If these walls could talk. . .I am sure they would have plenty to say.
The Red Lion Inn originally opened in 1733. It ranks as one of the oldest continuously operating inns in America. It is rich in colonial history and when you drive up to the Inn on Main St. in Stockbridge, you enter an era of days gone-by. It is a quaint town that embodies small-town America. The Inn was originally a relay spot on a post road between Albany, NY, and Boston, MA.
The Inn is nestled in the rolling hills of western Massachusetts in an area known as the Berkshires which is the summer home of the Boston Symphony. It is an area full of culture, arts, and music.
Stockbridge, Massachusetts was the home to Norman Rockwell who captured the heart of America and gave us decades of life through his eyes. It is also the home of Daniel Chester French who was the sculpturist of Abraham Lincoln for the Lincoln Memorial.
Norman Rockwell painted Main St. and the Red Lion Inn perfectly in his iconic Home for Christmas (Main Street at Christmas). You can see the Red Lion Inn on the right hand side.
There are many other artists who called the Berkshire home such as Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edith Wharton. And The Red Lion Inn has had it’s share of famous visitors including 5 Presidents, politicians, writers, actors/actresses and musicians.
Over fifteen years ago we visited Stockbridge and stayed at the Red Lion Inn. I was a different person then. I had 3 children, ages 5, 8, and 10, and The Red Lion Inn had too many treasures. I was worried about how my children behaved and forgot to enjoy the journey. Recently, my daughter posted the following photograph from our stay at the Inn. It brought back pleasant memories of our visit here, and I wanted my younger boys to enjoy the Berkshires too.
Five years ago, we could have never taken this trip with Jack-Jack, and just being here is a small victory. We have worked hard to teach him about respect for other people’s property, how to behave in public, and using his inside voice. Okay, the inside voice we are still working on. In fact, it truly is ironic that we are even working on the inside voice thing because it took him forever to talk without whispering.
Watching Jack-Jack at The Red Lion Inn gives me so much hope. Years ago I believed that “I will never. . .(insert activity here),” and yet we find ourselves doing more and more activities with him. This trip to The Red Lion Inn is a sign of better things to come. Much of what we do with him is because of hard work on both our part and his.
The Red Lion Inn common spaces are filled with couches, chairs, activities such as chess, a piano with instructions to refrain from playing while guests are at dinner or after 10 PM, a roaring fireplace, a year round pool, courtyards, libraries, and more. We explored some of the common areas, but never even got to venture to the second floor of the Inn.
Marcus is becoming a young man and no longer wants me to refer to him as Dash. He enjoyed our stay at the Inn, checking out the details and getting “a drink” in the Lion’s Den.
The Red Lion Inn is the perfect getaway. We visited in November. The hustle and bustle of the summer and fall are over, but the busy-ness of Thanksgiving and Christmas have not yet started. The Red Lion Inn is decorated in authentic period pieces. It is from a time that I personally love, with a history that makes me want to sit, wander and rest in the quietness of life.
Visiting in a less busy season enables us to get more one-on-one time with everyone we encounter. This is helpful to Jack-Jack. He loves to talk to hotel staff, waitresses/waiters, and museum staff. During less busy times there is also a sense of calm from visitors. Less commotion is helpful to helping Jack-Jack feel comfortable in his surroundings.
From the spacious front-porch lined with rocking chairs, to the huge front sitting room, The Red Lion Inn says welcome to all who enter. When I went to the front desk to check-in, I was not surprised to see an authentic hotel key cabinet.
The welcoming I received made me feel as they were expecting me even before they had my name. Check in was personal and easy.
And then the front desk receptionist gave us a ride up to our room in the Bird Cage elevator that was installed in 1897. This is a must ride! Encountering an elevator like this usually requires a trip to a museum.
Our room was a spacious 2 queen bed room on the 3rd floor of the main inn. Walking down the hallway to our room we noticed the artwork, the cabinets with china, the artifacts and antiques. Everything works together to create an experience you don’t easily forget.
The Red Lion Inn also houses several dining options. The Main Dining Room serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. We opted to have a dinner on our first night in the Main Dining Room.
The Widow Bingham’s Tavern is named after one of the inn’s original owners and definitely has a old tavern feel. The Lion’s Den is on the basement level of the inn and was opened in 1937. The Den offers nightly entertainment, pub fare and delicious hot mulled cider.
The heated outdoor pool is open 6 am – midnight year round and sits in a quiet courtyard perfect for this blogging mommy to relax while Jack-Jack played.
We are still working on the “keep the pool and spa water out of your mouth.” I am sure I say that 100 times while he is swimming!
The outdoor temperature was a cool 63 degrees, but that didn’t stop Jack-Jack from having fun. Marcus (the child formerly known as Dash) decided that it was too cold to take a dip and opted for sipping a double chocolate espresso instead.
While these walls can’t talk I wonder what they would say. The Red Lion Inn seems to be a place that says, “come and sit a spell, relax and be yourself.” But if these walls could talk, would they speak about the family that walked their halls thankful for one more victory on their autism journey?
(FTC requires me to say that I was given a two night stay in exchange for my review. I reached out to The Red Lion Inn because this was a property I wanted to review. All opinions, thoughts, and words are my own)
Watch for my reviews about Dining in Stockbridge and the Norman Rockwell Museum!