• Editor’s Pick: Seven Hills Inn

    New York Family editor and longtime Berkshires visitor Eric Messinger details a splendidly updated inn (at a great value).


    Come along with me on a brief tour of history and hospitality, and by the end you’ll be rewarded with the scoop on one of the best values in the Berkshires.

    One of the summer hotspots for second homes among the gilded wealthy of the late 19th and early 20th centuries was the Berkshires, whose gorgeous green vistas and lakes had special appeal to those who preferred a more natural and bucolic setting to Newport’s posh waterfront. With all due understatement, the inlanders called their opulent mansions and gardens “The Berkshire Cottages.” For over 20 years, Robin Gerson Wong and Dennis Wong have been decamping from their busy lives—she ran a children’s New Jersey musical theater center; he was a hedge fund CFO—to spend part of their summers in the Berkshires. About six years ago, they decided to go all in and purchase the Seven Hills Inn, a one-time Berkshire Cottage in Lenox that is now a family-friendly resort for all—including, in a few rooms, pets! My wife and I were guests at the Seven Hills Inn for a summer weekend, and while “makeover” is probably too strong a word, let’s say the Wongs have done a magnificent job of updating the Inn’s traditional aesthetics with lots of lively color and light and plenty of modern touches. Not to mention that you couldn’t ask for more gracious and helpful proprietors.

    There are three guest options at the Inn: the Manor House, the Carriage House, and the Terrace Country Motel. All options are reasonably priced compared with the Berkshire’s other high-end properties, but the “motel” option is certainly the best value I know of in the area. Despite the name, it’s anything but generic, with all the physical loveliness the Wongs have poured into their other accommodation options, the views of (and access to) the sumptuous grounds, and the same gourmet breakfast that every guest begins the day with in the Manor House.

    One more thing: One the Berkshire’s great cultural treats, Edith Wharton’s the Mount, is literally next door. My wife and I simply walked over there and loved learning more about her. Turns out that when she wasn’t chronicling her rich tribe, Wharton cared passionately about décor and landscaping—and it shows. Just like at Seven Hills.

    To read our travel feature on New England, click here.