I recently stayed at the Henry Derby House, and my experience was every bit wonderful! From the moment we met Phil and Jocelyn (and beautiful baby Xander) they made us feel welcome! Actually, before we even got there, with what seemed like my million questions and multiple emails, Phil was patient, and kind, and never made me feel like I was bothering him.
When our party arrived (4 adults, 2 teens) Philip warmly greeted us and showed us around. I stayed in the Yellow Room with the two teens (a queen size bed and a twin bed, both very comfy) and my friend and her party stayed in the Mauve and Gold rooms. I should also mention both rooms had window air conditioners that worked great. The Yellow Room has a private bathroom upstairs with it, and the Mauve and Gold rooms have use of a private bathroom downstairs. But, being family, we all shared both bathrooms when needed. (IF you are the type of person who is not comfortable being around others, or having to go downstairs in pajamas and possibly encountering others, then this is probably not the place for you.) After we dropped our luggage, we wandered back downstairs, and got coffee and tea from the dining room breakfront. There a Kureig was set up, with coffees, teas, hot chocolate, cider, and some other goodies. This was available 24/7. There were pastries on the table too, which was good for a nibble. We briefly spoke to Jocelyn and Phil at that time, as they explained that it would be a lighter continental breakfast available in the morning, as their kitchen was in the process of being remodeled. Well, the "light" breakfast the next morning was cookies, muffins, danish, bagels, English muffins, fresh fruit and yogurt; I'm sure I'm forgetting some things. Wow!
We then went into town, and pretty much everything was a quick walk downhill; within 10 minutes we were at the Salem Trolley Depot, and that was more meandering than walking. And although we didn't realize it, there were numerous other ways to go into town, as Henry Derby really is located in a great area!
It was at breakfast that we really got to meet Phil and Jocelyn, and Xander, as they joined us for some time in the living room (it was raining and we were waiting for it to stop before leaving for the day.) It was like talking with family; like staying at your cousin's house for a weekend, and never running out of things to talk about or having awkward pauses! I even tried to help clean up the dishes from breakfast but Jocelyn would have none of that! Later that day we met back up with them at the house, prior to dinner, and got some helpful information on where to go for dinner, what other things to see in town, and so on. We even happily exchanged ghost stories about the Henry Derby! I also got the impression that if you're not a big people person, Jocelyn and Phil would respect your wishes for privacy because truly, there could not be more accommodating innkeepers.
The house has a lovely, historic, lived in, and LOVED vibe to it, and although I do believe that there are ghosts there, there was never any type of negative experience or emotion. Now, please don't forget that this is a Historic home, and as such, the Marchands must adhere to strict codes for the outside of the building (yes, the windows may rattle...they didn't have double pane energy efficient windows in the 1800's! I say this because I read another review where someone was bashing the outside of the home!) Don't go in expecting that everything will look glitzy and glamorous, like a flashy modern McMansion! If you want that, stay in Boston and day trip to Salem. DO go there expecting that you will feel welcomed, that you will be staying in a part of living history, that you will be in close proximity to the downtown area, and that you will make new friends, because that is exactly what happened to us!
The house is wonderful, very lived in which is a wonderful contrast with modern hotels. A very warm feel to it. The furniture fit with the house.The bedrooms give you the impression of stepping back in time. The beds a very comfortable and the breakfast great for a B&B. The place is very clean. The owners, Phillip and Jocelyn, are very warm and make you feel like part of their family. Great conversation and tips for places to visit or eat. I traveled with my sister and the room we had really feel like two separate rooms. Very central you can walk to the attractions, museums and restaurants. When you look at the maps in the tourism booklets it's very deceptive as everything is so very close by. I'm already looking forward to the chance to go back. Yvon (Montreal, Canada)
This was really a home away from home. Such a wonderful house in a brilliant location. The owners were so kind and welcoming - it really made a difference to my extended stay in Salem. I would highly recommend anyone to stay here any time of year. Fantastic food stores near and around and the town centre is so close. The rooms are very neat and tidy and filled to the brim with cute embroideries and reminders of Salem's past.
I stayed at the Henry Derby House this October just before Halloween and I have never been more impressed with a hotel before.
The owners Philip and Jocelyn could not have been kinder, offering a personal and friendly stay to not only myself but all the guests.
Every morning all the guests sat down for breakfast together, shared stories and opinions on places to visit, we were joined by Jocelyn each morning, which was a beautiful touch, she even introduced us to their new born(Adorable!!)
The hotel was fantastic, clean, comfortable and homely.
It's a perfect distance from the main roads of Salem but easy enough to walk down in a few minutes!
If you are looking for the best experience possible I implore you to stay here.
I would fly back tomorrow given half the chance.
Thank you to Philip, Jocelyn and Alison for the most perfect stay and making my dream of visiting Salem real.
Christina (Wales, UK)
This gem is set within 5-10 minutes walking distance of ALL the local attractions; a rental car is a total waste of money. The home was beautifully modeled and the beds were comfy. The hosts were a dream! They were accommodating and reachable for any and all our needs. Breakfast was delicious with a special touch of homemade goodies. As far as bed and breakfasts go this home is top notch!! If you are going to visit Salem you should definitely book with Jocelyn and Phillip!!