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.
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.
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….
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.
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.
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.
I 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.
And 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.
The 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.
Iconic dance festival, Jacob’s Pillow, in its 78th Season, announced it 2010 schedule recently and tickets are on sale today, March 1.
Beginning June 23rd, the line-up includes Nina Ananiashvili, the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Le Ballets de Montreal, Camile A. Brown, Barak Marshall’s "Monger," Shantala Shivalingappa, Armitage Gone!, Pichet Klunchun, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, Jacoby and Pronk, CND2, Monica Bill Barnes & Company, Trey McIntyre, Yin Mei, Les Ballets Trockadero, Kyle Abraham, The Goteborg Ballet, Lucy Guerin, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and the Vanaver Caravan. For information or tickets, CLICK HERE.
An insider’s tip. Enjoy Jacob’s Pillow performances mid-week and save up to 30% at Hampton Terrace in Lenox. CLICK HERE to learn about our mid-week discounts.
We are very proud at Hampton Terrace of our loyal customer base. There are more than 5,000 couples who remain on our newsletter list, even though opting out is one click away. We are equally proud that our summers fill each year with more than 50% repeat visitation.
We are careful about sending out our e-mail newsletters, knowing that an abuse of our valuable e-mail list will result in more opt-outs. So we limit our newsletters to about three per year….two of them pertaining to important dates involving Tanglewood. The third features off-season specials.
So we see Facebook as a terrific opportunity for those guests who want to hear more from us to voluntarily do so.
- You will NOT hear what I had for lunch
- You will NOT be subjected to photos of our vacation
- You will NOT regret it and hide us
- You WILL hear of unique and interesting events in the area that we think you'd like to consider
- You WILL be first to hear about new restaurants , special menus, wine tastings, off-season deals
- You WILL know the second Tanglewood, Jacob's Pillow and all of the theater groups announce their seasons and place their tickets on sale
CLICK HERE! and then click LIKE US. THANKS!
Every year we schedule major upgrades at Hampton Terrace, and this year involves all new flooring in our Wynnstay Cottage. Our Living Room area (shown) now has a durable hardwood-style planking with area rugs to aid areas that have always had too much traffic for carpet.
And the guest rooms, as of yesterday, are newly carpeted with some bold new color changes. All-in-all, a hugely positive experience for us…a chance to rebuild all of the beds to make sure they are solid, clean behind and under furniture which has not been moved in a while… We get a lot of repeat visitation in our Wynnstay Cottage (6 guest rooms, all with gas fireplaces and Jacuzzis) and I cannot wait to hear the reactions.
Before Marti Mayne of BedandBreakfast.com visited Hampton Terrace a couple of years ago on a tour of Berkshire inns, she checked out our website. I had always been told that we had a good website, but deep down I was not so sure.
After her stay, she volunteered that our inn photography undersold our inn, and that we should give serious thought to an upgrade. She put me in touch with Mark and Matthew of Jumping Rocks Photography and the rest, as they say, is history. In November 2008, they spent a couple of days shooting all of our guest rooms, and by January 2009, Kathy Barto and I had created a whole new website to showcase our pictures. The impact was immediate and profound.
Our 2009 occupancy was 25% higher than 2008, in spite of the economy. Most impressively, our off-season occupancy (all months except July, August and October) was up 60%! The power of good images.
This increase got us noticed by USAToday as well.
So next month in Austin, Texas, when PAII holds their annual convention, Jumping Rocks has asked permission to use Hampton Terrace as an example of the impact of good photography on a website. Could not be more pleased to help out the guys who so profoundly helped us.
We are pleased to share that you can now be a fan of Hampton Terrace, with a special set of benefits to be associated with that. By following us on Facebook (and soon Twitter) you will be the first to know about special events here and in the Berkshires, last-minute availabiilty, associated discounts, and other items of interest.
CLICK HERE to register as a fan.