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The Red Lion Inn 3.0

Stockbridge, Berkshires, Massachusetts

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Charming and historic inn on Main Street in Stockbridge 
  • Within brief walk of shops, restaurants, and the Norman Rockwell Museum
  • Rooms and cottages individually decorated in period furniture
  • Outdoor heated swimming pool open year round
  • Three restaurants and taverns with nightly entertainment
  • Gift shop selling local items
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Room service available
  • Pet-friendly (for a fee)

Cons

  • Rates, room size, configuration and amenities can vary widely
  • Some shared bathrooms
  • Breakfast costs extra
  • Some rooms and common areas need attention
  • Cell phone service and Wi-Fi reception is spotty

Bottom Line

The 125-room, three-pearl Red Lion Inn is a charming, historic property on Main Street in Stockbridge, one of New England’s most iconic small towns. The individually decorated rooms and public spaces feature an impressive collection of antiques and period decor. Amenities such as room service, year-round heated outdoor pool, authentic taverns, and in-house masseuse enhances its appeal, though breakfast costs extra. The inn offers a wide variety of accommodations, ranging from cottages to rooms with shared bathrooms, but some rooms look a bit tired, even for a historic property. For an elegant boutique experience at comparable rates, consider the Gateway Inn in nearby Lenox.  

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Scene

A friendly inn that oozes rustic New England charm 

The large front porch set with rocking chairs is a clear indication that guests are entering a relaxed environment. The circa 1897 inn (a tavern site since 1773) is chockfull of delightful period antiques, glass chandeliers, colorful patterned rugs placed on hardwood floors, red velvet couches, and other richly upholstered furniture. Cabinets display the original owners’ china collection and whimsical bric-a-brac such as women’s old hats and shoes. Norman Rockwell prints and portraits of famous visitors like Franklin and Theodore Roosevelt grace the walls. Cozy spots abound throughout, including the memorable Widow Bingham’s Tavern with exposed brick, dozens of relics hanging from the ceiling, and private dining alcoves. Note that the restaurants are open to the public, and can get quite busy. The fun gift shop is packed with charming, locally made items. This historic inn has the feel of a large bed-and-breakfast with friendly staff and guests who interact in a quaint, relaxed environment. There are rumors of a ghost in one of the bedrooms, but it's all part of the fun. The Red Lion Inn is rustic, small-town New England at its best.

Location

In the heart of the Berkshires, a brief walk to restaurants and shops

The inn is located on Main Street in small-town Stockbridge, in the heart of the rustic Berkshires near the Massachusetts and New York border. The nearest town of any size is Pittsfield, a 26-minute drive, but the Massachusetts Turnpike is only five minutes away. Springfield is a 50-minute drive, while Albany (90 minutes) and Boston (two hours) are farther afield. Locally, there are numerous shops and restaurants surrounding the inn. A two-minute walk takes guests to the Seven Salons Spa, the inn’s partner spa, while the Berkshire Theater Group is a 10-minute walk. Within a five- to seven-minute drive are the Stockbridge Golf Club (where inn guests have privileges), the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy, and the Norman Rockwell Museum. Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute & Music Center in Lenox is an 11-minute drive. Hiking and other outdoor adventures in Beartown State Forest are within a 10- to 15-minute drive. Parking at the inn is free. 

Rooms

Generally spacious and individually decorated, but sizes and amenities vary significantly

Rates, sizes, configurations, and amenities can vary significantly in the inventory of the main inn rooms and nine village guest cottages, so investigate thoroughly before booking. Cottages are a two- to three-minute walk from the main inn, where rooms are available in B&B, Deluxe, Superior, and Suite configurations with various bed combinations. The newest cottage, Maple Glen, offers 17 spacious rooms equipped with single-cup coffeemakers and smart TVs for video streaming, for example, while the budget-friendly, bed-and-breakfast-style rooms in the main inn are rather small with in-room sinks and a shared hallway bathroom. The cottages offer various room configurations. Some have common living rooms and shared kitchenettes while others include screened porches and larger suites. The Yellow and Meadowlark cottages are open seasonally, May through October. 

Deluxe, Superior and Suite Rooms in the main building of the inn have private bathrooms. Superior Rooms are more spacious than Deluxe; some have fireplaces and direct access to an outdoor porch. Suites offer separate sitting areas with sofa beds. All rooms are individually decorated but generally feature tasteful antiques, traditional patterned wallpaper, upholstered chairs, solid-color carpet or rugs on hardwood floors (some of which are painted), small wooden writing desks, wood or brass poster beds, and period artwork. Sealy Elite Plush mattresses in all rooms earn high marks for comfort. Standard amenities include free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs with DVD players, DVDs available for loan, air-conditioning, and robes. Turndown service is a nice touch.

Some of the bathrooms are quite spacious and nice, featuring marble and tile with shower/tub combos. But again, size and materials can vary. Rooms are clean and well maintained, but past guests have reported that their rooms were in need of more attention and upkeep. Noise from the street and other rooms can be heard in the main inn rooms. Some guests find quirks like creaking floorboards and peeling wallpaper charming, while others feel a bit disappointed. 

Features

Three restaurants and a heated year-round outdoor pool

The main dining room offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, and some packages include a hot or continental breakfast for an additional fee. Widow Bingham’s Tavern and the Lion’s Den serve food as well, with the latter featuring free nightly entertainment. Seasonal outdoor dining is available in the courtyard. Grocery and lunch delivery services are offered, as is room service. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the complex, but guests report spotty reception as well as poor cell phone service. A heated outdoor pool and whirlpool are open year-round. The cozy gift shop features locally made items and books for sale. 

Concierge services are available, and bicycle rentals and local tennis court reservations can be made. Loaner tennis racquets are available, as are board games for children. Supervised children’s activities and babysitting services can be arranged. The inn’s partner spa, Seven Salons Spa, offers in-room beauty salon services and various treatments offsite, about a two-minute walk away. The inn’s masseuse offers various treatments, and there's free yoga. Guest privileges are offered at the nearby Stockbridge Golf Club. Pets are welcome for a fee. Private dining rooms and other meeting space is available. The business center has Internet access as well.

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Address

30 Main St, Box 954, Stockbridge, Berkshires 01262-9701, United States

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