Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Favorites, AKA Juli's Salem

Like children to a parent, or grandchildren to a grandparent, I think a Hotel Manager probably should not have any favorites, but I do!  I recently wrote some blog posts about my favorite foods in restaurants around the area, (which will publish on soon) and that spurred me to consider telling you about my other favorites that could be useful to you in planning a visit to Salem.


Of course, if you are looking for a place to stay, the Rooms at the Hawthorne Hotel are the best, no doubt. However, with 13 differing room types, how do you know which rooms are the "best" and how do you choose?

If there is more than one person staying in the room, I would choose a Derby room with two bathrooms or a bath and a half.  Having more than one bathroom makes staying with another person so much nicer, in my opinion.  In addition the Derby rooms are light, bright and roomy, with two queen-sized beds.  Here is a panoramic photo of a Derby room showing both bathrooms:

If you are staying by yourself, then it will depend on whether or not you need a room with a bathtub, or if you actually prefer a stand-up shower.  If the shower is your preference, I would go for a Cabot room. There are only two in the hotel, so they are always in short supply, but well worth seeking out. These two rooms, located on the fifth and sixth floor of the hotel, and located in the corner near the Common, so they have arguably the best view of any room in the hotel.  To make it even nicer, these bathrooms were completely rebuilt last year, and the showers are the largest we have available. With a king-sized bed, this large corner room is my favorite if I don't decide I want two bathrooms.

Our suites are lovely, and they all have king-sized beds, and the living rooms have queen-sized sofa beds, so if you are traveling with multiple people but want some privacy, a suite might be the best solution.  Here is a panoramic photo of room 212.  Each of the '12 rooms are suites.


Sitting Room
If you prefer something even more historic than our 1925 building, we also own and run the Fidelia Bridges Guest House, located on the other side of our parking lot.  Each of the three rooms have a queen-sized  bed and a sofa bed.  The suite there has a queen-sized bed, and a sofa bed in the living room.  The suite has a small outdoor patio.  The building was erected as a single family home in 1807, and features wide-pine floors, Oriental carpets, and decorative fireplaces.  You will want to know that it is not an "accessible" building, and there are three stories to it, so if you need an elevator, you will want a room in the main building of the hotel.

Fidelia Bridges Guest House Suite, Bedroom View

Fidelia Bridges Guest House Suite, Parlor View

Fidelia Bridges Guest House, Garden Room, First Floor


When I talk to visitors myself, I always like to recommend my favorites.  However, I first try to find out their interests.  I think everyone can find something to love at PEM (Peabody Essex Museum) because there are so many different things going on there at any given time.  Here is a link to their website so you can plan your visit:

If one is interested in learning more about the Witch Trials of 1692, I think the Salem Witch Museum does a really good job of providing that overview.  I also think the locally made movie that is usually playing at CinemaSalem called The True 1692.  Here is a link to their website:
Visiting the Witch Trial Memorial rounds out that experience.

In addition to PEM, I think that no visit to Salem is complete without a visit to The House of the Seven Gables.  I also think that visiting one or more of the historic homes that are available to see otherwise in Salem is a great way to experience this lovely little city.  The Phillips House on Chestnut Street definitely fills that bill.  Here is a link to their website:   Phillips House website

Speaking of house tours, do not miss visiting Yin Yu Tang House at PEM.  For $5 extra it is like a trip to China.  It is the ONLY Chinese house outside of China.  For $5.  You have to go!

In addition, PEM owns all of the antique houses across the street from the Hawthorne Hotel.  They offer a tour inside three of them and that is included at no additional cost when you buy admission to PEM.  The only tricky part is they only do one or two of those tours each day, and they have a maximum number of people they allow on each tour, so get to PEM at 10 am when they open and get your tickets right away, which will (hopefully) insure you can go on the tour, and then plan your day around the ticket time.


I love the gift shop at PEM.  They always have something intersting there for me, especially since I love the kinds of accessories and clothing they sell there.

In the same vein, a tiny shop diagonally across from the hotel called Beautiful Things has exactly that -- beautiful things, including a great selection of handmade fascinators.

For fun gifts I head to Beehive and Roost on Front Street.

For fragrances, oils and the like, Aroma Sanctum on Central Street is a great little find.

Jewelry and some really nice gifts, including some inexpensive but REAL treasures -- go to Treasures Over Time on Washington St.

Artwork -- none better than the Kensington-Stobart Gallery on the Essex St. corner of Hawthorne Blvd at the Hawthorne Hotel.

Candy?  Head on over to Ye Olde Pepper Companie on Derby St. just across from the House of the Seven Gables.  The oldest candy company in America.  Don't miss the Gibraltars and BlackJacks.

Consignment shopping.  Witch City Consignments on the corner of Essex and Summer Street is really fun. You will definitely find something there, and it won't break the bank.

Walking Around

One of the best things about Salem is the fact that you can walk pretty much everywhere you want to go. Walking is free, and healthy.  Some of my favorite walks:

Walk through the McIntire District, to enjoy the architecture, and don't miss the Ropes Mansion Gardens in the season.

Walk out to Derby Lighthouse.  You are actually out on the water so you feel almost like you have walked on water.  See the Friendship, and the National Maritime Historic Site.

Walk around Salem Common and the surrounding neighborhoods and enjoy seeing some cool old homes.

Walk down to Ziggy's donuts at Collins Cove.  Get a donut, or two or three.  My favorite is a jelly stick.   For a really long walk, keep going out to the Salem Willows and get some popcorn at Hobb's. The Willows is seasonal although the indoor arcade does stay open year-round, and Hobb's does open on Saturday for us locals to get our popcorn fixes as special orders in batches.


Living Well offers the best massages and related treatments at very reasonable prices in a lovely, clean surrounding.  Located on Washington Street between New Derby and Dodge Streets, it is a 6-minute walk from the Hawthorne Hotel.  Our front desk team members can assist you with booking an appointment if you wish.

There is a lot more, but these are the highlights.  If you have specific questions, please feel free to post them here.

I hope to see you soon.


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