Every year in late October, tourists pour into Salem, Massachusetts, for full-on Halloween-in-Salem revelry. But this former seafaring hub, located just 15 miles north of Boston, is really a year-round destination. Oh sure, it’s got tarot card readers, psychics, and haunted tours — but a historic stroll down Chestnut Street reveals magnificent Federal-style mansions, while the city’s rich maritime history is on full display down by the waterfront. There’s seafood to feast on and boutiques to peruse, plus a solid assortment of lodging options from which to choose. Read on for a roundup of favorite inns and hotels in Salem, MA.
Centrally located in Salem’s historic district, the Merchant offers a boutique hotel experience and a room where George Washington slept. History, shopping, and dining are just blocks away from this impeccably updated 200-year-old property, now a member of the Lark Hotel chain. Named a 2017 Yankee Editors’ Pick for “Best Boutique Inn.”
In the late 1980s, Dick and Diane Pabich purchased a 1834 home in downtown Salem, named it the West House, and converted it into a 22-room inn. In the years since, the Pabiches have renovated two additional downtown properties, the Peabody House and the Curwen House, to expand their upscale offerings to 40 guest rooms total.
Named the best U.S. city-center historic hotel by Historic Hotels of America in 2015, the Hawthorne has anchored downtown Salem with assured elegance since 1925. Over its long history, the 93-room hotel has hosted President Bill Clinton as well as Hollywood A-listers Robert De Niro and Jennifer Lawrence (whose 2015 film Joy, was partially shot here). On the top floor is the Ship’s Cabin, which Yankee has dubbed “the most unusual room in New England.” If you do visit in October, you’re in for a treat: The hotel’s Halloween party is legendary.
Lark’s second and newest property in the city, opened in fall 2017, makes its home in the former Newmark’s department store on the Essex Street pedestrian mall. Each of the Hotel Salem’s 44 guest rooms pack an upscale, modern feel. Decor includes midcentury-style furniture and, in a nod to Lark’s New England roots, photographs and prints of various downtowns across the region.
This large hotel offers 86 rooms, from traditional to king suites. Located in the historic Pickering Wharf area, Salem Waterfront is within strolling distance of the Friendship of Salem, a replica of a 1797 American merchant vessel that was captured by the British in the War of 1812.
Where are your favorite inns and hotels in Salem, MA?