The Sise Inn is a just right balance between a bed and breakfast and a small hotel. The property looks like a Queen Anne mansion – which it was. John E. Sise (rhymes with “nice”), a 19th-century Portsmouth businessman, built the house around 1881. Just over a century later, the structure was renovated, expanded, and turned into an inn. Current co-owner Diane Hoden has been the innkeeper since 2002. “It’s a blend,” she says. “You get the feel of being in a more homey atmosphere with the personalized service of a B&B, yet we have all the modern amenities of a small hotel, and someone is here on site 24–7.”
Part of the homey atmosphere are the accommodations. There are 23 rooms and 11 suites, and each is uniquely decorated. The décor is Victorian, with floral wallpaper and antiques. “Each room is different – it’s not a cookie-cutter setup,” Hoden says. “We have guests who want ‘their’ room, and people who want to experience different rooms each time.”
The Executive Rooms have full, queen, or twin beds. Executive Suites are junior suites with sitting areas, and Chairman Suites each have queen beds, DVD players, and different special tubs, including a two-person whirlpool, a Grecian soaking tub, and an old-fashioned clawfoot tub in the bridal suite.
The hotel caters to both business and leisure travelers, and is the exclusive hotel used by Road Scholars (vacations organized by Elderhostel) in Portsmouth, which offers several trips to the area every year. The location is terrific – right in town, walking distance to great restaurants and activities. Plus, the parking is free.
An expanded continental breakfast comes with the room, including cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, fresh fruit, and various breads and muffins. Coffee and tea are available all day, with fresh baked cookies in the afternoon. The inn offers free wifi. For small meetings, there are three conference rooms. Rates vary depending on the room and the season, and range from $119 to $279. Rates are particular good in January, with midweek specials offered Sunday through Thursday that start at $100.