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

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The Berkshires Then and Now: Our “Gilded” past

  
  
  

Modern day visitors to the Berkshires follow in a tradition that was established at the end of the 19th Century, by Society players of the Northeast, who called this place home – at least during the summer! 

HAMPTON TERRACE

Hampton Terrace is one of the “cottages” built by money industrialists and their social brethren in the post-Civil War era known as the Gilded Age. Dozens of these cottages, many of them quite opulent, and hardly what we would call a cottage these days, are still occupied or in-use. Hampton Terrace of course, is occupied as an inn – and has been since the 1930’s. Our property knows a longer history, however, as it was the site of Lenox’s first blacksmith shop.

VENTFORT HALL

Our neighbor, Ventfort Hall is occupied 7-days/week, year round, as a museum to the Gilded Age. Currently on display there, are the exquisite Gilded Age Fashions of the “Les Petites Dames Du Mode” (The Little Ladies of Fashion) exhibit. The exhibit features 59 “petites dames” or doll models sporting women’s fashions from 1855 to 1914. It is the culmination ofventfort showcase resized 600 40 years of work, byt John R. Burbidge, designer and creator and retired Senior Designer for the famed bridal house of Priscilla of Boston. The fashions will evoke a sense memory that you didn’t even know you had – for the “feel” of the era.

Ventfort Hall was originally the residence of George Hale Morgan and Sarah Spencer Morgan. The Morgans, who moved into the house in the early 1890s, were well-known New Yorkers, and members of a prominent banking family. The fortune that Sarah inherited from her banker father funded the construction of her grand home. After the death of its original inhabitants, the property went through a series of incarnations including life as a rental property (to families with names like Vanderbilt), a summer ballet camp, and a small hotel, until it was rescued for preservation and life as a museum.

THE MOUNT

Another of our Gilded Age neighbors? The Mount. Edith Wharton’s Berkshires home. The Mount is a property that hosts a variety of types of event. If you book a wedding there and need lodging for guests, we couldn’t be closer. Other events include literary events, Wharton-centered lectures and presentations, a summer lecture series, private library tours…and the gardens, the gardens are an absolute must-see. This year, the estate is celebrating the 100th birthday of Edith Wharton’s novel “The Custom Of the Country”. It is a unique celebration – an online serial, to replicate the original manner of publication of the work, in installments. “In addition to Wharton’s delightful prose, we will include commentary from Wharton Scholars, Mount staff, and others giving context and definition to one of Wharton’s most debated works.” – The Mount Website

COLDBROOK

This former residence of John S. Barnes, and Susan Hayes Barnes, was built in 1882. Captain Barnes was a Civil War naval officer. Their grand home is another Lenox destination. Though the home began its life saddled with contentious energy bred between Captain Barnes and his builder (said builder alleged that the Captain was rather unpleasant to work with), it is now a piece of the tranquil Cranwell Resort, home to a most luxurious spa, resort, golf and fitness center.

SHADOW BROOK

This formerly grand 1894 Lenox residence is now but a ghost, replaced by a place for spirit and reflection. It began its life as a residence to Anson Phelps Stokes and his wife, Helen Louise Phelps Stokes. Anson Phelps Stokes was an investment banker and Anglophile. Even the naming of the family followed English aristocratic tradition, by giving each of the children both of the names, Phelps and Stokes, without a hyphen, for a rather stately result.

Though Mrs. Phelps Stokes put much of her own design authority into the decorating of the home, the family did not spend a long time is residence there – Mr. Phelps Stokes had injured a leg while horseback riding, and had that leg amputated. The amputation prevented him from enjoying his country estate as much as he would have liked and so the house eventually fell into new hands. The last private resident of the home was Andrew Carnegie. Upon his death it was sold to a Jesuit order, while called the structure home until it burned down in 1956. A new building was created by the order, and that building is now home to Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, a peaceful place to explore the mind-body connection.

CREATE YOUR OWN GILDED AGE TOUR

The Berkshires of Western Massachusetts website offers suggestions for an excellent, “Gilded Age”-themed tour experience of the Berkshires.

THE WINTHROP ESTATE

The Winthrop Estate, also located here in Lenox, MA is another property that may be of interest to those wishing to soak in the very feel of the Gilded Age. The Estate was originally a country retreat for the US Ambassador to Denmark, in 1875. However, its next residents were ones with an established history in the state of Massachusetts.  Early Winthrop family history includes ancestor John Winthrop becoming the founding governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Robert Winthrop was the Winthrop to inhabit the Estate, along with his wife Kate (whose father was the first president of what is now known as CitiBank). Because it is not a museum or dedicated to an alternate use, visitors are able to tour and experience the home as a country home, as its original inhabitants did.

Celebrity Guests: Rodney Yee, Kripalu Yoga Program Instructor

  
  
  

Rodney-Yee

While teaching a program at nearby Kripalu, Rodney Yee stayed at Hampton Terrace in one of our king suites, with his wife, Colleen.

Rodney has appeared on Oprah, Good Morning America, and in the PBS special "The Practical Power of Yoga,” as well as many other television broadcasts. He contributes to a variety of yoga and Rodney-Yeehealthy lifestyle publications regularly, including Yoga Journal, Self, Shape, and Fitness, and has been featured in Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour, Marie Claire, Elle, O-The Oprah Magazine, New York Magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.

This brings us to an important point.   Hampton Terrace is an  option for everyone who attends or teaches programs at Kripalu Institute.

Kripalu is one of the largest and most recognized yoga centers in the world.   They program 12 months a year and do provide housing on-site.

But many of their attendees find that staying in a local inn makes more sense than their two primary options:   

Kripalu RoomsA Kripalu room for a single with a private bath runs from $366 to $422/night.   Double occupancy raises that from $550 to $630/night.  The rooms are simple, consistent with a yoga philosophy, with a low double or queen bed...or two twins.

They also offer a dormitory option, $155 to $180/night, 6 to 22 people in a room with a bath down the hall.

Our private rooms are $175 to $189/night PER ROOM....nothing extra for double occupancy.   Our rooms include breakfast, a fireplace and a Jacuzzi.  Kripalu is located one mile away...a two minute drive.

If you stay off-property, you will pay a daily Kripalu fee of $75 weekdays and $100 weekend.   That includes three meals and all activities.

Still, many people do the math and realize they can stay in better accommodations and save more than 50%....including the daily fee.

Why don't more people do this?   Veterans of Kripalu know about this. The Kripalu brochure and website do not mention it as an obvious option. 

KripaluWe hear great things about Kripalu, their programs, and their food.   Consider Hampton Terrace for your sleeping options.

Rodney Yee did.

Visit Kripalu, Stay at Hampton Terrace in Lenox

  
  
  

Yoga

Another example this weekend. A couple spent Saturday night here and attended an all-day session at Kripalu. Our Saturday night charge was $189 and included full breakfast. They had a private bath and a fireplace.

At breakfast we were talking, and they said they have been to Kripalu many times in the past, and have paid between $300 and $500/night for a private bedroom at Kripalu, which is not a king, does not have a fireplace, and is spartan in its comforts. They wondered why most people do not stay at local inns and pay the $50 day pass to go to Kripalu (which includes 3 meals). I told them that we do get a fair number of people who know they can do that, but most people do not know they have options.

Most of the people who stay here would have done the "standard" option, which is a dormitory room of at least six people with a bathroom at the end of the hall. That option is also more expensive than our $189 rooms.

So to attempt to attract more Kripalu guests to stay here, with a multiple night stay, we offer any queen/fireplace/Jacuzzi room for $140/night…..which means we are paying your $50 daily fee for you (which includes your meals). That $50 would normally be absorbed into your room rate at Kripalu, so we are paying it for you.

Hampton Terrace is located approximately one mile from Kripalu and is rated #1 in Lenox by Trip Advisor.

Kripalu Accommodations verses Hampton Terrace, a Lenox Inn

  
  
  

Kripalu Accommodations

Kripalu is considered one of the premier yoga retreats in the world. Its programs attract thousands to the Berkshires. Not well known is the fact that their accommodations are spartan…..the majority of their rooms are dormitory style, holding 6-22 people with bathrooms at the end of the hall. They do have a limited number of private, or semi-private options at a price much higher than staying in a local inn.

We frequently host Kripalu program participants at Hampton Terrace in Lenox. To stay beyond Kripalu, you would pay a $50 guest fee, which includes use of all Kripalu facilities including meals. Then you would pay for the program and services you use. At Hampton Terrace, mention our Kripalu Special, and we will give you a king or queen room with fireplace and Jacuzzi, daily housekeeping, private bath……for $150/night, 20% off our normal off-season rate (slighly higher on weekends). At this discount, we are virtually paying your daily Kripalu fee and your meals.

We are located one mile from Kripalu….about a 2 minute drive.

This is $150 per room…..not $150 per person. Compare that to the cost for dormitory, semi-private, or private options at Kripalu…..and you would choose a highly rated local inn EVERY time. Share a room, and the difference is profound.

Room prices are not obvious on the Kripalu website. Take the overall charge….deduct the cost of the program you are attending, which is listed separately, then deduct $50/day for the number of nights you will be paying the daily…and then the balance is what you are paying for your room. Compare that number to us at $150/night. We know you will be checking with us for availability: 800-203-0656 (add $15/night for weekends) (not available July, August and October).

Dr. Mark A. Hyman, The UltraWellness Center and Hampton Terrace

  
  
  
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At Hampton Terrace in Lenox, MA, we are becoming increasingly aware of our neighbor, Dr. Mark Hyman.   His office, and the UltraWellness Center, are located just two doors down Walker Street from us, and more and more of his patients are staying with us every month.

Respected medical consultant, New York Times -bestselling author, lecturer, and practicing physician Mark A. Hyman, M.D., is a leader in the emerging field of functional medicine.

Functional medicine is ideal medicine made real; it is a new medical model—a more successful way of treating human illness and disease—born of recent technological and clinical advances applied in a fresh methodology.

As Dr. Hyman says, "the future of medicine, available now." Functional medicine moves beyond diagnosis-based medicine to incorporate new research that for the first time allows treatment of the underlying causes of disease.

It works with the body’s natural forces to achieve a state of what Dr. Hyman calls UltraWellness—lifelong good health and vitality. Functional medicine creates UltraWellness by combining a broad range of treatments to help restore and optimize normal function and health, including conventional therapies, herbal treatments, and alternative methodologies, in one encompassing, patient-centered approach.

In his work, Dr. Hyman applies the best of conventional and alternative medicine with cutting-edge science, placing him at the forefront of progressive medical care and education in the United States. A strong and pioneering voice for change in the fundamental way health care is perceived and delivered, as well as for a new paradigm for physicians, he has launched an innovative approach that taps into years of medical research that has not, until now, been translated into clinical practice in hospitals, homes, and the community.

Dr. Hyman is the Editor-in-Chief of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, the premiere peer-reviewed professional journal in the fields of integrative medicine and alternative medicine; and is the Medical Editor of Alternative Medicine Magazine, which is dedicated to helping consumers improve their health and the quality of their lives. He is on the editorial board of Integrative Medicine : A Clinician’s Journal.

Dr. Hyman collaborates with Harvard Medical School ’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and its Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine.

Dr. Hyman has testified regarding health promotion and wellness for the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine and has consulted with Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona on his diabetes prevention initiative.

Dr. Hyman was co-Medical Director for eight years at Canyon Ranch Lenox, one of the world’s leading health resorts; co-authored the New York Times bestseller Ultraprevention: The 6-week Program That Will Make You Healthy for Life (Scribner), winner of the Books for a Better Life Award, which honors the best self-improvement books published each year; and wrote the New York Times bestseller UltraMetabolism:  The Simple Plan for Automatic Weighloss for which Dr. Hyman also created a public television special that is currently airing nationwide.

He is also author of The Five Forces of Wellness: The Ultraprevention System for Living an Active, Age-Defying, Disease-Free Life (Nightingale) and creator of The Detox Box (Sounds True), a unique, easy-to-follow program designed to help people significantly rejuvenate their health and vitality by cleansing their bodies from toxins in the environment, diet, and spirit.

A guest on the Today show, Good Morning America, The Early Show, and The View with Barbara Walters, Dr. Hyman has also appeared on CNN, FOX, PBS, and NPR, as well as many other television and radio stations. He is quoted regularly in leading consumer magazines including Parade, Elle, Fitness, Glamour, Family Circle, Health, Natural Health, Self, Shape, and Town & Country.

Dr. Hyman serves on the Board of Directors and faculty of the Institute for Functional Medicine, a pioneering educational center for training health professionals in the science and practice of nutritional biochemistry, molecular medicine, and preventing and treating the diseases of aging. He is on the Board of Advisors and faculty of Georgetown University School of Medicine’s Food as Medicine training program.

A popular lecturer, Dr. Hyman speaks on a wide range of topics, including natural approaches to common health conditions, optimal health, cardiovascular health, menopause and women’s health, brain wellness, obesity and weight loss, optimal aging, and longevity medicine. His website, www.ultrawellness.com, empowers health care consumers and practitioners, enabling them to benefit from the wealth of information and scientific articles he has gathered on the fundamental causes of illness, wellness promotion, vitamin and herbal supplements, and more.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Hyman worked as a rural family physician in the mountains of Idaho, and in China as the Medical Director for development and planning of an international medical center in Beijing. He also consulted in Hong Kong on medical centers for expatriates in Asia. Before joining Canyon Ranch, Dr. Hyman served in an inner city emergency room in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Dr. Hyman graduated with a B.A. from Cornell University, magna cum laude from the Ottawa University School of Medicine, and from the University of San Francisco ’s program in Family Medicine at the Community Hospital of Santa Rosa. He is board certified in Family Medicine, and resides in western Massachusetts with his family.

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