Friday, November 30, 2007

Lots and Lots More Halloween Photos

Here is a link to the photos taken by David LaChapelle (the local professional photographer that we use for our hotel photos) the night of our Hawthorne Hotel Halloween Ball. There are some terrific photos here, and I wanted to share them with you.

The photos at the beginning of the roll are of the set-up meeting that we have before every ball. It takes approximately 125 staff members THAT NIGHT to produce this event, and to keep everyone safe. We place a good deal of emphasis on the safety of our guests here at the Hawthorne Hotel, including hiring three fire department detail officers and a like number of police detail personnel. We emphasize at this pre-event meeting how important safety is, and make sure that everyone knows where all the emergency exits are located, where to direct guests in case of an emergency, and all of the related details.

On a lighter note, what was YOUR favorite costume? We would love to hear from you, with your choice and WHY!!!


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hawthorne Hotel's Honor's John Goss as Full-time Employee of the Month

With all of the special events going on here at the Hawthorne Hotel, I got a little behind in posting our Employee of the Month photos.

Here you see us honoring John Goss who was the full-time EOM for September.

In this photo you see Shannon Civitarese (Rooms Division Manager) and Josh Miano (Executive Housekeeper) helping John to celebrate his award. They are standing in front of Flat Jack, our Giant Pumpkin

John in a rooms inspector, which means he checks the rooms after the housekeepers clean them to make sure everything is done perfectly. John has been doing this job very, very well since he was promoted to it this summer. Congratulations, John, for a job well done.


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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Santa Arrives In Salem, Via the Roof of the Hawthorne Hotel

and the Salem Fire Department Ladder Truck #2.

Here is a video I shot on Friday, November 23, the day after Thanksgiving, here at the Hawthorne Hotel. When the hotel was built, back in 1925, some people were concerned because it was such a TALL BUILDING, with all of six stories. So the fire department came by to show that they could reach the tallest part of the hotel with their ladder truck.

This became an annual tradition, complete with Santa's arrival on the roof of the Hawthorne Hotel. We let him park his sleigh and reindeer up there while he comes down to talk to all the little children, to see what they want him to bring for Christmas.

At the Hawthorne Hotel we love being part of the many traditions that Salemites hold so dear.

Happy Holidays to you all.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Do You Think a Wedding at the Hawthorne Hotel Has to be a BIG One?

That is not the case at all, as this small affair for 25 people proves. It was simple, it was held on a Tuesday night, and it was a very reasonable cost, yet everything was done with the usual Hawthorne Hotel professionalism and attention to detail.

This couple got married, and one of their parents was in another part of the world and could not attend, but was able to see what was going on via the Internet and a computer.

We arranged for a small wedding cake from the same bakery that does all our wedding cakes, Montilio's.

So, if you think a wedding at the Hawthorne is beyond your reach, you may want to think again. Simply contact Christine Turner, our Small Wedding Specialist, at 978-825-4357 and she can help you plan your small affair.


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Monday, November 26, 2007

Do you like to listen to Big Band music, and maybe even dance a bit?

Every other Monday, in the Ballroom of the Hawthorne Hotel, we have a big band that comes here to rehearse. They are the Special Edition. This coming Monday, November 26, is the "other" Monday when they do come.

So in case you didn't know this little fact about the Hawthorne Hotel, now you do. The Ballroom is open to anyone who wants to come in and listen (or dance, for that matter, although we don't set up a dance floor unless we need to for the next function in that room) and perhaps have a drink or a snack from the Tavern. The time of the practice is listed as from 7 pm to 10 pm.

It is always a good idea to call first to make sure they are going to show up. They sometimes change their schedule at the last minute. Call the Hawthorne Hotel at 978-744-4080, around 6 pm to check before you head over.

I hope to see you here.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ November 26 through December 2

Monday , November 26 ~~ Niger and Florida
Tuesday , November 27 ~~ Nigeria and Georgia
Wednesday , November 28 ~~ China and Guam
Thursday , November 29 ~~ Norway and Hawaii
Friday , November 30 ~~ Oman and Idaho
Saturday , December 1 ~~ Pakistan and Illinois
Sunday December 2 ~~ Palau and Indiana

If you are wondering what these are about, check out the post of November 15 for the details.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Nanny Franny and Her Family Enjoy Thanksgiving at the Hawthorne Hotel

This Thanksgiving was an unusual day at the Hawthorne Hotel. Not only did we have a 3-day old baby join us for our buffet, but also this lovely woman, Franny, who just turned 100-years old.

She and her family, who hail from Swampscott, came to enjoy the day together, and to eat our excellent food.

I hope you enjoy meeting Nanny Franny and her family.


Juli Lederhaus
General Manager
Hawthorne Hotel
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Friday, November 23, 2007

This Story is About a Happy Beginning and a Quest for a Name

Yesterday on Thanksgiving, this couple, Jennifer and Barry, along with their brand-new baby, Dylan, stopped by the Hawthorne Hotel to see if they could have Thanksgiving Day with us. We were fortunate, despite being fully committed for reservations, to have had an early departure and so were able to fit them in.

It seems that they had just gotten out of Beverly Hospital where Dylan had arrived somewhat early. Dylan, only three days old, was the ideal guest -- he slept right through the meal.

You see, Jennifer and Barry were on the East Coast, visiting from Playa del Rey, California, when Dylan decided that he wanted to have dual citizenship. So now he can be both a Californian and a Yankee (hopefully not a Yankee-fan, however).

In writing this little article, I tried to find out (because I'm from California and therefore a Californian) what one calls someone who is from Massachusetts, but despite many responses, I got not one appropriate answer. I decided that Yankee or New Englander was going to be as close as I could get to something that was suitable for publishing.

After asking about 30 people here for work and dining, and even calling some folks at home -- people I was sure would know, including a former Congressman from Massachusetts, my efforts were to no avail.

Then I decided to Google the question, "What do you call someone who is from Massachusetts?" and here is the answer I got:

"Well, here are all the options I've found. Massachusian with 70 hits in Google seems to be the most frequently used of the morphs of the state name....but among these, Bay Stater is the expression more frequently used. I think "resident of Massachusetts" beats them all for frequency of use. ;o))

Bay Stater, Massachusite, Massachusian, Massachusettser, Massachusetter, Massachusettean

So Baby Dylan, you already have a conundrum which you will have to deal with at some point in your life. You may want to stay asleep until you get back to California.

Good luck!


P.S. To the regular readers of this blog, if you have an answer for us, please feel free to post it right here. Thanks.
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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving from the Staff of the Hawthorne Hotel, Salem, Massachusetts

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here are all the photos that we took of our guests today during the traditional Thanksgiving Day Buffet here at the Hawthorne Hotel:

I hope you enjoy your photo.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I think we look good in Fall Colors, here at the Hawthorne Hotel

This fall the colors have been fantastic. They have lasted a good month longer than any year that I have been in New England (now in my ninth year!) In fact, I remember the first or second fall here, that the leaves were beyond this point before Halloween. Here we are on the day before Thanksgiving and they are still glorious.

I hope you enjoy this photo I snapped with my iPhone on the way to work this week.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

New bedspreads have arrived at the Hawthorne Hotel

We have been upgrading a lot of things in our guest rooms this fall. Several weeks ago we bought all new pillows when we found a new type that is a synthetic down which really acts just like goose down, but without the allergy factor built in. These new pillows are simply awesome.

This week we are installing new bedspreads in the majority of the guest rooms. Here is one photo of the new look for you to enjoy.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

So Long, Susan

Last week we had to say so long to Susan Babine, our Director of Sales and Marketing. She is leaving for a different and challenging position in an allied business, and will be greatly missed.

We threw a party for her that was a bit of a 'roast' and we teased her a lot to try to give up smoking those darned cigarettes. The 'crown' had her last pack of cigarettes wired in to it, along with the box, which was filled with mints, and the whole thing was surrounded by Poison and No Smoking signs.

In the final photo, you can see her surreptitious ashtray, sealed into Plexiglas for her to take with her to her new job.

All joking aside, Susan will be greatly missed here at the Hawthorne Hotel.

So long!

Juli (and the rest of the team)

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ November 19 through 25, 2007

As we give thanks this week of American Thanksgiving, one of the things that I most give thanks for is the ability to worship in the way we desire. That was made very clear to me when our Rotary Club hosted some students in the past month, through a group called Friends Forever, from Northern Ireland. Half of them are Roman Catholic and half are Protestants. FF brings them over here and they spend two weeks with each other in a variety of activities. It was so poignant to hear them talking about how 'free' we are here -- that they could walk down the street and not be judged because of where or how they worship.

I know we all have our reasons for giving thanks this week -- and on this most American holiday, it seems fitting to me that we are flying the flag of a country that many of us never even think of, nor could easily locate on a map. We are able to do this, because of all that America.

Monday , November 19 ~~ Myanmar and American Samoa
Tuesday , November 20 ~~ Namibia and Arkansas
Wednesday , November 21 ~~ Nauru and California
Thursday , November 22 ~~ Nepal and Colorado
Friday , November 23 ~~ Netherlands and Connecticut
Saturday , November 24 ~~ New Zealand and Delaware
Sunday November 25 ~~ Nicaragua and District of Columbia

I hope you remember this Thursday as more than a day for eating great quantities of food and watching football.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

We get voicemail messages, too!

This phone message was forwarded around the hotel on Friday morning. Starting out the day this way certainly makes us all feel terrific. I thought you might enjoy 'hearing' it too.

Good Morning Karen. This is Kathleen from Plummer calling. I just wanted to say “Thank You” once again. The evening was a huge success. Working with Claire-Marie was so easy and nice. All the wait staff were so accommodating, professional and kind. This makes everything so much easier when you have so many things in your head you’re trying to juggle. I wanted to make sure you heard this first thing this morning, so if you see any of the staff, be sure to let them know how pleased we were last night.


Friday, November 16, 2007

Hawthorne Hotel Names Sylvester Toribio Full-Time Employee of the Month for October 2007

Yesterday we honored Sylvester Toribio of our kitchen staff with the Full-Time Employee of the Month Award for October.

Sylvester has worked for us almost as long as Steve Nelson, our Executive Chef (seen peeking around the side of the equipment in this photo) which is well over 20 years.

He is a mainstay of our kitchen, doing all the 'prep' lists which get us ready to produce the food we need to serve for both banquets and in the restaurants.

In the second photo you see, left to right, Jennifer Normant, Banquet Chef, Claire Kallelis, Director of Food and Beverage, me, Sylvester and Steve, and in front, Ken O'Keefe, our Executive Sous Chef. You can tell we were very happy to recognize this awesome member of our team.
Congratulations, Sylvester, and thank you for all that you do!


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Thursday, November 15, 2007

A News-filled Newsletter from Cinema Salem

Having recently made a quick visit to NYC, I was, as are many, struck with major sticker shock -- $10 for an iced tea and $20 for a martini are not prices we are used to around here. One of the best price bargains in Salem, MA can be had at Cinema Salem, our local movie theater. Located just one block from the Hawthorne Hotel, this is just another reason to come to Salem for a visit. First-run movies that are carefully chosen, and popcorn with real butter, made-from-scratch snickerdoodle cookies, along with prices lower than I experienced when I lived in the Midwest make Cinema Salem a real jewel.

Here is this week's electronic newsletter, reprinted with permission from our good friends at Cinema Salem:

Dear Juli,
First important update: The bedazzling North Shore ARC art show is up and beautiful in the CinemaSalem lobby. Please stop by to see this exquisite and expressive work.

Second important update: Starting this Friday, we will begin validating parking in the Museum Place garage and the Federal Street parking lot. If you use either of these lots and purchase a minimum of one admission ticket, ask for a validation stamp, which will reduce your parking fee dramatically. Also, don't forget there's plenty of free parking within a few blocks of CinemaSalem. To find out where, check out our webpage map under "Parking".

Third important update: If you'd like to find out more about this month's CinemaSalem Grant designee, check out the Jewish Community Center of the North Shore webpage (, where they've added information about the grant on their splash page.

Fourth important update: In light of dramatically higher energy and transportation costs, staring on Friday, we need to raise our ticket prices. Many of you may have noticed that the other local movie theaters have also instituted similar price increases in the past few weeks.
Our ticket prices will remain the lowest for first-run movies within 50 miles, so they still represent a great value. For every movie that starts before 6 pm, admission is $6 for everyone. In the evenings, adult admission is $8, college ID admission is $7, and children and seniors can enter for $6.

Fifth important update: We have some great new films opening up over the next three weeks: ENCHANTED on the day before Thanksgiving; NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN on November 30; and THE GOLDEN COMPASS on December 7.

Now here's this week's schedule:

FRED CLAUS (PG - 116 minutes) is spunky, clever, and perfect family fare, according to my family, which viewed it this weekend. In case you're wondering, the folks in the "Siblings Anonymous" meeting are the real people! FRED shows this week on Friday & Saturday at (11:00 AM), (1:30), (4:30), 7:25 and 10:00; Sunday at (11:00 AM), (1:30), (4:30) and 7:25; Monday & Tuesday at (4:15) and 7:30; Wednesday at (1:40), (4:15) and 7:30; and on Thanksgiving at (4:15) and 7:30.

About AMERICAN GANGSTER (R- 157 minutes), the LA TIMES writes: "It takes nerve to call a film American Gangster -- But once you see this finely made and richly satisfying film, you understand it's the only title possible." AMERICAN GANGSTER will play Friday & Saturday at (12:15), (3:45), 7:00 and 10:10; Sunday at (12:15), (3:45) and 7:00; and Monday & Tuesday at (4:00) and 7:15.

BEE MOVIE (PG- 90 minutes) is our biggest draw right now, especially among (surprise, surprise) the seniors! Jerry Seinfeld and his chums will screen this Friday & Saturday at (11:35 AM), (1:45), (4:00), 7:15 and 9:35; Sunday at (11:35 AM), (1:45), (4:00) and 7:15; Monday & Tuesday at (4:30) and 7:00; Wednesday at (2:10), (4:30) and 7:00 and Thanksgiving Day at (4:30) and 7:00.

Disney's long-awaited ENCHANTED (PG- 108 minues) will open on Wednesday, playing at (1:30), (4:00) and 7:15; and again at (4:00) and 7:15 on Thanksgiving.

You'll note that we've scheduled extra shows on Wednesday next week, so you can prepare for the holiday with an relaxing time at the movies.

Finally, last Friday night, we sold our 100,000th ticket to a lovely person who, like Marlene Dietrich, doesn't like publicity, so of course, we won't print her name or picture. Winning earns this lucky patron a fabulous free meal at Nathaniel's at the Hawthorne Hotel, and a limo ride to and from and a bunch of other really great gifts. Congratulations!

And thanks to all of your for supporting CinemaSalem.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Any Visit to Salem Should Start Here

. . . at the Salem, MA Visitor's Center, run by the National Park Service. This lovely center is only one short block away from the Hawthorne Hotel, and they feature a free movie about Salem that really helps you to get an overview of this great destination.

It is interesting to me to see the effect on the shorter days, and how much it is reflected in the lighting in these two photos. And yes, that shadow in the foreground of the second photo is mine. I snapped these with my iPhone on my walk to work this morning.

I hope to see you here.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Peek at One of Our Guest Rooms

One of the challenges of running a historic hotel is that hotels in the 'old' days were not built to the same size standards as they are today. Think about it -- there was no television, so no reason to have to sit in your room and be able to watch that. People stayed in hotels to sleep and change their clothes (and sometimes to bathe, but not always), so many of our rooms are quite small.

We price these small rooms accordingly, but it is still a challenge to communicate this, so I thought a photo would be helpful.

This is a "Bertram" or "B" room, which is our second-smallest room type.

If you do wish to make reservations, you can do so by calling the hotel, at 978-744-4080 or 800-729-7829, or more easily by going on our website, and clicking on the link to RESERVE your room -- you will see the exact same availability that our reservationsist see, with the same exact rates.

I hope to see you here.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Here is the "AFTER" shot I promised you

If you read my post of September 17, you will see my story about how empty the sidewalk is in front of the Witch Dungeon Museum MOST of the year.

However, that was not the case when I shot these photos on October 28, 2007. The lines were incredibly long, and simply because ALL of these people decided to come to Salem on the weekend before Halloween.

It just seems silly to me, so I keep plugging away at trying to let people know that they can come and waltz right in to most attractions if they simply avoid the weekends in October.

I hope this will help you plan your visit to Salem.

And I hope to see you here at the Hawthorne Hotel.


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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ November 12 through 18, 2007

If you have never looked at our blog before, this listing of flags may need some explanation. The owner of our hotel firmly believes we are all (or at least most of us) too parochial in our approach to our fellow inhabitants in this place called the world. He has made it his personal mission to remind all of us, staff, customers, neighbors, passers-by and readers of this blog, that there is more to the world than Salem, Massachusetts.

As part of that effort, we fly two different flag, one a country and one a state, (in addition to the flag of the USA which flies on the roof), on the front of the hotel each and every day. We also post in the lobby a little 'brief' about each flag and the country and state that is so recognized each day.

Should we have Monday , November 12 ~~ Mexico and West Virginia
Tuesday , November 13 ~~ Micronesia and Washington
Wednesday , November 14 ~~ Monaco and Wisconsin
Thursday , November 15 ~~ Mongolia and Wyoming
Friday , November 16 ~~ Montenegro and Alabama
Saturday , November 17 ~~ Morocco and Alaska
Sunday November 18 ~~ Mozambique and Arizona

If you ever have a reason to ask us to fly a special flag for you, please just post a note on any blog and I will get it, or write to me at the Hawthorne Hotel.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Jonah Pringle -- Another member of the Heart of the Hawthorne Hotel

Yesterday one of our staff members proudly brought this photo and related article to me. He thought that it was great to see one of our team members in the local paper, the Salem Gazette, and thought you might enjoy seeing it on the Hawthorne Hotel Blog.

Jonah Pringle is one of our staff members, and has been for quite a few years. He started in a very entry-level position, as a banquet steward, and quickly worked his way up through a number of positions. He currently works in our receiving department as the right-hand to Donna Daly, our Purchasing and Receiving Manager.

Jonah is a single dad, and is very dedicated to little Jonah, his son, pictured with him here. Jonah is a fitness buff, and it is apparent that he is sharing that love with his son.

The Purchasing and Receiving Department is not one that you would even begin to think of when you think of the staff of a hotel, yet it is a critical department that keeps many balls in the air, and does it all very neatly and diligently -- we just never run out of what we need, whether it is coffee or prime rib, toilet paper or copy paper, soft drinks or eggs, they buy, receive, store, issue and manage it all.

Not only does Jonah do an excellent job in his 'home' department, you can always count on him to help out wherever he is needed -- and he will be the one to do the offering.

I hope you enjoy getting to know more of our staff who constitute the heart of the Hawthorne Hotel.

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Friday, November 09, 2007

A New Member of the Hawthorne Hotel Team

A member of our Housekeeping Team, Karla Melendez, recently gave birth to Karl, seen here with Shannon Civitarese, our Rooms Division Manager. Karla brought Karl to the Hawthorne Hotel so we could meet him.

You are a sweet baby, and we're happy to welcome you to the Hawthorne 'Family', Karl!

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Halloween Cleanup Means Unusual Tasks at the Hawthorne Hotel

Here in Salem, one hardly thinks twice about scenes such as this one. I happened by Mark Barclay, our banquet set-up ace, this week He was taken a laundry truck loaded with body parts (fake of course) over to a storage unit that we have on the other side of our property.

While a scene like this seems 'normal' to us, I realize that this is hardly the norm in other parts of the country, or at other hotels, so I thought I would share this view with you, fair blog readers. I hope you enjoy this slice of life from the Hawthorne Hotel. BTW, we are no relation to the Hawthorn Hotel which is a chain. Just thought you should know that too.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A Video of the Hawthorne Hotel Fireplace

It is fire season once again at the Historic Hawthorne Hotel in our Tavern Restaurant and Bar. I hope you will stop by to see this in person, as I can assure that it is nicer looking than my amateur video.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Not all Halloween photos are happy ones for us, here at the Hawthorne Hotel

While I am sure that the guests who left behind these carved Jack o'lanterns didn't think twice about how the room cleaning attendant was going to have to lug them down to the dumpster, I can assure you that she did.

And in the photo below, we had to treat the scene as though all of these red marks were blood, we are guessing that it was all fake blood. Nonetheless, the cleanup demanded of our housekeeping staff was extraordinary.

I'm hopeful that in posting these photos, perhaps even one of two of our fair readers may think twice about just what they leave behind for someone else to clean up. Not very nice, in our humble opinion.

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