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Inn - The News

Harbor Light Inn earns Fodor's Choice distinction - Aug 14, 2011 (Marblehead Reporter)


Marblehead -

Fodor's, a leading name in travel information, recently announced that the Harbor Light Inn in Marblehead has been recognized as a 2011 Fodor's Choice selection. This distinction designates the Harbor Light Inn as a leader in its field for service, quality and value in the 2011 year.

Fodor's travel, founded in 1936 by Eugene Fodor, is currently celebrating its 75th anniversary. The editors and experts of Fodor's have been selecting only the top 15 percent of their listed properties and activities as Fodor's Choice award recipients since 1988.

Every year, Fodor's writers experience, examine and evaluate thousands of hotels, restaurants and attractions in their travels across the globe. While every business included in a Fodor's guide is deemed worth a traveler's time, only those offering a truly remarkable experience are given the Fodor's Choice designation.

For 75 years, Fodor's has presented travelers with the very top recommendations from hidden-away restaurants to can't-miss museums, to make sure they're making the most of their travels. The 2011 Fodor's Choice recipients are the best of the best, according to the organization, providing a remarkable experience in their price range or category.

As a 2011 Fodor's Choice property, the Harbor Light Inn will receive special recognition in the next Fodor's guidebook to the local area and on Fodors.com.

"We find the Fodor's Guide to be a must-have travel guide," said Peter Conway, Harbor Light innkeeper. "It is written by unbiased travel professionals whose only job is to review as many establishments as they can and judge them fairly."

Located in the heart of historic downtown Marblehead, the Harbor Light Inn & Tavern is just a hop, skip and a jump from the harbor, shops, art galleries, historic homes and a variety of distinguished restaurants, serving fresh and local fare.


Northshore Magazine Announces 2011 “Best of North Shore” (BONS) Awards - July 19, 2011


Looking for the perfect outdoor festival, ideal spot for tapas and sangria, or the ultimate place to pamper your skin? The August/September 2011 issue of Northshore magazine features editors’ and readers’ picks for the North Shore of Boston’s best food, nightlife, entertainment venues, shopping, spas, and more.

“Our staff has spent the last several months tasting, sipping, trying on, unwinding with, testing out, and generally taking in all that the North Shore has to offer,” comments Lindsay Lambert, editor of Northshore magazine.

Who made this year’s list?


Harbor Light Inn Earns Fodor's Choice Award - June 24, 2010


The Harbor Light Inn has been recognized by Fodor's Travel as a 2010 Fodor's Choice selection.

This distinction recognizes The Harbor Light Inn as a leader in its field for service, quality, and value in the 2010 year. Since 1988, Fodor's Travel has been awarding the Fodor's Choice distinction to only the very best hotels, restaurants and attractions around the world.

Every year, Fodor's writers experience, examine and evaluate thousands of hotels, restaurants and attractions in their travels across the globe. While every business included in a Fodor's guide is deemed worth a traveler's time, only fifteen percent of those selections are awarded the very highest, Fodor's Choice designation by Fodor's editors. "From hidden-away restaurants to can't-miss museums, Fodor's Choice selections recognize the top sights, properties, and experiences our editors and updaters have found in their travels," says Fodor's publisher Tim Jarrell. "These places are the best of the best, providing a remarkable experience in their price range or category."

As a 2010 Fodor's Choice recipient The Harbor Light Inn receives special recognition in the current Fodor's guidebook to this region and on Fodors.com. "We find the Fodor's Guide to be a must have travel guide. It is written by unbiased travel professionals whose only job is to review as many establishments as they can and judge them fairly." Peter Conway, innkeeper located in the heart of Marblehead's historic Old Town, The Harbor Light Inn is just a hop, skip and a jump from the harbor, shops and art galleries, historic homes and a variety of restaurants serving fresh and local fare.


Old World Charm Breathes New Life Into The Tavern At The Harbor Light Inn - May 20, 2010 (Marblehead Patch, by Greg Giuntini)


The Tavern at the Harbor Light Inn in Marblehead is a love letter to those seeking an intimate, charming and classic New England pub experience.

From the meticulously kept facilities and professional, friendly staff to the authentic 19th century decor, The Tavern at the Harbor Light Inn is a nod to a largely bygone era of elegance and sophistication accompanying food and drink.

The Tavern's highlights include a thoughtfully selected wine list, cordials, domestic and imported bottled beer and a scrumptiously enticing assortment of local seafood favorites like New England clam chowder, crab cakes and spicy shrimp and corn chowder.

The Tavern is the newest addition to the historic Harbor Light Inn, which is considered by the New York Times to be "one of the top 10 most romantic inns in America." With 20 rooms in total, the Inn itself consists of 2 Federalist style homes dating back to the early 1700s now combined to form one of Marblehead's most pristine and historic places of business. Prior to opening the Tavern in 2008, local owners Peter and Suzanne Conway planned on crafting a pub that differentiated itself from other area bars, but also complemented the history and elegance of the Inn.

"The Tavern is unlike any other bar in Marblehead. This is where you come for a romantic evening with someone close to you or to catch up with dear friends over a glass of wine and a light snack," said Peter Conway. "The Tavern also establishes the Inn as a destination spot. When staying at the Inn, you have everything you need right here. That's the type of experience we wanted to provide our guests," added Suzanne Conway.

If visiting the Tavern on a Friday or Saturday evening, you will not find yourself surrounded by college students from Salem State or in the midst of a singles scene. What you will find is a warm and eclectic mix of Marblehead locals, Inn guests from the world-over and Bostonians seeking an evening away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Marblehead is a mere 18 miles north of Boston proper. The staff of the Tavern is also worth noting. Rarely have I had the pleasure of conversing with such a friendly and knowledgeable bartender. One word of caution about regular bartender extraordinaire Ron; the charismatic former Broadway singer may burst into song at a moment's notice if the mood strikes him. Luckily, he has a great voice.

I've talked about the old world charm, the amenities and the staff, so I suppose a potential customer might like to know how the food and drink fared. Peter Conway recommended the sautéed crab cakes over greens accompanied by a glass of Silver Palm cabernet sauvignon. I'm here to tell you that the crab cakes were fantastic, and my pick for the best in Marblehead. They were served lightly browned on the outside and delicate, soft and flavorful on the inside. Many restaurants, let alone pubs, will serve you crudely heated or panini-pressed crab cakes. The Tavern took the time to saute them in olive oil over an open flame - without a doubt worth the $11.

The accompanying home-made remoulade sauce was tangy with a surprising kick to it, but creamy enough to satiate the most savory of tastes. The Silver Palm was exceptional and the price was just right at $10 a glass or $34 for the bottle. On a service note, considering the relatively small staff and quality of the food preparation, my order came out in a quite reasonable time-frame.

Truth be told, this is one of Marblehead's best kept secrets, and a secret that I'm fairly certain won't be kept for long. You will find no other such establishment in the area that offers such a first-rate, sophisticated experience. Make it a point to stop in on your next trip to Marblehead, you won't regret it.

Be sure to tell them Greg sent you…


Carriage News - June 2006


Destination Marblehead – This quaint little village offers some delightful accommodations such as the Harbor Light Inn at 58 Washington St….The Harbor Light Inn boasts award winning romantic charm in each of its 21 individually unique rooms (considered to be one of Vacation Magazine’s pick for “America’s Best Romantic Inns”). Two Federalist mansions replete with numerous working fireplaces have been connected to form this elegant first-class B&B dressed with formal parlors, bedchambers and dining room where a buffet breakfast is served daily. Decorated with period antiques, fine linens and fireplaces in most rooms, The Harbor Light Inn also offers in-room double Jacuzzis, sundecks, patio and quiet gardens surrounding their outdoor heated pool. Owners Peter & Suzanne Conway and their staff provide guests with the ultimate in New England hospitality.


New York Times - July 4, 2004


"I tossed my things into Room 6 at the Harbor Light Inn, a sturdy, rambling clapboard right on Washington Street, the main artery through Old Town, took a look at the Jacuzzi and plush canopy bed, both of which I mentally penciled onto my afternoon schedule, then set out on foot...
.....When she heard I was staying at the Harbor Light Inn, the curator clapped her hands. "Oh, forget the town! Go pamper yourself," she said, and back in my room I saw her point. It’s not every inn that successfully marries a 1729 main house with working fireplaces to comfortable period furnishings and modern conveniences, but the Harbor Light did just that. It was a welcome relief, too, to escape the intense Victoriana that most inns sport these days for the restful, muted tones and profiles of colonial-federal furnishings.

After pummeling myself with water jets and flipping through a book I had bought at Artists & Authors, Marblehead’s first-rate store for used and rare books, I set out for dinner….."


Boston Sunday Globe – June 20, 2004


"Attention to detail adds to this inn’s character, charm" ".....This could be a great inn, he thought, an upscale remake of an 18th century home, with grand sitting rooms, double staircases, a long dining room table. That is just what we discovered when we walked into the Harbor Light Inn that afternoon and found this tidy, bustling inn teeming with character, antiques and charm. The inn is in a magnificent location, right at the center of a swanky shopping district.
.....this was our favorite room. It had the luxury, to be sure, but it also had unmatched character and charm, and we could tell that Conway and his wife, Suzanne, had put much thought into it..."


Business Week - May 2003


"After a long day on the road, Jane Stark sat slumped over her laptop on the inn’s dining room. Suddenly a tray of milk and cookies appeared at her side. She hadn’t ordered them, but the manager saw her and thought she could use some TLC. That’s one reason this vice president for sales and marketing at publishing house in N.Y. stays at the Harbor Light Inn when she’s in the Boston area on business. A Federal period bed and breakfast 15 miles north of the city in Marblehead, Mass., the Harbor Light offers her more of the comforts of home than your typical Hilton of Sheraton. Make that comforts of someone else’s elegant home with high-speed internet, fax machine and conference rooms."

Town & Country Weekend Getaways – Doctors Review "When George Washington visited here, he noted that Marblehead certainly had "the look of antiquity". Some 200 years later you can walk the same twisting streets and see the same mix of merchants mansions and steep gabled fisherman’s cottages that mark this villages 350 year existence as a seaport. The area’s loveliest inn, The Harbor Light Inn, is also located in this area..."


Los Angeles Times – January 1999


Readers Recommend article


San Diego Union Tribune – January 1999


"I recently spent 3 delightful days in this charming yachting town, 18 miles northeast of Boston at the unique Harbor Light Inn."


Colonial Homes Magazine – September 1998


New York Sunday Times – June 1998


"Marblehead’s best known lodging…the Harbor Light Inn built in 1729, the Harbor Light Inn, also a bed and breakfast, is smack in the middle of the old town, an easy walk to the historic houses, the harbor, shops and restaurants. Its backyard looks over a wooded park and the harbor in the distance."


American Way (American Airlines Magazine) – March 1998


"The Harbor Light Inn on Old Town’s Washington Street consists of two handsome eighteenth century houses. There are twenty-one rooms, most with fireplaces, Indian shutters (to repel arrows), and canopy beds."


Daily Record (Morris County New Jersey) – January 1998


"The Harbor Light Inn, located near the 17th century fishing village of Marblehead. Called one of the country’s "10 Most Romantic Inns” by Vacations Magazine, this charming B&B features fireplaces, canopied beds, and double Jacuzzis…There’s even a private rooftop walk for those romantic moonlight strolls. Dinner packages include complimentary champagne in every room and a $50 gift certificate to a local gourmet restaurant. Call 781-631-2186."


Prime Time / Cape Cod & CBS Radio Network – January 1998


"Marblehead Marvel"
"Our verdict: a winner"
"...it’s so romantic that the chill in the air becomes a thrill"


Vacation Magazine – Fall 1994


"If a nautical New England hideaway sounds just right for you, this...inn that has hosted Walter Cronkite (among other notable personalities) is an excellent choice…spared few expenses in creating an elegant atmosphere...guest rooms also are pure luxury."


The Best of New England Travel Guide – 1994


Best Federal Case – "In Marblehead, the Harbor Light Inn has 20 rooms in two, connected, Federalist mansions. Most rooms have a four-poster queen-size bed (some with canopies), 18th century mahogany furniture, and hardwood floors; 12 rooms have working fireplaces. There’s even a heated swimming pool in the courtyard."


Vacations Magazine – Summer 1992


10 Best Romantic Inns – "Marblehead may bill itself as the yachting capital of the world, but even folks who get seasick in the bathtub will fall in love with this quaint seaside community and its Harbor Light Inn..."


Expression (American Express Magazine) – September/October 1991


"New England’s oldest state, Massachusetts, is celebrated for its history, culture and coastline. Just 15 miles north of Boston, The Harbor Light Inn in historic Marblehead makes a perfect holiday hideaway. The blue-grey clapboard building is tucked away on a narrow street near the sea in this pretty village...

This sparkling inn boasts polished wood floors, oriental rugs, silver ice buckets, and chintz chairs, while contrastingly modern bathrooms contain huge mirrors, skylights, and some Jacuzzi tubs. The Harbor Light’s location between Boston and the fascinating old port of Salem, famous for witch-hunts and wealthy sea captains, makes it a great base from which to visit some of New England’s best-known historic landmarks."


New England Travel – March 1990


Three page full color article "New England in a Nutshell" by Debbie J. Karpowicz


North Shore Life – June/July 1990


Bed & Breakfast Retreats article


New England Getaways – January 1987


Cover photo, inside 2 page color spread, photos and article


Talbots Clothing Holiday Gifts Catalog – 1986


Location for entire publication shots

The Harbor Light Inn has also been featured in Fodors Guide, Frommers Guide and Mobil Travel. The inn has also been covered in various newspaper articles including The Boston Globe, New York Times, Los Angeles Times.


For more information about Harbor Light Inn, please call 781-631-2186.