"Welcome to The Hotel Portsmouth"
Manchester, NH - The following article appeared in the Portsmouth Herald on May 18th, 2014.
Welcome to The Hotel Portsmouth
Owners completely revamp historic inn
By Toby Hatchett
PORTSMOUTH - Dan Innis and Doug Palardy bought the former Sise Inn in November 2013. Just a little over four months later, The Hotel Portsmouth was launched.
"We've completely renovated the interior," Palardy said. "Every en suite bathroom has been totally redone, floors stripped, walls stripped and painted or wallpapered."
The attention to detail and design is obvious. The subdued colors, lighting and comfortable furnishings all reflect the amount of work and planning that went into the renovation of the historic hotel. There are even homegrown orchids displayed in beautiful vases.
"After selling our former hotel, the Ale House," Innis said, "we wanted a new challenge and this was just such a challenge."
No interior designer was hired. Palardy and Innis have done the design themselves, from selecting the Dyson Air Mulitiplier fans in the guest rooms to the toiletries, premium linens and flat-screen HD televisions. The handpicked parrot wallpaper with whimsical birdcage sconces in the sunroom is but one example of the quality and charm of the design.
"We're certainly not a cookie-cutter hotel," said Innis, former dean of the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire. "We're an independently owned, independently run hotel. We live here, we work here and our care and involvement shows in what we are creating."
The Hotel Portsmouth has 32 guest rooms, including family suites and one room that is dog or cat friendly. This room is already proving popular as the word gets out.
"On our second weekend open, we sold out," Palardy said. "It was very exciting. The reception to what we've created has been wonderful."
The reception desk is topped with wood the couple found in Vermont. An antique American flag hangs behind the desk. There is a gift shop that sells hotel souvenirs such as mugs and T-shirts, classic umbrellas, maple syrup and more local and regional items.
"We've used local Seacoast crews for this project," Palardy said. "Plainspoke designers are doing our print work and PixelMEDIA for Web site and media, both in Portsmouth."
There are many amenities. Each guest room has parking. The common rooms include a lounge, library/study, parlor, sunroom and breakfast room. There is even a state-of-the-art water-filtering machine with a choice of flat or bubbly purified water. Soon there will be a guest lounge and bar. Outside, a two-level garden terrace is in preparation and guests will be able to sit outside and enjoy the gardens.
"I think we'll double the occupancy rate," Palardy said. "We offer a unique hotel experience. Two of our family suites even have bunk beds. The pet room has its own private dog patio."
Palardy said the décor style is modern Victorian.
For this first summer, the rooms will have portable air-conditioning units. By next summer, the hotel will have central air.
Palardy is on-site full time and describes his role as general manager and hotelier. There is a full-time staff of 10, with three housekeepers and one night manager from the former Sise Inn management.
"We also have two conference rooms, one that will accommodate up to 36 people and the other one 12 people," Innis said. "The rooms have large flat-screen panels. We offer catering services. Already these rooms are being booked by area businesses."
It is notable that every ceiling in the 22,000-square-foot hotel had popcorn in the panels that had to be removed by hand. The hotel is as green and energy efficient as possible.
"We're really excited to be able to keep this place as a fine, historical hotel from the 1880s," Palardy said, "but with the best modern amenities possible."
"This could have turned into more condos, but it didn't," Innis said. "This is the kind of hotel many people want to stay in when they visit historic Portsmouth. It's wonderful to keep this hotel as an independent hotel in an independent state."