawthorne Hotel Blog reader, you will recognize some parts of these photos. They are all of the Ropes Mansion Gardens, which are owned and maintained by the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), but kept open for the public to enjoy.

I am able to walk through them as a kind of 'long-cut' on my way to work, and I delight in thinking they are my private gardens, because there are rarely other visitors there when I walk through in the mornings.

When you visit Salem, be sure to find your way down Essex Street, just past the Witch House, to the Ropes Gardens, and enjoy them for yourself.

I look forward to seeing you here.


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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

More Photos of Historic Neighborhood Homes in Salem

To continue the walking tour of 'my' neighborhood, here are some more photos of historic homes that I love to look at as I walk to work or home from work each day.

I thought you might enjoy this little tour too.


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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Historic Neighborhoods of Salem

I thought you might be interested to see some of the scenes that I see when I walk to work, through the historic neighborhoods of Salem. I live in the McIntire District, and work in the Salem Common Historic District, so I get to see a lot of lovely old homes.

I will post some photos in my blog so you can enjoy the same views as I do.

A lot of visitors enjoy seeing our old homes and walking around looking at the plaques on the buildings that tell the story of our history in the story of our homes.

I hope to see you here.


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