Saturday, October 31, 2009

Photos of the Hawthorne Hotel "Reality Bites" Costume Ball

We had so many great photos this year that it took two web albums to display them all. Here are the two links:

Also included in those photos are a few 'before' shots, so you can see what goes on a bit 'behind the scenes' as well as some candids shot by a visiting Rotary Ambassadorial scholar with a real penchant for taking great photos -- some nearly 500 of them from his camera alone.

You can also see the various rooms in their decorated finery, carrying out the various sub-parts of the overall theme of "Reality Bites". The Tavern, outfitted as "Hell's Kitchen" by the Hawthorne Hotel's own kitchen staff, headed up by Executive Chef Steve Nelson, won the prize for the best-decorated room. This contest between the different departments is bravely fought to the last strobe light, the final spider, and the only remaining corpse.

The Dining Services team has won for the past several years, so the Kitchen was waging a grudge match to try to win back a title that they had not won in awhile. Looks like they really succeeded well with a genre with which they are most familiar -- the Kitchen. Great work, TEAM KITCHEN.

The Dining Services did manage to eek out second place, followed by a tie for honorable mention between Accounting and Banquets.

Dining Services parodied a show called THE ROCK, and Accounting did The Real Housewives of Salem. Banquets did Survivor.

I think everyone did a great job, and am really happy that we have guest celebrity judges who have to make these choices.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to a very successful event.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Toxic Assets -- A Costume Celebration of the Financial Woes of 2009

We could not help noticing these terrific costumes walking in to the lobby of the Hawthorne Hotel today. They had already been turning heads everywhere they went in Salem.

Whenever I take photos of people to put on our blog, I always ask permission first. When I approached this IT AIN'T EASY BEING GREEN group in the lobby today, they seemed pleased that finally someone was going to be taking their photo for "something that will count" when I asked about putting them on our blog.

One of the four made all the costumes himself, and some of the fabric came in their luggage on a trip back from Japan.

Those of you who are coming to our costume ball tomorrow night will be thrilled to learn that this group will NOT be coming, having a pressing need to be in another locale at that time. So, if you were worried about the competition, you can relax just a bit.

The "license plate" on the back of this hottie said "ToXicAss", but it could have as easily said something about "Caution, Wilde Load"

Ms. Global Recession, aka Robert Arrowood of Boston

Ms. Subprime Mortgage was played by Glen Lowe of Wenham.
Ms. Cache for Clunkers, portrayed by Tim Reese of Wenham

Ms. Wall Street Crash is John Kubicek of Boston
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Runners' Up for Room Decor Contest

It is only a joke, the talk about the best guest room decor for Halloween contest, but I couldn't help taking these photos of different guest room doors today as I made my way through the hallways.

It seems that more than our guests, Karen and John who I profiled yesterday, are in to bringing a little Halloween decor along with them to the Historic Hawthorne Hotel.

I hope you enjoy this little look at an almost behind the scenes of the Hawthorne.


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A Unique and Special Event Amongst the Crazy Halloween HubBub

Here are Kimberly and Keith. They were married today, on Kim's birthday, and came to the Hawthorne Hotel to have their post-wedding meal, their first has husband and wife. We hope they will make the Hawthorne Hotel a regular place to celebrate occasions of grace in their new lives together.

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Story and Photos in the Salem News That You Should Not Miss

If you click on these two links, you will see the story that the Salem News did on a local Beverly couple who do their own make-up and costumes, in a phenomenal Hollywood-makeup artist kind of way. The first link will take you to the photos and the second to the story.

This is not to be missed!

I hope you enjoy it.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

FIRST PRIZE for Best Decorated Guest Room!!

While we don't have a contest for the best-decorated guest room here at the Historic Hawthorne Hotel, I can assure you that if we did, Karen and John Marsicano of New Jersey would win it hands-down!

They brought a number of new items with them this year. There were 16 giant totes full of items.

It takes them several days to decorate their room. When I went to see the new things this year, and take photos for the blog, I couldn't help take photos of just about everything, because it is just such a fascinating collection of Halloween everything-under-the-sun (or moon.)

These 'alarm' clocks (aren't they alarming?) are made by a man who works at the Fool's Mansion, which is diagonally across the street from the Hawthorne Hotel Each one is custom made to John's specifications.

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Another of the cool alarm clocks.

This cat is new this year.

John Marsicano surveying his handiwork -- days and days of unpacking, arranging and hanging. I have to point out that John and Karen are so careful of our hotel room, that when they leave, you would have absolutely no idea that any of this stuff was here. They get my unofficial "Manager's Award for the Most Conscientious Guest" designation as well.

Karen Marsicano telling me about the pillows and other handiwork that she made.

This is also a new piece this year.

My personal favorite is the Halloween tree, covered with custom glass ornaments, each one more interesting than the next.

This is a closeup of one of the glass ornaments on the tree.

I love this glass ornament that is a Halloween tree with ornaments on it.

This cat is another piece of Karen's handiwork with a needle.

The pillow on the left was the first piece of Halloween needlework that Karen did, and she completed it during a stay here at the Hawthorne Hotel.

The oval pieces are new this year as well as the black cat piece.

The Peanut's piece is new to the collection this year.
I hope you enjoy seeing all these photos of a very special Halloween decorations collection, in the most special Halloween central hotel in America, the Hawthorne Hotel.

I hope to see you here. There are still a few tickets remaining for our costume ball. For those, go to


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Offices Get a Creepy Look This Time of the Year, at the Hawthorne Hotel

Walking through the areas where we have offices and office storage areas this time of the year really can give one a start.

We keep a lot of the Halloween decor that we use to decorate the rooms for the Ball, and when the date for the ball gets close, the various teams of the Hawthorne Hotel raid that decor storage area to claim things that they wish to use for the current year. The next thing that happens is that they find a corner of their office space to squirrel these things away so that another 'team' doesn't claim the same things.

Which is why we wind up with really creepy looking scenes that we quickly become used to in the heart of the Hawthorne Hotel

I hope you enjoy this look behind the scenes.

And I hope to see you here, on Halloween, at our awesome costume ball, "Reality Bites". If you haven't gotten your tickets yet, there are still some available. If you go to and enter the promotional code HALL5, you will even get a $5 discount for being one of our loyal blog followers.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

So How Do I Get A Reservation at the Hawthorne Hotel for Halloween Next Year?


Q. How do I get overnight reservations at the Hawthorne Hotel for Halloween 2010?

A. We give all guests who are already staying with us over Halloween weekend the first opportunity to rebook their room for the following year. These guests have until November 3, 2009 to decide whether or not to return.

Q. So when will other guests be able to make a reservation?

A. New guests may reserve beginning on Wednesday November 4 at 9 a.m. by fax only.

Q. How do I get a reservation form?

A. You should go on our website and download the form for new guests, fill it out, and fax it in starting at 9 a.m. on Wednesday November 4 at 9 a.m. The form will be available beginning Wednesday, October 28 at noon.

Q. Is there any other way to reserve for that weekend?

A. To be fair to all concerned, that is the only way to reserve a room for the Halloween Ball weekend. The fax machine time-stamps the forms.

Q. I don’t have a computer, and no access to the Internet. How else can I get a form?

A. You can pick one up at the Hawthorne Hotel beginning on Wednesday, October 28. However, you may not fax it in before the time listed on the form. If you do, it will be placed at the bottom of the stack. Sorry!

Q. What does the package include?

A. It is a four-night minimum stay, which includes tickets to the Hawthorne Hotel Halloween Ball, a limited-edition welcome gift, and the opportunity to keep returning to the Hawthorne Hotel every year, because once you get ‘in’ you have the opportunity to rebook before anyone else can book as a new guest. It is kind of like getting season tickets to a popular sporting event.

Good luck, and I hope to see you here.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Fall Foliage Becomes Us, at the Hawthorne Hotel, in Salem, MA

The Pierce-Nichols House is one of the holdings of the Peabody Essex Museum. It is located on Federal St. at the intersection of Summer Street.

The photos that follow are of the Hawthorne Hotel, taken from the Common side, and looking at the Ballroom side of the hotel.

Here are some photos I snapped with my iPhone this morning on my way to work. The fall foliage is beautiful here in Salem right now, and the weather promises to be picture perfect today and tomorrow.
I hope to see you here.