Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Superbowl Sunday Specials for the Tavern

The GAME will be on, and we will be ready for you to watch and celebrate in style in our Tavern at the Hawthorne Hotel on Sunday February 5, 2012.  Here is what you can look forward to:

Four-Course Special

$25 per person
Each course will be served at the beginning of each quarter. 
Items may be ordered individually for prices shown

1st Quarter
Half-order of Tavern Nachos
red, white and blue tortilla chips layered with cheddar and Jack cheeses,
tomatoes, scallions, jalapenos and onions
served with salsa and sour cream

2nd Quarter
Chowder Playoff
one cup of Steve’s New England-style seafood chowder and
one cup of Manhattan-style clam chowder

3rd Quarter
New England Patriot Burger
New England Farms all-natural beef burger, Vermont cheddar cheese
and Vermont Smoked North Country bacon
served with all-American seasoned Patriot fries

4th Quarter
Apple-Caramel Blossom
locally-sourced vanilla ice cream


Daily Specials

Two Giant Stadium-Style Hot Dogs
served with onions, relish, mustard
seasoned French fries

Patriot's Individual North End cheese
and pepperoni pizza

Basket of Seasoned Patriot Fries

Giant Bowl of Chili
with shredded New York
horseradish-cheddar cheese and a basket of red, white and blue tortilla chips

 I hope to see you here.



The Hawthorne Hotel receives a LOT of requests from worthy causes far and near.  In fact, we receive on average about 25 requests per week.  That means about 1,300 requests per year.

We give to a lot of these causes.  In fact, so much so that today I signed over 35 certificates, equaling about $2,000 in donations, which cover those received in just a two-week period of time.  I don't really usually notice it so much, because I usually sign them fairly often, but because I was on vacation they piled up until my return.

Here is a photo of the ones I signed today.

I hope you appreciate how much work this is for my assistant, and expense for the Hawthorne Hotel, and I certainly do hope that you appreciate our participation in the worthy projects of all of these entities, and show that appreciation by supporting the Hawthorne Hotel.

So, the next time you think about where to have an event, or where to stay, or where to eat, or where to meet for a cocktail, or where to BUY a gift card for a friend or family member, I hope you will think about the Hawthorne Hotel.

Shamelessly plugging for more business so we can continue to support all of these worthy causes,


Monday, January 30, 2012

We LOVE being mentioned in Travel Blogs!!!

A nice post (about the Hawthorne Hotel and #SalemMA) on yet another travel blog, this one featuring a number of destinations where you might want to visit with your children or grandchildren.

I hope you enjoy reading it. 

And I hope to see you here.  Best Family Vacations


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Wedding Open House Photos

Here is a link to the album of photos that I took today at our Wedding Open House here at the Historic Hawthorne Hotel.  If you were unable to attend, but really wanted to be here, or if you came and want to share your experience with others, this may be just what you need.

Here is the link:
Hawthorne Hotel Wedding Open House

It was a delightful event, one we are certain to repeat in the future.

If you were here, I hope you enjoyed it -- we enjoyed having you, and if you were not, hopefully these photos will be helpful to you.

These are just three photos -- the entire album has 37 photos in it!  So be sure to click on the link.


Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ January 30 through February 5, 2012

It seems like it will be a predominantly blue flag week here at the Hawthorne Hotel.

Our flags of the week are:

Monday , January 30 Egypt and Mississippi

Tuesday , January 31 El Salvador and Missouri

The flag of El Salvador was inspired by the flag of the Federal Republic of Central America, and by the flag of Argentina, the country that sent one of the first fleets to help consummate the independence of Central American republics from Spain.

There are two versions of the flag, one containing the national coat of arms and the other the words "DIOS UNION LIBERTAD" (Spanish: God, Union, Liberty). The one bearing the coat of arms is used by the government and state organizations. The other version is used for civil purposes. Both flags have a 3:5 aspect ratio.

From 1009 to 1912, a different flag was in use, with a field of alternating blue and black stripes and a white canton containing white stars.

The actual blue and white stripes in flag are based on the importance of añil exports, añil was commonly used as a source for indigo dye.

Wednesday , February 1 Equatorial Guinea and Montana

Thursday , February 2 Eritrea and Nebraska

Friday , February 3 Estonia and Nevada

The national flag of Estonia is a tricolour featuring three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), black, and white. The normal size is 105 × 165 cm. In Estonian it is colloquially called the "sinimustvalge" (literally "blue-black-white") , after the colours of the bands. The flag became associated with Estonian nationalism and was used as the national flag (riigilipp) when the Estonian Declaration of Independence was issued on February 24, 1918. The flag was formally adopted on November 21, 1918. On December 12, 1918 was the first time the flag was raised as the national symbol atop of the Pikk Hermann Tower in Tallinn

Saturday , February 4 Scotland * and New Hampshire

The official state flag of New Hampshire was adopted in 1909 (but its design has been in use since 1784). The flag pictures the state seal on a deep blue field (background). The state seal has the ship "Raleigh" sailing near a large gray granite rock, in front of a yellow sun rising over blue water. The Raleigh was built to fight the British during the Revolutionary War. The scene is surrounded by the words, "SEAL OF THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE 1776," and yellow laurel leaves interspersed with nine yellow stars (since New Hampshire was the ninth state in the US). New Hampshire became a state in 1788.

Sunday , February 5 Ethiopia and New Jersey

* denotes special request(s)

We hope you enjoy learning more about the flags of the countries of the United Nations, and the States of the USA.  These will be flying on the front of the Hawthorne Hotel, while the Stars and Stripes will prevail on the roof.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

We Love Being Thanked

Here is a note I received this week.  It sure made my day.  I hope you enjoy reading some of my mail like this!  To make it larger, just click on the image.


Friday, January 27, 2012

What Happens "Behind the Scenes"?

Guessing is not needed -- this is a class that our Director of Food and Beverage, Claire Kallelis, teaches for the benefit of our bartenders and servers, as well as managers here at the Hawthorne Hotel. She also makes it available to other restaurants' employees, so that is why you see members of the Green Land Cafe staff in attendance. (For those of you with eagle eyes for this kind of thing.)

Claire Kallelis teaching "TIPS" Class
This class, called "TIPS" training does not teach our staff members how to make more tips, but rather is focused on teaching them how to serve alcoholic beverages responsibly, so we keep our patrons, and the people they might interact with after leaving here, safe.
This is a very serious subject, and therefore the training takes quite a few hours.  Staff members learn practical tips in knowing how much alcohol to serve, depending on a variety of factors, and how to deal with people who have had enough to drink.

We trust you will be pleased to know that we run the hotel in a professional manner, attending to the myriad of details such as this, that are all part of what it takes to make that a reality.

I hope you enjoy seeing a little bit more of what goes on "behind the scenes" here at the Hawthorne Hotel.

And I hope to see you here soon.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Guest Asks "What is this?"

A guest who stayed with us recently asked about these "vents" in the guest room doors.  She did not receive a satisfactory answer from the staff member she queried, so she thought to write to me, which certainly gained her the correct response.  Based on what happened, I decided a blog post was in order, since she would hardly be the first person to wonder what they were seeing.

On the inside of each guest room door, you can see these vents, as shown in the top photo.

On the outside of each door, you see the panel below.

What we are seeing here were indeed vents in the era before air conditioning.  They gave the guests all that control, to be able to open or close "their" vents, depending on whether or not they wanted to try to catch a breeze by opening their room window(s) and opening the vent in the door, thus creating cross-ventilation.  Since there was no refrigerated air conditioning in 1925 when the hotel opened, this was as good as it got.

Over time, when air conditioning was introduced to the building, it appears that the vents were covered over with a decorative raised panel, to keep from having to deal with the air of the hallways intruding on the nice chilled air of the guest rooms, as well, we suspect, in an effort to make the rooms a bit more quiet and private.

I hope you enjoy this look at a bit of our history which still shows itself today.

And I hope to see you here.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Princess Tea is Closer Than You Think

We are nearly sold out for our Princess Tea on February 25.  If you are planning to attend, or know someone who may want to, please help spread the word to them that they need to make their reservations right away.  There are only about 25 seats left right now as I write this.

As a reminder, here are the details:

Princess Tea
Saturday, February 25, 2012
12:00pm – 2:00pm

Join us in our Grand Ballroom for Tea, Music, Dancing
and Photos with the “Hawthorne Hotel” Princesses

Hats, White Gloves and Pink Attire are Optional and Always in Good Taste.

Stations of Royal Fare
Teeny-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 Jell-O

“I’m A Little Tea Pot”
Assorted Teas, Juices, Hot Chocolate, Princess Punch

Children 12 and under $20.95, Children 3 and under $12
Adults $30.95, all prices inclusive of tax and gratuity

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

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

More Food Photos from Nathaniel's New Dinner Menu

Last night I had the opportunity to try a number of the new Winter Menu items on Nathaniel's Dinner Menu. Here are some photos and descriptions of what we tried. They were all delicious, and looked lovely as well. I hope you will have an opportunity to try them for yourself soon, as well.

Appetizers ~~
Almond-Crusted Scallops
watercress, butternut squash, amaretto reduction

Crispy Duck Leg Confit
sour cherry reduction, arugula

Braised Truffled Beef Terrine
cornichons, grain mustard, pickled vegetables, grilled sourdough bread

Salads ~~

Mesclun Salad
goat cheese, candied walnuts, dried cherries
and maple vinaigrette

Warm Spinach and Black-Peppered Bacon Salad
pine nuts, golden raisins, Parmesan cheese and white balsamic vinaigrette

Baby Arugula Salad
prosciutto, medjool dates, bleu cheese, sliced almonds and caramelized onion vinaigrette

Entrees ~~
Pan-Roasted Monkfish (Demi Portion)
Tasso-beurre rouge sauce, smoky lentils, wilted greens
Twenty-seven ~~ Demi-Portion Seventeen

Olive and Parmesan-Crusted Swordfish (Demi-Portion)
tomato-horseradish sauce, gorgonzola polenta cake, garlicky broccolini
Twenty eight ~~ Demi-Portion Eighteen

Braised Lamb Shank
braising liqueur, parsnip-potato puree, roasted carrots


Nearly all of our entrees are available in a "demi" portion, which is a tiny bit bigger than a half-portion would be, and in my opinion, just right so that I can enjoy an appetizer or salad course first.

Please note that we offer two different special deals.

1.  If you come on your birthday, we will provide one entree for the table a no cost, when entrees are ordered by all the other guests.  The complimentary entree is the lowest-priced entree ordered by the table.  Proof that it is your birthday is required.

2.  If you order a full-sized entree before 5:30 pm, we will make it a complete meal at no extra charge by including a house salad and chef's choice of dessert.  Three courses for the price of an entree is quite a good deal.

I hope to see you here.  For reservations call 978-825-4311, or go to OpenTable.com on line.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Mild Winter in Salem

In case you have been wanting to visit Salem, but were concerned about costs, you should consider coming up now.  It has been a mild winter so far, with just the tiniest bit of snow which is rapidly going away as I write this.  The forecast for the week is highs in the 40's which is pretty amazing for New England in January.

The lack of snow makes it so easy to get around, and because this is our quiet time we are able to offer you splendid rates on our rooms.  In addition, there is rarely a wait to get a table in the Tavern, the fire is going in the fireplace, and most of the attractions that people want to visit in October are open now with no waits there as well.

If you do decide to come because of this Social Media post, be sure to ask for the Social Media Discount.  Any new reservations made for visits between now and March 31 that reference this special will receive 25% off of our regular rates.

I hope to see you here.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~

Monday , January 23 Cyprus and Louisiana
Tuesday , January 24 Czech Republic and Maine

In Maine's flag the state coat of arms is placed on a blue field. In the center of the shield a moose rests under a tall pine tree. A farmer and seaman represent the work that people did in early times. The North Star represents the state motto: "Dirigo". (“I Direct”)
Wednesday , January 25 Denmark and Maryland
Thursday , January 26 Djibouti and Massachusetts
Friday , January 27 Dominica and Michigan

The flag of Dominica was officially adopted on November 3, 1978. The yellow represents the original inhabitants, black the fertile soil, and white indicates the pure water. The centered stars symbolize the ten island parishes. The Sisserou Parrot is indigenous to the island.

Saturday , January 28 Dominican Republic and Micronesia
The flag of Micronesia was officially adopted on November 30, 1978. The islands, long a part of the U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, gained their independence, and proudly hoisted their new flag. The blue field represents the surrounding Pacific Ocean, and the four white stars represent the four island groups within the country.

Sunday , January 29 Ecuador and Minnesota

I hope to see you here.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Afternoon Tea in High Style

This lovely event, hosted by Maryann Curtin last year, was certainly worthy of a blog post, but somehow I left it in DRAFT status and just noticed that it needed to be published. This event took place in the Pickman Room, which was just the right size for the gathered number of women who got together to enjoy a special afternoon with one of our favorite ladies.
Place cards and gold chargers set the stage for the food to follow.

A tiny salad to whet the appetite.

Tiered tea trays loaded with goodies, from tea sandwiches, to scones, tea cakes to chocolate-dipped cookies..

Silver teapots were re-purposed into flower vases.
Maryann Curtin, the hostess, with Karen O'Kane, our Director of Catering, who booked the event.

I hope you enjoy yet another look at what we love to do here at the Hawthorne Hotel.

If you want to book a tea, or other event, give our Catering Department a call at 978-825-4358.


Friday, January 20, 2012

New Seasonal Dinner Menu at Nathaniel's

The creative chefs at the Hawthorne recently introduced a seasonally-inspired dinner menu in Nathaniel's offering something for every taste, including delicate Almond-Crusted Scallops and decadent Top Sirloin au Poivre.

Pan-Roasted Monkfish with
Tasso-beurre rouge sauce, smoky lentils, wilted greens

 Taking inspiration from the winter season, the appetizers feature Apple and Butternut Squash Risotto and a Warm Spinach and Black Peppered Bacon Salad. The entrées are complemented by equally fresh options. The Braised Lamb Shank is accompanied by a parsnip-potato puree, while the Pan-Roasted Monkfish is accented by smokey lentils, both satisfying meals on a cold winter evening.

Vegetarians will enjoy the Herbed Bulgar Wheat-Stuffed Portabella with cashew puree, roasted carrots and wilted greens, and our regulars will be pleased to still find our signature dish, Shrimp and Scallops Sophia, at the top of the menu.

Grilled Salmon with brown sugar-butter sauce,
caramelized butternut squash, spicy winter-blend rice

All of our entrées (with the exception of of the Braised Lamb Shank) are available in full and demi-portions, allowing you to sample appetizers and desserts without overindulging.

Nathaniel's welcomes you to dinner seven nights a week. Please phone 978-825-4311 to reserve your table. To book your reservation online, please visit Open Table.

View the complete dinner menu online.

I hope to see you here.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lost and Found -- A Primer for Guests

Or, another way we could title this is the "headache of dealing with lost and found."

This is a re-writeof an article I wrote about four years ago on this blog.  It still gets a lot of hits on the Internet, and since many of our current blog readers have likely never gone that far back into our blog's archives, I thought it would be good to post it again.


If you have ever worked in a hotel, especially in housekeeping or the front desk, you will already know what I am about to write about -- the headache that is "Lost and Found".

Why is it a headache? Let me count the ways.

1. HONESTY ~~ Many people assume that the hotel staff members are dishonest. This is probably the biggest issue for those of us who are dedicated to serving our guests well -- and it is simply not true. I cannot tell you how many times that an employee has brought me or the front desk items of very high value (cash, wallets, purses, cameras, jewelery, etc.) that they have found, and could have easily pocketed with not a word. They simply would not think of doing that.

2. LOOK FIRST ~~ Many people assume as soon as they can't find something that they must have left it at the hotel, before they really thoroughly research things for themselves. I cannot tell you how many times we have turned the hotel upside down looking for something for someone, only to learn later that they found their item in a side pocket of a suitcase, or they never brought it at all, or a colleague or roommate picked it up for them. The issue for the hotel is all the time we spend dealing with these issues, and sometimes people never even call us back to let us know that they did find their item.  If you report something as "lost" to us, and later find it, please call us back and let us know so we can make that notation in our files.

3. PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY ~~ Many people assume that we are somehow responsible for anything they decide to claim is missing. People! Be responsible for your own stuff! Keep track of your things, and don't assume that just because you are careless, that somehow makes a hotel responsible. It does not.  We are ready to assist you, but please understand that is a courtesy on our part, not a right on yours.  Be kind to the people you talk with, and keep track of who you talk to and when.  It helps.

4. WHAT TO DO WITH ALL THAT STUFF ~~ Storage is precious in hotels, and leaving behind your stuff means we have to find a place to keep it safe for you. PLEASE, keep track of your stuff, pack carefully, check all the places you have been to be sure you are leaving nothing behind. We (all hotel managers) will adore you for your responsibility. BTW, we donate all unclaimed items to a local charity after 30 days for 'normal' items and 90 days if we perceive it has a high value.

Now, when I say many people, I know I am painting this picture with a broad brush, and we do get some really nice stories regarding lost and found occasionally. So, here is one of those NICE STORIES, that came from our Assistant Director of Sales and Marketing at the time, Mike Kernander:

Last night at the Salem Chamber of Commerce event at Fresh Taste of Asia, Kristie and I met Karen Pelletier from the House of the Seven Gables. In the course of our visit, Karen told us she was staying here with her brother and her sister on December 8. However, she left behind something in her room. It was a gift-wrapped brick from the building her father worked at in Pennsylvania. The building was being torn down brick by brick. Karen's brother gave her the brick, and her sister gave her two pictures of the building. She discovered that she left the brick behind in the room they were staying. Karen thought the brick was lost and thought there was no way we would keep something like that. She never even thought to call to check.

As she was telling us this story last night, I wrote down in my PDA what she had lost. this afternoon, I asked James, from housekeeping, about the lost and found and we went to the bin in Housekeeping. James recognized the item and gave it to me. We had both the brick and the pictures. 
I brought the brick to the House of the Seven Gables and Karen met me in the lobby. She had an idea that I had come to deliver the brick and had a wide smile as she came out to meet me. She thought it was lost forever.
Karen told me that we made her brother’s day by recovering the brick and her sister’s day by recovering the photos. I think we helped make her day by finding them and bringing them to her. It made my day to be able to deliver it to her.

Smiles all around!
A happy ending to a vexing problem.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Awnings Have Arrived

It was time for some new awnings on the outside of the Hawthorne Hotel and our owner thought it was also time for a change in our "look" so here are photos of the new "us." I hope you enjoy getting to see the changes we keep making to stay fresh and inviting for our guests.

I hope to see you here.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

ShapeShifting at the Peabody Essex Museum

Santa Clara Pueblo; Emergence of the Clowns, 1988
Our friends at the Peabody Essex Museum have produced an incredible new exhibit called ShapeShifting: Transformations in Native American Art which should appeal to both the seasoned and the casual art enthusiast.

Nisga'a artist; Mask, ca. 1850

This is not a traditional exhibit of Native American art showcasing stereotypical pieces arranged by geographic location. Karen Kramer Russell, Curator of Native American Art and Culture, notes that “Native American art has always taken cultural knowledge and metaphors and refreshed them with new ideas and forms.” ShapeShifting does just that – it shifts your perception of what Native American art is.

The galleries are grouped into four conceptual frameworks: Changing, Knowing, Locating, and Voicing, incorporating over 75 objects in a range of media - painting, sculpture, multimedia work, textiles and awe-inspiring installations.

The show continues the PEM’s tradition of showcasing the historical and artistic traditions of Native Americans. The Museum began collecting Native American artifacts around 70 years before any other American museum and curated the last major American show of Native American art in 1996. Many of the pieces featured in ShapeShifting are on display in the United States for the first time.

Seneca; Column (Blanket Stories), 2003

ShapeShifting: Transformations in Native American Art, is on view through April 29, 2012. Don’t miss the Atrium Alive ShapeShifting Festival February 18-19, featuring a weekend of interactive and engaging programming including song and dance, weaving demonstrations, artist lectures, art making and more. Visit www.pem.org/calendar for details.

The PEM is open Tuesday-Sunday and holiday Mondays, 10 am – 5 pm. Members, youth 16 and under and residents of Salem enjoy free general admission.

I hope to see you there.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Hawthorne Hotel Flags of the Week ~~ January 16 through 22, 2012

No special requests so far.

Monday , January 16 Colombia and Hawaii
Tuesday , January 17 Comoros and Idaho

The somewhat new Comoros flag was officially adopted in 1993. The crescent, stars and the color green are traditional symbols of Islam. The horizontal stripes and the four stars represent the country's main islands of Mwali, Njazidja, Nzwai and Mayotte. Note that Mayotte is a territory of France, but claimed by Comoros.

Wednesday , January 18 Democratic Republic of Congo and Illinois
Thursday , January 19 Costa Rica and Indiana

The blue color represents the sky, ample opportunities, intellectual thinking, eternity, infinite and religious ideals and spiritual desires.White symbolizes happiness, wisdom, power and beauty of the sky, clear thinking, driving force of initiatives and the peace of Costa Rica. Red stands for the warmth of the people, their bloodshed for freedom, generous attitude and vibrancy. Costa Rica's coat of arms is found on the red line and the three volcanoes of the country are featured in it.

Friday , January 20 Cote d'Ivoire and Iowa
Saturday , January 21 Croatia and Kansas
Sunday , January 22 Cuba and Kentucky

Placed on a navy blue field is the seal and words "Commonwealth of Kentucky". The two people on the seal, a pioneer and a statesman, represent all the people. They are acting out the meaning of Kentucky's motto: "United We Stand; Divided We Fall". Sprays of goldenrod extend in a half circle around the picture. 

I hope to see you here.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Such a Unique Idea for a Wedding Shower

Cupcakes as a Crossword Puzzle
 The wedding was to join a couple, one American (Matt) and one French (Karine), so the crossword puzzle spelled out the pertinent words in both English and French.  This adorable idea was too good to keep to ourselves!  We simply had to share it with you, fair blog reader.
I hope you enjoy seeing this idea for today.