Rockport MA—Experience seaside luxury lodging at The Emerson Inn.
Rockport is the quintessential coastal New England town. Located on the tip of Cape Ann Peninsula, Rockport blends natural beauty and nautical charm. Piles of lobster traps decorate the piers and Motif No. 1. The 1840s fishing shack, one of the most painted and photographed scenes on the east coast, reigns from Bradley Wharf. Rockport is, quite simply, a mix of fishermen and artists, pine forests and granite quarries, beautiful beaches, hiking paths, saltbox houses, and stately mansions.
Seaside Luxury Lodging
A short walk or drive up Granite Street from the town’s harbor takes you to the Emerson Inn, a classic Massachusetts seaside hotel. Situated on beautiful Pigeon Cove, the Emerson Inn is the only historic grand hotel on Cape Ann. Dating to the early-19th century, the inn started out as the Pigeon Cove Tavern and was located closer to Downtown Rockport.
When 200 townswomen decided to destroy all the liquor in town in 1856, the owner turned the tavern into an inn to accommodate the travelers who had discovered the beauty of the area.
Ralph Waldo Emerson fell in love with Pigeon Cove after Henry David Thoreau brought him to the area for a hike along the coast.
Subsequent owners moved the original inn to its present location and enlarged it for use as a boarding house from 1871 to 1911. In 1911, new owners turned it into The Edward Hotel. They had the first telegraph, gas, electricity, and telephone service on the cove. Over the years, the inn had several changes in ownership and style. In 1965, the owners christened it The Ralph Waldo Emerson Inn, and Room 207 still stands in homage to the great writer.
Renovation and rejuvenation
When the Migis Hotel Group bought the inn, they renovated and rejuvenated the entire property to combine legacy with luxury. While they maintained the historic feel of the inn, they got rid of the dark colors, dated wallpapers, aging carpet, and heavy drapes. They replaced them with soothing paint colors, white molding, refinished wood floors, and shades.
The grand parlor, painted a beautiful seafoam green with white accents, anchors the inn’s signature staircase and offers parlor tables, sofas, and chairs. Artwork by local artists grace the walls, and the windows provide that view that only nature can deliver. During the day, soft music plays in the background, and late in the afternoon, the staff changes it to a more up-tempo genre to welcome guests to the bar and restaurant.
Luxury seaside lodging
The inn’s 36 rooms vary in size and view (five categories) and can accommodate everyone from single travelers to families. Painted a calming grey with white trim, each room has a private bath (shower and tub), hairdryer, telephone, cable, free Wi-Fi, air conditioner, and reading chair. There are two-bedroom suites that offer two separate sleeping areas, which are perfect for families or groups.
Luxury linens cover the comfortably cozy beds, and there are several pillows on them. Each bathroom has Gilchrist & Soames luxury bath products—soap, shampoo, and conditioner.
Rooms on the east side of the inn—including a few that have balconies—overlook the expansive lawn, pool, and ocean. The rooms on the west side of the hall have views of the neighborhood, which, believe me, is charming in its own right.
The inn does not have an elevator, so to get to most rooms, you must climb steps. There are, however, two handicap-accessible rooms, and the front entrance is handicap accessible.
Guests who book rooms through the Emerson Inn’s website enjoy complimentary breakfast with their room. There is a business center with computer and printer should you need them, and they have a few table games and cards for guests who want to play them. In addition, the inn provides coffee, tea, and cookies each day.
The Pigeon Cove Tavern offers casual, upscale dining at the Emerson Inn. Guests can enjoy typical New England fare—chowders, lobster rolls, locally sourced fish, and more—dining in the parlor or dining room or on the deck overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
The Emerson has a conference center with meeting and banquet facilities and a great view of the ocean. They host weddings in the grand parlor and on the lawn.
The veranda of the Emerson Inn overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, making it the perfect place to sit and watch the grand expanse of water meet the sky at Cathedral Rocks. From the lawn and veranda, guests can relax on Adirondack chairs, play horseshoes, or croquet, or watch divers or lobster boats. Large granite rock formations line the lawn and coast, and there is no sand beach on the property. Instead, the Emerson has a lovely pool overlooking the ocean. From the back area of the inn, guests can also access the Atlantic Trail, a walking path that hugs the rocky coast.
The Emerson Inn has five room categories, and prices vary according to the room type, season, date, etc. Because the inn is open only during the summer tourist season, it’s best to check availability and rates on their website.
The attentive staff, the comfortable accommodations, the fresh sea air, and the fresh fare all combine to make the Emerson Inn a delightful place to stay.
About Christine Cutler ~ Christine is a writer, photographer, editor, guide, teacher, traveler, Ohio native, Florida resident, and world citizen. She lives in Downtown St Petersburg with her husband and crazy Welsh Terrier but can’t sit still very long. In addition to maintaining her own websites Cold Pasta and Red Wine and Christine Cutler, she is executive editor of Food, Wine, Travel Magazine; a travel, non-fiction, and memoir writer; a photographer; and editor whose work has appeared in various publications. A dual Italian-American citizen, she spends as much time as she can exploring Italy.
Q: If I can’t travel, how can I be a travel writer?
A: Yes – How I Became a Travel Writer by Staying Home.