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Quick getaways

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August 20, 2006

We wanted to see if it was possible to get a last-minute room at five vacation spots in the region. So we randomly picked five hotels and called last Monday and Tuesday to see if we could get a reservation for either Wednesday and Thursday (nights of Aug. 16-17) or this weekend (nights of Aug. 18-19).

Rates do not include tax. What we found:

GLOUCESTER

Best Western Bass Rocks Ocean Inn

107 Atlantic Road

978-283-7600

www.bestwestern.com (search Gloucester)

Rooms: 48

Historic oceanfront mansion with modern annex, 2 miles east of town center. Golfers can play at the adjacent Bass Rocks Golf Club for an additional fee; a 1/4-mile footbridge leads to Good Harbor Beach.

Rates: Standard rooms from $249; up to $299 on weekends for two double beds with ocean-view balcony.

[Phoned Monday, 5:15 p.m.]:

Available Aug. 16-17: A room with two double beds on the first floor in the smoking area. The receptionist said the room could be aired out by request. This was $224.10 per night, available only for two nights.

Available Aug. 18-19: A room with one king-size bed in the non smoking section on either the first or second floor. The standard rate for the first-floor room was $251.10; the rate for the second-floor room was $269.

ROCKPORT

Emerson Inn by the Sea

1 Cathedral Ave.

978-546-6321

www.emersoninnbythesea.com

Rooms: 36

Located on the ocean in Pigeon Cove, approximately 2 miles north of the galleries of downtown Rockport.

Rates: $95-$125 for no ocean view; up to $349 for a king ocean-view room with balcony and spa tub. For those who want to splurge, two Cottages by the Sea rent for $3,200-$3,900 per week in August and are sometimes available for shorter stays.

[Phoned Tuesday, 3:15 p.m.]:

Available Aug. 16-17: At the hotel, an ocean-view room with king-size bed and a spa tub for $359. A smaller room with no ocean view with a king-size bed and spa was $299.

[Phoned Monday, 5:15 p.m.]:

Available Aug. 18-19: At the hotel, a room with no ocean view and a double bed for $159; same with a queen-size bed for $179; same with two beds for $179. Cottages were booked .

NEWBURYPORT

Garrison Inn

11 Brown Square

978-499-8500

www.garrisoninn.com

Rooms: 24

For history buffs, inn was built in 1898 and is a registered National Historic Landmark. Located downtown near restaurants and attractions.

Rates: From $160 for a standard room to $300 for townhouse and penthouse suites with fireplaces.

[Phoned Monday, 5:15 p.m.]:

Available Aug. 16-17: Receptionist said that if booked occupants were moved, a room with a queen-size bed for $160 a night was available.

Available Aug. 18-19: Sold out for Friday. A cathedral suite with fourth-floor views of the Merrimack River was $240 and available Saturday night only. Receptionist said there was a wedding this weekend, so many rooms were booked.

SALEM

Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites

225 Derby St.

978-740-8788

www.salemwaterfronthotel.com

Rooms: 86

Located on Pickering Wharf, close to downtown restaurants, shops, and historic attractions.

Rates: Summer specials from $159 a night for the lowest-priced rooms with two double beds to $249 for a king suite with wet bar.

[Phoned Monday, 5:15 p.m.]:

Available Aug. 16-17: Rooms ``definitely available." A room with a double bed was $159 a night, and a larger room with a double bed was $169 a night. Suites were also available. A mini-suite with a king-size bed, dry bar, and pull-out sofa was $199 a night, and a two-room suite with similar accommodations was available for $249 a night.

Available Aug. 18-19: None

SALISBURY

Michael's Oceanfront Motel

40 Central Ave.

978-499-0260

www.michaelsoceanfrontmotel.com

Rooms: 11

On the beach, quick walk to night spots and the arcade boulevard.

Rates: $125 in the rear with two double beds up to $185 for oceanfront rooms that include kitchen and Jacuzzi.

[Phoned Monday, 5:15 p.m.]:

Available Aug. 16-17: For two people, one room with a double bed, above the office, on the ocean side, was $130, available through Friday. A room on the second floor with a queen-size bed, full kitchen, glass doors, and oceanside deck was $165 a night. Another room, on the second floor, was available for $130 a night.

Available Aug. 18-19: Rooms available? ``I don't think so."

SOURCES: Hotel websites, tripadvisor.com

Compiled by Marcia Dick and Sarah M. Taylor

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