Saturday, January 31, 2009

Easter May Be Closer Than You Realize

We are already taking reservations for Easter Sunday Brunch. So you get the time and room that you most desire, make your reservations now!

The phone number to call is 978-825-4360 or 978-825-4311.

I hope to see you here.


Friday, January 30, 2009

Fan of Hawthorne Hotel is Inspired to Blog

I received this email this week, and thought it was so nice, I would share it with you all. It's nice to see something that we have done inspire others to create in the blog world too.



Hi Juli,

My name is Jimmy Edge and I was in one of your 2000 entries to your daily blog - CONGRATULATIONS!!-

I was there is Sept. from TN as we celebrated a friends 40th birthday. And, you may remember that I am a fan of your blog and just wanted to let you know that you inspired me to start one where I work.

When I got back home from my vacation I spoke to one of the owners of the business that I am the Human Resources manager for (The Old Mill Square) and told them what I was interested in doing. About 2 weeks ago we got started!

I just wanted to let you know how you inspired me and hope you would visit our blog as well. You can find the Old Mill Blog at and click on the blog link.

We don't have the comments option turned on just yet, but I would love it if you emailed me to let me know what you think.

Have a great day!

Jimmy Edge - Hawthorne Blog Fan!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Another Nice Note

This came in the mail last week. We LOVE to get nice thank you notes, because then we know for certain that we made our guests happy!


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Our 2000th Blog Post

Nearly four years ago I went to a seminar about (among other things) blogging. I had no idea what it was, but knew that I wanted to use the Internet in a more personal way to reach out to our guests. After the seminar, I realized that blogging was really very simple, and I came back to the Hawthorne Hotel, set up a blog for us, and made a pledge to my team that I would post something on this medium, as our DAILY DIARY, everyday.

So far, I have not missed a day of posting, and today marks my 2000th post.

If you haven't looked in the archives, they are somewhat interesting, and you might want to check them out. You may also search our posts right here in this blog, by putting a key word in that little window at the top of the page. For example, type "history" and see what comes up. Or, if you want to know what the paint color is in our Nathaniel's Restaurant, type "paint" and you can easily find it.

I hope you enjoy reading this daily diary as much as I enjoy writing it.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

From our archives, a look back in time at the Hawthorne Hotel

Here is a photo of a young woman who was the flower girl at a wedding that took place in the Hawthorne Hotel on April 30, 1950. At the time she was eight years old, and she still has great memories of that day.

This is Anne Victoria Quinn, daughter of Michael and Helen Quinn of Peabody, Massachusetts. The wedding was of Victoria's uncle, Walter Zielski to Mary Dullea. Her dress was yellow taffeta, and it was purchased from Bessie's Dress Shop in Salem.

I had the opportunity to meet Ms. Quinn about a year ago, and she mentioned her association with the Hawthorne Hotel through this wedding. I asked her to send me a copy of the photo, which she did. I recently discovered it in a file, and was able to get it scanned and present here for you to see. I hope you enjoy this look back in time.

It seems that so many people that I meet in the course of my work as the General Manager of the Hawthorne Hotel have an association with the property through a wedding of some time. I thought you might be interested in this bit of our history.


Monday, January 26, 2009

February is nearly here -- so here are the Tavern Specials

Two Dinners
For $29

The Tavern at
The Hawthorne Hotel

On Sundays, Mondays,
Tuesdays and Wednesdays
From 5pm – 10pm

February Choices

Heart-Shaped Four Cheese Ravioli
Parmesan cheese sauce, baby arugula

Grilled Chicken
artichoke heart-red pepper sauce, basmati rice and sautéed fresh spinach

Grilled Skirt Steak with Three Onion Gravy
mashed potatoes, buttered carrots

Each Entrée served with a Small Mixed Green Salad
Or Cup of the Soup of the Day, Chef’s Choice of Dessert

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ January 26 through February 1, 2009

Here are this week's flags. If you have a special request, please contact Lucie at 978-825-4322. We accept requests in the order we receive them.

We hope to see you here.

Monday , January 26 ~~ Spain and New Hampshire
Tuesday , January 27 ~~ Sri Lanka and New Jersey
Wednesday , January 28 ~~ Sudan and New Mexico
Thursday , January 29 ~~ Suriname and New York
Friday , January 30 ~~ Swaziland and North Carolina
Saturday , January 31 ~~ Sweden and North Dakota
Sunday , February 1 ~~ Switzerland and Ohio


Saturday, January 24, 2009

What Else Is Going On at the Hawthorne Hotel

Here is a link to our Wedding Blog, in case you haven't look at it lately. Many locals come by the hotel each weekend just to see the wedding party be introduced into the ballroom.

If you can't make it to the hotel, the Wedding Blog is a good way to check out this aspect of our hotel. Here is the link


Friday, January 23, 2009

The Princess Tea is Coming SOON -- Make Reservations EARLY!!!

Last year we sold out on this event, not once, but twice. This year we are only able to do this event one time. Don't be disappointed! Make your reservation right away.

Attention All Princesses!

Princess Tea

Saturday February 7, 2009
Noon until 2pm

Children 11 and under $18.50, Children 3 and under $9
Adults $28, all prices inclusive of tax and gratuity

Join us in our Grand Ballroom for Tea, Music,
And Photos with the "Hawthorne Hotel" Princess
Hats, White Gloves and Pink Attire are Optional
and Always in Good Taste.

Stations of Royal Fare
Tini-Tiny Tidbits
Fresh Crudités with Green Princess Dip and Ranch Dip
Fresh Fruit Cocktail with Rosy Red Strawberries
Royal Cheese Display with Crackers and Breads
Sliced Tea Breads and Butter
Assorted Mini Muffins, Danish, Scones and Coffee Cake
Assorted Jellies

Cheese and Berry Tartlets,
Turkey and Cranberry, Honey-Orange Mascarpone,
Mozzarella and Tomato

Tea Sandwiches
Tuna with Tomato, Chicken Salad with Bibb Lettuce,
Peanut Butter and Grape Jelly,
Bologna and American Cheese

"Sweets for the Sweet"
Mini Pastries and Cupcakes, Petit Fours, Brownies, Cookies, Blondies and Tea Cookies,
Chocolate Mousse and Jello

"I’m A Little Tea Pot" Table
Assorted Teas, Juices, Hot Chocolate, Princess Punch

For Reservations please call 978-825-4311
18 Washington Square West, Salem, Ma 01970

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Inauguration Action at the Hawthorne Hotel

Salem hotel serves inauguration specials

By Tom Dalton
Staff writer

SALEM — The Hawthorne Hotel got so swept up in yesterday's inauguration that it changed its menu to fit a presidential palate.

For lunch, it offered Barack Obama's favorite "Yes We Can" chili. It also served the same soup and corned beef and cabbage that Abraham Lincoln ate when he took office in 1860.

"The waitstaff was all excited," Kristie Poehler, a hotel marketing executive, said at midday. "People have been ordering the Abraham Lincoln lunch with the mock turtle soup."

For dinner, the Hawthorne put on the ritz. It duplicated the seafood stew and molasses-whipped sweet potatoes that were served at yesterday's inaugural luncheon in Washington, D.C.

If guests showed up dressed for an inaugural ball, they got 25 percent off the entree price. Anyone ordering the Lincoln lunch got it for the "bailout price" of $12.99.

Outside, the hotel flew the flags of Kenya and Kansas, the homes of Obama's late father and mother.

In the downstairs tavern, the flag of Illinois was flying, the home of both Obama and Lincoln.
The Hawthorne, it seems, thought of everything — except maybe adding one more item to its menu: Ba-rack of lamb

From Wednesday's Salem News.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Beautiful Birthday Party

Neil Chayet, a Boston radio celebrity and attorney, celebrated a milestone birthday at the Hawthorne this past weekend. His wife planned a lovely elegant event for him, and the results are here for you to see as well.

Sophia's is our private dining room located at the rear of the main dining room, Nathaniel's, and it can host a variety of sized events.

This past weekend we hosted a very special birthday party, and the floral centerpiece was amazing. They also had both cake and a lovely dessert for their guests.

Can we help you host a memorable party here at the Hawthorne Hotel? If so, contact our Catering Department at 978-825-4358.

We hope to see you here.


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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Our Staff at the Hawthorne Hotel is the BEST

You may not realize all of the different jobs, and different people who are part of the organization called the Hawthorne Hotel. In order for you to get a more 'behind the scenes' glimpse of 'us' I offer this slide show. Be ready to spend some time if you want to see the whole show. There are nearly 900 photos here.

We showed this at our annual employee holiday party. It starts off with each of the employees of the month, beginning with January 2008.

Here is the list:
January Department
Jonah Pringle Shipping and Receiving Full Time
Anthony Baez Kitchen Part Time

Tim Cheney Engineering Full Time

Claire-Marie Gauthier Banquets Full Time
Jana Mason HSKP Part Time

Dilyara Shorfova Front Desk Full Time
Christine Madigan Exec Office Part Time

Kristen Ternullo Tavern Part Time

Manuel Pena PEM Kitchen Full Time
Abby Lincoln Front Desk Part Time

Angie Agolli Dining Services Full Time
Lourdes Gonzalez HSKP Part Time

Ramon Jerez Hernandez Kitchen Full Time
Miguel Lozano Banquets Part Time

Kelly Lilly Catering Sales Full Time
Jessica Herrick Front Desk Part Time

Jon H Banquets Full Time
Michelle Tejeda Dining Services Part Time

Megan Campbell Front Desk Full Time
Richard Diaz Banquets Part Time

Balerio Cuevas Kitchen Full Time
Hysen Qoshja Dining Services Part Time
I hope you enjoy the show.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Our Delicious Food on New Year's Eve

While I didn't get these photos posted right after New Year's Eve as I would have liked, I hate to not post them at all, because the food all looks so delicious. Perhaps you will take this as a reminder to make reservations EARLY for Valentine's weekend.

The food is certain to be equally delicious and attractive, and I know you will be happy that you brought your loved one to the Hawthorne Hotel for that great romantic holiday.

Reservations are filling up quickly. I hope you think about, and ACT on this reminder quickly, so you won't be disappointed.

The direct line to reservations for the holidays is 978-825-4360. If you get voicemail, please leave your name and number, and a good time to call you back, and we will return the call within 24 hours.

We hope to see you here.


The lamb loin chop was the amuse bouche for the evening.

Foie Gras

Grilled Sea Scallops


Our Signature Dish -- Scallops and Shrimp Sophia

Butter-Poached Lobster

Veal Chop

Vegetarian Trio

Chocolate Dome with Gold Leaf

Cherry Compote on Spice Cake

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ January 19 through 25, 2009

This week we have many special requests, which we are happy to be able to honor. Here is the line-up:

Monday , January 19 ~~ Hungary and Colorado
Tuesday , January 20 ~~ Netherlands and Colorado
Wednesday , January 21 ~~ Finland and Idaho
Thursday , January 22 ~~ Hungary and New Hampshire
Friday , January 23 ~~ Finland and New York
Saturday , January 24 ~~ Solomon Islands and Nebraska
Sunday , January 25 ~~ Somalia and Nevada

Let us know if you have any special requests.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Tavern Gets a New Layout

This week we decided to make more of the 'real estate' in front of the fireplace available to more people. For the past 10 years (at least) we have had a small loveseat and two wingbacked chairs right in front of the fireplace. Often just one or two people would sit there, and anyone else would then have no opportunity to enjoy the fireplace.

This new arrangement means that now nine or ten people can have a table with proximity to the fireplace, a terrific attribute given the record cold we are having in New England this winter.

I hope you drop by the Tavern soon, and let us know what you think of the new layout.


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Friday, January 16, 2009

Cinema Salem Has Great Flicks and Amazing Activities This Week

Just one block from the Hawthorne Hotel there is this great independent theater called Cinema Salem. They always have the best films, and this coming week they also have some cool special events. Here is their newsletter:


Dear Juli,

Busy week at CinemaSalem coming up, with three great new movies, a Lost Premiere event and a free Presidential Inauguration Party. Here are the details!

Tuesday morning at 11 am, we'll open our doors for a free Inauguration Party, presenting the historic events from Washington in HD on our big screens. This is the sort of event it's more fun to experience communally, so feel free to stop by.

Wednesday night at 7 pm is the Lost Season Premiere Party, held in the Café for addicts of that great show. We WILL watch the show in the Café until the regular movies finish showing in the big theaters, and then partygoers can feel free to watch the rest of the season premiere on the big screen. This event is also free, but we hope you'll arrive in the mood to try the Café's delicious specialty drinks and yummy food!

We were thrilled to land a print of DEFIANCE this week, which will open Friday, telling a fascinating story of courageous and effective Jewish resistance during WWII. The New Yorker gives it extraordinary praise: "The picture offers the most moving account we've ever had of how an ordinary, rather disagreeable man, challenged and then electrified by catastrophe, grows into a great leader."

Defiance (R - 137 minutes) will screen Friday at (3:45), (6:45) and 9:40; Saturday at (12:20), (3:45), 6:45 and 9:40; Sunday and Monday at (12:20), (3:45) and 6:45; and Tuesday- Thursday at (3:45) and 6:45.

HOTEL FOR DOGS (PG - 97 minutes) looks like a winner, according to Urban Cinefile: "Adapted from Lois Duncan's popular children's book, it's doggie-thumbs up to this fresh and breezy family-friendly film that not only tells its delightfully inventive story well, but is ultra cute to boot."

Hotel for Dogs will play on Friday at (4:50), 7:10 and 9:20; Saturday at (12:00), (2:20), (4:50), 7:10 and 9:20; Sunday and Monday at (12:00), (2:20), (4:50) and 7:10; and Tuesday- Thursday at (4:50) and 7:10.

The big draw this past weekend at CinemaSalem was Clint Eastwood's GRAN TORINO, praised effusively by the Minneapolis Star Tribune: "Eastwood's second film this year is a compelling study of anger and violence and the guilt and shame that shadow them. He has sat high in the saddle for decades, but rarely has he ridden so tall as in the driver's seat of Gran Torino."

Gran Torino (R - 116 minutes) will screen on Friday at (4:30), 7:20 and 9:50; Saturday at (11:30 AM), (2:00), (4:30), 7:20 and 9:50; Sunday and Monday at (11:30 AM), (2:00), (4:30) and 7:20; and Tuesday-Thursday at (4:30) and 7:20.

If you're reading this, we can guarantee that the twice- postponed RENEWAL (the inspiring new award-winning documentary about the convergence of spirituality and environmental activism) will premiere at CinemaSalem this Friday. We're certain because the last of the series of inspections and fire alarm testing was finished this morning, and the new Screening Room is ready for prime time.

RENEWAL will play Friday at (5:00), 7:00 and 9:00; Saturday at (12:30), (2:45), (3:40), (5:00), 7:00 and 9:00; Sunday and Monday at at (12:30), (2:45), (3:40), (5:00) and 7:00 ; and Tuesday-Thursday at (5:00) and 7:00.

If all the great movies, parties, and historic events aren't enough to beckon you to CinemaSalem, then perhaps you'll be enticed by the awesome new photography exhibit in the lobby. Beautiful work!

Thanks for supporting CinemaSalem!

Paul Van Ness

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fiber-Optic Cable for Our Guests' Television

Here you see Comcast's subcontractor pulling new fiber-optic cable into the Hawthorne Hotel. We recently upgraded all of the television in our guest rooms to 32" flat-screen units. Concurrent with that upgrade, Comcast upgraded their service to us, so that we would not have to install those ugly and confusing cable boxes in our guest rooms.

If you have ever stayed in a hotel with a confusing remote control, making it so difficult to do a simple task like turning on the television, you will appreciate this upgrade. Our television remotes are very simple to operate -- so simple in fact that I don't have to get my husband involved! Now that is progress!!!

I hope to see you here, where even those of us who never get to touch the remote control at home can easily work the remotes in our hotel rooms.

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Inaugural Specials at the Hawthorne Hotel

Here are the specials we are offering in our restaurants on Inauguration Day, Tuesday, January 20, 2009. To better view this image, just click on it.

The big screen television, and the smaller, flat-screen as well, will be tuned to the festivities from early morning until we close, in the Tavern, on this special day.

Come enjoy lunch with our Bailout special, featuring the same menu served at President Lincoln's inauguration dinner nearly 200 years ago (there is an Illinois-President theme going on here, and it is the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth year.) Or come for dinner in Nathaniel's, dressed in your formal finery if you want a nice 25% discount, and enjoy the exact same menu that will be served at all of President Obama's inaugural balls.

All day long we will be featuring Barack's own recipe chili in the Tavern.

The Tavern seating is first come, first seated, but for reservations in Nathaniel's, you should call 978-825-4311.

I hope to see you here.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A nice email about one of our front desk agents here at the Hawthorne Hotel

Dear Juli:

Patrons are usually quick to offer their disapproval and slow to offer praise. I wanted to take a few moments to offer some well-deserved praise of one employee in particular, Abby Lincoln.

Abby made my stay at the Hawthorne memorable. Her attention to detail and willingness to go the extra mile was exemplary. Her demeanor and attitude was in keeping with the highest level of professionalism in the hospitality industry.

This past weekend was my first visit to Salem and I must tell you that I enjoyed myself immensely. I have no doubt that I will be visiting the Hawthorne again.

I would also like to add my appreciation to the rest of the Hawthorne staff for their dutiful service and approach to customer service. Please share my comments and appreciation with management and, more importantly, with the employees themselves.

Sincerely grateful,

Luis J. Pomales

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Correspondence with a guest

During December, we had an interesting correspondence that occurred via email between a guest who was inquiring about a visit in December around Christmas, and our clerk you responded, Jessica Herrick. I thought the exchange was so interesting because of the amount of time and detail that Jessica went to to help this guest have a great stay, so we have scrubbed out the particulars, and offer it to you to read.

There is some very helpful information in it, that might help you plan an off-season visit to Salem. This is one of the best times to come, when our shops and attractions and restaurants (and our hotel) are not besieged with the October visitors (always makes me scratch my head when I see people waiting in line to get in to the same places that they can just walk in to the rest of the year -- when I see folks here in October.)

I hope you enjoy reading these emails.


Email Correspondence to and from a guest:


Hi, Merry Christmas:

My family lives and works on the Florida Gulf Coast. We would like to explore Salem over Christmas on a ‘road trip’ as a surprise to my wife for her birthday. But where to go and what to do? I imagine most everything ‘touristy’ in Salem is closed for the Holidays. I have traveled the world, but never have been to New England.

Looking for lodging and the Hawthorne Hotel might be just the ticket. Unconfirmed but tentative dates are December 23rd through the 26th. Can you help with suggestions? Why should we stay at the Hawthorne Hotel? Thank you so much for any suggestions or ports of call you might think of.



Dear Guest:

Thank for your considering the Hawthorne Hotel! First off, I would start with the question: Why NOT Salem?

Salem is a wonderful little city that is rich in maritime history, as well as strong connections to many other ports in the world. You should take the opportunity to read up on some history of Salem prior to coming. A good brief would be

Salem is most commonly known for its “witch history”, which definitely ties into some of the touristy things. However, I would classify Salem as one of the most charming early seaport cities that has magnificent architecture. Salem has done a wonderful job in the past 10 – 15 years to try and preserve the ‘downtown’ area. In doing so, Salem has remodeled many older buildings to keep their antique touch, but also adding some modern commodities to the city which make it a wonderful place to bring families for short vacations. I would also consider checking out the city of Salem’s website:

Regarding the overnight stay the three nights, I have one of our deluxe Derby rooms which has two queen size beds with a small sitting area, full bathroom with an exterior view either overlooking the city or the common for the rate of 151 plus tax per night. I also have a room a little smaller called out Crowninshield Room with two queens and a standing shower with an interior view for the rate of 141 plus tax per night.

The Hawthorne Hotel is directly located in downtown Salem, Massachusetts. We are the only full-service hotel in Salem. We have restaurants on the premise, as well as Room Service to your room. Our Tavern serves a lounge-style casual lunch or dinner. Nathaniel’s is our fine dining room which serves breakfast and dinner daily. We also offer a business center, a fitness center, and free wireless Internet. We do not have a pool on the property, but we do offer free YMCA passes to use their two pools. Please browse our website at for a complete listing of menu options and amenities.

I would think that because of the holiday, most of the shops would be closed for Christmas Day, and some might be closed for Christmas Eve. Otherwise, I would think that every other day the stores would be open.

Please do not hesitate to email back regarding additional questions or concerns. I look forward to hearing from you soon and helping to plan your vacation.

Jessica Herrick
Front Desk
Hawthorne Hotel


Dear Ms. Herrick:

Wonderful! Thank you so much for your excellent email.

I have two quick questions before choosing the Hawthorne Hotel. First, the Derby room overlooking the city sounds ideal. However, I do have a problem with smoking and pets. I smoked for over forty years, then had severe medical conditions at a very young age which ended my smoking career. I have no problems with others smoking, but find ashtrays, lighters, or the great smell of tobacco in my room too tempting! I have also developed a serious reaction to pet dander from pets being in the room before. (Wouldn’t you know that I am a pet lover…) I have no doubt that your rooms are doubly cleaned top to bottom – but I dare not take the chance. Is there such a thing as an ash-tray removed Derby room, with some history of no recent pets? The room does not have to be sterile, just reasonable. I cannot have pet hairs awaiting an opportunity to jump me from beneath a missed chair or couch cover.

I am so looking forward to this trip – your email has convinced us that Salem is the perfect setting for our trip. Thank you.

I will book by phone or fax as soon as I can verify the 23rd to the 26th of December as being the dates. I look forward to your response.



Dear Guest:

I completely understand your concerns. All but one of our Derby rooms are non-smoking – so that will not be a concern. Regarding the pets, we are a pet-friendly hotel and our pet floor in the sixth floor. For the most part, the other rooms do not house pets unless on special circumstances. In your reservation, I can absolutely put notes stating your concern, and I can be sure that you will not be on the sixth floor at least. We can also notify housekeeping to make sure they do an extra deep cleaning in the room prior to your arrival.

Jessica Herrick
Front Desk
Hawthorne Hotel


Ms. Herrick:

We are so looking forward to this trip. Many thanks to you.

I had to tell my wife about her birthday surprise because she and our daughter are like two squirrels in a bag of peanuts. They are both into the Salem Witch Trials things, and my daughter almost could not contain herself. Half the fun is seeing those two chasing their tails around the trees in preparation for the trip.

I will solid up the dates and call the reservations folks there tomorrow. Again, with a big thanks to you!

If you wouldn’t mind, could we email you later in the week and ask you what else might be cooking around Salem from the 23rd to the 26th of December? We are an older couple with a teenage daughter. All three of us are into Christmas lights, Old English anything, and snow. We don’t drink a lot, but may sing off key in the shower if it makes someone else laugh. My wife does not enjoy the water – go figure, considering we live on the Coast of Florida. I’m interested in ‘go fast’ boats and my daughter will swim, dive, drive, or study anything is it begins with the word ‘water’. I would love to see some of the ‘tall ships’ if any are open or even close by that time of year.

Thank you every so much… Merry Christmas!

I’ll be calling reservations tomorrow.



Dear Guest:

I will not be here tomorrow, but I am sure that one of my wonderful colleagues would be more than accommodating to you well. I will be back to work next week and at that time I can personally answer any questions that you have regarding the town and things that might be of interest to do while in town.

Our signature ‘tall ship’ is called the Friendship. It is located on Derby Wharf. It is a replica of one of the ships that used to regularly travel back and forth to the Chinese/Asian coasts to trade for silks, gold, and other valuable to bring back to Salem. It is a symbol of the rich maritime history that Salem has. On the other hand… I don’t know where to find any ‘fast boats’ per se. I think it might be hard to spot one on the harbor now, especially considering how cold it is!

You may call 1-800-729-7829 to make your reservation for this December! And it’s unbelievable that December starts tomorrow.

Jessica Herrick
Front Desk
Hawthorne Hotel


Dear Jessica:

I talked to a great person over at reservations named Jamie. She booked our room for the 23rd – 25th of December.

Couple of things: Could you add a day (the 22nd: You got us hooked!), and help with the non-pet non-smoking room overlooking the city that we had talked about? I hope that I am not asking a lot, but Jamie quoted the $ 151 a day, which you had also quoted, and said that there were no discounts available. I was wondering about whether anything offered for the retired military, student discounts, or for AARP? I currently do not have a membership, but I might consider joining. Jaime did not send the verification because she knew I was going to add and/or subtract dates with you.

Okay!!! Please think about what my family can do there on those dates around Salem?? I’m sending copies of this email to my family. My daughter is interested in Anthropology.

The Friendship is already on our target list, as well as maybe Old Ironsides in Boston? What about anything ‘archaeological’ around for my daughter? Day trips to the North and West of Salem are within consideration. I know that you are hampered by Christmas holidays and cold weather… Just looking for ideas? Perhaps, not all will pan out, or maybe I will quit my job and move to New England. We are looking forward to meeting you and your colleagues at the Front Desk of the beautiful Hawthorne Hotel.

Please, do not make fun of the matching Hawaiian shirts upon arrival. 

PS: What about food? Cost is not an object. Seafood is not special considering that we live on the sunny Floridian coast.



Dear Guest:

I have added the evening of the 22nd to your reservation. I will be sure to you the confirmation in a few moments. In your reservation, I have added notes ensuring the pet-free smoke-free room.

You mention that you are retired military personnel? Do you have a military ID? If so, I think we might be able to do an additional discount for you. If you have AAA or AARP, I could do a 10% discount off the rate, bringing the rate to $136 plus tax for each night. Unfortunately, we do not have student discount, but I second that it would be a great idea.

My suggestions for things to do besides visiting the Friendship would be to stop by the House of Seven Gables We have a world renowned art history museum located in downtown Salem called the Peabody Essex Museum.. It is a beautiful museum! And it is definitely something worth seeing, if the family is interested in some historical art artifacts. The focus of the museum is on international influences between Salem and Asia. There was a huge interest in Asian export for a long period of time, making Salem very wealthy. My personal favorite exhibit at the PEM is the Ying Yu Tang House. It is a house that has been imported from a rural district in China. This house is significant because it allows for learning opportunities about Chinese culture. This house fostered generations of family members, immediate and extended members. The house was taken apart piece by piece, preserve, and then rebuilt here in Salem. You can actually go into the house and explore most of the rooms yourself. I would definitely suggest this for your daughter.

I have also mentioned that most of the shops and everything else are open throughout the day. There are many wonderful restaurants, which I will go into more detail later on.

On Monday, December 22nd at 7pm, there is a play “The Christmas Carol” hosted at a local theatre in downtown. Tickets are $22 a person. It might be something fun to do with the family.

On Thursday, December 24th there is a Christmas Caroling event here in the hotel from 5pm to 10pm. Donations will be accepted to go towards local charities in the area. Sounds like it’s going to be a fun time.

Through January 11th, there is another play in Beverly, a neighboring town, that is showing High School Musical 2 at the North Shore Music Theatre. Not sure if this is something that might be of interest to your daughter. Just another thought.

We also have an AWESOME Christmas Buffet Brunch. It is something that I highly recommend. We have sittings starting at 11:15am and going until 2pm. We also offer a Christmas dinner. I know for a fact that we are drawing close to selling out. Brunch is hugely popular here, so much so, that we nearly sell out almost every Sunday. It includes music and tons of food. The spread that we have is consistently impressive. So please, consider it. And if you choose to go, please call soon to make reservations. The direct line to Nathaniel’s is 978-825-4311.

Otherwise, there are tons of wonderful restaurants in the area. I’ll shy away from seafood since you are from Florida.


Bella Verona – Very small, very quaint restaurant located right across the street from the hotel. Authentic pasta. Very good. Very reasonable prices as well.
The Grapevine - Southern Tuscany Italian style that primarily uses local organic ingredients. Also very good, but just a different style of Italian. It is located on Congress Street.


The Lyceum – Located on Church Street. They have a French influence on their menu, but they offer a wide variety of things to eat. I have never heard anything bad about this restaurant.


Asahi – The only Japanese steakhouse in the Salem area, but highly recommended.


Captain Waterfront Bar and Grill – They do seafood, but they offer other things on the menu as well. Their steaks are desirable. They have a wonderful view of the harbor from their top deck.
Nathaniel’s – Here in the Hawthorne Hotel. They offer a little bit of everything as well. Our own personal fine dining spot.
Salem Beerworks, Fresh Taste of Asia, In A Pig’s Eye, Witches Brew, Victoria’s Station, Tavern on the Green, The Old Spot…. I feel like I am forgetting quite a few. I’ll think more on it.

Not in Salem:

Red Rock Bistro in Swampscott MA (10 minutes away). It is very good. You can do a mix and match with your fine dining options, which I think is the coolest thing ever. You can sit right over the water. Picturesque.

Day Trips:

I would suggest going to the following places if time permits: Newburyport, Rockport, and Gloucester. They all have similar things in common with Salem. They are all small coastal cities that have been major waterways during earlier times, and they currently focus on local merchandise. Salem, as well as other destinations, encourages small local commerce. So you get these little quirky fun shops all over the place that are a ball to explore. I like to shop, and if nothing else, I’m sure that the ladies will as well. I also know that you are planning a Boston day. There are lots of things to do in Boston for sure. It’s easy enough to leave your car in our lot and take the train in that way. Just a suggestion.

I welcome the questions.

Jessica Herrick
Front Desk
Hawthorne Hotel

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Nice Thank You Note for a Function at the Hawthorne Hotel

This note from a local business is self-explanatory. If you need to see it more clearly, simply click on it to enlarge it.

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We would love to help you put on a function, large or small. Simply contact our catering office at 978-825-4358 for assistance.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ January 12 through 18, 2009

Monday , January 12 ~~ Senegal and Massachusetts
Tuesday , January 13 ~~ Serbia and Michigan
Wednesday , January 14 ~~ Seychelles and Micronesia
Thursday , January 15 ~~ Sierra Leone and Minnesota
Friday , January 16 ~~ Singapore and Mississippi
Saturday , January 17 ~~ Slovakia and Missouri
Sunday , January 18 ~~ Slovenia and Montana

There are no special requests for flags this week.

I hope to see you here.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cinema Salem Keeps Us Entertained

I love companies that do things that are 'out of the box' and Cinema Salem is one such company. Here is their weekly newsletter, so you can see for yourself. I hope to see you here (or there!)


Tidbit #1: The winner of last week's Percentage Puzzler, the contestant who provided the exactly right answer first, is as you may remember, Eddie Beaupre. What you didn't know is that he is only 12 years old! We found out when he asked if the two free specialty beverages he won at the CinemaSalem Café could be used to buy hot chocolate instead of a latte. Congratulations, Eddie! America's future is bright with young math wizards like you.

Tidbit #2: Speaking of America, there's a big, historic moment coming up in 12 days, when a new President is sworn into office. In case you're looking for a large, fun, community gathering place to mark the occasion, feel free to come on over to CinemaSalem, where we will be hosting a free, public presentation in HD on the big screen of all the festivities from Washington.

The event will start at 11 am on Tuesday, January 20, 2009, and is completely free. We will be selling concessions at the box office and coffee and goodies in the Café, so you are unlikely to faint from hunger. If you'd like to sign up to attend, simply visit

Tidbit #3: The next evening, Wednesday, January 21, another important event occurs: the season premiere of LOST! So we'll be hosting a LOST SEASON PREMIERE PARTY in the Café, starting at 7 pm. Again, the event is completely free.

Tidbit #4: The slate of films for the second annual Salem Film Fest is almost complete, and we'll be publicizing it very soon. For those who were entranced by last year's documentary festival, I have good news: The films are even better, and more of the filmmakers will be trekking to Salem to interact with you, our remarkably sophisticated audience. More details soon, but for the moment, reserve February 26- March 5 on your calendar.

Tidbit #5: It's official: we're going to host a big Academy Award Ceremony Award Party on Sunday, February 22, which will serve as a fun midwinter event, as well as an affordable fundraiser for the Salem Film Fest, which starts four days later.

Now on to this week's films!

RENEWAL, the inspiring new award-winning documentary about the convergence of spirituality and environmental activism will premiere at CinemaSalem this Friday, the first presentation in our new, awesome Screening Room.

RENEWAL will play Friday at (5:30), 7:30 and 9:30; Saturday at (12:00), (1:50), (3:40), (5:30), 7:30 and 9:30; Sunday at (12:00), (1:50), (3:40), (5:30) and 7:30; and Monday-Thursday at (5:30) and 7:30.

Also opening this week is Clint Eastwood's Oscar-bound GRAN TORINO, which the critics are loving: Washington Post: "Gran Torino is not to be missed, if only as the gutsy, thoroughly unexpected valedictory of an icon fully willing to spend every bit of his considerable capital." New Yorker: "The movie, which Eastwood directed with his usual vigor, has plenty of violent scenes, but it's mostly a rueful comedy of enlightenment." New York Post: "A very funny and touching movie that delivers its message of tolerance with a most agreeable light hand."

Gran Torino (R - 116 minutes) will screen on Friday at (5:00), 7:15 and 9:40; Saturday at (11:30 AM), (2:00), (5:00), 7:15 and 9:40; Sunday at (11:30 AM), (2:00), (5:00) and 7:15; and Monday-Thursday at (5:00) and 7:15.

Back for one more week (before Hotel for Dogs arrives next week) is the marvelous visual delight, The Tale of Despereaux (G) which will screen Friday at (4:30), 6:45 and 9:00; Saturday at (11:45), (2:15), (4:30) and 6:45; and Monday-Thursday at (4:30) and 6:45.

My family and I thoroughly enjoyed Bedtime Stories (PG - 96 minutes) last Saturday night. While it's not likely to be confused with a Shakespearean masterpiece, the film does completely accomplish its modest purpose in life: provide side-splitting diversion to the young and their parents.

Bedtime Stories will screen Friday at (4:45), 7:00 and 9:15: Saturday at (12:15), (2:30), (4:45), 7:00 and 9:15; Sunday at (12:15), (2:30), (4:45) and 7:00: and Monday-Thursday at (4:45) and 7:00.

Thanks for supporting CinemaSalem!

Paul Van Ness

Friday, January 09, 2009

A Holiday Party Work Crew Like No Other

This year we decided to host our own annual holiday party for our staff. So that the staff could all enjoy themselves, our able executive team, comprised of Claire Kallelis, Steve Nelson, Karen Cotton, Joann Delp, Pilar Villa, Christine Madigan and Jay Gilliss did the work, while the staff relaxed and enjoyed themselves. (Not to worry, the executive team will be rewarded with a party at my house very soon.)

This is yet another look at the operations of the non-public side of what we do to create the vibrant entity that is the HAWTHORNE HOTEL.

I hope to see you here.


Christine Madigan (our administrative assistant) and Joann Delp (our controller) got folks checked in and just helped all around, including some really unusual duties that arose during the course of the event.

Steve Nelson (our executive chef) above, and Jay Gilliss (our chief engineer) in the photo below manned the kitchen.

Pilar Villa (our executive housekeeper) turned out to be a very able (and dancing) bartender.

My husband, Walt Lederhaus, helped Pilar to tend to all the beverage needs of our staff.

Kristie Poehler, our director of sales and marketing, had way too much fun doing whatever needed doing. I'm not at all sure what it is she is handling right here, but she is having fun doing it!

In addition to being the chief photographer, running the slide show, and emceeing the event, I also carved the prime rib. I even brought my own knife, which I do keep very sharp, because you can take the woman out of the kitchen, but you can't take the 'chef' out of this woman.

Karen Cotton (our catering director) passed hors d'oeuvres and helped Claire with the set up and service.

And Claire Kallelis, our director of food and beverage, donned her 'black and whites' and ran circles around most of us. She coordinated the event, helped get it set up, served, cleared and cleaned up. She did this all while making it look like the most fun ever.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Hawthorne Hotel Welcomes New Banquet Chairs

Tom Bracken from accounting helps Mark Barclay of the banquet set-up team to unpack chairs.

Chris Madigan, Thomas MacDonald, and Miguel Lozano make short work of a daunting task.

Kelly Lilly and Kristie Poehler of the sales department help with this task.

As a daily diary, this blog records many happenings here at the Hawthorne Hotel. Some are public events, like our Princess Tea or Brunch with Santa, and some are more private events, dealing with the nuts and bolts of running a small hotel.

One such event occurred yesterday, when 300 new banquet chairs arrived in the middle of an ice storm.

Since we are a relatively small hotel, we don't have a huge staff to handle some of the mundane tasks that occur, so we often call what we know as "all hands on deck" to get everyone involved in quickly completing what would otherwise be hours and hours of work for a very small staff like the banquet set-up crew, or the receiving department.

Here are the photos of all of us, wheeling in from out of the storm 75 boxes of chairs, unpacking, unstickering, and stacking them for storage. I hope you enjoy this bit of an insiders look at what we do to make everything tick like clockwork here at our 93-room hotel that thinks its a 930-room hotel.

The new chairs.

Miguel Lozano is smiling because he is happy for all the teamwork and help.

Here I am putting the last chair on the last stack of ten. A good early-morning work out was had by us all.

I hope your job has as much camaraderie and teamwork as ours, and I hope to see you here at the Historic Hawthorne Hotel.

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