Hampton Terrace Bed and Breakfast Inn
Table Of Contents
Rivaling Newport, Lenox Massachusetts became the playground of the "Gilded Age" rich and famous: Morgan, Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Astor, Westinghouse, Edith Wharton... Hampton Terrace Bed and Breakfast, built in 1897, and owned by several of the wealthiest families in the country, was among the first of the "Berkshire cottages" to host guests. In 1937 Tanglewood became the summer home of the Boston Symphony, and Hampton Terrace became a bed and breakfast inn.
Now recognized by the Michelin Guide as one of the elite Berkshire inns, this Lenox Massachusetts Bed and Breakfast has been completely renovated and restored since 2000. Far from just a "Tanglewood Season" destination, Hampton Terrace Bed and Breakfast is considered a romantic escape... 2 hours from Boston, and 2 1/2 hours from New York City. No point in the village of Lenox is more than a short 2-block walk. Enjoy dozens of restaurants, shops, galleries & bars... within 5 minutes of our door.
The entry hall and main downstairs rooms at Hampton Terrace feature colors inspired by the Pavilion at Brighton Beach, England. Rich yellows, greens, blues and reds are accented by elaborate moldings and trims, many highlighted with bronze and gold. The downstairs is filled with period antiques, Orientals and old photographs from six generations of the owners' families.
The entrance hall showcases a beautiful fireplace and mantel - the first of seven in the home. Eight rare crystal sconces adorn the living room, which also features a family heirloom 1929 Steinway "L" Grand Piano - played by Claudio Arrau, Jerome Hines, Robert Merrill, Roberta Peters, Emanuel Ax, Arthur Fiedler and many others - a period Victrola, a 1940s carousel horse and massive burl wood armoire. Soft music floating in the air is the only sign that this 19th century home exists in a modern era.
The living room leads to a side porch that is comfortably furnished and conducive to an early-morning perusal of the Berkshire Eagle, or a pre-dinner glass of wine. Guests have been known to spend entire days on the porch reading books or just listening to the church bells ring. Every shop and restaurant in Lenox is less than a five-minute walk from this porch, and it frequently serves as a respite after shopping, before dinner or after Tanglewood.
The parlor is another room that inspires lounging. It contains an authentic 1930s red leather bar - a family heirloom, a television hidden in an antique cabinet and several comfortable overstuffed chairs. The bar is fully stocked for BYOB - wine, highball and martini glasses, openers, shakers, ice, et al.
The journey to your bedroom reveals a surprise. Look up and the home's most distinctive feature comes into view - a three-story suspended staircase that seems higher than the house itself. Along the upward wind you will find arches, curved balustrades, interior columns, detailed moldings and a palladium window. Featured on the second-story landing is a hand-painted china cabinet showcasing the family's doll collection.
We love the Berkshires. Even though we have lived here since 1996, Susan and I are still tourists in our own home town and we get a vicarious thrill when a guest says that she just had a great experience at the Hancock Shaker Village. Or that the "couples massage" that we recommended went beyond expectations.
We have taken many trips when our first order of business was to collect every brochure from the hotel concierge stand, spread them on our bed, and try to figure out how to organize our next several days. That strategy rarely works out...So we go to great lengths to make sure that you have in advance, and here on the property, every tool to maximize your brief stay at the inn.
It is our pleasure to help you pre-plan your visit. With your confirmation, you will get our recommendations for dining in the Berkshires, as well as lists of spas, historic home tours, museums, theaters, clubs, outdoor activities, parks, music venues, and links to calendars of events during your stay.
Travelers are always looking for memorable and relaxing experiences. Let’s discover more through the words of our innkeepers. Many thanks to Stan & Susan Rosen for sharing their own secrets with BBOnline.com! Why do most travelers stay at your inn?
Our #1 ranking on TripAdvisor among 120 lodging properties (5 years). Our location in Lenox - walk to all restaurants and shops.
What are you best known for? What makes your inn unique? What do you love most about your inn?
Our hospitality - Southerners in New England. Unique: Turn Back the Clock to the Gilded Age. Love most: This feels like a family home and we invite people to put their feet up and relax.
If someone has never been to your city, what is the #1 reason to come visit?
Lenox is the summer home of the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood (1 mile from us)...but more importantly, Lenox is a quintessential New England white clapboard town, which happens to be populated by great restaurants, shops, galleries and attractions because the Boston Symphony attracts such a loyal following. Although the symphony is here only during the summer, other attractions, including museums and theater stay open all year.
What’s the best compliment you have ever received about the inn?
John Williams wrote us," Thank you for your kindness to my family, who enjoyed your beautiful home immensely. Congratulations on what you have created and maintained so beautifully."
What’s the best kept secret about the area?
That it is possible to enjoy everything about the Berkshires without running into the 2.5 million summer tourists. Visit September through June and find more than you can do in a week.
If a traveler is staying at your inn for 4 nights, what should he/she do in the area?
Your confirmation includes a "List to Help You Plan Your Stay" which describes the top four options under (1) spas (2) historic house tours, (3) world class museums (4) internationally recognized theater (5) hikes and outdoor activities, (6) shopping and antiquing, etc. We also send a private list of recommended restaurants based on feedback from "tens of thousands" of guests.
Is there anything within walking distance of your inn?
All restaurants, shops, bars and galleries are within 2 blocks. Also Ventfort Hall (JPMorgan family home) and Shakespeare & Company.
What is your favorite restaurant/food in the area?
There are multiple choices, but within several hundred feet: Nudel. Nominated 3 years in a row for James Beard "Best Chef in the Northeast," and 2 years in a row by Food & Wine Magazine "Best Chef in the Northeast."
Any good area guides/websites that travelers could reference?
The Berkshire Visitors Bureau website covers the overall area: www.berkshires.org
Lenox Chamber of Commerce website: www.lenox.org/
How many rooms does your inn have?
We have fourteen rooms in three buildings, all with private baths. 11 with Jacuzzis and 12 with fireplaces. HD TVs. Free WiFi.
Do you accept pets?
We do not accept pets but do recommend several places who board.
We are Southern, so comfort food breakfasts are the way we were raised. We also REALLY appreciate a good cup of coffee, so we ONLY serve locally-roasted Hawaiian coffee.
We have stayed at inns where a beautifully plated, delicately prepared morsel is offered; and then we head to Dunkin’
Donuts to get through the morning. Since that wouldn’t satisfy us, we want to do better for you, so we offer an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet, which changes daily, and features such staples as:
- Pancakes (blueberry, buckwheat or apple) and sausage
- French toast (Cinnamon Burst and Chocolate as well as Traditional and Pumpkin)
- Scrambled eggs, ham and seasoned grits (We told you we’re Southern!)
- Egg Casseroles and Frittatas (yes, we'll share the recipes!)
- And, of course, a GREAT cup of coffee!
Breakfast meats are served on the side, or if included in a casserole, a vegetarian option is always offered.
Breakfast is served daily in our Dining Room and on the adjoining Sun Porch. Our breakfast buffet runs from 8:30 a.m. until whenever our guests are finished, with the last seating at 10:00 a.m. Beyond the revolving daily hot entree choice, our guests always have access to multiple types of fresh fruit, orange juice, cold cereals, yogurts and breads.
We are pleased to accomodate those whoe have dietary restrictions and needs. Please let us know in advance.
Hampton Terrace Now Available for Events
We know that from time to time, everyone needs the perfect place for a meeting, holiday party, family gathering or even a special celebration. Chances are you'd rather not worry about having it in your home. We'd like to suggest you consider holding your next gathering at Lenox's Hampton Terrace, in the grand setting of an original Gilded Age Berkshires cottage. We are debuting our beautifully appointed public spaces, available for the first time, for your private parties, receptions, holiday gatherings, meetings, showers... you name the occasion, and we have the space.
Hampton Terrace, built in 1897, has been one of Lenox's premier inns since 1937. Guest experiences here have been so positive, that we are rated #1 on Trip Advisor from over thirty Lenox inns. Combined with fourteen plush guest rooms, we also can host family celebrations or reunions, business retreats or extended stays for your visiting business associates. Because we are open year-round and hosting guests, Hampton Terrace is always beautifully decorated for each season. You may use your own caterer, or, we will provide a list.
Feel free to contact us for more information on planning your party here by calling us, or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
FROM BLACKSMITH TO SOCIAL CENTER
The property that Hampton Terrace is on was originally the site of Lenox's blacksmith. In 1852, Edmund Spencer built a home on the property, and was acquired in 1867 by the widow of Ogden Hoffman, "one of the most eloquent lawyers New York ever contained."
In 1896, Philadelphia marble dealer John Struthers and his wife, Virginia Bird, purchased the house, which was next door to the in-laws of author Edith Wharton. Their aim was to replace it with a "cottage" suitable to their current social status. The Struthers, who were also building their "winter home" at the Jekyll Island Club in Georgia, named their new summer home, "Wynnstay." It originally had 11 bedrooms, two bathrooms and a stable on the property. They visited each summer for more than 20-years.
THE AGE OF INNOCENCE
Edith Wharton lived next door to the Struthers for three years and down the street for 10 more. Mrs. Struthers was prominently featured in Wharton's book, "The Age of Innocence." According to the novel, Mrs. Struthers held parties in her home, derisively dubbed "French Sundays," which meant she allowed drinking and smoking and entertained "actresses." To the stiff New York Gilded Age crowd at the turn of the century, this behavior by someone from Philadelphia was blasphemous, although many in their group reveled at their inclusion in this "naughty" social circle.
In 1919, the house was bought by Robert E. (Ed) Bonner Jr., whose father (Robert Sr.) founded the New York Ledger, built a newspaper empire, and became one of the richest men in the country. The Junior Bonner took over the newspaper and married Kate d'Anterroches Griffith, great-great-granddaughter of General Lafayette. They were very social in New York and Europe, owned a number of race horses, and spent half of each year in Paris. Ed built his primary home on the corner of Madison Avenue and 53rd Street in New York City, but he and "Kitty," as Griffith was known, spent their summers in Lenox for 20 years. They renamed their summer cottage "Hampton Terrace" after Hampton, one of their four children. In 1928, Kitty had the current "Hampton Terrace" logo designed in Paris.
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
The Bonners sold Hampton Terrace to Carl Giese in 1937, where the history of Hampton Terrace as a guest house and inn begins. The Gieses passed Hampton Terrace onto Bertha Trombly in 1945. Her 1948 brochure touts the six weeks of daily concerts at the Tanglewood Music Festival and explains "Breakfast only is served. There are excellent eating places nearby." Some things have not changed in the past 60-plus years.
What did change at Hampton Terrace, however, were the owners. After six years, the Tromblys sold to the Stachs, and 16 years later, to the O'Briens, who ran the bed and breakfast for 31 years and raised six children on the property. The current owners, Stan and Susan Rosen, purchase the property in 1999.
YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW
Since the Rosens have purchased the property, the "cottage" has been completely re-decorated with a 1930s feel. Bathrooms have been added or modernized so that each of the six guest rooms in the main house has a private bath. In three bathrooms, the old claw-foot tubs were retained. The house has been rewired, updated to code and fitted with a new heating system. All guest rooms feature new mattresses and linens. Six additional guest rooms have been added in the Carriage House, and all feature a fireplace, vintage fabrics appropriate to the era and a private Jacuzzi bath. The common area showcases '50s vintage leather furniture and a fireplace.
FROM ALBANY AND POINTS WEST
- Take Interstate 90 east (Berkshire Connector) to Exit B-3 (NY 22 – Austerlitz, New Lebanon).
- Take NY 22 south to Mass. 102 at the Massachusetts state line.
- Take Mass 102 east to Lenox Road in West Stockbridge
- Lenox Road becomes Richmond Mountain Road
- Merge into Mass. 183, which becomes Walker Road
FROM NEW YORK AND POINTS SOUTH
- Take Interstate 95 north to Exit 27A (CT 8 – Trumbull, Waterbury).
- Take CT-8 north to Massachusetts state line, where road continues as MA-8
- Take MA-8 north to US-20 west in Becket
- Take US-20 west to East Street in Lee
- East Street becomes Mill Street
- Mill Street becomes Walker Road
FROM BOSTON AND POINTS EAST
- Take Interstate 90 west (Massachusetts Turnpike) to Exit 2 (U.S. 20 – Lee, Pittsfield).
- Take U.S. 20 west to Walker St.
FROM BURLINGTON AND POINTS NORTHWEST
- Take U.S. 7 south to MA-7A in Lenox
- Take MA-7A (Main St.) to Walker St.
FROM MANCHESTER AND POINTS NORTHEAST
- Take U.S. Route 3 to Exit 30 (Interstate 495 – Marborough)
- Take Interstate 495 south to Exit 25B (Interstate 290 – Worcester)
- Take Interstate 290 south to Exit 7 (Massachusetts Turnpike)
- Take Interstate 90 west (Massachusetts Turnpike) to Exit 2 (U.S. 20 – Lee, Pittsfield).
- Take U.S. 20 west to Walker St.