Ale House Inn
What We Love
- Free bottles of beer from Smuttynose Brewery upon arrival
- Museums, restaurants, boutiques, cafés and a riverfront park are all just steps away
- Free parking and use of the hotel’s Trek bicycles to ride around town
What To Know
- Located on the Piscataqua River; some rooms have views of the water or the Old Harbor
- Bathrooms have tub-shower combos
- There’s no restaurant on site, but snacks such as apples, pretzels, popcorn and Goldfish crackers are available in the lobby
- No fitness room, but guests get 40 percent off at the Sagamore-Hampton Golf Club, which is a 15- to 20-minute car ride away
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Around the corner from a nondescript entranceway there’s an elevator that brings travelers to the second floor of 121 Bow Street, where a vintage lightblub sign spells “A-L-E,” a clever nod to the building’s former incarnation as a keg storage facility for the Portsmouth Brewing Company. And in spite of occupying a handsome 19th-century warehouse with exposed brick walls, framed antique maps and a collection of old-fashioned beer bottles, the Ale House doesn’t feel the slightest bit dated.
Bed & Bath
Tasteful nautical artworks and a serene blue-gray palette in the light and airy guestrooms evoke the sea coast, while potted bamboo plants and marigold-colored throw pillows add a splash of color. The desks are big enough for a laptop, and every room has an armchair or loveseat. The bathrooms, although on the small side, have Harbor Linen cotton towels and 100 percent vegan bath products from Lather, such as a mint-thyme hair wash and a lavender-lime moisturizer.
The Ale House shares its home with the Seacoast Repertory Theatre, and with advance notice you can usually score some free tickets. Although there’s no on-site restaurant, the lobby has a few snacks such as apples, pretzels, popcorn and Goldfish crackers. Or plan ahead and order a box of decadent chocolate truffles (think bacon-maple and stout beer) from Kilwins to await your arrival. Guests also enjoy a discount on excursions aboard the Piscataqua, a reproduction of a flat-bottomed gundalow river barge.
In the Area
It’s hard to imagine a place more walkable — or bikable — than Portsmouth. When hunger strikes, follow Bow Street down to the Old Harbor and choose from more than half a dozen restaurants serving steak and seafood, all with views of the red tugboats that handle the city’s river traffic. For more indulgence, drop in on Annabelle’s for a scoop of Maple Walnut, Triple Chocolate or Peachy Peach ice cream. But here it’s all about the suds — don’t miss the chance to sample one of the inventive beers on tap at the Portsmouth Brewery, New Hampshire’s oldest brewpub. And if shopping’s your thing, flex that plastic at Ganesh Imports, N.W. Barrett Gallery or Market Square Jewelers. History buffs should spend a little time at the Strawberry Banke Museum, the state’s premier American history museum.
How to Get There
Driving from Boston to Portland we thought Portsmouth would make a great overnight stop and were right! The Inn was perfect location to all the sites and bites. The bikes came in handy for a trip over to Kittery for delicious noodles at Anju. Also, cruellers from Lils. In town there are a few breweries and lots of great spots for a bite. Check in was easy and they had a lot of great recommendations. The room was clean and comfortable. And we snagged a coffee each time we walked past the front. Stay here for a great portsmouth experience!
It was our first time in Portsmouth and we loved the city. The Ale House is close to the water, perfectly located to walk everywhere. Quite spacious and comfy rooms with everything you need. Clean bathroom. We were welcomed by Josiah who told us everything we should see and cool spots where we could eat and get deals on oysters. Also, we had some trouble with parking when we left and the private company who owns the lot in front of the hostel gave us a ticket. However, we reached out to Craig (who's the general manager of the Ale House) and he fixed everything directly with the company so we didn't have to pay the fine. Much appreciated, thanks again!
Hotel was in a great location to walk around town. There is parking across the street. They give you a parking pass to put in your car. Room was spacious and clean and staff was very helpful and nice. Room was spacious, clean and comfortable. Had a mini fridge and freezer. Complimentary Coffee, Tee and water along with a few snacks.