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Hampton Terrace Innkeeper Blog: Deals and Things to Do in Lenox and the Berkshires

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Holiday Decorations at a New England inn, Hampton Terrace

  
  
  

Barrow Seeking a December escape to a historic inn? Looking for extensive holiday decorations to get you in the December mood? Look no further than Hampton Terrace in Lenox, MA where Susan, the owner, fills the public spaces with over 30 years of holiday collections. No neon Santas. Hampton Terrace is an 1897 mansion, built to be part of Lenox’s Gilded Age social season, and the decorations are traditional, gilded and elegant.

Rooms are stil available for every December weekend (we are closed the weekend of the 25th & 26th) at our off-season rates. $189 for any room in the Main House and Wynnstay Cottage. $249 for the king suites. All include a $30 gift certificate to Nejaimes, the local wine/gourmet food shop and full breakfast by candlelight. Early check-in and late check-out is fine, subject to availability. 30% off a third night. Rated #1 on Trip Advisor in Lenox.

There will be plenty of activities in the Berkshires, including holiday festivals, Main Street Christmas in Stockbridge, "A Christmas Carol" at Berkshire Theatre Festival, and more. Hampton Terrace features fireplaces in most rooms and authentic atmosphere throughout. Call 800-203-0656 for details.

James Taylor July 4th Weekend at Tanglewood

  
  
  

James Taylor It is a tradition. Not only because James Taylor lives in Lenox and always gives his Tanglewood shows a little something extra. And beyond the fact that he annually leaves the net profit from his multiple shows at the venue to support the Boston Symphony.

But because after more than a decade of annual shows, a James Taylor Tanglewood Nation has been created. In spite of hearing "Sweet Baby James" for the thousandth time, there are so many faithful fans that it does not matter whether there are 36,000 tickets (like this year) or 72,000 tickets (like last year)……..ultimately none will be left.

And it is fun here at Hampton Terrace during the James Taylor period. We host fans from all over the world. Last year, we had people who came in specifically for the shows from Australia, England and Canada. And it is a very genial crowd. So join us on the July 4th weekend, when his special guest is Carole King. A Friday night Boston Pops show featuring Keith Lockhart, and James on Saturday and Sunday.

Hampton Terrace has fourteen rooms, an outdoor heated pool, and we are located one mile from Tanglewood. We are walking distance to all restaurants and shops and are rated #1 on Trip Advisor in Lenox. At this point, we are still wide open for the James Taylor weekend, and until February 20th, we are sticking to the same rates we have charged since 2007. It is not that we HAVE to keep our prices low in this economy….we are up 30% in 2009 compared to a lodging industry nationwide that is down from 25% to 50%. But we want to keep our inn affordable for the hundreds of guests who call us their home away from home. We would like to add you to that list.

2010 Tanglewood Schedule Released, Find Lenox lodging

  
  
  

tanglewood Time to plan your summer! The Boston Symphony is announcing their 2010 schedule tonight, and a preview has been published in today’s Berkshire Eagle.

To see today’s HEADLINE ARTICLE.

For a summary of the season: CLICK HERE

Once you decide on a date, choose a Lenox inn, or Berkshire bed and breakfast like Hampton Terrace

Hampton Terrace – WCRB’s Official Summer Home

  
  
  

tanglewood I bet you dd not know that last summer Hampton Terrace was the Official Summer Home for Larry King, the voice of the Tanglewood radio broadcasts. If you live in the Boston area, you will know it soon, as the name Hampton Terrace floods the airwaves. In return for hosting Mr. King for the summer, we earned a schedule of advertising time on Classical 99.5 WCRB Boston, and we plan to use it over the next six weeks.

The campaign will promote our long weekend New Year’s Eve package, and the upcoming summer, as soon as the Tanglewood schedule is released.

WCRB also has a Classical Club Promotion, which will include a 2-night stay at Hampton Terrace, so tune in to the station for more details.

Hampton Terrace, the #1 rated Lenox inn according to Trip Advisor reviews, has been an inn since 1937. We have 14 rooms, an outdoor heated pool during the summer, and include full breakfast buffet. Currently, we are featuring a Romantic Weekend Special.

Peter Yarrow Concert on Friday, November 20th in the Berkshires

  
  
  

yarrow For fans of Peter, Paul & Mary, there will be special event in the Berkshires this weekend: Peter Yarrow, his daughter Bethany and virtuoso cellist Rufus Cappadocia will honor the legendary folk trio at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield. Mary died earlier this year, so this show, and its post-show cocktail and hors d’oeuvres at Blantyre will honor her, and raise money for the Berkshire Eagle’s Newspaper in Education fund.

Tickets are $25 and $35 for the show, with an opportunity to have special seating and attend the post-show reception at Blantyre for $100. They can be purchased by going to www.thecolonialtheatre.org or by calling 413-997-4444.

Turn this opportunity into a Romantic Weekend in the Berkshires by staying at Hampton Terrace in Lenox, the #1 rated Lenox b&b on Trip Advisor. A two night stay includes a $30 gift certificate to Nejaimes, the local wine and gourmet food shop in town, full breakfast by candlelight each morning, and a fireplace/Jacuzzi room for either $189/night, or $249/night for a king suite. If you are used to Lenox summer prices, you will recognize that this is a savings of about $100/night compared to the "season." www.hamptonterrace.com 800-203-0656

National Geographic Traveler: The Berkshires #7 Destination in the World

  
  
  

National Geographic Traveler This area in western Massachusetts "seems to have the right balance"of picturesque towns, arts offerings, and well-protected natural beauty.  Berkshires.  Lenox.  The Berkshires.

Here is a representative sampling of additional anonymous comments from the panelists. They are not necessarily the views of the National Geographic Society:

"Important area for cultural tourism in a beautiful environmental setting, the Berkshires have long attracted upscale visitors. From the Gilded Age summer ‘cottages’ to quaint and aesthetically appealing small towns, historical and cultural museums, and summer musical performances, the Berkshires have continuing appeal for the economically well-situated and for many average middle-class families. Outdoor recreation activities, such as hiking in natural surroundings, add to the appeal."

"Still undiscovered enough, and with a tradition of slow-growth tourism to add cultural pizzazz to the lush scenery, the Berkshires seem to have the right balance. The landscape will need to come together around these values to maintain them for the long haul."

"A cultural hideaway. Still favored more by New Yorkers than Bostonians, but never feels overrun even in the height of summer and during the peak of foliage."

"Gentrification is one of the biggest threats. The area is stunning, but the demand for boutiques and Norman Rockwell experiences pushes out the mom-and-pop establishments. A balance must be maintained to preserve the area."

The Berkshires – One of the Top Destinations in the World

  
  
  

National Geographic Traveler I am quoting directly from today’s Berkshire Eagle:

Think of all the destinations treasured by the globe-trotting elite.

Tuscany. The French Riviera. The Great Barrier Reef.

The Berkshires beat them all.

In this month’s edition of National Geographic Traveler magazine, the region tied for 7th out of 133 vacation destinations ranked by a panel of 437 experts in fields such as historic preservation, sustainable tourism, travel writing, food, photography and archaeology.

In the article, one unnamed expert writes that the area "seems to have the right balance of picturesque towns, arts offerings, and well-protected natural beauty."

Lauri Klefos, president of the Berkshire Visitors Bureau, said businesses and cultural venues have been ecstatic about the recognition, which she views as the best free advertising possible.

"This is one of the premiere travel magazines in the world," Klefos said. "People pick up this magazine when they’re looking to find a destination that they never considered before."

Michael Supranowicz, president of the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, predicted that the acknowledgment will be used as a "selling point" for the local tourism industry.

"This is a feather in our cap, and we deserve it," he said. "We have a beautiful place here, and a lot of people know it. But what was interesting about this survey is that it wasn’t based in stats and numbers. Their experts had personal knowledge of the places.

"These people had their feet on the ground."

While representatives from the magazine did not return phone calls Friday, the article’s author, Jonathan B. Tourtellot, explained that editors came up with a unique way of ranking the destinations.

They asked the experts to submit anonymous points of view on each place. They reviewed each others’ remarks and then filled in their final scores based on six criteria, which ranged from environmental quality to cultural integrity, condition of historic buildings and quality of tourism management.

It’s a variation of a research tool called the Delphi method that helps groups reach a consensus.

Points were docked for reckless development and commercialization.

The Berkshires earned a score of 76.

Norway’s Fjords topped the list with an 85. Vermont scored a 78, Germany’s Bavarian Alps a 77, and Tuscany a 72.

Cape Cod? 58.

Tourtellot wrote that the annual survey, the magazine’s sixth, "isn’t a popularity contest. It is an assessment of authenticity and stewardship, evaluating the qualities that make a destination unique and measuring its integrity of place."

"When people care about the condition of a place, its score tends to go up … The condition of any destination is a mix of what local governments, residents, and businesses can control — pollution, cultural quality, authenticity."

One expert wrote that the area was "still undiscovered enough, and with a tradition of slow-growth tourism to add cultural pizzazz to the lush scenery."

Another said that "some complain it is becoming too ‘gentrified,’ with boutiques pushing out the mom-and-pop establishments."

One commented that "a balance must be maintained to preserve the area."

Klefos said she valued one of the expert’s compliments above all the others. "Authenticity," she said. "That’s one of the characteristics that we care about most. We’re not fake. We’re not manmade. This is a unique area with a wide variety of venues across the county. Everyone who lives here should feel

Lenox inn owner: Virginia Basketball Receives a Top Ranking

  
  
  

Tony Bennett What does new coach Tony Bennett or Virginia basketball have to do with Hampton Terrace? Not a thing.

But, I am a passionate fan of University of Virginia sports, and although occasionally we have U.Va alumni stay here, more often our guests come from Chapel Hill, Duke, Maryland, Boston College…. Virginia has become the Boston Red Sox of the ACC: teams that always are competitive, occasionally make a run for the top, but then more often than not, disappoint in the end.

Virginia football, under George Welsh, spent much time in the top 10 and has put as many star players in the NFL as any SEC or PAC 10 team. Virginia basketball has also had three or four runs in the top 10 since the 70s, when I was in school. But recently, the football and basketball teams have hovered in the lower half of the ACC.

Sports, in general, are quite strong at Virginia. Sports Illustrated annually ranks schools based on all sports, top to bottom, men and women. Virginia is strong in tennis, track, baseball, lacrosse and others….and usually ranks between 6 and 10 annually. Impressive. All the more reason why a new commitment to basketball and football is required.

After about four seasons of high hopes for new coach Dave Leito, and ultimate letdowns, Virginia moved beyond Leito to hire Tony Bennett from Washington State. This was a surprise to many, both Leito’s seemingly out-of-the-blue firing, to Bennett’s sudden acquisition of the job. One has to wonder if there was a deal in place before Leito was called into the AD’s office. Some Virginia alumni hoped for a more profile coach. Coaching basketballin the ACC is akin to coaching football in the SEC.

But it seems the confidence placed in Bennett is founded. A #11 recruiting class coming out of the gate! And success wil breed success. Of course, here is the Red Sox realism setting in: Although we are #11, we follow North Carolina, Duke, NC State and Wake Forest in that list. And in 2009, Georgia Tech had a top four listing.

The rich get richer….but at least now Virginia joins the group of teams putting distance between themselves and the rest of the country.

So why does this matter at Hampton Terrace? Because I live with our guests and we find things in common to talk about: good experience at restaurants, places we have visited in common…ACC basketball. Thanks, Coach Bennett, for putting me back into the conversation.

Nejaimes Wine Spectacular Sale, Lenox landmark

  
  
  

Wine Anyone who has stayed at Hampton Terrace Bed and Breakfast Inn in Lenox knows we are tied at the hip to our local wine shop, Nejaimes. All guests who take advantage of our Romantic Weekend Special, head there with $30, compliments of us.

For the month of November, those same guests have the chance to leverage their $30 up to 30%! Nejaimes stocks their three stores for a strong summer season each year, then in November they run everything on sale. This year they are adding a new twist: Every bottle of wine priced OVER $50 automatically gets a 30% reduction. Wow. A chance to try those 92+ point Cabernet’s without so much guilt.

One of the hallmarks of Nejaimes….and I am most familiar with the Lenox shop…..is that all of the sales people are knowledgeable about their inventory, and are eager to help you pick the right bottle of wine. You can find scores of beers from around the world. Liquors in all sizes and price ranges. They also specialize in cheeses, single-serving containers of anti-pastas and salads, smoked meats and sausages, desserts including locally made ice cream…..I can’t even cover the tip of the iceberg. www.nejaimeswine.com

How can you start your discount shopping spree with $30 already in the bank? By staying at Hampton Terrace any weekend between November 1st and mid-June for at least two nights. And to add value….a third night is 30% off. We include full breakfast buffet and most of our rooms have fireplaces and Jacuzzis. Rated #1 on Trip Advisor from 25+ Lenox inns and b&bs. Early check-in and late check-out available. Members of the Lenox Chamber of Commerce and the Berkshire Visitors Bureau. Call 800-203-0656.

Thanksgiving Options in Lenox

  
  
  

Lenox Always take advantage of a 3-day weekend! At Hampton Terrace it is possible to do that with a 30% discount on the 3rd night, and a $30 wine gift certificate to help make it feel like vacation.

Hampton Terrace, the #1 Lenox inn on Trip Advisor, still has rooms available for Thanksgiving weekend. We only serve breakfast here, but we are one block walk from the Village Inn, which serves excellent New England style meals, and which will be featuring a special Thanksgiving Dinner menu. Also, Cranwell Resort is advertising a Thankgsgiving Buffet from noon until 5 on Thanksiving Day.

At Hampton Terrace, all of our rooms have private baths, most with Jacuzzis, unless you prefer to soak in an antique claw-foot tub. I do. Twelve of our fourteen rooms have fireplaces…quite high in a historic inn. We include full breakfast buffet each morning, and we help you plan your 3-day weekend with e-mailed lists of the better restaurants and lists of things to do in the area. The Hancock Shaker Village is a perfect match for a Thanksgiving Weekend in the Berkshires.

Get Away to Lenox and the Berkshires this Weekend!

  
  
  

cat ij We are entering our second week now of our Romantic Weekend Special. So popular that our existing guests will not let it go away. You can take advantage of it every weekend until late June.

A two-night weekend stay includes a $30 Gift Certificate to Nejaimes, the local wine/gourmet food shop, full breakfast buffet by candlelight, early check-in and late check-out subject to availablity, and our help planning your perfect getaway. With your confirmation you will receive several lists: a limited restaurant recommendation list based on the feedback we receive from thousands of guests…and a list called "Planning Your Stay" which covers every subject we could think of, from hikes and spas to museums and nightlfe.

Speaking of Nejaimes, November is their 15% to 30% off month. And all wine bottles over $50 are 30% off! In essence, using this discount, you can get a $50 bottle of wine, almost FREE when you stay here.

Check Availability On-Line or give us a call at 800-203-0656.

New Years Weekend Package at Hampton Terrace – Affordable

  
  
  

New Years Weekend Package at Hampton Terrace After several years of inconvenient mid-week New Year’s Eves, this year we get a long weekend. And we all need it.

As usual, Hampton Terrace celebrates the New Year with added value. At midnight on the 31st, we offer free champagne and favors in our private bar, and a countdown with the Times Square multitude. On New Year’s Day, we offer a brunch instead of our usual breakfast fare.

And this year, to encourage as many people as possible to make it a LONG weekend, we offer our OFF-SEASON RATES for a three night stay. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We have always used IN-SEASON rates for New Years…so this represents a savings of about $300 over the weekend. All rooms in the Main House and Wynnstay Cottage are $189/night and our King Suites are $249. Same as the weekend after. Susan says I have lost my mind.

If you can only do New Years and one extra night….then we will split the difference with you. One night at the in-season rate and one night at the off-season. This works out to $225 for a main house or cottage room and $295 for a king suite.

We also would be willing to accept just New Year’s Eve….at the same rate as we use in July, August and October. Not a bad deal either, considering the addition of the midnight celebration and brunch.

New Year’s is always nice at Hampton Terrace. There is usually snow on the ground and all the fireplaces are going. The great restaurants in Lenox offer fixed price specials and several seatings. If you are so inclined, we can help you find a New Year’s Eve celebration somewhere….although most couples who come to the Berkshires for New Year’s are looking for something tranquil and private. Nothing like one of our fireplace/Jacuzzi rooms with the snow falling outside.

Call us at 800-203-0656 to discuss your options.

Rosen from Hampton Terrace Wins Berkshire Visitors Bureau Award

  
  
  

Stan Rosen Stan Rosen, owner of Hampton Terrace in Lenox, was awarded a Greylock Award at the BVB’s 71st Annual Meeting on Tuesday evening at the Berkshire Museum. The awards are given to "tourism professionals who are nominated by their peers as having reached the highest peak in their profession." Rosen was honored as the "Outstanding Industry Contributor."

The Berkshire Visitors Bureau consists of over 750 member organizations, of which over 100 are lodging properties. The Bureau is the sole county-wide marketing agency for the Berkshires, which attract over 2.5 million visitors per year, with an annual economic impact of over half a billion dollars. Rosen is chairman of the Lodging Committee and a Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee, representing Central County.

Rosen was recognized for his leadership position on the proposed occupancy tax increases offered to each Berkshire town. Reduced state revenues have caused the Governor to slash revenue-sharing with local towns, while at the same time giving each community an opportunity to raise lodging taxes on visitors from 4% to 6%. The state receives an additional 5.7%. Rosen led a consortium of properties, including Canyon Ranch, Red Lion Inn, Cranwell, Yankee Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Comfort Inn in Lee, Devonfield Inn and Topia Inn, to support the tax…as long as a significant percent is annually reinvested in marketing the Berkshires outside of the county.

At the same time that local communities received cuts, the Commonwealth also slashed state-wide tourism marketing budgets by 70%, resulting in an annual loss to the Berkshire Visitors Bureau of $350,000…with more cuts promised by the Governor. Rosen’s "Statement of Position," subsequently affirmed by a larger forum of lodging properties last month, is that the loss in tourism marketing dollars will have a more profound negative impact on tourism than a 2 % rise in taxes…and that if these taxes are going to be collected by the efforts of lodging owners and managers, then they should have a "say" about where some of the money is spent. The group is asking for 7.5% of total taxes collected to be reinvested in out-of-county marketing.

To this point, Lenox and Pittsfield have passed the tax increase, with a promise to make a "significant investment" in marketing. Lee and Great Barrington are considering the tax increase as well. Rosen and his group are working to assure that the tax increases, and their partial commitment to marketing are evenly applied throughout the county.

Mayor James M. Roberto of Pittsfield received the "Extraordinary Leadership Award" for his significant role in the resurgence of Downtown Pittsfield, including the restoration of the Colonial Theater, relocation of Barrington Stage Company to the North Street area, creation of the $23 million Beacon Cinema, upgrades to the Berkshire Museum, and fostering a general sense of optimism that has attracted numerous new businesses to streets that have long been depressed. James Lyon of the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood received the "Outstanding Service" Greylock Award.

Nudel Raises the Bar on Uniqueness in Lenox and the Berkshires

  
  
  

Nudel We’ve lived in Lenox since 1996. There are, and have been, many restaurants. Most follow traditional themes….Italian (Northern or "red sauce"), French, Sushi, New England, steaks and burgers. Here comes one that cannot be labeled. Because it reinvents itself every day.

Nudel, the 4-week-old creation of Bjorn Somlo, has already thrilled at least 30 couples from Hampton Terrace, with no dissenting votes. Occupying the old "Dish" space on Church Street, Bjorn has taken out the wall between the kitchen and the dining room so that all can see what he is up to. And what he is up to changes every day. There is no set menu. Choices each day are at the chef’s whim.

Depending on the availability of locally procurred meats, vegetables or fruits, Bjorn devises and publishes a daily menu. If you want to preview what he is offering, the menu is posted live on their Internet site. A quick look at the archived menues demonstrates that this chef does not rest. He reacts to the possibilities offered by his basic ingredients….a la "Iron Chef," and in that tradition, he strives to use every edible part of his bounty, and present it in as many formats as possible. For tomorrow, he is advertising a "Hen of the Woods" tasting menu for $45, which will stretch the theme from appetizers, through salads and soups, entres, pastas and sweet endings. One of our guests told us that they had parsnips in their salad and parsnips in their dessert. We have seen menus that do the same for duck, roosters, whole pigs, rabbit, bluefish, skate, clams…. His prices are quite reasonable a la carte, with soups and appetizers all coming in under $10, and all entres available in a large or small plate option, most in the $11 to $18 range.

Bjorn, 29, has been one of the chefs at John Andrews….. without question the most experimental fine restaurant in the Berkshires. For most of our guests, the 40 minute drive there has been too much to venture, thus our excitement that Nudel is located less than a block from us.

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