I’ve been meaning to write a review of the Hotel Salem in Salem, MA for a while now so I thought I should finally get on it. When Nick and I were researching long weekend trips that we could easily, and safely, take from New York, I did a search for hotels on Booking.com in Salem, MA. Quickly I stumbled upon the Hotel Salem on the main drag in downtown Salem, Essex Street.
The hotel was new-ish and my favorite type of hotel: a boutique hotel. This means tiny minimalist rooms, like the one we stayed in for a night in Boston back in January at the Revolution Hotel.
I don’t know why but I really love this style of hotel room. Maybe it’s the convenience and ease of a small room where everything you bring is within arms reach because the room is so small. Maybe it’s the sleek design of the rooms and modern, clean feel of the lobbies.
This time it was also probably the price because I found a great deal on Booking.com (this isn’t a sponsored post, but I’m so open to it! HMU, Booking.com!). Three nights for $369 before tax! That’s a little more than $100 per night which is an awesome deal for such a sleek, new hotel, in the middle of downtown Salem. I was so excited!
An additional perk of staying at the Hotel Salem was that on top of the hotel (it’s only 4 or 5 floors tall, this is Salem, after all) is the only rooftop bar in Salem called appropriately, The Roof. Sweet. We could have a nightcap and then easily make it back to our room to pass out.
I received a few emails from the Hotel Salem, telling me they were excited to have us and details about where to park and what’s around the hotel (spoiler alert: everything).
COVID-Era Precations at the Hotel Salem
The emails also informed us of the precautions they were taking for COVID transmission prevention.
- They said they had hand sanitizer everywhere
- The bar in the main lobby was currently closed
- There was plexiglass around the front desk
- Masks were required in all common areas in the hotel
- Housekeeping would not be entering our hotel room while we were staying there.
Parking Near the Hotel Salem
If you’re driving to Salem, the parking lot is one block north of the hotel on Brown Street, behind the newer brown brick condo building. There’s an app you can download called Passport Parking (download it here) and refill as needed. It’s SUPER easy and SO cheap, plus parking is free after 6pm. I think we paid under $40 for the four days total that we had the car in the parking lot.
Deal. Of. The. Century.
Arriving at the Hotel Salem
When we arrived, we were greeted at a small front desk by a pleasant woman who was protected by plexiglass, like I said before. There were hand sanitizing stations and signs reminding people to keep their masks on when we’re in the common areas. We were checked in and sent up to our room.
Only one family or person was allowed in the elevator at a time, too, and signs were posted everywhere so chances of coming into close contact with a stranger was significantly reduced, which was really nice.
Accommodations at Hotel Salem
The room was definitely bigger than the one at the Revolution Hotel in Boston, but not a lot (which was totally fine – we knew what we were getting into when we made the reservation!).
The king size bed took up the entire floor space from left to right in the far back half of the room. There was a flat screen TV mounted on the wall at the far end and a shelf and a few outlets on the other end of the bed. There was a huge window next to the bed as well.
Next to the bed was a mini fridge and area to hang clothes on one side, and on the other was a small desk and a sink. (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of this area. You’ll just have to trust me!)
Closest to the door was the shower stall and the bathroom. Both were surrounded by frosted glass with frosted sliding glass doors. (In this way the room was absolutely palatial because you could use both the sink and someone could have the bathroom door open at the same time.)
Pro-Tip For Troubled Sleepers:
I thought the bed was really comfy and Nick’s only complaint was that the pillows were too soft and didn’t provide support for his neck (so if you’re really sensitive, pro-tip: bring your own pillows!).
The Common Areas at the Hotel Salem
There are common areas on the first floor, near where you check in. There’s a row of about 10 bar stools in front of a wooden bar looking onto the street in the front of the hotel and directly to the right of that area is the lobby bar, which, as I said before, was sadly still closed due to the pandemic.
Finally if you walked past the elevators on the first floor and kept walking straight, another lounge area was located at the back of the hotel, outfitted with couches with comfy-looking pillows and armchairs.
The Rooftop Bar at Hotel Salem
On the roof was the only rooftop bar in Salem. It has a bar area and then tables spreading out across the entire roof of the building.
The view was spectacular, because there are tall buildings and there’s no skyline per se, but you could feel that the patrons were buzzing to be on top of a building, watching the sunset, and drinking cocktails.
My favorite part of the rooftop bar was the snacks. We only had one but it was churros with marshmallow dip. It was SO tasty.
The prices were also incredibly reasonable (compared to New York, I guess!).
Hotel Salem’s Location
The location was absolutely perfect. We could easily walk everywhere (except Max and Dani’s house, but even that was probably just a 25 minute walk away). I think the furthest I walked was to Proctor’s Ledge which is outside the downtown area and 15-20 minutes away by foot.
If you left the Hotel Salem and turned left, within feet you were at the Old Town Hall. If you left the hotel and turned right, within minutes you were at the main town square, the Salem Witch House, or the Peabody Essex Museum.
If you walked a little further, you’d reach the water and a couple of breweries and restaurants that were located there. We did cross the water at one point and walk around the part of Salem just south of the downtown area. It was much more residential, with the occasional street lined with (mostly closed) stores. There was also a ton of street art, which was really cool. I’d recommend wandering around and checking out that part of town if you have time.
The Only Inconvenience of Hotel Salem
The only hiccup that was had during our stay at Hotel Salem was a constant malfunctioning of the keypad on our door so our keycard only worked about 50% of the time. The other 50% of the time we had to go down to the lobby and ask for the key.
But the hotel staff were cognizant of this inconvenience so when we checked out, they gave us a card for $30 off a night at any of the hotels in the Lark Hotels Group which was very nice. They have a hotel in Saratoga Springs in upstate New York so that would be convenient whenever we have time to make that trip.
Overall, I’d 100% recommend staying at the Hotel Salem if you’re planning a trip there. It’s a lovely five-star boutique hotel with a spectacular location, comfy rooms, and an incredibly friendly staff. What more could you need?