16 Blantyre Rd., Lenox
Originally built in 1901, Blantyre was modeled after the owner’s family’s ancestral Scottish castle, complete with ivy-covered turrets, towers, and gargoyles. It didn’t become a hotel until 1981, when the house was restored by Ann Fitzpatrick Brown—and reinstated as a tribute to the Gilded Age. The décor here is fittingly lush, i.e. exactly what you’d expect to find in an English country manor. You’re supposed to spend your days relaxing in overstuffed armchairs by the fire, before descending to the dining room for canapés and champagne, and then a long, formal dinner (the dining room calls for jackets for gentlemen, and something a bit dressy for ladies). While high season here is spring-through-fall (in fact, the hotel was only winterized in 2005), if you come during the colder months, you’ll find a quieter stay—plus, they provide equipment for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice-skating. The Edith Wharton House, an estate the writer built, then lived and wrote in for many years, is just a mile away and open daily for visits. If you’re willing to go two miles, you’ll find The Shakespeare & Company playhouse, which hosts evening performances on…
Canyon Ranch Lenox
165 Kemble St., Lenox
Though a weekend at Canyon Ranch is arguably about exercising restraint, there’s nothing spare about this wellness retreat, which is situated in a gorgeous, fully-restored 19th-century manor nestled in the Berkshires. The understated rooms here are designed to be relaxing, and to that end, there’s not much to distract you from your weekend of centering and healthy living. That’s no problem, though, since you won’t be spending much time in them: Days at Canyon Ranch revolve around the spa, working out, and a wealth of activities, including cross-country skiing. There are about 50 classes on the roster, along with myriad pools, a full gym, and assorted extras like a ropes course and squash courts. When you’re not working out, you might be taking a cooking class or learning how to diagnose your dreams. The food is healthy, but it’s also delicious—and all-you-can-eat.
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