What We Love
- A grand historic hotel on the Cape Ann oceanfront, with breakfast and afternoon treatsBasking in the old-fashioned elegance of this nearly 150-year-old Massachusetts hotel
- Visiting the Bearskin Neck fishing shack, believed to be America’s most painted building
- Attending a concert at the acclaimed Shalin Liu Performance Center
- Sampling the daily breakfast that comes complimentary with your stay
What To Know
- There's a heated pool
- The porch – with rocking chairs – faces the ocean
- The Emerson Pub serves up fantastic meals
Have a grand old time at a grand, old – specifically, almost 150-year-old – Massachusetts mansion. Emerson Inn is located in the North Shore’s Rockport, on the coast of Cape Ann and overlooking the open ocean. Built in the mid-19th century, the former Hotel Edward and Ralph Waldo Emerson Inn offers a gracious take on New England hospitality, with a spa tub and balcony in every room and an elevated American tavern that serves artisan cheeses and pan-seared scallops. Now owned by leading hotel group regional hotel group Migis, it’s a perfect place to live the meaning of that Abenaki word, which translates to “a place to steal away and rest.”
So is Rockport itself, of course. Formerly an established artists colony and fishing village, it has held onto its historic charm, appearing on Yankee magazine’s 2015 list of the 10 prettiest coastal towns in the region. Honor the fishing-village past with a trip to several of the other seafood restaurants in town, or gaze upon one of the most painted buildings in America, the iconic Bearskin Neck fishing shack, and perhaps try to paint it yourself. Of course, a stay at Emerson Inn wouldn’t be complete without a nod to the namesake transcendalist, who was a repeat guest to surrounding Pigeon Cove. Honor his legacy of embracing nature, whether on a seasonal whale-watching tour or an excursion to a quiet Atlantic beach.
Each of the 36 accommodations is individually designed, in the same classic style as the rest of the historic hotel. Expect a private balcony and spa tub, plus a few modern updates: a cable TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, a hair dryer and a telephone.
Opened in May 2016, Pigeon Cove Tavern is an elegant American restaurant that comprises a dining room, deck and parlor. At all three, enjoy sweeping Atlantic views, carefully curated wines and beers and dishes like roasted beets and arugula or pan-seared scallops with spring quinoa and beurre blanc. The delicious dinners, which were conceived by Chef Doug Papows, can be enjoyed by candlelight for an extra-romantic touch.
Once a thriving artists colony and popular fishing, Rockport has managed to retain its old-fashioned charm, as acknowledged by Yankee – the magazine included the coastal town on its 2015 list of the 10 prettiest coastal towns in New England. You’ll find hand-dipped chocolate and saltwater taffy at Tuck’s Candy; behold what’s believed to be the most painted building in America, the Bearskin Neck fishing shack; and retreat to a local beach for some Atlantic swimming. You can also embark on a lighthouse or seasonal whale-watching expedition, and we recommend spending at least one concert at the Shalin Liu Performance Center. Boston is just over one hour away.
How to Get There
We hosted our son's rehearsal dinner at the Emerson Inn. Candice was our main point of contact and went out of her way to make sure we had everything we needed. This included local recommendations, planning advice and her physically helping us with some set up and breakdown. She was personable, available and wonderful throughout the whole process, as was the entire staff. The menu we selected was also amazing. Our event was a very special, intimate time together before the next day's wedding and we highly recommend it as a venue!
If you need a quick getaway in the Boston area where you can have a cocktail rocking on the porch overlooking the ocean, and then go for a walk along the coastal trail, and get back in time to have dinner in the quaint tavern with a tasty lobster roll, and then retire to your room with two comfy chairs on a balcony to watch the moon over the water, then this is the place to go! The room and facilities are probably more like 3 stars, but the location, staff and ambience are definitely 5...bringing the overall rating to 4.
Our daughter got married at the Emerson Inn this past weekend, and it was so very perfect. The Inn itself is beautiful inside and out, very turn of last century, with gorgeous views. We spent months planning the weekend, and the staff, especially Candace and Emily, were so helpful and patient! The Inn wasn't even really open throughout the winter as we did our planning, but they were responsive as we settled guests into the rooms for one, two, and three nights, planned the menu and the socializing throughout the weekend. No one we know works harder than Candace - she did everything within her power, and quite a few things beyond, to make the weekend and the wedding perfect! We relied on her for vendors, advice, problem solving...the list goes on and on.The rooms were lovely, the beds so comfortable, the included breakfast delicious. We can't possibly recommend the Inn highly enough, and look forward to going back just for fun!
We spent two days at the Inn. The hotel is an old Inn and somewhat tired. The staff were great and very helpful especially when our room heater wouldn’t work. They were going to call in someone but We got it going for the first night but it just wouldn’t work on the second. The room overlooked the ocean and it was a treat. A complimentary bottle of wine also was provided. The breakfast was made to order and we both had scrambled eggs with loads of bacon and sausages. Fresh fruit and great toast was also a part of breakfast plus never ending coffee. The breakfast was a deal Maker! The bathroom was good except that the toilets are very low. The bed was very high and I needed the step stool to get in..not very safe for elderly guests. High marks for all the staff as they made our stay.
A beautiful building, with portions dating back to 1849 in a very lovely location.
Our oceanfront room was small and sparsely furnished but clean and adequate.
It should be noted that there is no elevator and we were very surprised that we were not told as much nor were we asked if there were guests with special needs when we made our reservation. This can certainly be a factor for impaired guests. There are two rooms one the first floor which are handicapped accessible.
A full breakfast buffet was included in our package and was very nice with a good variety of offerings.
A highlight of our visit was our interaction with the young lady who was overseeing the breakfast area. She was knowledgeable about the history of the property and, more importantly, was passionate and conveyed that sense of passion and excitement when talking with us about it. She is a terrific asset to the establishment.