Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Up, Up and Away -- Our Old Chiller Departs

After 30 years of excellent service, our 100-ton chiller (that's the big unit that creates refrigerated water which is the source of the majority of our air conditioning) was sent to the big chiller graveyard someplace (actually we sold it on eBay where it will be recycled for some other uses). Yesterday a giant crane came to hoist it onto a truck, and send it south for the winter.

These photos document that departure. Tomorrow we will show you our new beauty, which we hope will last another 30 years (although it seems that things were built better 30 years ago than they are now. . . )

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Monday, September 29, 2008

A Meeting Planner Writes Her Praises of the Hawthorne Hotel Team

Hi Karen –

It couldn’t have turned out better! Evan was fantastic as were Christine and Penny. Evan was very accommodating in regard to last-minute vegan meals, changes in the floor plan, and every request I had. It’s a great comfort being able to host the event at the Hawthorne each year because I know that I can always depend on you and the rest of the staff.

I loved staying at the hotel this year. It made my job that much easier, and I definitely intend to spend the night next year as well! My only regret…I was so busy during the event that I missed out on my hot apple cider and the pumpkin bisque. L

Thanks Karen. I’ll be in touch soon with next year’s date so we can set something in stone. Talk to you soon!


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ September 29 through October 5, 2008

In case you were wondering what happened mid-day on Saturday, September 27 regarding the flags, here is the answer. I was going up to the sixth floor in the elevator, with a guest. When I asked her where she was visiting from, she replied "Puerto Rico, we are here for my son's wedding." Then she proceeded to mention that it would have been nice to have the Puerto Rican flag flying outside the hotel. Our custodian, Jana, was in the elevator too, and when she heard that, she said "I can do that for you!"

And she did just that -- changed the state flag that was flying for the flag of Puerto Rico. That certainly made the mother of the groom very happy, and she stopped in the lobby later on to thank me.

I love the fact that our staff members will go out of the way to assist a guest and make them happy. Thanks, Jana, for braving the rainy afternoon to do this special thing for our guest!

Here is the upcoming roster of flags. I do hope if you have a special request, you will let us know a little bit more in advance. That way we won't have to confuse the trolley tour operators as they drive by the Hawthorne Hotel, since many of them do stop by in the morning to find out the flags we are flying for the day.

Monday , September 29 ~~ Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Nevada
Tuesday , September 30 ~~ Democratic Republic of Congo and New Hampshire
Wednesday , October 1 ~~ Denmark and New Jersey
Thursday , October 2 ~~ Djibouti and New Mexico
Friday , October 3 ~~ Dominica and New York
Saturday , October 4 ~~ Dominican Republic and North Carolina
Sunday , October 5 ~~ Ecuador and North Dakota

I hope to see you here.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Blog Fans Visit from Tennessee

This week we welcomed Jimmy Edge and Christopher Wertz to the Hawthorne Hotel. They were visiting Salem from Sevierville, Tennessee, and when I met them they were celebrating Christopher's birthday by having dinner in our Nathaniel's Restaurant.

Jimmy and Christopher had been reading our blog for many months, and knew so much about the Hawthorne Hotel, including what we looked like in a snow storm, how we had re-gilded our eagle, the replacement of the flagpole, and many other facts, which they could have only learned from being loyal Hawthorne Hotel blog readers.

Thanks for coming to see us, and we look forward to welcoming you back again. And Happy 40th Birthday Christopher!

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Dessert and Coffee

This week we received a lovely thank you note by e-mail, from a guest who was in the hotel for dessert and coffee. The e-mail was sent to Penny Petronzio, our Dining Services Manager. I thought you might enjoy reading it. Maybe after the chef sees this on the blog I can persuade him to share his recipe, not only with Ms. Colbert, but with all of you, fair Hawthorne Hotel Blog Readers?

In any case, here is the e-mail:

Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2008 3:14 PM
To: Penny Petronzio
Subject: Dessert & Cappuccino

Last Saturday, September 20, 2008, some friends and I visited your beautiful hotel. We spent the day in Salem and decided to enjoy dessert and cappuccinos in the tavern. I have to say it was the highlight of the entire day. I have never been to your hotel before and can’t imagine why it took me so long to discover it.

I had the white chocolate macadamia nut bread pudding and if I could have licked the plate I would have. I am still savoring how delicious it was and it’s almost a week later! Is there any chance of the chef parting with the recipe? I would love to serve it for Thanksgiving this year, it was that great.

I don’t get to Salem as often as I would like to but you can rest assure that when I do make it back, the Hawthorne Hotel will be on the must visit list. Your Tavern is so warm and cozy with the fire place and wonderful seating. Feels like home. It is such a lovely quaint old New England hotel, I really must try making it a week-end trip to take advantage of it’s charm and hospitality.

Thank you for a truly memorable and delicious highlight to our wonderful day in Salem.

Lynn M Colbert
Marketing/Office Manager

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Pair of Nice Thank You Notes Arrived in the Mail this Week

I thought you might enjoy seeing them. If you want to enlarge the image, just click on it.
May we help you with a special event? Simply call us at 978-825-4358 to contact our catering office.
I look forward to seeing you here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ramon Jerez Hernandez Receives Full-time Employee of the Month Award

Here you see me surprising Ramon Jerez with the full-time employee of the month award. As you can tell, Ramon works as part of our culinary team.

Left to right: Ken O'Keefe, Executive Sous Chef; Ramon Jerez Hernandez, Line Cook; Steve Nelson, Executive Chef; Jennifer Norman, Banquet Chef

Usually when I am in the photos, the person behind the camera is Thomas MacDonald, seen in the photo, at left, above. Thomas is one of our Sales Managers, and he has proved himself adept with my camera rig, so I thought he deserved to be in one of these photos for a change. Thanks, Thomas, for your important role in these recognition events. You keep me from losing my head!

Congratulations, Ramon! Thank you for all you do. I know when you are on the line, that everything will be cooked to perfection.


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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Miguel Lozano Named Employee of the Month

Last week we honored Miguel Lozana with the part-time employee of the month award for August. Miguel works as a banquet set-up crew member, and he does a terrific job for us. Miguel's jobs is one that is rarely thought about by our customers, but it is so critical to the smooth functioning of the banquet department. Miguel makes sure our function rooms are sparkling clean, and set-up precisely to the arrangements to meet the expectations of our banquet customers.

Miguel has grown and developed in the years that he has worked for us, starting as a busser, and progressing up to his current position. Congratulations, Miguel, and thank you for all that you do!


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Monday, September 22, 2008

Not everything is Lovely and Nice

Today we had a flue fire here at the Hawthorne Hotel. It started around 4 pm this afternoon. The Salem Fire Department did an excellent job of containing it to only the flue (from the Tavern fireplace), and the disruption was minimal, given the time of day. Most of our guests were out of the building at the time, and there were only a couple of guests in the Tavern.

Now I have to have a few words with the chimney sweep regarding the quality of work that he did when we had him clean our chimney at the end of our fire burning season, at the end of April.

Here is a photo that was taken by cbseye, and appeared on their blog:

I have to say a great big THANK YOU to the Salem Fire Department team that came to our aid. In addition, I must also thank the TEAM here at the Hawthorne Hotel that all pulled together to totally clean the Tavern of all of the soot and fire retardant that was EVERYWHERE in the Tavern -- we all pitched in together and got it all sparkling clean in about two hours. Way to go, and thank you so much, Hawthorne Hotel TEAM!!!


New Fall Menu Arrives in Nathaniel's

We just began serving our new Fall Menu in Nathaniel's Restaurant here at the Hawthorne Hotel, and the reviews by all guests so far have been outstanding. I was able to try a few items and took photos, so that you can see what is in store for you here. Simply delicious!


Pumpkin Wedge with Cranberry Wensleydale Cheese
pumpkin seeds, maple vinaigrette, frisée
Eight Fifty

Seared Autumn Tuna with Carrot-Daikon Radish Salad
cinnamon-coriander dressing
Ten fifty

Crab Cake
squash salad with orange-ginger dressing, spiced aioli

Autumn Gnocchi with Braised Beef
Gorgonzola demi-glace

Our demi entrée portions make excellent appetizers or second courses


Soup du Jour
Steve’s Seafood Chowder
A tradition continues…


Caesar Salad
Parmesan cheese, garlic croutons
choice of Mediterranean white anchovies or apple-smoked bacon
Eight Fifty

Mixed Green Salad
dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and goat cheese
Eight Fifty

Smoked Scallops and Wilted Spinach Salad
warm bacon vinaigrette, grape tomatoes, sliced red onion, walnuts

Salad of the Month


Shrimp and Scallops Sophia
Our signature dish, named for Sophia Peabody Hawthorne
sautéed shrimp and seared scallops with sauce béarnaise,
grilled asparagus, steamed spinach, herbed risotto
Twenty Eight ~~ Demi-Portion Eighteen

Grilled Filet Mignon
potato gratin, grilled asparagus, cranberry-walnut ketchup
Thirty Two ~~ Demi-Portion Twenty

Pan-Seared Salmon
parsnip potato puree, butternut-bacon hash, beurre rouge
Twenty Four ~~ Demi-Portion Fifteen

Grilled Pork Chop with Pear Bourbon Glace
pumpkin-mashed potatoes, roasted beets
Twenty Five

(Demi Portion)

Roasted Haddock with Celery Root Potato Puree
Delicata squash, cranberry-butter sauce
Twenty Five ~~ Demi-Portion Sixteen

Pepper-Crusted, Pan-Roasted Sirloin with Brandy Mustard Demi-Glace
spaghetti squash, roasted potatoes
Twenty Eight ~~ Demi-Portion Eighteen

Sauteed Free Bird Chicken Breast, Chestnut Sage Sauce,
Dried Fruit and Almond-studded Rice,
Brussels sprouts
Twenty-Four ~~ Demi-Portion Fifteen (Demi-Portion is pictured)

(Demi Portion)

Braised Short Ribs with Moraine Farms Legumes
Sautéed beet greens, gorgonzola-mashed potatoes, and braising liquor
Twenty Six ~~ Demi-Portion Seventeen

Early Dining Special: Guests ordering a full-sized entree before 5:30 receive a
complimentary salad of the month and choice of dessert from our menu.
This may not be combined with any other special promotion, coupon or discount.

Reservations are always a good idea, although we can often accommodate walk-ins. To reserve your table, call 978-825-4311.

I hope to see you here.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Lynn Classical's 65-Year Class Reunion

Today we were honored and privileged to host a very special class reunion, that of Lynn Classical High School's Class of 1943. This class that graduated during the Second World War has met consistently, from the beginning, at places such as the Hotel Edison (now closed), the Preston Beach Motor Inn (also closed), the Colonial, the Kernwood Restaurant, Nandees (closed by a fire several years ago), the Kings Grant Hotel (now a biotech firm's headquarters), and the Thompson Club.

They had their 20th reunion here at the Hawthorne Hotel, and they brought along a copy of the little program book from that day, Saturday, May 11, 1963. We scanned it in for you to see along with these photos that we took today.


The class originally consisted of 324 graduates had 20 alumni in attendance today.

I hope you enjoy peeking at this slice of life here at the Hawthorne Hotel. Let us know if we can help you plan a special event, and we hope to see you here.

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Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ September 22 through 28, 2008

We have no special requests for flags this week, so here is the lineup:

Monday , September 22 ~~ Congo (Republic of) and Michigan
Tuesday , September 23 ~~ Costa Rica and Micronesia
Wednesday , September 24 ~~ Cote d' Ivoire and Minnesota
Thursday , September 25 ~~ Croatia and Mississippi
Friday , September 26 ~~ Cuba and Missouri
Saturday , September 27 ~~ Cyprus and Montana
Sunday , September 28 ~~ Czech Republic and Nebraska

If you have a special event or visitor staying with us, and wish to request that we fly a flag in honor of that event or visitor, please let us know by calling Simon Checksfield at 978-825-4322.

I hope to see you here.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

We love these connections between the Community and our Hawthorne Hotel

I just received a copy of a nice email to share with you, kind blog readers. I hope you enjoy reading it.


Sent: Sat 9/20/2008 10:05 PM
To: Kristie Poehler
Subject: Thank-you.

Hello Ms. Poehler,

I got your e-mail address from the Hawthorne Hotel web site, so I hope this arrives to the correct person.
My name is Shawndy, and I am a senior at Salem State College, living right down the street from your hotel in Salem. I was on my way home from school a few days ago and passed in front of the main entrance to your building. I noticed the Louisiana and Texas state flags waving, which I'm assuming is to show support for those affected by recent hurricanes Gustav and Ike.
As someone from New Orleans, Louisiana, with family in Houston, Texas aswell, I just wanted to offer my sincere appreciation for such a kind and thoughtful gesture. It truely brightened my day to see the two flags waving beautifully in the sunshine. It warms my heart to know that your hotel is thinking of those in need, even though they are so far away from here.

Thank-you again, and keep up the good work!

~Shawndy Darcey~

A Lovely Thank You Note

Last week we hosted this association's reunion, which, as you can see from the letter, was a great success. May we help you plan an event here at the Hawthorne Hotel? Please call us at 978-825-4358.
P.S. To enlarge the image for better viewing, simply click on it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Weekend of Essex County is NOT to be missed

Trails and Sails has events you will NOT want to miss. Here is the link so you can register on line:


One of the events is right here at the Hawthorne Hotel, and space is limited to the first 15 people who sign up, so don't waste any time getting to this site and signing up.


Another Blogger Writes About a Hawthorne Hotel Experience

This blogger attended a rehearsal dinner here at the Hawthorne Hotel, and seemed to greatly enjoy it. I thought you might like to read her take on the experience for yourself, so here is the link:


If you are interested in booking a special event at the Hawthorne, just give our catering department a call at 978-825-4358.

I hope to see you here (or read about your experience on YOUR blog!)


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cinema Salem's Newsletter

If you are looking for a reason to come to Salem, Cinema Salem is as good as any. It is such a wonderful, independent theater, with great popcorn, reasonable prices, and first-run movies, that it can't be beat. Where else can you get a good cup of tea, or a homemade cookie, to enjoy with a show?

Those should be reason enough to come, and stop by the Hawthorne Hotel for lunch or dinner, before or after the show. Don't forget, the Tavern is one of the few places in Salem where you can get a lovely sit-down meal up to 11 pm daily.

I hope to see you here.


Woody Allen's remarkable VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA arrives at CinemaSalem this Friday, boasting an 80% positive rating on www.RottenTomatoes.com, including raves like this one from the Detroit News: "Rich, complex, funny, erotic, compassionate and thoughtful, Vicky Cristina Barcelona may be the most fully realized film Woody Allen has made in two decades."

VCB (PG13 - 96 minutes) will screen on Friday at (4:45), 7:15, and 9:30; Saturday at (12:00), (2:15), (4:45), 7:15 and 9:30; Sunday at (12:00), (2:15), (4:45) and 7:15; and Monday- Thursday at (4:50) and 7:20.

BURN AFTER READING enjoys similar lofty status in Tomatoville, -- but so many of you know that since you packed out the theater this last weekend. Is it just me, or did the Salon reviewer recently fall down and tear a hole in the knee of his pants? "The film is hilarious in patches, shocking in patches, utterly convincing in patches and close to brilliant in patches"

BURN AFTER READING (R - 94 minutes) will play Friday at (5:00), 7:40 and 9:50; Saturday at (12:30), (2:45), (5:00), 7:40 and 9:50; Sunday at (12:30), (2:45), (5:00) and 7:40; and Monday-Thursday at (4:40) and 7:10.

Did you see Hollywood.com's review of THE WOMEN (PG13 - 114 minutes)? It's shocking: "Nothing more, but nothing less than just hilarious flat-out fun that manages to top 'Sex And The City' in every way imaginable." Even Roger Ebert is raving: "What a pleasure this movie is, showcasing actresses I've admired for a long time, all at the top of their form."

THE WOMEN (PG13 - 114 minutes) will play Friday at (4:30), 7:00 and 9:40; Saturday at (11:30 AM), (2:00), (4:30), 7:00 and 9:40; Sunday at ( (11:30 AM), (2:00), (4:30) and 7:00; and Monday-Thursday at (4:30) and 7:00. (Did you see the sidebar in the Globe identifying locations for most of the scenes in the film? Fascinating.)

Opening NEXT Friday is the awesome-looking EAGLE EYE, starring Shia LaBoeuf (whose name has three straight vowels in it) and Michelle Monaghan (who was so great in GONE, BABY, GONE). The buzz on this movie is very strong, especially among those people who think Shia is the next Harrison Ford/Cary Grant-style decades-long career "Movie Star".

Thanks for supporting CinemaSalem!

Paul Van Ness

A Book Event with a connection to the Hawthorne Hotel

This is a notification of an event that is happening at the Jabberwocky Bookstore in Newburyport, MA. Jabberwocky is one of the largest independent bookstores in the state.

Hannah Tinti, the author featured at this event, is the daughter of the hotel's attorney, and that is the connection to us here at the Hawthorne Hotel. Hannah's book has already garnered a good deal of praise. I hope you are able to attend this special event.


Almost every Friday evening our customers and an author come together in the comfortable setting of our Green Room. A reading or presentation by the author, followed by questions and answers, can be spirited, heart-warming, illuminating or just plain fun. It's a great way to start your weekend. All events are free and open to all.

Title of Event: Hannah Tinti

When: Friday, September 19, 2008 7:00 PM

Location: Jabberwocky Bookshop

Jabberwocky Bookshop is thrilled to welcome Salem, Massachusetts native, Hannah Tinti, for a reading from her richly imagined, gothically spooky and widely praised début novel, THE GOOD THIEF, about a one-handed twelve-year old orphan boy named Ren, who devotes his life to discovering the reasons both his left hand and his parents are missing. Abandoned as an infant at Saint Anthony’s Orphanage for boys, Ren longs for a family to call his own and is terrified of the day he will be sent alone into the world. When a young man named Benjamin Nab appears, claiming to be Ren’s long-lost brother, he bears a convincing tale of how Ren lost his hand and his parents and persuades the monks at the orphanage to release the boy and to give Ren some hope. But is Benjamin really who he says he is?

Journeying through a New England of whaling towns and meadowed farmlands, Ren is introduced to a vibrant world of hardscrabble adventure filled with outrageous scam artists, grave robbers, and petty thieves. If he stays, Ren becomes one of them. If he goes, he’s lost once again. As Ren begins to find clues to his hidden parentage he comes to suspect that Benjamin not only holds the key to his future, but to his past as well. As she did in her critically acclaimed short story collection, ANIMAL CRACKERS, Hannah Tinti introduces one of the most appealing young heroes in contemporary fiction in THE GOOD THIEF and cements her own reputation as a first-rate story teller.

Junot Diaz, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critic’s Circle Award for THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO, raves, “Hannah Tinti has written a lighting strike of a novel—beautiful and haunting and ever so bright. She is a 21st century Robert Louis Stevenson, an adventuress who lays bare her character's hearts with a precision and a fearlessness that will leave you shaken.” And Brock Clarke, author of AN ARSONIST'S GUIDE TO WRITERS' HOMES IN NEW ENGLAND, says, “Move over Huck Finn and Oliver Twist, make room for Ren, THE GOOD THIEF’s one handed but quick fingered and witted orphan, thief, hero—I loved him, and his book.” Elizabeth Gilbert, author of EAT, PRAY, LOVE, hails THE GOOD THIEF as, “…a beautifully composed work of literary magic,” and Dan Chaon, National Book Award finalist for AMONG THE MISSING and YOU REMIND ME OF ME, calls the book, “A masterful achievement.”

Don’t miss this opportunity to discover one of the rare literary talents of our time. Hannah Tinti grew up in Salem, Massachusetts. Her short story collection, ANIMAL CRACKERS, has been sold in sixteen countries and was a runner up for the PEN/Hemingway award. She is co-founder and editor-in-chief of One Story Magazine. Her website is
Don’t miss this an evening with rising star author Hannah Tinti!

Almost Happy 50th Anniversary!

Their wedding reception was held right here at the Hawthorne Hotel on June 6, 1959
Last week we were able to snap these photos of Antoinette (Tony) and Vincent DiLisio, who were married here nearly FIFTY years ago. They were here in the hotel this past weekend, so they posed for us in the Ballroom in front of the sweetheart table that was set up for another wedding.

Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. DiLisio!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sales and Catering in the "War Room"

We are replacing the flooring in the Sales and Catering Offices, and it is a job that will take a week, so we moved the team to one of our meeting rooms. They thought that with all the computer and phone cords hanging out of the ceiling, and their desks lined up in a row, that it looked like a 'war room' so that is what we are calling it.

They seem to like it there, and were lobbying me to let them stay in this lovely meeting room, but of course, you know what the answer to that request was.

Just another day in the life of the Hawthorne Hotel that we thought you would enjoy sharing with us.


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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Painting ~~ Spirit of '76

Virtually hidden away in the main meeting room of Abbot Hall in Marblehead is one of the most famous paintings in America, the Spirit of '76. I snapped a couple of photos of it with my iPhone, but you really need to see it for yourself, and do stay for the information that the attendant on duty will provide you after you sign the guest book. The painting is huge, which is one of the interesting aspects of it.

There is so much history crammed into that one room -- a visit here alone would make a trip to the North Shore, and to Salem/Marblehead so worthwhile. And while there is no charge for admission, they appreciate donations to the cause, so bring some cash with you.

If you want to know more about the painting, or to see a better rendition of it, here is a link to the Wikipedia page about it:


However, hearing the entire story from the docent on duty is even more compelling, in my opinion.

If you go, be sure to say that Juli at the Hawthorne Hotel sent you.


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Monday, September 15, 2008

The Paper House in Rockport, Massachusetts

Last week I finally had the opportunity to visit the Paper House in Rockport, Ma. It is a little off the beaten track, but well worth finding. The house was built mostly of rolled up newspapers, including the walls, the furnishings and even the curtains.

As you can see, even the piano was swaddled in rolls of newspapers.

This desk contains newspaper rolls of headlines from newspapers proclaiming the successful completion of Charles Lindbergh's transatlantic flight.

The owners of the house.

The exterior is traditional wood framing, filled in with newspapers which originally were to be covered over with clapboards, but Mr. Stenman had a change of heart, and left them exposed, and covered with a coating to protect them from the weather.

It is open on the honor system, with a suggested donation of $1.50 per person, and you can go anytime. It was built by Mr. Elis Stenman between 1924 and 1928, as a summer home for him and his wife, Esther.

I hope you enjoy this little slice of tourism in Essex County, and I hope to see you here at the Hawthorne Hotel.

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