Ashworth by the Sea – History in the Making
Built in 1912 by Colonel George Ashworth, the Ashworth by the Sea was one of the first hotels on Hampton Beach’s Ocean Boulevard. For over 100 years, thousands of visitors have enjoyed New Hampshire’s only full-service, oceanfront hotel.
In the Mid-50’s, Paul Grandmaison, became the first official General Manager of the Ashworth by the Sea. Then, in the fall of 1953, Paul and his brother Norman, leased the Ashworth, eventually purchasing it in the summer of 1954. Thereafter, the two brothers operated the hotel seasonally for the next 15 years and in 1969 opened its doors for year-round operation. Paul’s son, John Grandmaison, joined the Ashworth management team in 1975.
In 1980, a large expansion with a new building doubled the size of the property, and another undertaking completely renovated the original Ashworth building in 1986.
In 2006, after five decades of Grandmaison family hospitality, the Grandmaison family entrusted their life’s work of this beautifully grand historic hotel to Mark Schleicher and Mark Stebbins of Schleicher and Stebbins Hotels. The new owners, along with Leo Xarras, are now known as XSS Hotels, which own over 25 hotels along the east coast and have several hospitality properties in the pipeline. Colwen Management Inc. manages the Ashworth by the Sea and all of the properties owned by XSS Hotels.
Since 2006, when the Ashworth changed hands, over two million dollars have gone into the restoration and upgrades of the property. The Ashworth’s dining facility, Breakers Restaurant and Bar, has seen a beautiful renovation including a restored stone fireplace, wrap-around bar, enlarged windows to improve beach views, and an expanded dance floor to make the most of entertainment. The Sand Bar outdoor sun deck’s improvements have made it a popular Summer spot for light meals, cold beverages, live entertainment and beautiful beach views. The newly renovated Wharfside Café offers a hearty year-round breakfast. Beginning in Spring 2014, the hotel will receive an exterior update renovation including new guestroom sliding glass doors and beautiful glass balconies for a perfect view of the Atlantic Ocean.
Over the years, the Ashworth has played host to many special occasions with their chef-catered weddings, corporate meetings & retreats and other social gatherings held in their beautiful and spacious function rooms, which have also benefited from many luxurious updates. The hotel’s indoor pool has had a refresh and all of the hotel’s public spaces and guest rooms have been renovated; including new glass enclosures on the balconies and completely refurbished interiors and bathrooms.
One hour’s drive from Portland (ME), Boston (MA), and Manchester (NH), this conveniently located hotel is a resort for all seasons. Situated among an abundance of activities such as whale watching, deep-sea fishing, outlet shopping, year-round concerts and authentic colonial history, it’s easy to find something for the whole family.
Over the years, Presidents and celebrities alike have stayed at the Ashworth including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, BB King, the Marshall Tucker Band and thousands of visitors have enjoyed the friendly tradition of hospitality that continues today at this seaside escape.