The Merchant, Salem MA

Rum, Pepper & A Little Bit of Mystery

Although best known for the witch trials and tales of ghostly intrigue, Salem also has a growing restaurant scene, nearby beaches, and lots of (pre and post) Revolutionary War history. Just a few short steps from the Salem hotel’s front door you can explore America’s oldest continually operating museum, view an impressive display of historic architecture, purchase wares from modern artists and artisans of many skills and trades, and stroll the decks of a reconstructed 1797 merchant ship. The Merchant, located in the heart of the city’s elegant historic district, is where Salem’s maritime history meets historic chic with a touch of East Asian elegance.

This hotel drew inspiration from the property’s original wealthy sea merchant owner and the town’s shipping port history to infuse the hotel with a sense of mystery and charm from the days when Salem was a maritime powerhouse – importing molasses (for rum), spices (such as the widely popular Sumatran pepper) and (perhaps) looted artifacts from the East Indies.

Boston-based interior designer, Rachel Reider incorporated this feel into the design with gray / blues, rich reds, dark purples, and deep emerald greens mixed with Asian accents to lend an elegant and luxurious feel. Custom artwork and distinctive furnishings embrace the import/export history of the original owner, Joshua Ward. Restored wainscoting, paneling, and the stunning “floating” staircases are the work of noted 18th Century architect, Samuel McIntire.

Washington Slept Here

Seriously, he did! Guests can stay in the room specifically requested by the newly elected president for his triumphant visit to Salem in 1789. Offering extra Washington-inspired welcome treats, guests of the George Washington room will get a kick out resting their head in the room once occupied by the great general and father of the United States. The property also is rumored to have a ghost or two, but they leave that to the guests’ imagination.

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