19th-Century Bed and Breakfast Set on 32 Acres of Rolling Meadows
Set amid the rolling hills of the Berkshires on a 32-acre estate, Devonfield Inn has served as a country retreat for generations of guests and at least one ruling monarch. Queen Wilhelmina of Holland spent the summer of 1942 here. In fact, the inn's owner at the time, Mrs. Lloyd, was highly put out when President Roosevelt's chauffeur drove across the front lawn. Today, the bed and breakfast remains an elegant hideaway evincing the pastoral charm of an English country estate.
Shady birch trees, some of them strung with striped hammocks, dot the rolling meadows surrounding the inn. Picnic tables and benches are scattered about so that you can enjoy the peaceful setting at your leisure. Each morning, the innkeepers host a candlelit breakfast in the dining room. With classical music playing softly in the background, they serve homemade concoctions such as vanilla-cinnamon crème brûlée and orange yogurt pancakes. A crackling fireplace keeps you warm on chilly mornings.
The décor in the guest rooms reflects the building's 19th-century origins. Handmade quilts and porcelain lamps complement furnishings such as canopy beds, wingback chairs, and state-of-the-art butter churns. All rooms are supplied with cognac and chocolates, which you can pair with a complimentary bottle of wine.
The Berkshires: Historical Highlands Region Offers Thriving Arts Scene and Outdoor Recreation
The western Massachusetts town of Lee is known as the "Gateway to the Berkshires." It was named after Charles Lee, a general in the American Revolutionary War. Set in a quiet valley on the Housatonic River, the town lies in an area noted both for its mountainous landscape and thriving arts scene. Since the 19th century, artists as well as writers including Herman Melville and Edith Wharton sought solace and inspiration in the Berkshires. The tradition continues today at a number of repertory theaters and world-class museums.
There's also plenty to keep outdoor enthusiasts busy. Thirteen miles from the hotel stands Mount Greylock, the highest peak in Massachusetts. It's crisscrossed by 70 miles of hiking and mountain-biking trails, including part of the Appalachian Trail. Boaters and swimmers, meanwhile, flock to Laurel Lake, located one block from the inn. And the nearby Berkshire Botanical Garden encompasses 15 acres of native plants and topiaries sculpted to resemble notable Transcendentalists.