Yankee editors share some of their favorite picks for kicking back at a bed-and-breakfast, Berkshires–style.
By Yankee Staff
Mar 19 2021
Devonfield Inn, Lee | Berkshires Bed-and-BreakfastsPhoto Credit : Courtesy of Devonfield Inn
There are few better places for a classic New England country escape than western Massachusetts, where some of our favorite Berkshires bed-and-breakfasts await. The region is blessed with both natural attractions — mountains for skiing and hiking, rivers and lakes for swimming and boating (even whitewater rafting) — and world-class cultural attractions, too. Here is where you will find the nation’s largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts, Mass MoCA; the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Tanglewood; and the renowned Jacob’s Pillow dance festival.
Below are more than a dozen distinctive places to overnight in the Berkshires, all of which have been named a Yankee Best of New England Editors’ Pick for Massachusetts.
Local mill owner Sanford Blackinton spared no expense when he built this Italianate Federal mansion in 1832. Its elegance is undiminished today as a country inn that treats guests to three-course gourmet breakfasts, a wine and cheese reception, and a choice of five refined rooms with lovely window views (including the dog-friendly Carriage Room, with easy outdoor access). Among the other amenities are a pool, gardens, and a cozy living room with fireplace.
Owned by the Trustees of Reservations, this 1948 Bauhaus-inspired private home filled with classic modern furnishings could have easily become a museum. Instead, it’s a six-room guest house, with ample public areas for lounging, great views of Mount Greylock, and a full country breakfast each morning. Four miles of hiking trails are a bonus.
The beauty and comfort of this solar- and biodiesel-powered B&B is proof positive that reducing the carbon footprint of your travels doesn’t require sacrificing luxury. Nine artist-designed rooms, unique in their exotic motifs, have been furnished exclusively with inert and organic materials. Just minutes from Mass MoCA, the Topia Inn is situated at the base of Mount Greylock next to the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail.
What began in 1793 as a big tavern and farmhouse is now a romantic country manor with six attractive guest rooms over three floors. But its heart is the common space running the full length of the house, from the music room’s baby grand piano right through to the dining room’s table for 12. The owners are longtime Berkshire residents who can point you to all the best local attractions and dining spots.
Almost hidden by the trees and landscaping of its five-acre grounds, this posh Berkshires retreat offers 15 rooms and suites, many in the 1780 main house, with several others in two adjoining cottages. Many rooms feature fireplaces; the two suites and several other rooms feature private porches or decks. Homemade cookies and a free wine tasting at nearby Furnace Brook Winery are among the many perks.
Built as a summer escape for the family of Procter & Gamble heir Harvey Procter in 1912, this mansion has been transformed into a truly memorable bed-and-breakfast inn. Just a mile and a half from Tanglewood, Gateways offers 11 handsome antiques-filled rooms, including some with sleigh beds and fireplaces. The impressive daily breakfast buffet features a hot entree (meat-free but hearty), homemade granola and baked treats, fruit and cheese, and coffee from local favorite Six Depot in West Stockbridge.
A Great Barrington landmark that dates back to before the American Revolution, this B&B offers nine cozy rooms and suites in the main inn and a carriage house. Several of the rooms have fireplaces, as do the parlors, where the guests congregate; the garden with terrace is another popular hangout. Just down the road from Ski Butternut and convenient to the slopes of Otis Ridge and New York’s Catamount, the Wainwright is a handy home base for skiers, who will even find ski storage provided on-site.
The Berkshires may be full of cozy 19th-century inns, but none offers such an effortless blend of contemporary folk art, luxurious bedding, and gourmet food. The owners’ passion for showcasing the bounty of local producers, with special help from the inn’s own egg-laying hens, results in scrumptious farm-to-table breakfasts.
Doug Bagnasco and Jim DeBlasi make patrons feel like houseguests in this elegant English country estate, which has 10 individually decorated rooms and suites and a standalone cottage. Enticements include a landscaped pool with mountain views, wood-burning fireplaces and whirlpool baths, candlelight gourmet breakfasts, plus a guest pantry that’s always open and stocked with fresh-baked cookies and other snacks.
This post was first published in 2019 and has been updated.