Red Lion Inn: A Return to My Very First Hotel

The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, Mass., is a picture-perfect New England country inn.

Although it’s my never-ending quest to experience new destinations, there is something to be said for revisiting special places. This fall, my husband and I stayed at the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, Mass. This beautiful historic inn in the Berkshires also happens to be the very first hotel at which I ever stayed! I was nine months old, and my parents brought me for the weekend to look for a summer rental in the area. When we started to spend our summers in Lakeville, Conn., we would make many day trip to Stockbridge to go to the Red Lion Inn for lunch in the courtyard to celebrate my August birthday (which happens to be the same day as my parents’ anniversary). The Red Lion Inn has given me many special memories, even though I can’t possibly remember what my first stay there was like. I can, however, tell you that my second stay this September was excellent.

Simon, the feline Lobby Ambassador to the Red Lion Inn, takes a rest while contemplating his next chess move.

Simon, the feline Lobby Ambassador to the Red Lion Inn, takes a rest while contemplating his next chess move.

Stockbridge is the picture-perfect American town, almost like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Well, the famous Americana artist did live in Stockbridge for the last 25 years of his life. The Norman Rockwell Museum, which houses 998 of the artist’s original paintings and drawings, is fantastic. I’ve been to the museum several times, but I didn’t make it there on this September trip because we were pressed for time. That’s because what brought us to Stockbridge was a wedding. Actually, that’s not exactly true. The wedding was about 30 minutes away in Chatham, NY, and we could have stayed in a number of nearby Berkshire towns. So what brought us to Stockbridge was the chance to stay at The Red Lion Inn.

Our room in the Maple Glen House at The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, Mass.

Our room in the Maple Glen House at The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, Mass.

The Red Lion Inn is one of those rare places that manages to be both romantic and family-friendly at the same time. This was a couples getaway for us; our first night away from our toddler since our mini-break vacation at the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort. (Please don’t tell my parents that we were allowed to bring our toddler to the wedding.) It’s romantic because it’s so full of atmosphere — this now-sprawling property began as a tavern by Silas Pepoon in 1773, and made its mark in Revolutionary history that following year as citizens from several Berkshire towns gathered there to pass resolutions protesting England’s repressive Act of Intolerance and also pledged to boycott British goods. While the inn feels old-fashioned, it doesn’t feel dated at all. The rooms are simply gorgeous, with a modern country vibe. The lovely decor is not at a surprise given that since 1968, the inn has been owned by the Fitzpatrick family, who also own the famous Country Curtains company.

A leisurely Sunday brunch at the Red Lion Inn

A leisurely Sunday brunch at the Red Lion Inn

Our room was in the Maple Glen House, the inn’s newest guesthouse. As if you needed more of an excuse to stay in your luxurious room, the TV’s are “smart TVs” and are equipped with Netflix and Hulu. And all rooms have my favorite amenity: free Wifi! There are now nine guesthouses, in addition to the main inn. And it’s a very quick walk to the main inn from Maple Glen, which we appreciated when we went for a leisurely Sunday brunch in the dining room before making the two-and-a-half-hour drive to NYC.

The tavern room at the Red Lion Inn

The tavern room at the Red Lion Inn

So as much as we enjoyed the romantic aspects of the inn, we had to admit that it would be a good place to bring children. The Maple Glen House has a spacious common area with a kitchen and a living room. When you’re traveling with babies and toddlers, it’s so important to have a place to store milk and wash bottles and pacifiers. And the living room area would be a great place to hang out with children who are feeling cooped up in the hotel room, as would the nice lawns surrounding the house. That said, I didn’t mind not having to deal with those issues on this trip! The hotel’s pool is open year-round, and I certainly would have gone there if I had been with my toddler. I also would have made sure to introduce him to Simon Treadway Gato, the Lobby Ambassador. This rescue cat from the Eleanor Sonsini Animal Shelter in Pittsfield, MA, has been has been greeting guests since 2006. When we spotted him after our brunch, he was snoozing on the job in the middle of a chess game. But chess must be exhausting when you’re a cat…

The Maple Glen House at the Red Lion Inn

The Maple Glen House at the Red Lion Inn

Comped but Never Compromised: I received a complimentary stay from The Red Lion Inn, but I am free to write whatever I want.

14 Responses to Red Lion Inn: A Return to My Very First Hotel

  1. Adam
    Twitter: travelsofadam
    January 20, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

    Looks like a sweet little inn. I tend to enjoy those super-American/Norman-Rockwell-esque towns…but just for a weekend! That tavern looks like fun.
    Adam recently posted..Edinburgh’s Prettiest Little Hotel: Stay Central (near Grassmarket)

  2. wanderingeducators
    Twitter: WanderingEds
    January 20, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

    What a cool place! and so historic, personally! Yes, bring the kids back – especially for the cat!
    wanderingeducators recently posted..Miscommunication: The Joy of the Family Vacation

  3. Cat of Sunshine and Siestas
    Twitter: sunshinesiestas
    January 20, 2014 at 9:11 pm #

    Looks so cozy! We stayed in a beautifully refurbished house on my first trip to Boston. Staying in a place that echoes a former period is really cool!
    Cat of Sunshine and Siestas recently posted..Visiting Spain’s Archaeological Sites

  4. Terry at Overnight New York January 20, 2014 at 10:13 pm #

    I love the Berkshires — and the Red Lion Inn. Nice to read about it!
    Terry at Overnight New York recently posted..January bargain hunting

  5. Corinne January 21, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

    I love the Red Lion Inn, although I’ve never stayed there, I’ve driven by, walked by and love watching all the guests rocking in the chairs on the porch. Stockbridge, MA is such a great little New England town!
    Corinne recently posted..Göbekli Tepe – The World’s First Cathedral?

  6. Val-This Way To Paradise January 21, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

    This looks like my kind of hotel!! How adorable…
    Val-This Way To Paradise recently posted..How To Find The Best-Priced Holiday Accommodation In Sixty Seconds

  7. Allison January 21, 2014 at 5:49 pm #

    When I think of visiting New England, I think of charming inns like this one. Thanks for the recommendation!
    Allison recently posted..Tips for Planning an Outer Banks Beach Vacation

  8. Caitlyn January 21, 2014 at 6:29 pm #

    What a lovely story! I got to see Bruce Springsteen play a while ago and I was told that he was the first person I’d ‘seen’ in concert – while my mum was pregnant with me!
    Caitlyn recently posted..I just can’t get them out of my head

  9. Lillie
    Twitter: WorldLillie
    January 23, 2014 at 3:04 am #

    As a Massachusetts native, I’ve been curious about this hotel for a while. Now after reading this I’ll have to check it out! Looks great.
    Lillie recently posted..Cute and Funny Baby Activities During Maternity Leave

  10. Charles January 23, 2014 at 6:19 pm #

    Love that wooden horse carving behind the cat! The place looks like a nice retreat. I’m jealous anytime someone manages to get away without their kids. 😉
    Charles recently posted..Five International Family Destinations For Under $100 A Day

  11. Mary @ Green Global Travel
    Twitter: GreenGlobalTrvl
    January 27, 2014 at 2:16 am #

    Wow, life truly is cyclical!
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..INTERVIEW: Jeff Greenwald, World’s 1st Travel Blogger & Founder of Ethical Traveler

  12. Colleen Lanin February 1, 2014 at 7:10 pm #

    Oh my – I would love to stay here!
    Colleen Lanin recently posted..Dreams Resorts & Spas Giveaway – Choose Your Escape!

  13. Laurel- Capturing la Vita February 1, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

    What a beautiful place to stay. Incredibly warm and inviting.
    Laurel- Capturing la Vita recently posted..Costa Concordia- Two Years Later

  14. Kristin February 20, 2014 at 4:32 pm #

    I love having lunch at the Red Lion Inn, the setting is fabuous. I spend lots of summer weekends in Goshen and lots of time in Lakeville for Lime Rock events.
    Kristin recently posted..A Hat for Everyman – Souvenirs of Central Asia (Guest Post)

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