The Colony Hotel is a rarity – it’s not part of a chain. The 125-room property has been in the Boughton and Banta families since 1948. The establishment includes three buildings, plus two vacation rental style houses. According to General Manager John Martin, there are nine different room types, because the sprawling red-roofed main building, which dates to 1913 or 1914 (it’s debated), was constructed during an area when guests would bring servants with them, who would have smaller rooms.
Seven years ago a 1950s Plum Island inn was transformed into blue (lowercase “b”), The Inn on the Beach. General Manager David Geiger describes it as “a South Beach style boutique hotel with New England undertones.” Like its Floridian counterpart, Plum Island is a barrier island. Much of it is a nature reserve, known for its birds. Blue is open year-round, and is the only hotel on Plum Island.
Twenty years ago, in 1992, brothers Herman and Anthony Ejarque decided to temporarily change careers and open a bed and breakfast in Rochester. The early 1900s building had once been the home of New Hampshire Governor Huntley Spaulding. “When we started, we didn’t think we’d be here so long,” says Herman. “We thought it would be a fun project to get it going, then we’d turn it over to some couple who’d run it.”
The Sise Inn is a just right balance between a bed and breakfast and a small hotel. The property looks like a Queen Anne mansion – which it was. John E. Sise (rhymes with “nice”), a 19th-century Portsmouth businessman, built the house around 1881. Just over a century later, the structure was renovated, expanded, and turned into an inn. Current co-owner Diane Hoden has been the innkeeper since 2002. “It’s a blend,” she says. “You get the feel of being in a more homey atmosphere with the personalized service of a B&B, yet we have all the modern amenities of a small hotel, and someone is here on site 24–7.”
The White Barn Inn is all about a relaxing getaway – this is not a quick stop for a business trip. It’s also about luxury and romance, with well-appointed rooms, an onsite spa, and an award-winning gourmet restaurant located in a converted white barn. The inn is part of the Relais & Châteaux group, one of only 40 such accommodations in the U.S., and they have to meet strict standards to qualify. “It’s very, very special,” says innkeeper Corinne Finn-Heyl. “We welcome every guest with a glass of champagne, and guests receive a fruit bowl and flower arrangement in their room.”