A giant fireplace-anchored common room greets you as you enter The Old Salt & Lamie’s Inn & Tavern (490 Lafayette Rd., Hampton, 603/926-0330, www.oldsaltnh.com , $89–105), where its 32 brick-walled guest rooms have canopied king, queen, or double beds. The house’s cocktail lounge and restaurant, The Old Salt, is open daily and offers room service and Sunday brunch.
Furnished with an international collection of antiques and artifacts, the 19th-century Inn at Christian Shore (335 Maplewood Ave., Portsmouth, 603/431-6770, www.innatchristianshore.com , $135–155) has original fireplaces and hand-hewn beams. The five rooms have quilts and crocheted blankets, fireplaces, and hand-stocked bookshelves.
The former home of New Hampshire Governor Charles Dale, the stately Georgian Governor’s House (32 Miller Ave., Portsmouth, 603/427-5140, www.governors-house.com , $180–250) is a mix of history and modernity. Chambers come with luxuries such as Frette linens, wireless Internet access, Bose wave radios, fridges, mahogany sleigh beds, and coffeemakers. There’s also wine and cheese offered every evening, and complimentary bikes—though it’s just a ten-minute walk to downtown Portsmouth .
There are seven cozy guest rooms in quiet, colonial
Inn at Strawbery Banke ((314 Court St., Portsmouth, 603/436-7242, www.innatstrawberybanke.com , $160–170). Breakfasts are always memorable (especially if it happens to be the house’s sourdough-and-blueberry pancakes), and are served in the sunny breakfast room overlooking a strawberry patch.
The butter-yellow, 1809 building belonging to Inn By The Bandstand (4 Front St., Exeter, 603/772-6352, www.innbythebandstand.com , $150–190) sits two blocks from Phillips Exeter Academy . Rooms come loaded with frills both literal (think lots of toile and garden patterned–linens) and otherwise (amenities like free wireless Internet, CD players, and goose-down comforters). The inn offers airport pickup in a hybrid vehicle for $75 from Manchester and $85 from Boston (available to non-guests for $10 more).