Gilded Age Grandeur in the Berkshires

Stepping onto the manicured grounds of Relais & Châteaux’s Blantyre in Lenox, Massachusetts seemingly transports you to the Yorkshire country estate of notable television series Downton Abbey. Nestled amid the beauty of the Berkshires, the lavish manor is remindful of a calmer time, characterized by an extravagant yet refined elegance. One of 12 Gilded Age mansions that remain in the Berkshires today, Blantyre serves as a memento of a long-past era.

The staircase in the main hall. (Photos courtesy of Dani Fine)
Blantyre in Lenox, Massachusetts.

Originally built in 1902 by wealthy Scottish businessman Robert Paterson, Blantyre is situated on more than 100 acres of sprawling lawns, woodlands, and hiking trails. While Gilded Age mansions are more synonymous with Newport today, the Berkshires were an equally popular destination for America’s wealthiest families of the time, like the Vanderbilts, to build their second-home escapes from New York and Boston. With estates every bit as luxe as those in Newport, the Berkshires offered a more private getaway, rich with culture, nature, and fun-filled activities that could be enjoyed well into the later seasons.

The patio for outdoor dining at Blantyre.

After being purchased by real estate investor Linda Law in 2016, Blantyre recently reopened after undergoing a multi-million-dollar renovation that updated the guest rooms with modern designs, amenities, and conveniences, while maintaining the resort’s traditional grandeur—all important pieces of furniture, art, and fixtures from the turn of the century were preserved. Reminiscent of a Scottish castle, with stained-glass windows, burnished wood, crystal chandeliers, elegant portraits, and spacious guest rooms with soaking tubs and fireplaces, the Manor House at Blantyre exudes old-fashioned elegance. I was not surprised to learn that the score to a Harry Potter film was composed by a guest during his stay here; a walk through the Manor House, with its large fireplaces and glowing candles, puts one in mind of a stroll through the corridors of Hogwarts (although they’re no longer quite as dark as the World of Witchcraft and Wizardry anymore). This main complex also houses the resort’s outstanding farm-to-table restaurant, The Conservatory, as well as a cozy bar and lounge area, a large wine cellar, and the new Dom Pérignon salon, the only one of its kind in the country. The hotel’s recent updates added a cozy speakeasy-inspired space, La Cave, underground, as well as an outdoor space suitable for lingering during warm weather.

The main entrance at Blantyre.
The underground space at the new Dom Pérignon salon.

There’s also the Music Room—where piano melodies played by Karèn Tchougourian can be enjoyed each evening. It’s an ideal stop for post-dinner drinks or dessert, and the perfect setting to get lost in daydreams while spending hours listening to tranquil tunes and wondering about the property’s storied past—imagining the many Gatsby-like parties that might have occurred in that very room.
Elsewhere on the property you’ll find the Carriage House with large suites, four cottages, a heated pool and spa, croquet lawns, and tennis courts. A luxury house car also awaits to transport you to nearby attractions such as the Norman Rockwell Museum, notable golf courses, or popular music venue Tanglewood, which offers spectacular concerts during the warmer months.

A spacious guestroom.
The Music Room.
The bar and lounge.

Just a three-hour drive from Manhattan or a roughly one-hour flight using Wings Air Helicopter service from Westchester County Airport directly to the hotel’s property, Blantyre serves as a convenient weekend country getaway for the cultured traveler. A nod to the past while keeping up with the present, the stately resort will amaze you with its notable history. And although your surroundings are undeniably regal, the cheerful staff will have you feeling at home from the minute David Pupo—the resort’s longtime resident concierge—welcomes you through the front door.

The Conservatory restaurant.