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“M & M, Martin Hill Inn AND Margot” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Martin Hill Inn

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Martin Hill Inn
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404 Islington St, Portsmouth, NH 03801-4208   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 4 Portsmouth B&B and Inns
Emmaus
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“M & M, Martin Hill Inn AND Margot”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013

Both the inn and the hostess, Margot, are magnificent. Our room, the dining room, the lovely backyard, all were delightful. The two breakfasts featured clever and unusual preparations such as peach mousse and baked omelets. Margot had tickets, at discount prices, for Strawberry Banke. The staff were friendly and competent. A short ten minute walk takes you to Market Square with numerous shops and places to eat. A great place to stay for visits to Portsmouth and Mass. Coastal sites a short drive south of the NH. Just a few miles north are the southern most Maine sites so a good location with many tourist options. There was a bit of street traffic noise as we had a front bedroom but other rooms are located away from the front side.

Room Tip: Back rooms would be better if car sounds in evening or early morning are a problem
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
seacoastinn, Owner at Martin Hill Inn, responded to this review, September 1, 2013
So glad you enjoyed your stay. There are indeed so many places to visit and explore in the surrounding area. I have to credit Kizmet with the wonderful peach mousse. We are happy to share the recipe with anyone who wants it. Thank you for taking the time to write about the Inn. We value your feedback and look forward to your next visit.
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135 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

Martin Hill Inn is a beautiful building, in a very convenient location but what sets it apart from other is the hostess Margot upon arrival we were greeted with coffee, lemonade and homemade cookies! We were only spending one night in Portsmouth and Margot was quick to find suggestions for vegetarian friendly restaurants, explain how to get to the city and some of the must-do historical sites of Portsmouth - when only spending a short time in a city having a knowledgable host is pretty invaluable!

The rooms were spacious and well presented, despite being on a ground floor window facing onto the street it was extremely quiet at night. Margot also let us keep our car in the inn for much of the following day which was extremely handy. I would really recommend this inn to anyone, its just a short stroll from the town, the rooms are lovely - lots of character & the little touches like the martin inn printed toiletries really added to the overall atmosphere.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2013

Searching for a place to stay in Portsmouth last minute, I came upon this lnn. Immediately, the price piqued my interest. They only had one queen-size room available but it was reasonably priced for the area.
This inn is just a short walking distance to the town of Portsmouth. Close enough but far enough away from the crowds. The Martin hill had all the characteristics of a b & b; personable, friendly, warm, and charming.
The room we had was clean and pleasing to eye with a cozy sitting area for relaxing with a cup of coffee or glass of wine while gazing out the window.
Bed and room temp were comfortable. Room was quiet.
There also is an amazing garden in the back yard with wild flowers and indigenous greenery.
Breakfast was served pleasantly with options for seconds. Yummy banana pancakes.
If you like the b&b feel with convenience and value and want the New England experience, the Martin hill inn is a great choice to visit Portsmouth

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
seacoastinn, Owner at Martin Hill Inn, responded to this review, October 15, 2013
Thank you for your comment about my gardens. They are a labor of love and it thrills me when people enjoy them as a place to rest, relax and sip an afternoon refreshment. So thank you for enjoying them. If you want the recipe for the banana pancakes, do let us know as we are happy to share.
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Austin, Texas
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

Great and welcoming check in - even helping with ironing an outfit for a quick turnaround. Great knowledge of the area, and where to go and what to do. Margot and Erica were both great in their attentiveness and willingness to help - always with a smile....

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

My husband and I travel often, staying in B&B's whenever possible. This is a fine basic B&B in a good location. The rooms and meals were adequate - nothing special - and grounds were lovely. We felt the price was on the high side for the accommodations. We selected this B&B based on reviews. As we were researching, one review was quite negative, citing the owners attitude. I chalked it up to bad timing, personality clash or a one time event, and went ahead with the reservation. Sadly, and to our surprise, we had our stay marred by a shocking lack of hospitality. For example, when we checked in, the 'innkeeper' - a young woman - led us around to the "common area" (which is really only the dining room as the living room was closed off our entire several day stay) at breakneck speed. I was rushing to keep up with her and she kept several paces ahead of me the entire time. She gave a canned schpeel about the Inn amenities and policies in the same manner as those from airline flight attendants about the safety equipment. It was clear she was in a hot hurry to be elsewhere, so at the end when she asked if we had any questions, we declined to pose any.
We met the owner/host the next morning. As we were getting tea/coffee at breakfast, my husband inadvertently pushed a wrong button on the Kuerig. She berated him on the spot in front of other guests, rudely saying, "that's why we have the little sign there that tells the guests not to change the settings". The host seemed to display false hospitality to us and to other guests, as if she could barely tolerate guests, and was anxious for them to leave. After that incident and our observations, we were anxious to leave too - it definitely colored our stay in Portsmouth. Based on our experience, we can't recommend this B&B.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
seacoastinn, Owner at Martin Hill Inn, responded to this review, June 25, 2013
First I wish to apologize for your less than happy experience at my Inn. It is the last thing I wish to hear and want to make whatever changes might be necessary to prevent any repetition of the experience.

Immediately, I will bring to my Innkeeper's attention your comments on feeling rushed during check in. While her "schpeel" may sound just like one (please remember that we welcome thousands of visitors every year), we certainly do not intend it to be unhelpful or impersonal. I will address with her the speed at which she is moving and the attention she gives to each guest.

As for the "living room being closed off" during your stay, the room you may be referring to was not a living room, but a guest room that was occupied. The common area of the Inn is the dining room, complete with game table and refreshments around the clock, and the gardens.

While I can not guarantee that I remember for certain the incident with the Keurig machine, I believe that I do so I will describe it as best I can. When it became clear that the machine was on the wrong setting and that there was going to be trouble, I tried to deflect any embarrassment away from your husband by stating that we ask guests not to change the settings, but sometimes they do. With a light tone, I tried to imply that it was the person before him (which it probably was). I would never intentionally seek to embarrass a guest for something so trivial and easy to mop up. I believe I did exactly that telling him there was nothing to be concerned about. If I am wrong in my recollection, I apologize and wish to express my deep sorrow at causing him or you and discomfort. I will have to spend some time thinking of another way to react to these little accidents as they do happen from time to time.

Your comments are helpful to us in improving our service and I appreciate the time you took to write this review. Thank you. Sincerely, Margot.
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Los Angeles
Top Contributor
181 reviews 181 reviews
68 hotel reviews
Reviews in 99 cities Reviews in 99 cities
165 helpful votes 165 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013

Throughout May we were on a driving trip through the back roads of New England. We stayed primarily at small inns and b&bs. We LOVED Portsmouth and found the Martin Hill Inn a perfect place to stay. When we arrived mid-May, a staff person welcomed us and recommended a great seafood restaurant within walking distance visited by tourists, but mostly inhabited by locals. It was great. The next morning we met Margot, the owner of the inn. She was most helpful and very pleasant throughout our many exchanges while we were there. Though we stayed in the main part of the inn and did not see any of the extended house, we found the inn to be very beautifully decorated and cared for. The breakfasts were delicious and Margot willingly shares the inns recipes in her very informative notebook located in each room. (If the recipe you want is not there, she will provide it when you ask.) She helped us with restaurants and things to do in Portsmouth. Her shade garden in the back is beautiful and though it was too cool to sit out, she and my husband talked about the plants that were there that we do not see in southern California. On the day we left, she helped us map out a great back roading experience that helped us skip the "highway" and drive along the coast all the way to Camden. We thought the inn was a perfect place to spend our days in Portsmouth.

Room Tip: We chose the Typhoon room upon recommendations from other Trip Advisor folks and found it to be perf...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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seacoastinn, Owner at Martin Hill Inn, responded to this review, June 25, 2013
I am very glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit to Portsmouth. Very few people ask about the gardens and I was thrilled to spend time with you both wandering the property and talking about successful species. Sharing of recipes is also one of my favorite things, so if there were any more that you would like, please let me know.

Out of the way places, special noons and crannies, surprising nature walks, I love telling people about these. Let me know what interests you and I'll do my best.

Hope to see you again very soon. Margot.
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Brooklyn, Connecticut
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

My boyfriend and spent spent two nights at the Martin Hill Inn this past weekend May 24 and May 25, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it. This is a small B&B that shows tremendous attention to detail. You reach the entrance by walking through a beautiful (even in the rain) and well-tended garden. Once inside, you feel as though you've stepped into someone's lovingly appointed home. I was a bit concerned at first that our room "Ranger" might be noisy, as it was on the ground floor right off the entrance. I needn't have worried. There was minimal street noise or noise from other guests. We slept soundly. Our room was decorated with nice-quality antique furniture. We had a four poster queen bed with lovely eyelet trimmed linens. An armoire held plenty of extra pillows and blankets (I always need to ask for extra pillows, so this was a nice touch.) Everything is very clean and in good repair. The en-suite bathroom had a full tub and shower enclosure. Nothing fancy, but spotlessly clean. I appreciated the good hairdryer mounted on the wall. There were plenty of thick, soft, clean towels, and the Inn provides shampoo, conditioner, lotion, makeup remover cloths and wonderfully scented soap. (I always like to know in advance if I'm going to need to bring conditioner or a hairdryer with me.) Our room was made up in a timely fashion, and had many nice touches like an iHome alarm clock, and a convenient bucket for our wet umbrella. Breakfast each morning was absolutely delicious: spinach and artichoke quiche on Saturday, and cornmeal waffles and sausage on Sunday. Margot cooks and serves the breakfast herself, and converses as much or as little as you'd like. I felt like a valued houseguest rather than a paying customer! She remembers your preferences for tea or coffee, and takes all dietary needs into consideration. The breakfast room is small but charming, with the tables beautifully set each morning. In the afternoon she serves tea, although we didn't have an opportunity to partake. The breakfast room is accessible all day, and there is a Keurig machine as well as a tea-brewing machine, and a vast selection of coffees and teas, which guests can help themselves to at any time. We also spotted freshly baked cookies and a basket of puzzles, cards and board games. Margot is extremely knowledgeable about the area, knowing the best places to park, what time shops and attractions open, etc. She was full of helpful suggestions each morning, which were greatly appreciated. The wifi worked well throughout our stay, and our room had a small flat screen TV and a basket of current magazines. Guest comfort is clearly a priority here. My only minor complaint is that the mattress was very firm for our taste, but it didn't affect our sleep. We will happily return!

Room Tip: Ranger is the only room on the ground floor of the main house. It is immediately to the left of the...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Martin Hill Inn

Address: 404 Islington St, Portsmouth, NH 03801-4208
Location: United States > New Hampshire > Portsmouth
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Portsmouth
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Martin Hill Inn provides traditional New England Hospitality in the heart of vibrant Portsmouth, NH. There are two buildings dating from the early 1800's with a large shade garden connecting the property to an off-street parking area for our guests. The Inn has a total of 7 bedrooms in the two buildings. We serve a full complimentary breakfast. Favorite menu items include Banana-Walnut muffins, Orange Cardamom Baked Pears, Baked Ham and Swiss Omelets, Cornmeal waffles with Strawberry sauce and traditional Blueberry pancakes with real 100% maple syrup. The Inn is located a 10-15 minute walk to downtown Portsmouth's shops, restaurants, theaters and museums. We look forward to your visit. ... more   less 

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