Very Good 367 Reviews
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This Hotel meets our standards
This hotel meets our standards, but we haven't stayed yet

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
sky grass walkway lawn Resort cottage shore


A charming stay at a newly renovated 19th-century hotel overlooking the Atlantic, with breakfast

The Lowdown

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

Emerson Inn
1 Cathedral Ave
Rockport, MA 01966-1102 United States


4.0 Very Good 367 Reviews
Nice, but
Reviewed 4 months ago

A winner for sure. Staff is friendly and there's on site bar and restaurant that were both good. The views are amazing and the ocean rocks are accessible right in front of the property (I LOVE to walk on the granite boulders).
Those are some of the "nice" parts.

The "but" parts come in the room that we were in. Two years ago we were in the "new" part and the room was fine. Trying to be accommodating and saving us some money the desk person helping me when I made the reservations suggested the historic rooms since they were a bit cheaper. The room was OK but the bathroom is definitely historic.
The other minor surprise is that there's not a fireplace in the lobby. We had a nor'easter blow through and a fireplace would have been nice but no big deal.

We'll definitely come back but probably not choose the historic rooms.

Wonderful Old Hotel But Not Good for Handicapped People
Reviewed 5 months ago

I wish we had known in advance that Emerson Inn has no elevator. I am handicapped and use a walker. I am able to do stairs if I have a railing, but it is not an easy process. The staff was very sensitive to this and kindly moved us from the third floor the second. They also were very helpful in helping me get to and from our room. Apart from this, we enjoyed our stay in this historic hotel.

Perfect New England Charm with Modern Amenities
Reviewed 6 months ago

My husband and I got married at the Emerson Inn in September 2018 and it truly is a one of a kind experience. Everyone that attended commented on how cool it was that the entire hotel was only booked by our wedding guests and therefore, anyone they said hello to would be a family member or friend. This was one of the aspects that we ended up loving the most, in fact our nieces and nephew almost got too comfortable and started walking around with no shoes as if it was their home.

The staff are very helpful and make you feel a part of the family. Candice is a wonderful event manager and really helps you through the entire process and executes everything perfectly on the day of the wedding. I was ecstatic that the venue came with her services as the same day coordinator and I didn’t have to recruit any family to set anything up. Everyone could just enjoy themselves and celebrate!

We had an event planned each day throughout the weekend, a Welcome Drink, the wedding and then a brunch and they were all executed exactly how we wished. It allowed us to just take in all the moments and really enjoy time with our guests. The food was also so delicious!! We had wedding guests that came up to us and said it was the best meal they ever ate! The breakfast each morning is phenomenal!

At first, I was nervous about the size of the venue’s dance space, but honestly, it was awesome because our 150 person wedding took over the space and made it a huge dance party! It was incredible! Oh and how can I forget about the views!! One CANNOT beat the view of the venue. It is an absolutely stunning back drop for a wedding ceremony and we were definitely blessed by mother nature the weekend we got married. I highly recommend the Emerson Inn! We will be back to enjoy the ocean view as a getaway too!

Beautiful place to stay for our 35th anniversary
Reviewed 6 months ago

We stayed 1 night at the Emerson Inn. Beautiful place, Porch in front reminds me of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. Wonderful breakfast the next morning included in the stay. A little cool that day to use the pool, but everything is well maintained and we enjoyed our time there. View is wonderful!

Beautiful spot!
Reviewed 6 months ago

We had a womfersdul stay. 1st we got in so late and James was INCREDIBLY helpful and nice. He bent over backwards to make sure we got settled and found us some place to get food when almost everything was closed. Then upgraded us to a room with an ocean view for a reasonable price. Beautiful INN with a GORGEOUS walking trail to the left overlooking the rocks and ocean. They took great care of us. Rooms and bathroom are small if you don’t upgrade, but that’s to be expected. They were very cute and clean.
View from room 307 in 1st & 2nd pic.