With the "Tanglewood" Season upon us, the Berkshire Eagle called lodging properties across the county to see how the summer was looking.
Titled, "Strong Tourism Season Expected This Year," Clarence Fanto highlighted special events, unique to this summer, which are helping to drive traffic into the inns.
North County is benefiting from MassMoCa's Wilco Solid Sound Festival, which was such a hit last year the concept is being repeated. Pittsfield and Great Barrington are each celebrating their 250th anniversaries with special programs.
And Tanglewood is filling three weekends prior to the arrival of the BSO, starting with the British Motorcar Festival the weekend of June 17th, Earth Wind and Fire the weekend of the 25th, and four James Taylor concerts leading into July 4th.
They also are helping the economy with several significant mid-week popular music shows, Steely Dan and Train.
For some Hampton Terrace quotes, click through to the article. Most of our weekends are already filled, but there are some openings still. Our "Mid-Week Special" of $199/night is filling the gaps between the weekends, as usual.
But there is still availability most weeks, so check with us.
Over 180 items to consider.....Tanglewood, theater and museum admissions, inn and hotel packages, dinners, summer camps, spa days, items from Berkshire retail shops and galleries....
Bidding has begun and it is all on-line. Bidding closes on June 5th, so you will know within 2 weeks if you have won your item.
BID ON A WEEKEND AT HAMPTON TERRACE! We donated a 2-night stay, worth $400+. Current bid is $120...so you might get a bargain visit...with all proceeds going to a good cause.
Some of the items are unique opportunities...not normally open to the public. For example, a chance to spend a day in the kitchen with a local chef, or tours of the private spaces and collections at some of the museums.
All proceeds will create a Berkshires Marketing Fund to replace shrinking state tourism marketing funds.
To keep our favorite venues, museums, restaurants and lodging establishments open and thriving, we all must all participate in the effort to keep our area on the tourism radar. That takes money, and if you look at the diversity of the auction items, you understand that this is an issue that everyone is taking very seriously.
So whether you are a local or a visitor, click below to see the auction items....and have fun bidding!
Roger St. Pierre, a free-lance UK writer, recently published an article in the Belfast Telegraph about a visit to Boston and the Berkshires. His review of his night at Hampton Terrace:
"Lenox is the place to stay in these parts. The site of Tanglewood – summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra – it’s the inland alternative to the Hamptons for the rich and famous yet is affordable and unpretentious.
I’d recommend the delightfully renovated 1897 Hampton Terrace, a welcoming and elegant B&B whose ebullient proprietor, Stan Rosen, is an entertaining former jazz impresario who counts many of that music’s greats among his personal friends. Style and service are both impeccable here."
About the jazz impresario part: Roger writes about a lot of topics, but he is very well known in music circles. He recently produced a six-part BBC radio series on American Music, but his first-person experience with British music dates back to the 60s, when he handled PR for the Jackson 5, James Brown, Bill Haley, Marvin Gaye and dozens of other iconic American acts touring the UK for the first time. He has written over 1000 album liner sleeves, and thousands of music articles for various magazines. He also has written two encyclopedias of music and the definitive biographies of many important musicians, including Jimi Hendrix, Bon Jovi and Madonna.
And, in 1969, he was co-promoter of the historic ‘Peace For Christmas’ concert, which headlined John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band – and outfit which included that night Eric Clapton, Keith Moon, George Harrison, Billy Preston, Alan White of Yes, Delaney & Bonnie, the Manfred Mann Band’s Klaus Voorman and, of course, Yoko.
So......those of you who know me......know that I was in some kind of personal heaven hosting this guy in my living room. We shared wine, swapped stories and dropped names for hours in front of the Hampton Terrace fireplace.
Most recently, Roger has shared his love of music with a passion for travel....having visited over 100 countries and more than 35 states. He edits UK's Holiday and Leisure World, and writes hundreds of travel guides and reviews throughout the world.
So imagine our excitement to have "made his cut!"
Anyone heard of Google Alerts? It is very easy to sign up for an e-mail "ping" every time a certain phrase pops up anywhere on the Internet.
Blogging and Facebook posting are ways I keep in touch with our guests, expose Hampton Terrace to new customers, and raise Google search engine awareness.
So to measure my effectiveness, I want to see every time Berkshire, Berkshires, Lenox or Hampton Terrace are used on the Internet in any context. I am looking for my "reach."
First...and let's get this out of the way: Kate Middleton is from the Berkshires UK (pronounced "Barkshers") so I have received SO MANY NOTICES about her and William....that if anyone confiscated my laptop they might think I am a Royal Wedding stalker.
Secondly, Warren Buffet, the billionaire owner of Berkshire Hathaway has been in the news a lot lately...or so it seems...based on the number of articles currently being posted about a scandal in his company. Most people are probably not noticing....but every mention of his name somewhere on the web pings my Blackberry. Very irritating.
Lenox: I learned that the power went out yesterday in the subways under the Lenox Square Mall in Atlanta, they are still making Lenox china, the Lenox hotel in Boston has specials, and the Lenox Hill section of Harlem has a lot of stuff going on.
Most interesting, however, is how many Hampton Terraces are out there. I knew there was a massive Hampton Terrace Resort on the Savannah River near Augusta, GA at the turn of the century. It burned down, and as far as I can tell, we are the only Hampton Terrace "lodging" establishment in the last 100 years in the world.
But there is a Hampton Terrace (street) in North Hampton, Mass., a Hampton Terrace subdivision in Libertyville, IL, a Hampton Terrace Neighborhood Association in Tampa.....and Hampton Terrace Bed and Breakfast in Lenox, MA, located in the Berkshires!
That is what I am looking for!
Kate and William Photo: John Stillwell/Getty
With the bad comes the good. By all accounts, this was the worst winter on record in the Berkshires...over 100 inches of snow and temperatures that averaged under 20 degrees for three months. That caused the snow to pile higher and higher, causing damage to pretty much everything: roofs, roads, shrubs...
Now the good: all of the melting snow and runoff has caused a saturation of the ground that is resulting in the greenest, thickest grass I have ever seen. Bare trees have exploded in foliage.
Yesterday, we took Susan fishing for Mother's Day. Yes, that is what she asked for....so we drove from Lenox down to Benedict Pond in South County. The vistas...the valleys, pastures and rolling mountains were so vivid that if someone had painted them in oil....you just would not accept it as real.
On a related note, the road to the top of Mount Greylock opens in a week, a chance to see all of Western Massachusetts in one sweeping panoramic vista.
See you soon.
A lot of guests who come to Hampton Terrace bring their bicycles, and others probably will once they read an article that I happened to find on-line.
Hancock Shaker Village: Soon after setting out on the 26 mile round trip from Lenox, a short climb over Lenox Mountain yields a panoramic view of Stockbridge Bowl and the craggy face of Monument Mountain. Spend a couple of hours at Hancock Shaker Village, with its wonderfully preserved shops, kitchen, barns and heritage garden cue sheet map
Stockbridge, Monterey and Tyringham: We start out past "Gilded Era" mansions in Lenox and through rural farmland on our way to popular Stockbridge. The ride continues along the edge of Beartown State Forest to tiny Monterey, then drops down to the Tyringham Valley. Have lunch in Lee before returning to the Apple Tree Inn along Undermountain Road, for a total of 45 miles. Cue sheet map
Alford and Stockbridge: We check out of our rooms at the Apple Tree Inn in the morning, but leave our cars here as we head out on a 35 mile ride through Stockbridge and past the Norman Rockwell Museum. After cycling along the rapids of the Housatonic river, we pass through tiny Alford and stop for lunch in West Stockbridge. We often take a break from the 2 mile moderate climb out of West Stockbridge for a walk through the Berkshire Botanical Garden. This ride is 35 miles. cue sheet map
This ride heads east to Becket MA, one of the Berkshire "hilltowns" with some steady climbing and a long descent to Pittsfield before returning to Lenox . cue shee
t map Housatonic River ride
Follow the course of the Housatonic River from Lee and Lenox to where it enters Connecticut, then back for a complete loop. cue sheet map Lenox-Williamstown
This long ride starts similarly to the shorter Hancock Shaker Village ride but continues past two large lakes through Pittsfield, Lanesborough and New Ashford before circling back after entering Williamstown. cue sheet map
Here's the deal. Yes, you can go to Fenway in Boston. There are no tickets left so you pay 3 times face from Ace Tickets or StubHub.
Now that the Red Sox have their 0 and 35 start behind them, nothing that they could throw at us could be worse, right?
That was on purpose, I know. For the typical Red Sox fan, the sky is always falling. Theo Epstein is thinking...let's start with the season in the toilet...that way.....if the season ends that way...no one feels like the rug was yanked (pardon sincerely the pun).
Back to my point. After all, I run an inn, not a sports column.
The Boston Red Sox are on television just about every night. NESN, channel 1849. Every one of our rooms has a tv. But that also is not my point. The Berkshires have numerous sports bar options, so stay at Hampton Terrace, watch the game at a local watering hole, and use our terrific breakfasts to cure the hangover.
If you want to walk...the Olde Heritage Tavern down the street from us has cheap beer, good bar food and plenty of televisions, which will all be turned to the game.
Five minutes north of us is Halpern's Pub and Grub, voted the Best in the Berkshires in the sports bar category, and five minutes south of us is Lee's Locker Room...a place where I have personally watched many football playoff games and Superbowls with my twin boys. Great Barrington has "The Well," and if you are really serious about this, I will help you research a list that could be 5 times longer.
I mention Yankees in the headline. While it is probably true that the typical sports bar in the area will NOT be showing the YES Network....this IS a great area in which to WATCH a Red Sox-Yankees game. Why? Because the Berkshires are pretty evenly split RED/BLUE.
We are literally ten minutes from the New York state line and Albany television is more pervasive than stations in Springfield or elsewhere. So there ARE a lot of Yankee fans here. I would say until the Red Sox recent run, it was 50/50. Now, it is probably more 60/40 Red Sox...but that does not mean the bars are any less fun during a game.
So on Red Sox-Yankee nights, you will find the bars full and the crowd mixed, making a raucous atmosphere probably unlikely either in Boston or New York where only a brain-damaged (or soon to be brain-damaged) fan would walk into a bar in the other team's garb.
Welcome to the Berkshires...where we can help you have a great sports bar experience and provide the bed you need afterwards.
James Taylor lives in Lenox. We see him in the coffee shop, grocery store line.... of course, every summer at Tanglewood for multiple shows.
Many of our guests know this and ask.... why here? Notwithstanding the fact that among his most famous lines...
Now the first of December was covered with snow
And so was the turnpike from Stockbridge to Boston
Though the Berkshires seemed dream-like on account of that frosting
With ten miles behind me and ten thousand more to go
So why does he live here, in a town of less than 5,000? I ran across an interview with him in Berkshire Living Magazine. Rather than paraphrase...here is the link.
Taylor's wife, Kim, was marketing director for the Boston Symphony, and much of her job centered around promoting Tanglewood, down the street. She is from Albany, an hour away, and went to college in North Hampton, an hour the other direction...so landing in the Berkshires was natural for her.
And for James as well, having spent part of his 20s in Stockbridge. He met Kim at Tanglewood in 1993 at a John Williams conducted Pops concert. They married in 2001.
But the deciding factor was when they had twin boys in 2002. They started looking for a place to raise their sons...and after careful consideration, and a couple of false starts in other places, they landed in Lenox.
Tanglewood itself is the major beneficiary of this decision. James performs multiple shows every summer, with the majority of the cash flow remaining at the venue as a contribution. This has amounted to millions of dollars.
But going beyond Tanglewood....little known is the fact that Taylor jumped into action within days of the Haiti earthquake to do what he could to help.
He arranged a private show at the Mahaiwe Theater in Great Barrington (680 seats), and said he would match all ticket proceeds with a personal donation. WAMC Northeast Public Radio broadcast the show live to solicit call-in donations. When the show sold out quickly, Taylor added a second show the next night. Total donations collected: $600,000. From the concept of the idea...to the end of the second show...less than a week.
Welcome to the Berkshires...where there the quality of life never ceases to amaze. Come visit!
Photos by Stan Grossfield/Courtesy of the Boston Globe
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
I promised when I started this Hampton Terrace blog that I would share reasons to come to the Berkshires. PARTIES.....outrageous parties....that anyone can attend.... is a HUGE reason.
This past weekend the art school, IS183, did it again. Themed "Anime Hothouse," and held in one of the very few remaining Vanderbilt mansions left in the world.... Every year this crowd throws the party to beat all parties. The thing is.... everyone dresses the theme.
I used to throw parties for a living in a community of 250,000 people. I always knew that throwing a party where people felt like they had to dress up..... was the path to a disaster. Whether people were too busy to think about costumes, too insecure, too pigeon-holed in their Polos and Talbot's outfits...I cannot know. They just did not work.
But not true here. Probably it is the fact that the Berkshires are a little Bohemian...lots of actors, artists, musicians, general crazy people...enough to create a critical mass that causes the rest of us (including me - yeah, button-downs, khakis and boat shoes) to drop the pretenses, grab a Scotch, and cake on the make-up.
Past themes have included "Hair Ball," and "Radioactive Bodega," both of which we attended. We could not go this year...but I am looking at hundreds of photographs, and the only one I do not see dressed to the hilt is Governor Deval Patrick... I can only assume that a photograph of him, dressed in Japanese anime', taken out of context, could be disasterous. A nice sensible blue sportcoat for the Gov...
So back to Berkshire parties. To get on the IS183 mailing list and learn more about the art school, its programs, and its parties, CLICK HERE.
Although the IS183 parties are the most "out there," other organizations in the area also have galas and events at least once per year which should be on your radar.
Shakespeare and Company, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Berkshire Film and Media Commission....I could go on and on.
They each take advantage of the great mansions available, the beautiful vistas, the "crowd that is willing to do anything..."
I did not mention this party in my blog as something to watch out for. I promise I will do a better job in the future of giving you a heads up.
Meanwhile, I suggest going to BerkshireLiving.com and signing up for their free newsletters and upcoming event notices.
Photographs by Kevin Sprague