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Hotel Highlights

  • Peaceful, romantic retreat amid the beautiful Berkshires countryside
  • 220-acre cosy country estate with huge fires
  • Cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing and ice-skating on site

Overview

Grand old Blantyre just outside Lenox in Massachusetts is a countryside remnant from the gilded turn of the last century. Ivy-clad and elegant, from the outside it looks like a mash-up of an English manor and Scottish castle. Inside, it’s all roaring fires, antique accessories and cheese fondue whenever you want it.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Blantyre with us:

Spa treatment of choice

Facilities

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Blantyre Hotel – Berkshires – USA

Need To Know

Rooms

23, including eight suites.

Check–out

11am, but flexible if there’s availability. Earliest check-in, 12pm (or whenever you arrive if the room’s ready).

Rates

Double rooms from $600.00, excluding tax at 11.7 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional resort fee of 18% per room per night on check-out.

More details

Rates include breakfast and champagne, cheese and fruit on arrival.

Also

Blantyre has chilly weather covered: snuggle up in the Warming Hut to play pool, watch TV or settle into an armchair. There’s also a hot chocolate menu, and the option of cheese fondue, which can be served any time anywhere in the grounds.

At the hotel

Tennis courts, ice-skating, croquet, snow-shoeing, billiards room, cross-country skiing, 220-acre grounds, spa, gym, CD/DVD/book library and free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, CD/DVD player, iPod dock, bottled water and Kiehl’s products.

Our favourite rooms

For full old-world exposure, make sure you book one of the eight rooms in the main house. We especially like the Crimson Suite’s palatial four-poster, dressing room with a vanity table lined with antique silver accessories, wood-burning fireplace, huge bath tub and spacious terrace. Second place goes to the Laurel Suite, which has parquet floors, a palette of pinks, creams and yellows, and overlooks the gardens at the back of the house.

Poolside

There’s a heated pool outside by the Carriage House and spa.

Packing tips

Don’t forget your finery for evening meals; leave your snow boots behind – the hotel has some you can borrow.

Also

The Potting Shed spa has a greenhouse with a hot tub, wood-burning fireplace, steam room and sauna – as well as a list of tempting treatments.

Children

Over-12s only, unless you’re hiring out the whole property, in which case all ages are welcome and cots will be supplied free. Extra beds are US$100 a night. Babysitting with hotel staff can be requested at any time for US$25 an hour.

Eco‐friendly

Blantyre uses natural gas, recycles most things and sends its staff on errands around the property in electric cars.

Food & Drink

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Blantyre Hotel – Berkshires – USA

Hotel Restaurant

The top-notch dining room is regal and romantic, with pink tablecloths, oriental rugs and burnished wood furnishings. In the evenings, dinner is quiet, candlelit and intimate. The French-American menu changes with each season, but keep your eyes peeled for caramelised diver-caught scallops from Maine, rack of lamb with morels, and châteaubriand for two. The chef also creates a five-course tasting menu, accompanied by various wines from the global collection. Picnic hampers can be packed up for you to take on a ramble around the estate.

Hotel Bar

The bar is more of a drinks trolley, set up in the Main Hall so guests can order a drink and then pick a seat here, in the Music Room or out on the covered terrace. Things pick up when the pianist gets tinkling from 6.30pm.

Last orders

Formal eating hours are: breakfast, 7.30am–10.30am; lunch, 12.30pm–1.45pm; dinner, 5.30pm–8.30pm, but food can be brought to you wherever you are at any time (look out for snow barbecues in the winter).

Room service

Selected snacks, hot food and platters are available 24 hours a day.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Bordering on black tie (jackets for men, and something equally elegant for women).

Top table

Have the hotel set up breakfast or dinner by the fireplace in your bedroom.

Local Guide

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Blantyre Hotel – Berkshires – USA
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

The hotel has enough activities to make you never want to leave – hiking, croquet, tennis, golf, swimming, ice-skating, snow-shoeing, cross-country skiing, swinging (or snoozing) in the hammock and cookery classes. If your intentions lie further afield, hunt for antiques along Route 7 from Great Barrington south towards Sheffield, try out fly-fishing at one of Massachusetts’ famous lakes, or visit Edith Wharton’s estate down the road, The Mount (www.edithwharton.org).

Local restaurants

Head into Lenox to try the spelt spaghetti at local pasta bar Nudel (+1 431 551 7183; nudelrestaurant.com) on Church Street. On the same road, Zinc (+1 431 637 8800; www.bistrozinc.com) offers home-made pasta and gnocchi, and finely cooked meat dishes, including marinated quail with polenta. Pop along to the restaurant at the Wheatleigh (+1 431 637 0610) hotel for the four-course seasonal menu of classic French cuisine, international cheeses and an award-winning wine list.

Local cafés

Mid-morning coffee fixes in downtown Lenox come in the form of Haven (+1 413 637 8948; www.haven.berkshireculinary.com) on Franklin Street. Try the breakfast burrito or polenta pancakes.

+ Enlarge
Burnt orange woodland

Blantyre

16 Blantyre Road, Lenox, Berkshires, Massachusetts 01240, United States

Planes

The nearest airport is Albany, a 70-minute or 45-mile drive to the hotel. From Boston, expect the drive to take two hours; from any of New York’s hubs, it’s around three hours.

Trains

Pittsfield station is a 10-minute drive from Blantyre. Arrive here on Amtrak (www.amtrak.com) from other cities in the US, including Albany, Syracuse, NYC and Boston. Hotel transfers are free.

Automobiles

The hotel is two miles out of Lenox, along Walker Street. From Boston, use the Interstate 90. From New York, the Interstate 684 should help you on your way. Cars can be parked for free.

Other

There’s a helipad awaiting your chopper (if you’ve got one).

Reviews

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Blantyre Hotel – Berkshires – USA

Anonymous review

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

Hotels really bring out the acrylic chameleon in me. I don’t check in, I absorb. I’m convinced that a hotel is a fantasy with walls and windows, and I just happily go with whatever script it hands me – even though I’m a film producer and usually don’t go with the script anyone hands me. But this explains why Mr Smith is nattering on about the free love ideas at Bro…
Read more

Blantyre

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

Hotels really bring out the acrylic chameleon in me. I don’t check in, I absorb. I’m convinced that a hotel is a fantasy with walls and windows, and I just happily go with whatever script it hands me – even though I’m a film producer and usually don’t go with the script anyone hands me.

But this explains why Mr Smith is nattering on about the free love ideas at Brook Farm, some 19th-century Massachusetts precursor to Woodstock Nation, if I get his drift, as we drive to Blantyre, in the clapboard-chaste precincts of Lenox, Massachusetts. He’s afraid that Blantyre, a turn-of-the-last-century constellation of gables, leaded glass windows, and settees, is going to extrude me into a Henry James heroine with a starched-ruff sex drive when what he wants this weekend is ‘Pretty Woman’.

When I see our grand bedroom, the Blue Room, I am feeling lots of things, but certainly not like a blue movie. It has high ceilings, ‘Goodwood Park’ mouldings, and windows that just invite you to stand there in this room with a view and brood deeply about whether we can ever really just connect or not feel like luggage on a conveyor belt going in circles.

The bed has that cloud-like perfection one always wants in a hotel. Mr Smith appraises it with a slight leer, but that’s not who I am right now. ‘Darling,’ I say in a slightly fainting accent, ‘I must have some lunch,’ knowing that the poor man will happily turn on a dime to trade one appetite for another.

Blantyre is a coral reef of bric-a-brac, high quality mind you, but the owner must be a bowerbird; she just can’t stop bringing treasures back to the nest. There are Limoges china dishes, hand carved crystal glasses, and angel statues – I’m thinking ‘City of Angels’ (adapted to the Berkshires) but Mr Smith, I’m sure, is thinking of ‘Blue Angels’. At that, my midriff stiffens, as though I’m wearing whalebone-stay undergarments. I look askance at the, the, the flagrant sexual posturing of the orchids on each table, while prudently approving of the lovebird salt and pepper shakers. I feel a rush of warmth when I ask a server if it would be naughty to have our champagne brought down from the room to the lovely veranda, where we can savour the dying light on the gardens and croquet lawn. ‘You are not naughty,’ she says, ‘you are on holiday.’ To which Mr Smith says, out of the side of his mouth, ‘But how ’bout a little naughty.’ The cad.

That night I lock myself in the bathroom, and am delighted when Mr Smith goes a bit Jack Torrance and starts pounding on the door. The vintage wallcovering in the bathroom portrays various sorts of old-fashioned dalliances – the hotel calls it ‘hide and seek’ wallpaper – and wouldn’t this be the perfect place for me to yield? I throw open the door so abruptly that Mr Smith plunges headlong into the bathroom and hits his head on the rolled lip of the tub. ‘Knock yourself out,’ I think in an idiom completely out of character, but then I see that he has.

By the next morning, Mr Smith has given up his notions of a weekend ‘La Dolce Vita’ or 'L’Avventura' – he’s Italian, did I mention that? – and has assumed the mien of ‘My Life as a Dog’. Passive irony as defense. I take him to the pool, which is long enough so that I am ‘The Swimmer’, feeling that the laps are immeasurable. Soft towels just appear and so do chocolate popsicle treats (if you look like you may want one), and fresh iced tea, just-made lemonade, bits of dried fruits and nuts, water, and multiple sun protection bottles by Kiehl’s. Mr Smith is well on his way to a cameo in, ahem, ‘Sunburn’ (are the film namedrops driving you nuts yet?) but that’s OK. I’ve booked the spa, and I trust they’ll undo the damage.

The next day we take a long walk to the Mount, the erstwhile residence of Edith Wharton. Actually, we got lost and a very sweet local antiques dealer drove us. I can tell you that this place is no house of mirth – it’s beautiful and stately and sort of ‘Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House’ meets ‘Mansfield Park’. We strolled around the gardens and sat on benches, and I let Mr Smith French kiss me by the fountains in some – this is practically the final one, I promise – ‘Age of Innocence’ rebellion.

There is a lot to do in the area, most of which we missed. Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony, is nearby. I’m told that in the winter, the Blantyre tennis court is turned into an ice-skating rink, which one can also dine on. And at Christmas, the tall pine tree in the front of the hotel is covered with Christmas lights. I’m coming back. And have you guest it? Of course I’ll be channeling 1942 classic, ‘Holiday Inn'.



The Guestbook

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