“We are by definition a motel,” says Damien Callahan, Director of Operations for The Port Inn. “But we capitalize on the fact that we’re small, charming, unique – not a big corporate hotel.” The 57-room property consists of two buildings and 12 room types, ranging from economy rooms to suites with kitchenettes, ideal for longer stays. Built in 1955, the Port is owned by brothersJim and Mark Bouzianis, and has been in the family for some 40 years.
Although the establishment is located on the Portsmouth Traffic Circle, it’s surprisingly quiet. “Just the front is exposed to the road,” Callahan explains. “The rest goes in toward the neighborhood.”
The motel aspect means you can drive up to your room, although there’s also a hotel element, as some rooms, accessible through an exterior corridor, are located on a second story. The décor is Pottery Barn style. All rooms include floating flat-screen TVs, desks, mini fridges, microwaves, and both wireless and hardwired internet access. “We’re quintessentially New England, but cutting edge as far as technology goes,” Callahan says.
Clientele include long-term guests working for the Navy and area corporations, as well as many Europeans and Canadians. Warmer months see a lot of families, who enjoy the large outdoor swimming pool, availability of barbecue grills and equipment on the property, and the access to Water Country. Callahan says they also promote the hotel locally as an inexpensive in-town vacation. “We try to make sure our rates are generally the lowest in the area.”
Rates range from $89 to $229, depending on the room size and the season, and include a continental breakfast of pastries, When Pigs Fly breads, bagels, spreads, and coffee and tea. This week, mention Restaurant Week for a $79.95 rate. One of the most popular packages, offered November through April, is the long-running Shop & Stay Getaway. For $189.95 you get two nights plus a welcome bag with wine, cheese, and chocolates, along with discount coupon books to all the stores at the outlets in Kittery, Maine, and at the Fox Run Mall in Newington, N.H. In addition, several downtown Portsmouth businesses offer their own discount coupons.
The Port Inn
505 US Highway 1 Bypass
at the Portsmouth Traffic Circle
Toll Free 1-800-282-PORT