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Marblehead Summer House
Reviewed March 1, 2014

I've stayed at the Marblehead Summer House several times since it's been open and I thoroughly enjoyed each visit. I love old homes and architecture and this place is true to its roots. It's quaint and unassuming, balanced with modern comforts (i.e. flat screen TVs and WiFi) and the rooms have all the basics with charm: clawfoot tub, antique dresser, clean and comfortable bed(s), antique chairs and rugs,and authentic fireplaces (though not in use). True, this is not an aristocratic style home nor is it a Marriot but rather that of a working class family from the 1600 or 1700s (that I've gathered from the owner John who is very helpful and lovely). Those notes come through in the modest style of the building and rooms that leave you feeling like you are pleasantly back in time and a world apart.

But I don't go to Marblehead to say in my room all day, I go for the sailing, the historic sites like Fort Seawall, the one of a kind shops, to gawk at the large homes on "the Neck" and to take day trips into Salem and Boston (which are pretty easy to get to by car, bus, or train). I love feeling like a local as I eat breakfast with both tourist and townsfolk alike at the Driftwood Cafe (I recommend the banana pancakes) or the Muffin Shop, both are just a 5 minute walk from the house, if you walk slowly, and are reasonable priced. To unwind I enjoy reading a book in the backyard or on Crocker Park, which is conveniently located right outside of the back gate of the Marblehead Summer House. Two years ago, I bumped into the John, the owner, in the backyard and enjoyed spending an evening drinking wine, entertained with stories of the house and the town, and getting to know the neighbors who apparently help keep an eye on things when the owner is with his family out of state.

Every time I stay, I enjoy chatting with the on-site manager who is an endearing lady and very helpful. I have never had a problem. For me this is the authentic place to stay in Marblehead.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank TinaM1958
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
john m, Owner at Marblehead Summer House, responded to this reviewResponded March 3, 2014

What a wonderful review for both the house, town, Helen, I, and the neighbors! I'm sure they will enjoy reading it. Thank you so much for taking the time and making the effort !!! We hope to see you again soon !!!

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15 - 21 of 22 reviews

Reviewed February 24, 2014

I have traveled to Marblehead Summerhouse for the past three summers and have already booked for this summer in August. I find the quaint surroundings and the incredible location on the park amazing. I travel with two small dogs and the garden is a place of peace and fun for them in the morning. The old world charm is truly comfortable and the staff friendly and very knowledgeable of all the area has to offer. They go above and beyond to make every experience a good one helping with charters to Misery Island and any excursions my son and I were interested in. I will continue to travel to the Marblehead Summer house as an annual summer vacation for as long as I am able and already look forward to this August and my time there.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Alexandria H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
john m, Owner at Marblehead Summer House, responded to this reviewResponded March 3, 2014

Thank you so much for taking the time to give us a wonderful review! I really appreciate the effort and we are looking forward to seeing you again this summer!

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Reviewed February 23, 2014

OK, so this is the first review I've ever written and for good reason(s):

1) This is the first time I've felt strongly enough about a place to write a review.
2) I heard from a friend that knew we have stayed there that a less than perfect critique had recently been posted and thought I would respond with my own impressions.

We have stayed here on three different occasions and each time we have been very pleased by our room and the service.

Let's start with the rooms - each is uniquely pleasant and no two are alike, which is part of the appeal - each time our accommodations were different but no less good. Most importantly, they were CLEAN. We have never had any issues with cleanliness.

Old school tubs are great and the beds have always been quite plush and comfortable. Being a techie, I also appreciated the wifi, which was a nice touch.

The location is one of the MSH's best features. If you are looking to visit historic old town Marblehead, this is THE place to stay. It is within close walking distance of everything you might want to visit as well as full grocery, liquor store (because a little extra vacationing can't hurt) and several decent restaurants. I love the fact that I can park my car and forget it when I stay there.

The fact that you are less than a minute's walk from the ocean cannot be undersold. You open the gate from the back yard, take a few steps through a quiet public park, and you are right on the water. We love to watch the sunrises and listen to the gentle clang of the sailboats' rigging each morning.

John, the owner, has always treated us well. He told us that he grew up in the area and it shows. Whatever we needed or wanted to see, he seemed to know where to find and how to get there. We have no doubt that his recommendations and directions have made our stays both more enjoyable and just plain easier.

My wife and I recommend Marblehead Summer House to anyone traveling to the area and will be sure to stay there next time.

P.S. Come to think of it, it's a pretty good bet that any poster with "Hacker" in their name, usually has an axe to grind and wants to go after someone, so you should probably keep that in mind when reading his post.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank devilman285
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
john m, Owner at Marblehead Summer House, responded to this reviewResponded February 24, 2014

Thank you so much for the wonderful and thoughtful review. I really appreciate the effort. We have enjoyed having you stay with us each time and hope to see you again in the soon!

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Reviewed February 23, 2014

Marblehead Summerhouse is the only place I stay when visiting the Marblehead area. It's quaint and historical, and the owner John is the most accommodating and nicest man. You really feel like you are back in time, which only makes your experience better! We always stay in "N-1" and enjoy the claw foot tub and quick access to downtown Marblehead. Would recommend it to everyone!!!!

To the other reviewer, it's obvious you were looking for a Hotel 6 or something, and you need some different glasses when reading hotel we pages. Get a life!

Room Tip: N-1 is great for a romantic room for a quick couple getaway!
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank LTCOFF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
john m, Owner at Marblehead Summer House, responded to this reviewResponded February 24, 2014

Thank you so much for the wonderful and thoughtful review. I really appreciate the effort. I'll keep N-1 ready for you two and hope to see you again in the soon!

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Reviewed February 21, 2014

My wife and I had a wonderful visit to Marblehead and made all the more enjoyable by staying at the Marblehead Summer House. It was awesome and the hospitality was wonderful. Everything, I mean everything worth doing, was actually within walking distance in Marblehead. plus it was great place to take side trips to Maine and other places during our adventure. Walk to restaurants, parks, stores etc. and take 20 steps out the back gate to the top of he hill overlooking the harbor and I got some of the most spectacular sunrise photos I've ever gotten and I am a professional photographer. I would not think of going anywhere else when back in that area, even if my target destination was something else, I would stay at the Marblehead summer house.

Room Tip: All of them looked great to us, but we liked our access to the back yard so we could get to the near...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Terry M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
john m, Owner at Marblehead Summer House, responded to this reviewResponded February 24, 2014

Thank you so much for the wonderful and thoughtful review. I really appreciate the effort. I'll keep the Lobster Pot ready for you and hope to see you again in the soon!

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Reviewed November 22, 2013

Unless you want an adventure in typical 1700's accommodation, don't come anywhere near this place. Firstly it is not a bed and breakfast: No breakfast. Secondly it is dark and depressing. There is no shower. The old bath tub is your only option.

We reserved two rooms. The reason for staying at this place is that it was the only place in Marblehead that would allow us to reserve a room for only the Saturday night. Now we understand why this is so.

Our first room was adjacent to the water pumps. When anyone in the house used their water, it sounded as if a freight train was in our room.

The lighting was totally inadequate.

When we knocked on the door of the person supposedly in charge on the second floor, we found that nobody was there. When we called the number listed on the door, we reached someone who said she was on her way to Cape Cod and we should call someone else. We did this and were told we should call the owner John, on a Carolina number. (??). We called John who sounded very pleasant and said we should simply change to a room across the hall. OK.

Based on our experiences, we decided to check the our second room for the Saturday night, before our second party arrived. It is odd to simply walk into a room without getting a key. The rooms have codes, which clearly are never changed, so once you use a code to enter a room, you could go at any time with the same code.

So... we entered our second room, which was a nice size with a kitchen. We found old dusty tea and coffee packets on the shelf. On opening the refrigerator, we discovered a lot of old food in takeaway boxes. Disgusting! Obviously the rooms are not cleaned properly. We called John and left a message. Eventually he called back and said that he was having issues with whomever cleans the room. Not our problem! This was around 10am. When we returned with our other party at 6pm the room had still not been cleaned properly.

We also discovered that many of the light bulbs did not work. We had to go to some of the other rooms to find light bulbs which worked and swap them over. Interesting that we could just walk into these rooms.

Added to all of this is the fact that this place is not inexpensive. My recommendation would be to go somewhere else.

Room Tip: Don't!
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Wandering-J-USA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
john m, Owner at Marblehead Summer House, responded to this reviewResponded February 20, 2014

We did drop the ball on this one and are very sorry as I said on the phone when the guest called. It was entirely our fault that we did not check behind the new cleaning company, who I called immediately after I had been made aware of the problem with the cleaning. We just signed up with Yelp today and were surprised to be greeted by this review right after completing our registration, especially since I had done these folks a favor by accepting a one night reservation for some of their friends that were joining our guest during their two night stay. Like most places in Marblehead we too have a two night minimum, (as disclosed on our website), but occasionally we will help someone out with a one night arrangement, which our friends at the Chamber of Commerce are well aware of. This is generally a hassle and not very profitable, but we will do this at times mostly to help people out as there are no hotels in Marblehead. I was also surprised because when I spoke about the issues with our guest, who had made the arrangements for their two night stay, along with their friend's one night stay, he sounded happy to accept a $50 discount on his bill as a way of apologizing for our failure to see that the units had been cleaned to our standards, which would have included the fridge and other kitchen appliances.

Our live-in manager who usually does check behind the maids was off to a wedding on the cape by the time she got the call from our guest. This seemed lead to a BAD STAY. Fortunately, out of the 1,000+ guests we have had over the last 6 years we have only had 3 "bad stays" that I know of. But I do feel badly for each one, as it's no fun for our guest that is having problems at the time.

As for some of the other issues, most are plainly mentioned on our website, for instance on our 1st page: "We're not a B&B and do not serve breakfast, but there are 3 restaurants within a 4 minute walk that do! With the exception of the 3rd Floor Suite the baths do not have showers. They have the original long claw-foot soaking tubs with European shower wand faucets. So, enjoy the bath!"

The age of the house, approaching 300 years, is also prominently mentioned on our website. Rooms were small then especially by Texas standards and they had low ceilings to conserve heat during the New England winters. We have no "water pumps" so I don't know what our guests were hearing unless it was the furnace.

We do leave our unit doors unlock, or open, when units vacant. This is mentioned on the confirmation I email to each guest upon the completion of the booking process prior to their arrival; "Your door will be unlocked upon your arrival."

The door codes to our units are changed after our guest's departure.

I do feel sorry you did not enjoy your stay, and tried to accommodate and compensate you as best I could while you were with us, including giving you an additional room which we would have to pay another $80 to be bussed and the linens laundered. When we decided to try and keep the house reasonably authentic to its 1700's time period we knew that it wouldn't be everyone's, "cup of tea". We are truly sorry it didn't work out for you.

Sincerely,
John Maroney
Owner/Manager

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Reviewed August 18, 2013

Marblehead is a beautiful place to discover on the East Coast. Marblehead Summerhouse house has the same charm as the city, historical and typical. John, the owner, is very friendly and easy going. The room that we had for a week was comfortable, clean and quiet. The Summerhouse is located very close to the sea, restaurants and shops. A must!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Eveline L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
john m, Owner at Marblehead Summer House, responded to this reviewResponded February 24, 2014

Thank you so much for the wonderful and thoughtful review, both here and on Yelp. I really appreciate the effort. We enjoyed having you stay with us and it's great to hear you had a good time too. Hope to see you again in the soon!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Marblehead Summer House

Address: 27 Front St, Marblehead, MA 01945-3261
Location: United States > Massachusetts > Marblehead
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Marblehead
Price Range: $125 - $250 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just 3 miles from the Salem line and the Salem Historic Area, you'll be in the heart of Old Town Marblehead just 200 yards from the Boston Yacht Club, co-sponsor of the Halifax Race. Surrounded by houses built in the 1700’s and 1800’s it's one of the nicest parts of the old village. The house you’ll be staying in was built prior to 1717. We weren’t the USA then you know! Walk through the back gate onto Crocker Park and enjoy swimming off the park’s float, fishing off the rocks, viewing the harbor and its 5 yacht clubs or take in one of the many Marblehead cultural events which take place on the park during the year. During the week of July 4th Crocker Park is one of the centers of activity for the Marblehead Arts Festival. Each of our 5 units include a private full bath, some also include a kitchenette. We're not a B&B and do not serve breakfast, but there are 3 restaurants within a 4 minute walk that do! With the exception of the 3rd Floor Suite the baths do not have showers. They have the original long claw-foot soaking tubs with European shower wand faucets. So, enjoy the bath! ... more   less 

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