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World-class art, excellent food and bucolic landscapes, not to mention being located at the crossroads of five states, make the Berkshires a popular destination year round.
Upon arrival, travelers can choose from a whole host of things to do and places to see. Along with these attractions, the Berkshires also boast a bevy of lodgings, including scenic campsites, historic inns and some of New England’s finest hotels, which are just about works of art in their own right.
The Orchards Hotel is a great example of the latter, combining plush accommodations with picturesque scenery that adds up to a treat of an experience. Read on for a quick guide to why this place is special, as well as a few ideas what to do nearby.
Photo: Front Entrance Fountain at The Orchards Hotel
Situated in Williamstown, along Massachusetts’ northwest corner, The Orchards Hotel is a stone’s throw from the Vermont and New York borders. The Orchards’ layout befits its idyllic surroundings, which are bookended by the Taconic Mountains to the west and state forests to the east.
Without a doubt, the courtyard space is one of the hotel’s crown jewels, providing an excellent space for rest, reading and all other manner of relaxation. A pond and flower garden populate the outdoor area, which also makes for a fine al fresco dining spot during the warmer months. The purple irises that dot the yard aren’t just for show, either; their hue is a nod to neighboring Williams College and its primary color.
Photo: Purple irises at The Orchards Hotel
If the grounds at the Orchards Hotel are pure Berkshires, the interior is a mixture of colonial America and the 21st century, in the best sort of way. The Living Room welcomes visitors with classic artwork, an antique piano and plenty of comfy furnishings. For quarters, travelers can choose from four different types of rooms, each of which are uniquely appointed and contain today’s modern trappings. The Tennessee Williams Suite is particularly grand, coming complete with a glass-encased shower and a Jacuzzi tub for two.
Photo: Romance Room at The Orchards Hotel
While the Berkshires are undoubtedly home to some of the tastiest (and most sustainable!) restaurants in New England, those who stay at the Orchards could be easily forgiven if they never make it out the door without eating before. The Gala Steakhouse & Bistro serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, featuring enticing traditional fare than can be enjoyed inside or outside. The food is sourced from local farms, and evening meals can be nicely complemented with a cocktail or two from the bar, which does stay open late.
Photo: Poached Eggs Special at The Orchards Hotel
Photo: Steak Dinner at The Orchards Hotel
Perhaps best of all, visitors can find a variety of ways to spend the day in the Northern Berkshires just down the road from The Orchards Hotel. Three top-class museums, in the form of The Clark Art Museum, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and Williams College Museum of Art, are located within a ten-minute drive. The Williamstown Historical Museum is another nice stop, one where visitors can learn the history behind the town itself. Outdoorsy types can content themselves by striking out along the Appalachian Trail, which runs through area, or spending some time hiking near the Clark Institute’s Stone Hill Center.
Photo: Family hiking on Stone Hill at the Clark Art Museum
Where’s one place that you would like to visit for the first time in Massachusetts? Tell us in the comments!