Berkshires, United States

Life House, Berkshires

Price per night from$109.00

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD109.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Modish mountain retreat

Setting

Arty Appalachians

Set amid the rolling valleys and precipitous peaks of western Massachusetts, Life House, Berkshires conjures a contemporary take on New England nostalgia, where warm woody interiors, retro mountain-lodge decor and shelves crammed with books evoke the spirit of artists past. Curl up fireside in the library lounge with a battered copy of Moby Dick (written just three miles from here) or take yourself off for a hike along any number of heart-swelling Appalachian mountain trails. In the evening, reward yourself with a signature cocktail or smoky single malt in the sociable 70s-style club room – all muted mossy velvets, wooden beams and eye-popping upholstery.

Smith Extra

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A bottle of wine on arrival

Facilities

Photos Life House, Berkshires facilities

Need to know

Rooms

65, including one deluxe suite.

Check–Out

11am. Check-in is from 3pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability.

Prices

Double rooms from £106.94 ($129), including tax at 18.725 per cent.

More details

Rates include a daily breakfast served in the Club Room.

At the hotel

Lounge bar, parking garage, free WiFi. In rooms: Apple TV, air conditioning, writing desk, Revival New York linens and bathrobes, Le Labo toiletries.

Our favourite rooms

Rooms at Life House, Berkshires invite the outside in, with warm woods and olive-green tones inspired by the colour palettes of the local landscape. All come with luxury touches like premium Revival New York bedding and bathrobes, and Le Labo toiletries. Bag the biggest room in the hotel – a sizeable suite with two king-size beds – for twice the space of standard rooms, a lounge area and verdant views.

Packing tips

If you’re not going to read Moby Dick in the landscape that inspired it, then when? Bag yourself a thrift-store copy for pennies and pack it alongside the sturdy walking boots you’ll need to scale Mount Greylock. The snow-capped humps of this Massachusetts giant are said to have been the inspiration for Melville’s leviathan, his ‘grand hooded phantom, like a snow hill in the air’.

Pet‐friendly

Your four-legged pals will no doubt relish the Berkshires’ endless mountain trails. Rooms accommodate a maximum of two pets at a cost of $85 each for the whole stay. See more pet-friendly hotels in Berkshires.

Children

Standard Two Double rooms sleep four, meaning families are well catered for here. There are plenty of family restaurants in nearby Lenox and Pittsfield as well as, of course, the great outdoors, to keep kids entertained.

Food and Drink

Photos Life House, Berkshires food and drink

Dress Code

Play up to the Club Room’s modern interpretation of 70s-style decor with some of your own: think psychedelic prints, outsize collars and platform heels, but maybe leave the flares and giant sunglasses at home.

Hotel restaurant

Breakfast is served in the Club Room, a light-filled double-height space with beamed ceilings, funky parquet floors, plush leather sofas and great green fronds of potted plants. Hors d'oeuvres and desserts are served in this sociable space throughout the day. In the evening, sip cocktails and soak up the retro vibe.

Hotel bar

In-keeping with the region’s literary heritage, books share shelf space with wine and spirit bottles behind the bar, where a variety of cocktails, bourbons, beers and more are available.

Location

Photos Life House, Berkshires location
Address
Life House, Berkshires
194 Pittsfield Road
Lenox
01240
United States

Life House, Berkshires is a funky New England newbie set just north of Lenox, surrounded by mountain peaks, lush green valleys and hiking trails galore.

Planes

It’s an hour’s drive from Albany International Airport. Taxis are available at a cost of around $150–200 one way.

Trains

Pittsfield station is five miles from the hotel and serves local routes as well as a few major cities, including Boston and New York.

Automobiles

Bringing your own set of wheels is by far the best way to experience the Berkshires winding mountain roads and vast national parks. Cars are available to rent at the airport and there’s free private parking at the hotel.

Worth getting out of bed for

Literary buffs will be in clover here in the heart of New England, with Herman Melville’s modest mustard-coloured clapboard house and Edith Wharton’s somewhat grander turn-of-the-century mansion just two local highlights. Step inside Arrowhead to see where, in a tiny, book-crammed study overlooking Mount Greylock, Melville’s man-versus-whale epic was conceived. Or take the ghost tour at The Mount, the 42-room country house (in 50 acres of formal gardens) where Wharton penned some of her best-loved works, including Ethan Frome and The House of Mirth. You never know, you might even encounter some of the ‘spectral shapes crouched in corners’ that Wharton described so vividly in her ghost stories.

Head for the Norman Rockwell Museum in nearby Stockbridge for the planet’s biggest collection of Rockwell originals, catch a play by the legendary Shakespeare & Company, whose alumni include Sigourney Weaver and Bill Murray, or experience the Boston Symphony Orchestra in a summer performance on Tanglewood's immaculately manicured lawns.

The changing colours of New England’s landscape – the lush greens of spring and summer, autumn’s dazzling display of fiery reds and oranges, deep purples and mellow yellows, and winter’s thick white blanket of snow – mean you might quite reasonably expect rather different experiences depending when you visit. Leaf-peepers naturally favour the autumn months, when elevated forest views can look for all the world like Rockwell’s palette. Take the relatively gentle trail to Olivia’s Overlook in the Yokun Ridge South reserve for sweeping views of the Berkshires mountains, keeping your eyes peeled for bears and foxes skulking in the less densely wooded sections. Or stroll through 500-acre Kennedy Park to see the fabulous fall foliage up close and breathe the crisp, woody autumn air. More seasoned hikers can take on the rather more strenuous vertical ascent up Lenox Mountain, or make like Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne and hike Monument Mountain, where the pair are said to have met during a storm in 1850.

Local restaurants

A short hop from the hotel, downtown Lenox runs the full gamut of eateries, from fast food to fine dining. Alta is fine dining without the formality, pairing an epic 12-page international wine list with fresh Mediterranean fare like burrata with roasted peaches and cherry tomato salad, mussel linguine with spinach and mascarpone, and seared duck breast in salty caramel sauce. Expect crisp white linen tablecloths inside, a relaxed, friendly vibe on the front porch terrace outside, and an expanding waistline wherever you choose to sit.

For something even more special, The Portico at the Wheatley is a tiny French fine-dining restaurant with just eight tables that seem to float above this luxury hotel’s perfectly manicured gardens. Here’s where to try smoked venison chop, espresso poached pear and, if your pockets are deep enough, Australian black truffle and Pointy Snout Ossetra Caviar. Add a half bottle of Krug Grande Cuvée to the latter for ultimate decadence followed by a panicked call from your bank manager.

Local cafés

Just because you already had breakfast at the hotel, doesn’t mean you can’t justify seconds at the Haven Cafe & Bakery, where the still-warm sourdough loaves and challah buns are baked on site. Stop by for a coffee and pastry to go; just don’t blame us if that tempting weekend brunch menu – buttermilk pancakes with blueberries and maple syrup, breakfast burritos and huevos rancheros – lures you in for the long-haul.

Sweet Dreams is made of… cinnamon buns and ice cream. And who are we to disagree? This unique (Annie?) Lenox café serves up freshly baked muffins, pastries cakes and more throughout autumn and winter, then transforms itself into an ice cream parlour during the warmer months. All ingredients are sourced locally and from employee-owned businesses where possible. And, for those who like to go even sweeter than baked goods or ice cream, there’s even a retro candy store on site.

Local bars

For a classic bar that just screams hot wings, clam chowder, burgers and cold beer, look no further than The Olde Heritage Tavern, the kind of easy-going all-American pub where everybody knows your name, or will do before the night’s out. This Lenox stalwart has been around since 1969, so it must be doing something right, right?

Cocktails are king at the nearby Ostrich Room, a colonial-style throwback at the Apple Tree Inn, where timeworn mahogany, comfy leather chesterfields and a roaring open fire set the scene for a refreshing gin-based Cilantro Paso or  jalapeño-spiced margarita, often accompanied by live music.

Reviews

Photos Life House, Berkshires reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this mountain retreat in the Berkshires and unpacked their half dozen bottles of local maple syrup, a full account of their bucolic break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Life House, Berkshires in western Massachusetts…

Once a humble motel, this low-rise mountain hideaway has been reborn following a carefully curated transformation, emerging butterfly-like as a writerly retreat that evokes the spirit of local heroes Herman Melville, Edith Wharton and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Warm woody interiors, shelves crammed with literary classics, and bold 70s-style throwback decor reinvent the traditional mountain lodge as a hip destination in itself.

There’s a small patio with a firepit and tables for socialising over coffee and cocktails from the Club Room bar. Meanwhile, details like Revival New York bed linens and bathrobes, Le Labo toiletries and tones that evoke the New England colour palette elevate rooms above mere sleeping quarters. 

In this picture-postcard landscape of colonial-style clapboard houses, rust-red barns and white-steepled churches, Life House, Berkshires fits right on in.

Price per night from $109.00

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