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“a bed and sort-of breakfast”
Review of Stepping Stone Inn

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Stepping Stone Inn
Ranked #4 of 9 Salem B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
1 review
“a bed and sort-of breakfast”
Reviewed August 15, 2011

When I think of a bed and breakfast inn, I think of warmth and hospitality, and this inn doesn’t really have those qualities. It’s clean and located in an ideal spot for walking to everything in historic Salem, but those are the only real pros. The wireless signal was also very good, contrary to what another review said. Everything else – service, décor, breakfast, and use of facilities – is minimal. The inn is not inviting; lights in the sitting room are on timers, so you can’t read or hang out before/after certain hours, discouraging you from spending time in them. Breakfast offerings are scant (cereal, one type of fruit, and thinly sliced cake plus coffee/tea are your only options), served strictly from 8:30am to 10am (if you come down at 8:25, for example, coffee is NOT being served yet). If you’re traveling in the summer, rooms with central AC are very hot and uncomfortable (AC is not used unless you ask for it). The bedrooms are quite small (understandable, as it is an old house), but they are also very plain, and the pillows/bedding are hard and flat as wood. Essentially, you are expected to abide by the owner’s personal preferences and schedule, which does NOT make me feel like a guest. Overall, I suppose it was an okay experience; it was definitely the most affordable hotel in the area, though not the most bang for your buck. If I return to Salem, I would not stay here.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Melissa T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jbrick111, Owner at Stepping Stone Inn, responded to this review, August 17, 2011
I would like tyo say to the young lady who stayed with me on or near the 16 of Aug that I feel really hurt and bad the Inn was not what you expected. First I would like to say the living room is always open an yes there is one light on a timer but the rest of the lights are available for people to turn on and use. Usually there is no problem ( once again I apologize to you) It is never my intention to have a unhappy guest and as for the A C I do keep the temp at 70 deg. I feel bad that was not to your liking. But I do have coffee ready at 8 20 n the morning and must have been one day that I was not ready, but will learn from your comments and do want to say I work very hard to please my guests. If ever in Salem again please stop by so I can tell you in person how badly I feel I wish you the best in travel s I have learned from your comments and will continue to be the best I can be once again thank you your host JOHN
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219 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (45)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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English first
Garden Grove, California
Level Contributor
31 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 220 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2011

If you are staying in Salem and can't get into one of the twoo hotels in town (Hawthorne Hotel OR the Salem Waterfront Hotel) the a B&B would be the way to go as there are MANY in town.
IF you are planning a Halloween trip to Salem, here is a very importantn fact that I keep to myself: BOOK YOUR ROOM AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE. I'm not kidding, people. THat small town fills up for Halloween by February. No lie.
I LOVE staying with proprietor, John Brick and his cat at the Stepping Stone Inn becasue its right in the heart of the Historic Disetrict where all the Haunted Happening & Festival of the Dead events are happening. Seriously, Halloween is delivered to your doorstep! EVERYTHING is in walking distance. There is no need to rent a car as you can take the train anywhere. Its only a pleasant 30 min scenic trip to Boston. You can relax and see the changing leaves!

John is very friendly an accomodating. Example: Before my first visit to the Stepping Stone, I'm a performer and was on tour with Disney doing a show one February in Braintree, just south of Boston, and had a day free, so I went up to Salem to visit friends that I had met the Halloween before. I rang the bell of the Stepping Stone to inquire about a room for the upcoming Halloween season. John let me look through the many unoccupied rooms and let me choose the one I wanted. It was the off season so I got to see 5 different rooms. I put down a deposit that very day. How many other people will let you tour the property and pick your own room? That's great customer service.

The breakfast that is served is sparce and minimal , which is really my ONLY complaint--in fact, after having coffee there in the morning, I go to RED'S Sandwich Shoppe for breakfast. (Its more than a sandwich shop, with an extensive menu, good sized portions and teeny tiny prices. You'll love it!) Its my favorite place to eat in Salem. I know you'll be very pleased with it too.

The Stepping Stone is RIGHT NEXT DOOR to the Salem Witch Museum and across the street from the Hawthorne Hotel, where many of the parties and Halloween events take place.
I wouldn't stay anywhere else. Most rooms only have one bed and are small.
Breakfast only lasts till about 9:30am and then its GONE. They don't wait for you.
There is no real room service besides a daily maid cleaning.
Parking is extremly limited, but remember, you really don;t need a car--even if you want to visit Boston. Believe me, you don't want to drive those narrow streets in Boston. Best to takle the train (really cheap) or a cab. And remember, friends, Book your room in Salem for Halloween early!--even if you stay somewhere else, BOOK EARLY for HALLOWEEN!

Room Tip: Book early!
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  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank FlyingWitch13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jbrick111, Owner at Stepping Stone Inn, responded to this review, August 26, 2011
would like to say thanks for lyour review and I know it takes time to write in this busy time but I thank you for taking the time. Do have some up date information to give and that the cont breakfast is served from 8 30 - 10 Am. Second any one who is driving I will give them a parking pass for the city garage half block from the Inn so they can have off street parking. Yes one can walk to all points of interest and no car is needed. I look forward to seeing you again in Salem and yes Halloween is a fun time to visit Salem.
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Oswego, New York
1 review
Reviewed July 4, 2011

It was nice, We had never stayed in a B&B before and this was very different and we would stay here again. My room was clean!!
I don't agree with the other comment. The computer signal was good, my computer wasn't slow and I never got booted off. I didn't hear any noise from any other room and I couldn't hear the people above me. He was very nice and gave us a lot of info. He also gave us info on Plymouth and other places to go. The coffee and bread was very good.
We didn't have a reservation and called and he had a opening on the 4th of July weekend. I had to call him back because I was lost and he stayed on the phone with me until we got their. Yes you do have to park in a garage but it is very close and free. There is no parking anywhere. We got lucky and went to the store and when we got back to the Inn there was a parking spot right out front. The cat is very sweet too!!!!
Thank you

Room Tip: Very clean
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tazzie0408
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
White Mountains, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
32 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2010

The location is perfect and the owner COULD NOT be any nicer! I would probably choose to stay in the large hotel right down the street next time we're in Salem for a few reasons.
If you have any problems with narrow stairs, or a lot of stairs, request to stay on the first or second floor. We stayed on the third floor and it was nearly immpossible to get our luggage up there! The house certainly have character but the stairs up to the third floor are steep and narrow! If anyone in your party has even a remotely hard time getting around the third floor rooms are simply not an option. The other problem (due to the layout of the house) is the bathrooms are microscopic. You cannot even turn around in the shower it's so small. I hate to fault a place for something that really cannot be changed but for those reasons I just would not stay here again.
One other complaint would be the breakfast. There really is none. There is slices of a homemade bread, small boxes of cereal and a jug of milk, and some fruit cut up. That's it. It's literally the lightest most unsatisfying breakfast I have every had at a B&B.
But on the positive side, the location is great and the owner is so nice :)
The other thing to keep in mind (I'm not sure if this is the same for the large hotel down the street or not) but you have to get a pass from the owner and park your car a few blocks away in a large parking garage - that was kinda a pain. Character of the house,a nd niceness of the owner aside, I would not stay here again for the reasons above.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jessica B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Not near Boston
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 21, 2010

I've been to a number of inns and this inn was definitely a disappointment. The room was loud and lacked enough outlets for charging computer and phones. Don't bother trying to use wifi. Weak to no signal. Not only could you hear all the street noise, you could hear other guests snoring in their rooms (who left their light on all night and lit up our room).

The bedspread and coverings on the pillows are obviously not washed after each guest. Each request was met with a sigh as if it were a bother for the inn keeper to be doing his job.

The inn offers a breakfast but we were so tired from lack of sleep during the night, we skipped it.

The vibe is far better at the nearby Hawthorne Hotel.

The best things about The Stepping Stone are meeting the housecat and leaving. It is NOT a welcoming place.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank selinakyle88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jbrick111, Owner at Stepping Stone Inn, responded to this review, November 10, 2010
In reading your response I was very disappointed to read your reaction after saying that those things can happen and how sorry I was for the person snoring in the next room .. Again I say that is too bad and feel that I tried to make things but you were at the time ok now you have another opinion. Sorry but you were not h appy but I wish you the best and thing are cleaned on a regular basis but being up set I can no w see there was nothing right sorry have a good day an happy traveling day in the future
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spring City, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
22 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2010

stayed two night at this great B&B. free parking at the garage two blocks away.

we had a third floor room which was very nice. the bathroom of course was on the small side but it worked and was clean . with fresh towels and wash clothes provided.


we did not partake in the breakfast part of our stay because or day where much to busy and started to early. but from what i saw it was a nice continental spread . with several tables set up in one room.

our inn keeper was a delight and really new the area and the attractions well.
Bridget the cat was also a very good hostess.

this is a very low interaction B&B so i would recommend it for other first timers.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank firestopr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
winston salem, North Carolina
1 review
Reviewed June 21, 2010

Stayed two nights to tour Salem. Inn was spotless, room was spotless. John felt like a family member you had not seen in a while. Location was great, had free parking at the parking deck 1 block away. WiFi worked well. Host was able to answer all questions and give great advise on local foods, history and other local drives. Inn is over 250 years old, did not expect it to be loaded with extras. Hope to be able to book again on our next visit to Salem.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RobinFred
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Stepping Stone Inn

Property: Stepping Stone Inn
Address: 19 Washington Square North, Salem, MA 01970
Location: United States > Massachusetts > Salem
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 9 B&Bs / Inns in Salem
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Stepping Stone Inn 2.5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Having the very best location in Salem, the Stepping Stone Inn boasts six beautiful and newly-renovated guest rooms, each with private bath, iPhone charging alarm clocks, free wifi, free parking, fresh flowers and tasteful decor. We are right next door to the Salem Witch Museum and across the street from the Salem Common and the Hawthorne Hotel. Ditch the car and walk absolutely everywhere! Under brand new ownership, the Stepping Stone Inn warmly invites you to enjoy the spacious parlor and the cozy dining room with free 24-hour gourmet coffee, tea and hot chocolate service, which is the perfect ending to your lovely evening out in charming, historic Salem. ... more   less 
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