Twenty years ago, in 1992, brothers Herman and Anthony Ejarque decided to temporarily change careers and open a bed and breakfast in Rochester. The early 1900s building had once been the home of New Hampshire Governor Huntley Spaulding. “When we started, we didn’t think we’d be here so long,” says Herman. “We thought it would be a fun project to get it going, then we’d turn it over to some couple who’d run it.”
In 1992, the Governor’s Inn opened as a five-room b&b, and it was an immediate success. The warm response inspired the brothers to stick around and expand. Today, the property includes 20 rooms in two houses – the Ejarques later purchased the adjacent property, home of Huntely’s brother Rolland, also a former New Hampshire Governor. There’s a ballroom that can hold up to 230, several smaller functions rooms, and two restaurants.
The 20 rooms vary in size, and rates range from $88 to $149, depending on the day of the week and the season. “Each room is unique,” says Herman. “You’re not going into cookie cutter-style hotel rooms.” All have private baths, cable, and wireless. Some have period décor like elaborate molding, raised wallpaper, and marble fireplaces.
A stay includes a “continental plus” breakfast, with homemade honey-almond granola and breakfast breads like zucchini, as well as muffins, juices, and coffee and tea. Offered through the end of June is the Winter Romance Package for $149. It includes champagne and chocolates in your room, a three-course dinner for two, and breakfast.
The hotel has two restaurants, helmed by Executive Chef Marlo Perl. The Spaulding Steak & Ale is a casual neighborhood joint with an extensive dinner menu. Offerings range from burgers to seafood to filet mignon, and several veggie choices; plus several veggie choices; nothing is over $20. Through the end of the year, you can get a three-course meal for $20 (commemorating the inn’s 20th anniversary). The Garage at the Governor’s Inn is opening in a few weeks, offering lunch six days a week and dinner on weekends.
A special component of the Governor’s Inn is entertainment. When the brothers were in high school, Herman says, they were known for their parties. The hotel does a big wedding business, and also has an ongoing comedy series and a summer music series.
78 Wakefield Street