Ashworth by the Sea Reaches Golden Milestone

Grandmaison Family Celebrates 50 Years of Ownership

By Jessica Jenkins

Atlantic News, Thursday, October 30, 2003

A LANDMARK CELEBRATION -- John and Norm Grandmaison (above, left to right) are celebrating fifty years of the family ownership of the Hampton Beach landmark hotel, where modern amenities and classic facilities combined to keep Ashworth by the Sea a first rate destination for young and old alike.
[Atlantic News Photos by McGee/By Jessica Jenkins]

HAMPTON BEACH - The Ashworth by the Sea Hotel, a landmark on Hampton Beach, is the backdrop of an exciting Golden Anniversary celebration taking place in 2003: It was 50 years ago that the Grandmaison Family first took over the ownership of the popular oceanside resort.

Built in 1912 by Colonel George Ashworth, the Ashworth by the Sea was one of the first hotels on Ocean Boulevard. Over the years, thousands of New England families and visitors have enjoyed this seaside escape, as well as five decades of Grandmaison Family hospitality. To celebrate this milestone, the Ashworth will be hosting special events over the next several months.

Paul Grandmaison, who was originally general manager, and his brother Norman leased the Ashworth originally in the fall of 1953, and went on to purchase it in the summer of 1954. 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.

Ashworth by the Sea

A large expansion with a new building doubling the size of the property in 1980, and a complete renovation of the original Ashworth building in 1986, brought the Ashworth to its current appearance. In June of 1986, after 32 years as co-owner of the Ashworth by the Sea, Paul Grandmaison passed away and is greatly missed.

Norman and John Grandmaison continue to uphold the Ashworth's standards by working to keep the early traditions alive while keeping current with new concepts and improvements to meet the needs of today's seasonal guests and business travelers. They and their staff pride themselves on providing great quality for a reasonable prices and the careful and friendly innkeeper hospitality for which they are famous. With many new projects in the works for the future, the Ashworth will continue to be New Hampshire's finest full service oceanfront resort hotel.

In addition to comfortable and tasteful accommodations, the Ashworth by the Sea has even more to offer its patrons. Downstairs, their elegant dining room capable of seating more than 400 guests, has for more than three decades enjoyed the reputation as one of the finest dining establishments in New England. For something a little more casual, their "Breakers Cafe Lounge," luxuriously appointed with mahogany and brass, features entertainment throughout the year. For breakfast, pop on over to their "Wharfside Coffee Shop," which is open year-round from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. Also offering full conference rooms and beautiful, spacious function rooms, the Ashworth can meet both locals, and travelers' needs.

One hour's drive from Portland (ME), Boston (MA) and Manchester (NH), this conveniently located resort is a hotel for all seasons. Situated in an area that offers whale watching, deep-sea fishing, outlet shopping, year-round concerts and an abundance of colonial history, it is not difficult to find something for the whole family to do.

Over the years, the Grandmaison Family has forged relationships with many of the families that have frequented their establishment while spending their summers at Hampton Beach, many times whose children worked for them. To honor these ties, and to reconnect with old friends, the Grandmaison Family is hosting an Employee Alumni Party on Friday, November 7 from 7-10 p.m. All alumni employees are invited to come reminisce with the Grandmaisons and current and past employees, enjoy cocktails and hors d'oeuvres and look back on the last fifty years of the Ashworth and Hampton Beach. Please RSVP by November 3 to (603)926-6762, ext. 609 or email

For Thanksgiving, which is right around the corner, the Ashworth will be offering a luscious dinner buffet and special menu. Call soon for reservations! Also, starting December 1 and running throughout the month, they will be offering a three-course dinner special. In honor of their 50th year, the Grandmaison Family will be hosting a "Golden Gala" on New Year's Eve including a dinner buffet, overnight room with late 3 p.m. check out, breakfast and live entertainment by "Jack Knox and the Continentals."

Located at 295 Ocean Boulevard, the Ashworth can be contacted for reservations or more information by calling (800) 345-6736, or by visiting their Web site at: Stop by and wish the Grandmaison Family a Happy Golden Anniversary!

BACK IN TIME - This photo (possibly taken in the 1940s on the Hampton Beach bandstand) shows Ralph Moulton on the extreme left, William "Bill" Elliot, and Colonel George Ashworth (in the center with cane and hat in hand) surrounded by a bevy of beauties - possibly waitresses at the Ashworth Hotel (note white shoes). The occasion of the photograph may have been the sale of the Ashworth Hotel from Col. Ashworth to Mr. Moulton. The landmark Hampton Beach resort has been owned and operated for 50 years by the Grandmaison Family.
[Atlantic News Photo courtesy Norman Grandmaison]