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

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Berkshire Events: Baby Animals at the Hancock Shaker Village

  
  
  

Okay.   I know we are supposed to be adults here.   But come on...who can turn this down?

This weekend through May 8th at Hancock Shaker Village, near Lenox in the Berkshires.  For INFORMATION

Hancock-Shaker-Village

Find Dining Deals in the Berkshires

  
  
  

Recently, the New York Times did a full-page feature on dining inDining Deals in the Berkshires the Berkshires.   The article pointed out that the current "farm-to-table" trend sweeping Food Network programming and new restaurant development throughout the country, had roots in the Berkshires more than a decade ago.

This is also a major theme of Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential" sequel.

So add "culinary tourism" to the list of reasons people come to Lenox and the Berkshires....beyond Tanglewood, theater, museums and other world-class culture and natural beauty.

But like any tourism...there are seasonal ups and downs.    From now until June....local restaurants are creating further incentives to spend an evening with them.    A few examples:

  • The Mill on the Floss, Williamstown:  three-course dinner for $29 all nights the restaurant is open.
  • Viva, Glendale:  four-course meal for $25 on Wednesdays and Sundays.
  • Trattoria Rustica, Pittsfield:  three courses for $20.
  • Cork n' Hearth, Lenox:  $17 mid-week "old favorites" entres.
  • Alta, Lenox:   Three courses for $25, Sunday through Thursday

Restaurant Deals ImageThis is the tip of the iceburg.   The Berkshire Eagle featured many of the specials in an article today, called Dining Deals.

A more comprehensive list is available:  Berkshire Restaurant Off-Season Specials.

Or, for a Printable Version of this list, CLICK HERE.

Additionally, save money mid-week at Hampton Terrace, where rooms are typically 40% less off-season and mid-week.

CLICK HERE to see our current SPECIALS and DISCOUNTS

WomanAroundTown.com Features Hampton Terrace

  
  
  

WomanAroundTown.comLast week we were very pleased to host Michall Jeffers, a travel writer and New York City television personality.  She, and her husband, John were sent by WomanAroundTown.com to write a feature about the Berkshires, and describe Romantic Weekend Specials at Hampton Terrace.

WomanAroundTown.com, focuses on interesting topics in, and around New York City and Washington, DC.   They occasionally feature resorts or hotels the editors find interesting.   They will not recommend a place unless one of their writers has a first-person experience there...thus our excitement to be identified, and then our relief to be "recommended."

We spent considerable time with Michall and John describing why National Geographic Traveler rated the Berkshires the #7 destination in the world.  They did have a chance to do some exploring and they had two dinners in the area.   They agreed that having an innkeeper's insight can help a visitor maximize an experience.

WomanAroundTown.comHere at Hampton Terrace, we provide two valuable and "private" lists to our guests:   "A List to Help You Plan Your Stay," and a "Dining List."   Usually, it takes an actual "booking" at Hampton Terrace to receive these insights - which come with the confirmation e-mail.    But the editors of WomanAroundTown.com felt that access to our lists would a great value for readers of their website.

If you have run into this blog entry, and would also like to learn what the Berkshires can offer for a weekend escape, CLICK HERE.

 

Updated Photography at Hampton Terrace, Lenox MA

  
  
  

Living Room JR Mark and Matthew did it again. Last year, their shots of our guest rooms resulted in a 20% jump in our 2009 revenue. At that time, we did not get a chance to photograph our public spaces or exterior. Done.

Also, Main House 5, our Walker Mini-Suite, was under renovation during their last visit, so we had new pictures done there as well.

Hampton Terrace is a Lenox bed and breakfast and a top-rated Berkshires inn.

Please visit our website to see!

Berkshire Secrets: Baby Animals at the Hancock Shaker Village

  
  
  

hancock Beginning this weekend, April 3rd and lasting through April 25th, Hancock Shaker Village is showcasing its new calves, piglets, lambs and chicks in their Round Stone Barn. Also this month you will see their heirloom gardens come to life.

The Village is open daily from 10 until 4. Beyond the obvious attraction of being able to hold and help feed the newborns, enjoy Hancock Shaker Village for what it is, a living anachronism. This working, historic landmark demonstrates why the Shakers occupy an important place in American history. They developed many of the innovative farming and construction techniques still used today.

For more information about their 8th Annual Barnyard Birthday Party, or about the Village in general, CLICK HERE.

Hampton Terrace Bed and Breakfast is located in Lenox, about a twenty minute drive from Hancock Shaker Village. While staying here, also visit the Norman Rockwell Museum, Ventfort Hall, and the Clark Art Institute.

Lenox Named a Top 20 Retirement Dream Area

  
  
  

Welcome to Lenox If it is nice place to visit, isn’t it also a nice place to live? Not necessarily, as I love to visit Orlando, but I would never consider it a place to call home.

Lenox, and by extension, the Berkshires, has again been singled out for its quality of life. By extension, I mean that without the amenities, attractions and assets offered up by our neighbors….including Stockbridge, Lee, Great Barrington, Pittsfield and other contiguous communities, there is no way that Lenox could be ranked in a survey such as this. National Geographic Traveler just rated our area the #7 destination in the world…and now AOL’s consumer and personal finance website, "WalletPop," has singled out Lenox as a top 20 dream home for retirees.

The town received plaudits for its culture, solitude and natural surroundings. In addition to the obvious accollades involving "Currier & Ives lovely" and Tanglewood…the website goes on to say, "Sophisticated, funky and quiet, Lenox is a special place."

With every point in the village less than a two block walk from our front door, we concur. We have always marveled at, and always been very profoundly appreciative of what we have here. That is partly what makes us succesfull innkeepers. Although we have been in Lenox for almost 15 years, we still are "tourists in our own home town." Trip Advisor feedback reminds us often that our guests recognize and appreciate our enthusiasm for things down our sidewalk.

But back to living here. In partnership with the website, "NeighborhoodScout.com," the AOL site considered factors such as housing options, surroundings, a vibrant mix of educated seniors and other age groups, very low crime, peace and quiet, and choice of amenities of every taste.

Once again, I DO believe you have to consider the greater Lenox area for all of these…..and if they did not…..and had……Lenox might have been #1 instead of just a Top 20! That would be an interesting thing to know.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Before moving here…visit. And while visiting, check out Hampton Terrace. It is already part of our routine to help you plan your visit intelligently to maximize your experience. And like many of our guests, you will probably come back to see some of what you missed. And then again.

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center Keeping the Berkshires Vibrant

  
  
  

Shawn Colvin Those following news about the Berkshires know that National Geographic Traveler recently rated us one of the Top Ten Destinations in the world! Of course, having a world-class summer season of theater, dance and music is part of the package. But if the place completely dried up the rest of the year, I do not believe we would have received this recognition.

Thanks to recent renovations of the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield and the Mahaiwe Theater in Great Barrington, great performances are available to local audiences, and off-season visitors all year. Just over the next several weeks, the Mahaiwe is featuring a showing of Paul Newman’s Cool Hand Luke, the Metropolitan Opera presents an HD broadcast of "Hamlet," David Bromberg is in town to showcase his folk, blues and bluegrass innovations. Finally, local favorite Shawn Colvin is here April 16th.

The Colonial Theatre has Roger McGuinn and Tom Rush this weekend, as well as nine other presentations in the next 30 days. And this is April! The offerings include speakers, lecturers, music, and even Beatlemania.

Hampton Terrace is located about 15 minutes from each venue. Let us help you plan a great Berkshire weekend, including an experience at one of our beautifully renovated venues.

Shakespeare & Company Summer Tickets on Sale

  
  
  

Located a short two-block walk from us, Shakespeare & Company, one of the Berkshires world-class performing organizations, has announced their 2010 summer season and placed tickets on sale.

The Wall Street Journal recently enthused, "Shakespeare & Company is the most consistently impressive summer drama festival in America." Wow. In our neighborhood….

John Douglas Thompson

This summer features a return of John Douglas Thompson to the stage. For the last two summers, he has played "Othello," with a second year added by popular demand. He has won the OBIE Award, and according to the New York Times, "This year Thompson staked his claim as one of the most compelling classical stage actors of his generation." Wow. In our neighborhood.

Thompson will be leading a large cast in a fully staged production of "Richard III."

Also being presented this summer is Tina Packer’s "Women of Will," "Mengelberg and Mahler," Sea Marks," "The Winter’s Tale," "The Taster," a repeat run of Elizabeth Aspenleider’s "Bad Dates," and intern performances of "The Comedy of Errors," "Ther Amorous Quarrel," and "Julius Caesar." Wow. In our neighborhood.

Please visit their WEBSITE or call 413-637-3353. And be sure to stay at Hampton Terrace, featuring off-season rates during MOST of Shakespeare & Company’s run…….June, September and all summer mid-week.

Hampton Terrace Hosting UK Writers this Weekend

  
  
  

Prima Cover We are very proud to be hosting a group of travel writers from England this weekend, representing Sky Travel UK, Prima, and the UK representative of the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism.

The group will also be touring the Berkshires for three days, including visits to Cranwell, Tanglewood, Stockbridge, The Norman Rockwell Museum, The Red Lion Inn, Prime Outlets, Firefly Restaurant, Ventfort Hall Museum, Williamstown, The Clark Art Institute, North Adams and MassMoCa. The tour is being coordinated by the Berkshire Visitors Bureau.

Press visits to Hampton Terrace have resulted in very positive exposure, including articles in USAToday, The WAG, BedandBreakfast.com and regional newspapers.

Hampton Terrace Guest Profile: Fred Zeller of “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”

  
  
  

Jimmy Fallon We have so many interesting guests here at Hampton Terrace that it occurred to me that it might be fun to share some stories here in my blog. Of course, everyone is special in his or her own way…..but let’s limit this to those you might want to read about.

Several weeks ago Debra and Fred Zeller stayed over a weekend. My background includes music promotion and the subject of music came up at breakfast.. It turns out that Fred has been a sound engineer at NBC, 30 Rock, for almost 30 years….about 10 as the sound engineer for Conan, and the last year doing the same for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Over the years he has met and worked with virtually every celebrity and musical guest on the planet. We talked about Macon, GA, my hometown, and the Allman Brothers, Marshall Tucker Band, etc. I produced an Allman Brothers reunion in 1986 which turned out to be pivotal in reuniting the band after a 10-year break.

Jimmy-FallonI get an e-mail a week later from Fred saying that The Allman Brothers were playing the Fallon Show on March 9th and he would hold tickets for me. So Susan, my sister-in-law, my daughter and I went to New York to spend the day with Fred. Fred got me in about 11 am for equipment set-up and sound check. I was able to spend a couple of hours backstage and reconnect with some of the Allmans: Jaimoe and Butch Trucks, the drummers. Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes, guitarists. Fred was old friends with some of their tech guys so we spent considerable time listening to road stories. It was great. I watched the band do a couple of noon run-throughs….and even though the technical crew at the Fallon Show had seen just about every act there is….they applauded the sound check. This band has remained vibrant, fresh and tight, in spite of a 40-year career. Their line-up changes have been careful and deliberate.

While Susan, Lynn and Lauren sat in the live studio audience, I got to sit in the sound production room with Fred. The layout is not too much different than the cockpit of the space shuttle. This guy is the ultimate multi-tasker. His hands fly all over the board, flipping switches, pushing slides, punching buttons. His chair rolls around his work space methodically as he moves from panel to panel. I am hearing the director cueing cameras, sound augments, props. Although I had seen an earlier run-through for the show (with a Fallon stand-in), it turns out the live production is pretty much like Saturday Night Live….theater on the fly. They know that a really bad screw-up can be edited out before the evening show, but much is left in. A spontaneous-looking performance is the goal.

Jimmy-FallonAnd screw up this show did. A national headlines-type screw up. Jimmy had challenged guest Chelsea Handler to a martini making contest. The goal was to make 3 martinis, grab them and race around the audience, return to the stage and dump them in a container to see who could spill the least over the contest. Chelsea got back first, but the mess they both made had soaked the stage. As Jimmy was running back to the table his feet went straight up the in the air and he crashed on his back, breaking all three glasses. When he got up, he was bleeding profusely from his hands. It turned out not to be serious…. but it was terribly funny because with his Saturday Night Live experience, Jimmy was not stymied by the moment…and Chelsea Handler was so quick that she had two great one-liners within seconds. The perfect guest for the moment.

I had the extra thrill of hearing and seeing the way the production booth handled the mishap. Close-ups. Slow motions. A running gag for the rest of the show. The injury turned out to be just minor cuts and Jimmy had the hand wrapped for the rest of the show. It was not wrapped the next night.

Jimmy-FallonThe Allmans, meanwhile, were fabulous. I cannot thank Fred Zeller enough for giving us this unforgettable experience at 30 Rock. Owning an inn has many types of rewards.

If you think this is the only guest story I’ve got….just wait.

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