Birchwood Inn

7 Hubbard Street, Lenox, Massachusetts 01240
Innkeeper(s): Ellen Gutman Chenaux
  • Summary

    Breath Taking Nights, Award Winning Breakfasts

    Find your way to the Birchwood Inn of Lenox, Massachusetts and you will discover the stunning beauty and culture of the New England Berkshires. You will also find yourself catered to their most famous of luxuries: original recipe, award-winning breakfasts.

    The Birchwood has welcomed guests to its stone-fenced gardens nearly 250 years. Offering comfortably elegant rooms with immaculate private baths, the Birchwood is proud to be part of Select Registry, Distinguished Inns of America, and A Diamond Collection Inn. Dating back to 1766, the Inn is a gem of colonial history. The property now known as Birchwood Inn was the first residential property deeded by the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

    However, the fame of the Birchwood is not just written in its history; a proud member of Eight Broads in the Kitchen, it is a sensory legend. Celebrated for its award- winning breakfasts, the Birchwood Inn has won multiple awards including “Best Breakfast in New England”, “Best Savory Breakfast – 2013”, and “Top 50 US Bed and Breakfasts for Food.” Every morning, expect to be greeted by a full country breakfast complete with homemade breads and entrees, a seasonal selection of locally grown fruits, and the finest specialty coffee.

    But the famous fare doesn’t stop at the breakfast table. Birchwood also offers afternoon tea and treats, ranging from hot chocolate chip and mudslide cookies, strawberry-rhubarb pie, and prize-winning apple cake. Ellen, Birchwood’s master hostess, is also renowned as the Mud Pie Queen of the Berkshires, winner of Guido's Marketplace’s contest for her famous San Francisco Bay Mud Pie.

  • Our Top Rated Lenox Inn

    Birchwood Inn, cookbook

    Imagine… A Berkshires Bed and Breakfast… a warm welcome… the wag of a friendly tail… freshly cut garden flowers… hot-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies… the comfortable country elegance of the spacious book-lined library with its soaring hearth… the sun-lit 19th century dining room… your soothingly appointed guest room in our Lenox, MA bed and breakfast…

    Birchwood Inn, living room

    Imagine…awakening to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and homemade breads baking in the oven… savoring memorable souffles and pancakes, crisps and fruitinis… Voted BEST Breakfast in New England, says Arringtons! Taste our Lenox MA Bed and Breakfast menus!

    Birchwood Inn, breakfast

    Birchwood Inn, yard

    Imagine…a pastoral country morning… stone-fenced gardens… our tranquil front porch, enjoying afternoon tea and the Berkshire breeze… curling up next to a blazing hearth with a good read and a steaming mug of mulled cider… the romance of our 1766 Lenox B&B mansion. Berkshires Bed and BreakfastImagine…fireflies in the summer twilight… a hammock and spring blossoms… autumn’s vibrant foliage… firesides and snow angels. Imagine…hiking, biking or snowshoeing on neighboring Kennedy Park’s trails… a short walk to historic Lenox… picnicking at Tanglewood… exploring Edith Wharton’s The Mount and Norman Rockwell’s Stockbridge… water sports on Berkshire lakes… de-stressing in a Kripalu yoga class… luxuriating in a day at the spa… all at the doorstep of our Berkshires Inn.

    Birchwood Inn, marquee

    Featured In: The Montreal Gazette Best Recipes from American Country Inn and Bed & Breakfasts

    New York Magazine Beautiful Bedrooms

    Recommended By: The Discerning Traveler Gourmet: Best Inns and Bed and Breakfasts of Massachusetts

    The Montreal Gazette

    Birchwood Inn, fireplace

    Awards: “Best Breakfast in New England,” Arrington’s Inn Traveler 2005 and 2006

    Member of : Select Registry> Professional Association of Innkeepers Lenox Chamber of Commerce Berkshire Visitors Bureau Massachusetts Lodging Association

    Birchwood Inn, patio

    The immaculate guest rooms at our Berkshires bed and breakfast are named after former owners of the mansion, dating back to 1766. All rooms have luxurious, freshly ironed sheets, a private bath, air-conditioning, telephones, toiletries, and hairdryers. WiFi is available throughout our Lenox MA bed and breakfast. Click any of the rooms below for additional information about our unique and beautiful Berkshires bed & breakfast rooms.

  • Breakfast & Afternoon Tea

    Birchwood Inn, Breakfast & afternoon tea

    “Best Breakfast in New England”

    Our guests have voted Birchwood Inn “Best Breakfast in New England”, and we continually strive to meet and exceed your expectations.

    We use only the freshest ingredients in our homemade breads and muffins, fruits and entries, and take special pride in preparing and serving our full country breakfast each morning at our Lenox MA Bed and Breakfast.

    Breakfast is served in our 19th century dining room – fireside or overlooking the front garden – generally between 9:00 a.m. (a bit earlier in the summer) and 10:00 a.m. Freshly brewed coffee and hot water for tea are available in the dining room by 7:45 a.m.

    Birchwood Inn, Breakfast & Afternoon Tea

    When you sit down at your table for two, we’re right there with our piping hot specially blended coffee. If you choose from one of our varied selection of teas, we’re happy to make you a fresh pot. And you’ll soon discover that our orange juice is freshly squeezed.

    Please help yourself to the inn-made tea breads and breads for toasting, yogurts, and cereals at our Bed and Breakfast in Lenox MA. Enjoy the daily fruit dish as your first course, and when you’re ready, we’ll present you with the hot entrie of the day.

    If you let us know when making your reservation, we do try to accommodate dietary restrictions. Bon appetite!

    And if you are inspired to create some of our breakfast items at home, you’ll enjoy having a copy of our Lenox Bed and Breakfast cookbook “Breakfast at Birchwood.”

    Birchwood Inn, Breakfast & Afternoon Tea

    Breakfast Menus

    Sunflower Oatmeal Bread Blueberry Buckle Roasted Bosc Pears with Pomegranate Glaze Fondue Florentine Soufflé

    Five-Grain Bread Lemon Yogurt Bread with Marmalade Glaze Very Berry Fruitinis Nectarine Upside-Down French Toast and Sausage

    Orange Raisin Bread Pear Pecan Cardamom Bread Grapefruit Brulée New Jersey Cheese Blintzes with Berkshire Blueberry Sauce Noodle Pudding

    Herb and Cheese Bread Decadent Cinnamon Pecan Buns Pear Cranapple Crumble My Big Fat Greek Omelet

    Ricotta Bread New England Corn Muffins Mango Tango Berkshire Apple Pancakes and Bacon

    Birchwood Inn, Breakfast & Afternoon Tea

    AFTERNOON TEA

    After a day of sightseeing and antiquing, concerts and plays, museums and historic homes, or hiking and skiing, put your feet up, relax and refresh with afternoon tea and freshly baked pastries fireside in cool seasons and porch-side in warmer ones at our Lenox B&B.

    Our mulled local cider takes the chill out of winter while our freshly brewed iced tea refreshes you in summer. Our teatime treat of the day depends on our muse. Chocolate chip cookies, hot out of the oven. Decadent mudslide cookies. Strawberry-rhubarb pie. Aunt Norma’s brownies. Prize-winning apple cake. Pear upside-down gingerbread. Berry cobbler. Chocolate fallen souffle cake.

    Don’t want to spoil your appetite for dinner? You will often find these goodies in the Butler’s Pantry for your midnight snack.

  • Holidays at the Birchwood Inn

    Birchwood Inn, front view

    Birchwood Inn, holidays

    Birchwood Inn, Winter

    Birchwood Inn, fireplace

    Birchwood Inn, winter snow

  • Area Information

    Birchwood Inn, aerial view

    Lenox is in the heart of the Berkshires, America’s premier cultural resort, which offer something for just about everyone year-round. Visiting the Berkshires unlocks a world of New England scenic beauty, thought- and sense-provoking historical, literary and artistic experiences, exhilarating sports and recreation, and world-class music, theater and dance festivals. The Berkshires also boast award-winning restaurants, charming antique stores and awesome foliage. The Berkshires are truly a resort for all seasons.

    Need equipment for your Berkshire adventure? You can find everything you need at the following locations:

    *Arcadian Shop:

    Equipping adventurers for 30+ yrs.; gear, clothing, footwear & travel needs. 4-season rentals; bikes, kayaks, skis, snowshoes. (413) 637.3010. 91 Pittsfield Rd., Lenox.

    http://www.arcadian.com

    Berkshire Outfitters Outdoor equipment, adjacent to Mt. Greylock & the bike path. Canoes, kayaks, mt. bikes, snowshoes, xc-skis, and camping gear. Sales and rentals. (413) 743.5900. Rte. 8, Adams.

    http://www.berkshireoutfitters.com

    Birchwood Inn, picnic

    DINING

    Local Restaurants

    Picnics

    Fun for Foodies

    ANTIQUES & SHOPPING

    CULTURAL ACTIVITIES

    Music

    Museums

    Theater, Dance & Film

    Historic Sites

    Galleries & Books

    SPAS & HEALTH CLUBS

    OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

    Bicycling, Hiking & Sightseeing

    Boating, Rafting & Swimming

    Skiing & Snowboarding

    Tennis, Raquetball, & Golfing

    Fishing, Horseback Riding & Hot Air Ballooning

    Orchards, Gardens & Parks

  • History

    Birchwood Inn, winter snow

    Birchwood inn has been welcoming friends, new and old, for 240 years.

    The property which is now our Berkshires Bed & Breakfast was the first residential property in Lenox deeded by the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1765. The core of the house, the oldest home in Lenox, dates from 1766-67 and was built by Israel Dewey. The house served as an inn in those early years.

    The first town meeting was held here on March 11, 1767, the year that the Town of Lenox was incorporated. The meeting’s agenda included the organization of the town government, and at the time Israel Dewey was elected to the first Board of Selectmen.

    Dewey was a man substance, and his home was most likely wood-framed, glazed and later plastered and shingled.

    Dewey was on the town’s Continental Congress committee and was one of the first men in Lenox to volunteer in the Revolutionary War. In addition to being a farmer and involved in town affairs, Dewey was also a schoolmaster. Talk about multi-tasking!

    The home has changed hands many times over the years, and all of the inn’s guest rooms are named in honor of some of the former residents.

    18th century owners included Edward Gray, Simon and Rachel Smith, Edward Hay, David and Daniel Fellows, Samuel Wright (the first town clerk), Joseph Goodwin, and Luke Gates, a blacksmith. Colonel Laddock Hubbard purchased the property in 1798, and the home became a tavern.

    In 1806, one of the town’s most illustrious figures, Azariah Egleston, to whom the monument at the foot of Main Street is dedicated, bought the property. The price by this time had risen to $2,000.00. Not a bad investment! Ten years later he forfeited the property to satisfy an unpaid debt.

    In April 1775, in anticipation of the Revolutionary War, Egleston had enlisted in the regiment of Colonel John Paterson. Egleston marched with the regiment immediately after the Battle of Lexington, crossed the Delaware with Washington, and fought in the battles of Princeton and Trenton. He served against Burgoyne and was at Saratoga when Burgoyne surrendered. John Hancock promoted Egleston to the rank of ensign, and before the end of the war, he had reached the rank of major and later served in Shay’s Rebellion. Egleston was a friend of Washington, Kosciusko, and Lafayette. He was married to Hannah Paterson, the daughter of Major General Patterson, whom he so loyally served during the war.

    birchwood inn, aerial view

    Lenox Massachusetts Lodging

    Lenox, Mass. 1839 A reprint from Barber's "Hist. Coll. of Mass."

    After the war, Egleston helped make Lenox a prominent center of education. He deeded land, as well as a building to the Lenox Academy which figured so significantly in Lenox during the 19th century.

    Not only was Egleston a patriot, he was also noted for his hospitality, welcoming both army officers and men of literature and learning to his home. Who knows what famous people were guests here?

    Elected State Senator, he later served as a justice of the Court of Sessions. A patriot and public servant, Egleston and his wife Hannah are buried in the churchyard across the street from the inn.

    Subsequent owners included Eldad and Nancy Post, Marina and Granville Wilson, Robert Banks, and Mary Loring. The home has been altered and enlarged several times over the past two centuries and reflects several different styles. The original structure, which forms the core of the present inn, was a simple vernacular farmhouse. An etching of Lenox dating from circa 1840 shows the home as already a substantial property at the top of the hill. The mansard roof, popular as part of the Second Empire style in the 1860s and 70s, was frequently used to remodel older homes because a full third story could be added beneath the roof. Of great significance in the history of Birchwood Inn was its purchase in 1885 by Florine and Richard Dana, a prominent New England family. Florine did considerable renovating, and the house we see today is a result of her efforts. These renovations include the third floor as well as the Colonial Revival elements, such as the columned veranda, dentillated cornice, and peak-gabled dormers. It was also Florine who named the property “Birchwood.”

    Birchwood remained in the Dana family for 68 years, until 1953 when it was purchased by Charlotte Wagner, who converted the mansion to an inn. In the 1960s and 70s, the Schallers made the house a home for World War II veterans.

    When Gail and Paul MacDonald bought the home in 1981, they had to do extensive renovations as the building had fallen into disrepair. In 1982, they opened Birchwood Inn as a bed and breakfast. The inn was later purchased by the Hittlemans, and General Dick and Joan Toner owned and operated the inn for most of the 1990s. Ellen Gutman Chenaux is the most recent owner and inheritor of this lengthy legacy, having purchased this historic Lenox MA Inn in February 1999. Lodging in Lenox MA

    The inn has been host to a ghost or two. Many guests have heard what sounds like a cat crying in The Loring Room, and the Wagner Room’s poltergeist likes to move things around. Village legend, moreover, claims that the ghost of Col. Hubbard and his horse can sometimes be seen galloping along Hubbard Street!

    Since 1999, Birchwood has welcomed guests from 47 states, seven Canadian provinces plus the Northwest Territories, six of the seven continents, and 28 countries, including Turkey, Dubai, and Iceland. A repeat guest who comes the farthest travels to Lenox from Siberia!

  • Directions

    birchwood inn, marquee

    From New York and South:

    • The Taconic Parkway or New York Thruway North (I-87) to the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90) East (Exit 21A from Thruway).
    • Mass Pike Exit 2, Lee, MA.
    • Turn right at the end of exit ramp to US 20 West.
    • US 20 for 3.9 miles.
    • Turn left at the second light onto Rte. 183 South/Walker Street to Historic Lenox.
    • Bear right at the monument (Main Street/7A) and continue to nearly the top of the hill.
    • Turn right onto Hubbard Street and left into the first driveway.
    • Parking and the inn entrance are around the back of our Lenox MA Inn.

    From New Jersey and South:

    • The Garden State Parkway or Rte. 287 North to the New York Thruway (I-87) North.
    • Exit 21A to the Mass Pike (I-90).
    • Mass Pike Exit 2, Lee, MA.
    • Turn right at the end of the exit ramp onto US 20 West.
    • US 20 West for 3.9 miles.
    • Turn left at the second light onto Rte. 183 South/Walker Street to Historic Lenox.
    • Bear right at the monument (Main Street/7A) and continue to nearly the top of the hill.
    • Turn right onto Hubbard Street and left into the first driveway.
    • Parking and the inn entrance are around the back of our Lenox Bed and Breakfast.

    From Boston/Connecticut/and Rhode Island:

    • The Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90) West.
    • Exit 2, Lee, MA.
    • Turn right at the end of the exit ramp onto US 20.
    • US 20 West for 3.9 miles.
    • Turn left at the second light onto Rte. 183 South/Walker Street to Historic Lenox.
    • Bear right at the monument (Main Street/7A) and continue to nearly the top of the hill.
    • Turn right on Hubbard Street and left into the first driveway.
    • Parking and the inn entrance are around the back of our Lenox MA Lodging.

    From Vermont/New Hampshire and North:

    • I-91 South to the Mass Pike (I-90).
    • Mass Pike (I-90) West.
    • Exit 2, Lee, MA.
    • West (right) onto US 20 for 3.9 miles.
    • Turn left at the second light onto 183 South/Walker Street to Historic Lenox.
    • Bear right at the monument (Main Street/7A) and continue to nearly the top of the hill.
    • Turn right on Hubbard Street and left into the first driveway.
    • Parking and the inn entrance are around the back of our Lenox Massachusetts Lodging.

    From Upstate New York/Toronto, and West:

    • The New York State (Gov. Thomas E. Dewey) Thruway (I-90) South/East.
    • In Albany, continue to follow I-90 South towards Boston and the Mass Pike (I-90).
    • Exit 2 from the Mass Pike, Lee, MA.
    • West (right) onto US 20 for 3.9 miles.
    • Turn left at the second light onto 183 South/Walker Street to Historic Lenox.
    • Bear right at the monument (Main Street/7A) and continue to nearly the top of the hill.
    • Turn right onto Hubbard Street and left into the first driveway.
    • Parking and the inn entrance are around the back of our Lenox Bed and Breakfast.