Our Inn-credible First Week as Innkeepers — 19 Years Ago Today!

Posted on October 8, 2015 by Amy Lindner-Lesser

October 8, 1996 that was the date my late husband, Steve, and I became the owners/stewards of The Rookwood Inn. This is my story of our inntroduction to innkeeping – – our inncredible first week as innkeepers. Happy 19th Anniversary to me!

On October 6, we packed up most of our belongings from our house in Lansdowne, PA and set out on our journey to Lenox, MA and The Rookwood Inn. So began our move from PA to MA and our lives as innkeepers.

We arrived at the inn with a car towing a U-Haul driven by Steve accompanied by our daughter, Nina.  I followed with my car and daughter, Maya, with our four cats. Our dear friend, Liz, brought up the rear in her loaded to the gills car.

During our five plus hour drive from PA, Maya and I were serenaded by a meow symphony — no match for the BSO and Tanglewood!

When we arrived in the Berkshires, Maya and I went straight to a kennel to drop the cats off until we closed on the inn and settled into our apartment.

On Monday morning after breakfast, we left the full house of guests, and Steve and I went to closing. Liz took our girls to find pumpkins.

Closing went smoothly and we returned to the inn that afternoon as the new innkeepers. That evening we again had a full house of guests including a large group of hikers who checked-in that afternoon.

Liz left for her home in New Jersey on Tuesday in the middle of a nor’easter. That evening we lost power! We searched the inn for candles but didn’t find any. So I grabbed the girls and the three of us set off to find the supermarket.

Steve stayed at the inn to help guests and begin breakfast preparations. After buying all of the votives in the supermarket, we returned to the inn. Boy do I wish there were smart phones with cameras in those days! We walked into the kitchen and found Steve with a flashlight between his teeth and a whisk in his hands prepping breakfast! What a sight!

As customary, on Wednesday when the hikers were checking out, we held aside the Williams Suite so they could shower and change before leaving. Everything was going smoothly until we got word that there was a woman locked in the Suite’s bathroom because the doorknob fell off!

Steve grabbed a ladder and helped the woman out through the window. (Again, a missed photo opportunity!) He then climbed into the bathroom through the window, fixed the doorknob and we were almost ready to greet the next group of guests (of course, after the room and bath were cleaned).

Lest you think this was the end of our inauguration as innkeepers, our first week wasn’t quite over and neither were the challenges.

Friday was a full turnover of guests and a full house coming in. We had brought the cats to the inn on Wednesday and they seemed to be adjusting well. Our veterinarians had suggested that we not allow them outside for at least two weeks so they could fully acclimate to to their new surroundings.

That evening as guests were arriving, I was sitting at my desk and looking at what I thought was a reflection of our Ashley (the white cat) in the window. What I didn’t realize for a while was that the window was open and I was seeing her sitting on the railing outside.

When I realized, I tried to grab her but she ran away. I ran outside to tell Steve who was directing guests to park. He had his flashlight and looked a lot like an airport runway attendant. (Later some of our guests affectionately referred to Steve as the “Parking Nazi” for the way he directed traffic. However, when he was in charge of parking, we never had guests parking on the walkway or blocking the front entrance or driveways — something to be said for the “Parking Nazi.”)

After the guests were parked, Steve and I, with flashlights in hand, crept around the perimeter of the building whispering Ashley’s name. We didn’t want to wake or disturb guests who might have been asleep at 11:30. Finally she came to us and allowed us to bring her in.

As many of you might remember, Ashley was the queen of The Rookwood for many years. She loved our guests and their attention and was often found being pet and loved on the front porch.

What a first week we had and what memories it made! Driving to the grocery store surrouded by the Berkshire hills afire with the most spectacular fall foliage made mundane tasks enjoyable. Nineteen years  later I am still sure that I live in God’s country.

I am so very grateful for the experiences I have had with Steve and my daughters here, and for the friends, family and guests who have come and stayed with us and shared their time at The Rookwood.

I am very grateful for the wonderful women who make up Team Rookwood — Chris, Mel, Jen, Kali, Lana — and the others who served along the way. I look foward to seeing what the future brings as I embark on the beginning of my twentieth year as innkeeper of The Rookwood Inn!

I’m looking forward to seeing you here soon. The Rookwood Inn is where memories are made — I hope you’ve enjoyed sharing some of mine.

Autumn Weekends

Posted on September 7, 2015 by Amy Lindner-Lesser

Are you looking for something different to do these upcoming autumn weekends? Look no further than The Rookwood Inn for apple picking, hay rides, pumpkin picking and carving, memoir writing and for Halloween Weekend – ghost stories and Frankenstein – getaways!

As the nights cool down and the brilliant colors of fall appear, The Rookwood Inn team has been planning some fabulous activities for guests. We have collected the best orchards for apple and pumpkin picking, compiled a list of farm stands for fresh apple cider and apple cider donuts, identified places for fun hayrides and hikes for amazing scenery and leaf peeping, and can even point you in the right direction for hard cider and seasonal beer tasting.

During September, Lenox celebrates the apple with its Apple Squeeze (September 26  27). This is a two day downtown event with music, food and great sidewalk sales and art exhibits. Couple this with some apple picking and lots of wonderful apple themed food at The Rookwood and you’ve found yourself a great escape from your hectic life right into quintessential small town New England.

In addition, during the weekend of September 25-27 The Rookwood Inn will be hosting its second Women’s Memoir Writing SeptemberMemoir Writing Weekend co-sponsored by the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers. The facilitator for this weekend will be Jennifer Browdy, Ph.D. who is the co-founder of the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers and Writing Fire Press and a professor at Simon’s Rock College.  The focus of this weekend will be on place…Spend a wonderful weekend surrounded by new and supportive friends in a beautiful location, with Apple Squeeze activities surrounding you. We will provide the accommodations and scrumptious food. You bring your writing implements and ideas and be prepared to embark on the writing journey of your life. Call us for details! 800.223.9750


Halloween is coming and our ghosts and goblins are planning a fun-filled spooky weekend. We’re stirring the cauldron and getting some witches’ brew ready for you. Arrive at The Rookwood on Friday night, October 30th. We’ll have some special refreshments for you and ghost story readings by some IMG_2385.JPGlocal actors. Perhaps one of our own ghosts will make an appearance.

On Saturday, after a ghoulish breakfast, go apple picking or select your pumpkin; take a hayride to the top of Hilltop Orchard; try their Johny Mash Hard Cider, explore Lenox and the Berkshires. Afternoon refreshments will be to die for…then after dinner enjoy a staged reading at the Lenox Library of Frankenstein. Sunday morning enjoy your breakfast and then a leisurely morning in town before heading home. Complete two night packages start at $594. Call for details and reservations. 800.223.9750


Fall in the Berkshires, Lenox and at The Rookwood Inn

Posted on August 9, 2015 by Amy Lindner-Lesser

As the dog days of summer wind down I find myself anticipating the arrival of fall in the Berkshires, Lenox and at The Rookwood Inn. Nights begin to get cooler and sleep comes easier for this innkeeper. Just as school children anticipate the first days at school, I can’t wait for the brilliant colors of autumn to emerge  – the deep crimsons, the yellows, the orange and even the browns and tans. Each leaf, just as each guest of ours, is unique and I love the diversity and the opportunty to learn about all!

September in Lenox provides a great opportunity to experience small town America. There are two events which occur annually and are lots of fun for people of all ages. The first is the Tub Parade. This is a recreation of a Gilded Age event which celebrated the close of the summer season for the “cottagers” who summered in Newport, RI and then Lenox. As in the past, horses and carriages (known as tubs) are decorated with flowers and driven around the center of Lenox. Join the carriages and their riders after at Shakespeare & Company where cider and donuts will be served. The Tub Parade begins at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 12, 1015.   

 On Saturday, September 26 and Sunday,September 27 the Lenox Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the 36th Annual Apple Squeeze. The village opens its doors and streets to celebrations honoring the apple harvest. Store owners offer great deals on merchandize, galleries open their doors to visitors and some have live demonstrations. There are food purveyors in addition to our fabulous restaurants. Music fills the streets. There are even game areas for children. It a fantastic street festival for folks of all ages.

The Rookwood Inn, along with the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers, will be offering its second Memoir Writing Weekend from Friday, September 25 through Sunday, September 27. The focus this time will be on place. Participants will write from personal experience Experienced leader, Jennifer Browdy, Ph.D., will again facilitate. For more information, contact The Rookwood Inn. We would love to have you!

The Rookwood Inn’s 6 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

Posted on February 16, 2015 by Amy Lindner-Lesser

IMG_1758-0.JPGAre you feeling snowed in? Sick of winter already? We at The Rookwood Inn have put our heads together and have come up with 6 ways to beat the winter blues.

1. Make Plans for your Spring and/or Summer Vacations. Tanglewood tickets are on sale to the public so you can call the Boston Symphony or go to their website and order your tickets for Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, the Symphony or the Boston Pops, for Bernadette Peters, Idina Mendez, or a host of other wonderful concerts.After that, go to our website (or call us at 800.223.9750) and book your room.

2. If music isn’t your thing, how about theatre or dance? The Berkshires offers different types of theater through its different companies: Berkshire Theatre Group (in Stockbridge and Pittsfield), Barrington Stage (two venues in Pittsfield), Shakespeare & Company (two venues in Lenox), the Williamstown Theatre Festival or Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.

3. Perhaps you enjoy the white stuff when its prepared properly. There are great locations for downhill and cross country skiing near the inn as well as opportunities for snowshoeing and snow tubing. Some offer rentals and many have places to warm up with a hot chocolate. We promise to have plenty waiting for you at the in along with a delicious afternoon treat.

4. Prefer to cuddle up with that special person in front of a beautiful fire? Book one of our fireplace rooms, bring your special honey and we will supply the romantic ambiance. Check out our packages on our website for some special goodies (Sweetheart Package, Spa Indulgence Package for example) to add to your visit.

5. Bring your BFF(s) and have a girls weekend. We can arrange for massages, yoga classes, meditation for you at the inn. We have jigsaw puzzles, board games,cozy robes to make your slumber party extra special!

6. Did you know that March is Berkshire Festival of Women Writers’ 5th Anniversary? What that means is that there are literally tons of workshops and readings by women for women (and men) throughout the month of March. In addition, The Rookwood Inn will be co-sponsoring a three part series on memoir writing in conjunction with the Festival. The first weekend will be June 5, 6, & 7th at The Rookwood. Details will be coming out soon! Space is limited so if you’e interested, email me so I can get you the information soon!

Jacob’s Pillow Summer 2015

Posted on January 16, 2015 by Amy Lindner-Lesser

SeasonBrochure_widgetI am stating to believe that Summer will be here….eventually. We’ve seen the Tanglewood 2015 schedule (tickets go on sale to the public on January 25.) And now, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival has released it’s summer schedule. I am just able to imagine feeling the breeze through the trees at the Inside Out performances.

Programs start this year in mid-June and run through the end of August with ticket sales starting on April 1st for non-members. Pick your performance(s), book your room at The Rookwood Inn and summer will be here soon!

Straight from their website, here’s the 2015 Festival schedule:
THREE ACTS, TWO DANCERS, ONE RADIO HOST Ira Glass, host of public radio’s This American Life, is joined by dancers Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass in a lively production that combines two unique art forms–dance and radio. Special Event! June 13 and 14 | Ted Shawn Theatre

BALLET BC Directed by Emily Molnar, Canada’s premier contemporary ballet company returns with stellar dancers and new works from top international choreographers. June 24-28 | Ted Shawn Theatre

CINDERELLA This classic story ballet, performed by the outstanding dancers of New York Theatre Ballet, is a delightful treat for the entire family. June 24-28 | Doris Duke Theatre

DORRANCE DANCE Tap sensation Michelle Dorrance and her all-star company return with The Blues Project, featuring live music by folk/blues composer Toshi Reagon and her band BIGLovely. July 1-5 | Ted Shawn Theatre

BODYTRAFFIC This on-the-rise ensemble brings athleticism and style to Dust by Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter and a new creation by Victor Quijada of RUBBERBANDance Group. July 1-5 | Doris Duke Theatre

Nederlands Dans Theater 2 NDT2 masters exquisite technique in striking contemporary works by Sol León, Paul Lightfoot, Johan Inger, and other major dancemakers. July 8-12 | Ted Shawn Theatre

BIG DANCE THEATER Blurring the lines between theater, dance, and performance art, Alan Smithee Directed This Play: Triple Feature seamlessly merges video, song, movement, and scenic design. July 8-12 | Doris Duke Theatre

LINES BALLET Artistic Director Alonzo King is a ballet visionary. His San Francisco-based company astonishes with classical elegance and bold new ideas. This mixed program features King’s newest works. July 15-19 | Ted Shawn Theatre

MONCHICHI The dynamic dance duo Sébastien Ramirez and Honji Wang perform in a touching, theatrical show combining hip-hop, contemporary dance, and inventive set design. July 15-19 | Doris Duke Theatre

DANIIL SIMKIN’S INTENSIO Critics compare American Ballet Theatre’s Daniil Simkin to Baryshnikov and Nureyev. See him perform in this much-anticipated world premiere, with stars of ABT (and beyond) in new dances by the world’s top choreographers. July 22-26 | Ted Shawn Theatre

GAUTHIER DANCE From Germany in its U.S. debut, this ensemble’s multifaceted talent shines in original, entertaining dances by Alejandro Cerrudo, Artistic Director Eric Gauthier, and others. July 22-26 | Doris Duke Theatre

DANIEL ULBRICHT & STARS OF AMERICAN BALLET After last season’s BALLET 2014 engagement, audiences were clamoring for the return of Ulbricht and fellow dancers. They’re back, with an all-new program. July 29-August 2 | Ted Shawn Theatre

JESSICA LANG DANCE in THE WANDERER Jessica Lang creates a wondrous contemporary story ballet to Franz Schubert’s moving song cycle, Die schöne Müllerin, performed live. July 29-August 9 | Doris Duke Theatre Two week run!

MALPASO DANCE COMPANY This versatile contemporary company from Cuba delivers power and charisma in two new works: one by Osnel Delgado, with live music by GRAMMY winning composer Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble, and the other by the ever-popular choreographer Trey McIntyre. August 5-9 | Ted Shawn Theatre

THE SARASOTA BALLET Lauded for their vitality and elegance, this top ballet company performs Sir Frederick Ashton’s Monotones I and II, Christopher Wheeldon’s The American, and a world premiere by Ricardo Graziano. August 12-16 | Ted Shawn Theatre

LA OTRA ORILLA From Montréal, La Otra Orilla embodies a deep mastery of traditional flamenco dance and the music of Andalusia, married with a rebellious contemporary twist. August 12-16 | Doris Duke Theatre

L.A. DANCE PROJECT In their Pillow debut, these gorgeous, classically-trained dancers present works by New York City Ballet’s Justin Peck, a new ballet by Artistic Director Benjamin Millepied, and more. August 19-22 | Ted Shawn Theatre

LIZ GERRING DANCE The New York Times calls glacier “an enthralling and important new dance work.” This is a performance full of beautiful contradictions–grace, athleticism, passion, and poeticism. August 19-23 | Doris Duke Theatre

A JAZZ HAPPENING This celebration of joyous dance and live music features students of the Musical Theatre Dance Program, and benefits The School at Jacob’s Pillow. August 23 | Ted Shawn Theatre

MARTHA GRAHAM DANCE COMPANY The legendary modern dance company launches its 90th Anniversary at the Pillow, celebrating a pioneering past and trail-blazing future with classic Graham works and exciting new dances by choreographers of today. August 26-30 | Ted Shawn Theatre

MADBOOTS DANCE Discover this young company of male dancers with fresh ideas about modern masculinity and dances that are athletic, powerful, and tender. August 26-30 | Doris Duke Theatre

Tickets go on sale to the public April 1. Members get early access to tickets, the best seats, and $10 off Ted Shawn Theatre tickets during the Member

Summer in the Berkshires – Tanglewood 2015

Posted on December 16, 2014 by Amy Lindner-Lesser

It’s here! The Tanglewood schedule for Summer 2015.  The schedule is longer and more varied this year (June 20 – September 7) with programs to appeal to everyone.. There will be appearances by Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Leon Fleisher, two nights of Mark Morris Dance, as well as Tony Bennett with Lady Gaga, Huey Lewis and the News, Diana Krall, James Taylor and Audra McDonald. Tickets go on sale to the public on January 25, so reserve your room(s) now. Click on the link for the Tanglewood schedule.
Jacob’s Pillow, Shakespeare & Company, Berkshire Theatre Group, Williamstown Theatre Festival and Barrington Stage will be releasing their summer schedules soon, so check or blog regularly. Better yet, subscribe to Rookwood Ramblings Blog RSS Feed and we’ll notify you when a new blog is posted!

Happy Holidays from The Rookwood Inn!

Posted on December 15, 2014 by Amy Lindner-Lesser

As the days get shorter and the temperatures drop, I think of the shortest day of the year — the winter solstice.

Every major religion has a festival/holiday, which takes place at this time of year, and most include some form of celebration toward light. From Chanukah to Christmas to Kwanza, all of us at The Rookwood Inn wish you and yours much light, laughter, good health, happiness and peace this holiday season.Rookwood at night with a snowy blanket

Doing some last minute shopping?

If you’re still looking for the perfect gift for someone special, there’s no need to fight the crowds in the malls or stores. A Rookwood Inn gift certificate is that perfect one-size fits all present…and it really does!

A special gift for booking early —

We are also offering a special deal for those who reserve for the summer early this year. Make your summer reservations by December 31st, and we’ll throw in a stay in a standard or deluxe room for $99 per night (plus tax & gratuity) between now and May 15 ($149 per night for mini suites). This offer is good for all new reservations and is not valid on New Years’ eve or Valentine’s/Presidents Weekend. It may not be combined with gift cards or any other promotion or special.

Don’t forget to check out our blog and our e-newsletter, Rookwood Ramblings.

Have a Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year!

Looking forward to welcoming you back in 2015!

Eighteen Years as the Innkeeper of The Rookwood Inn

Posted on October 8, 2014 by Amy Lindner-Lesser

Amy, Maya, and Nina - Innkeepers at The Rookwood Inn

Amy, Maya, and Nina – Your Innkeepers at The Rookwood Inn

Eighteen years ago today we became the owners/innkeepers/stewards of The Rookwood Inn. This day was beshert.

For those of you without knowledge of Yiddish, beshert means “destined or meant to be.” This couldn’t have truer for October 8, 1996 would have been my mother-in-law’s 73rd birthday. It was through her passing and legacy that we were able to purchase the inn.

The house we owned in Lansdowne, PA, a small town outside of Philadelphia, was painted, by us, in Sherwin Williams’ hisoric paint colors. We used Rookwood Red and Rookwood Green, among others. Our address in Lansdowne was 117; the inn’s street number is 11 and the post office box is 1717. And the owners, our predecessors, bought from sent their son to the same camp as our daughters had attended, albeit many years apart.

The people we bought from also shared experiences with us. The wife was from PA and was in healthcare prior to innkeeping. I too was in healthcare. Their daughter and our younger daughter were born less than a week apart. How could we not see this purchase and life change were meant to be?

Both Stephen and I had some health issues the year before we purchased The Rookwood Inn and decided that you need to live the life you have and not necessarily the life you want. We thought that we would wait until our children were in college before buying an inn. But decided to take the plunge then because, “who knows what the future might bring?” This was also fortuitous because a mere two and a half years later Stephen lost his battle with malignant melanoma.

In these eighteen years we (I) have made many changes and updates to the inn from a complete Victorian “Painted Lady” color scheme to installing a whole-house sprinkler system to bumping out the south side of the third floor and adding gas fireplaces to three of the rooms to renovating some of the guest rooms and baths to installing WiFi and phones. Many changes are visible while others are part of the heating and cooling systems and would only be noticeable if not working.

Eighteen is a significant number in my Jewish tradition. Eighteen in Hebrew is “chai” which means life and what a life it has been here at The Rookwood Inn! I have been fortunate to have been able to be involved in my daughters’ lives and have watched them grow from little girls to talented, intelligent, productive and loving women.

Nina is a teacher and lives with her husband, Greg, in Jacksonville, Florida where he is stationed in the Navy. Maya is happily employed with a large hotel chain, a trained aesthetician, and in a loving relationship with a very nice man. I was able to spend time with Steve during his illness and am now able to have the time and flexibility to care for my mother and step-father as they age.

Throughout these eighteen years, I am lucky to count many of our guests as friends and have been lucky to attend weddings (some of which I’ve been honored to perform in my capacity as Justice of the Peace), meet their new babies and grandchildren, and share a meal or a holiday. Others share their lives with us when they visit. Some share their joys. Some share their sorrows. But all share their lives. For that I am deeply grateful.

I thank each and every one of you for sharing your lives and your time over these eighteen years with me, with my family, and with our Rookwood family (employees and other guests). I look forward to many more visits with you all!

Marathon Reading of Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome

Posted on February 13, 2014 by Amy Lindner-Lesser

Edith Wharton's home The Mount

Edith Wharton’s home The Mount

On February 22, 2014 from 1:00 pm – 5:30 pm readers of all ages are invited to experience a New England classic literary piece in a new way at the second annual marathon reading of Ethan Frome. This classic Edith Wharton novella was based on a true sledding accident which occurred on the hill in front of The Rookwood Inn.

On Saturday, February 22nd, Edith Wharton’s cozy Drawing Room will come alive with readers making Wharton’s story come to life in the very house where she wrote it. Peer out the windows upon the snowy Berkshire landscape where she gleaned inspiration for the fictitious town of Starkfield, Massachusetts! Spend the night at The Rookwood Inn and view the actual hill where the accident occurred.

Visitors are encouraged to drop by the Mount for a chapter or two, or stay for the full reading. Seating is limited and reservations are strongly encouraged.

If you’d like to lend your voice to this exciting program, please contact Kelsey Mullen at 413-551-5110 or kmullen@edithwharton.org as soon as possible. For room reservations, pleae call us at The Rookwood Inn at 800.223.9750 or book online at http://www.rookwoodinn.com

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Announces Summer 2014 Season

Posted on January 6, 2014 by Amy Lindner-Lesser


One of the highlights of our winter season here in Lenox, is the announcement of the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival’s schedule. Returning this summer are favorites such as the Mark Morris Dance Group and Music Ensemble, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, along with the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Joining them will be the Hong Kong Ballet, As I Remember It, the Trey McIntyre Project, Unreal Hip-Hop, Bleu!, Moses(es), Ballet 2014, Dorrance Dance, Circa, Chalk and Soot, the Pacific Northwest Ballet, Stardust, Companhia Urbana de Danca, Doug Elkins Choreography Etc., A Jazz Happeing, the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, and Leesaar the Company. Again there will be world premieres and some live music to accompany the troupes.

A complete schedule is available on their website and you can click on the photo link above to order your tickets and take advantage of their $10 off special.

And don’t forget to book your room at The Rookwood Inn!

What’s Happening at Tanglewood in the Summer of 2014

Posted on November 27, 2013 by Amy Lindner-Lesser

Tanglewood ShedThe exciting details of Tanglewood‘s 77th season (June 28 – August 30) have been released giving all of us another reason to be thankful this weekend!

This summer, Tanglewood and the Berkshires welcome Andris Nelsons for his first festival appearances as BSO Music Director Designate.

2014’s program highlights American music. Along with the concert performance of Bernstein’s Candide and the movie presentation with live orchestra of The Wizard of Oz, mentioned above, Tanglewood will present American baritone Thomas Hampson in a selection of Old American Songs by Aaron Copland, with Christoph von Dohnányi conducting (7/18), and the world premiere of William Bolcom’s Circus Overture to open a BSO concert celebrating Leonard Slatkin’s 70th birthday (8/8).

The American music theme will extend to the season-long celebration of the 20th anniversary of Ozawa Hall with an appearance by Chanticleer in a program entitled She Said/He Said, with music ranging from Renaissance madrigals to new arrangements from Chanticleer’s popular and jazz repertoire (7/9); a performance of Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story.

The 2014 Festival of Contemporary Music, July 17-21, under the direction of John Harbison and Michael Gandolfi, will present programs featuring works by American composers, with a special emphasis on music from a younger generation of Americans, many of whom have been Fellows at the Tanglewood Music Center.

The Boston Pops Orchestra with Keith Lockhart and John Williams will be joined by two American icons: Jason Alexander, and Josh Groban. Besides leading the Boston Pops in the score to The Wizard of Oz to accompany the universally beloved movie classic (8/22), Keith Lockhart will conduct Boston Pops concerts featuring Broadway veteran and Tony Award-winner Jason Alexander in a program of comedy, song, and dance (7/13), and superstar singer Josh Groban in a program that brings the 2014 Tanglewood season to a close on August 30. John Williams will lead Tanglewood’s Film Night, one of the most eagerly-anticipated evenings of the Tanglewood season, with special guests to be announced at a later date (8/2). The annual day-long musical celebration, Tanglewood on Parade, culminating in an evening concert with the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, and Tanglewood Music Center orchestras, led by Keith Lockhart, John Williams, and Stéphane Denève will take place on August 5.

Tanglewood welcomes back James Taylor and his extraordinary band for two performances in the Koussevitzky Music Shed, July 3 and 4.  A spectacular fireworks display over the Stockbridge Bowl will follow the concert. Mr. Taylor, who regularly performs to sold-out audiences at Tanglewood, has returned to the festival 21 times since his first performances there in 1974.

Tickets go on sale to the general public beginning on January 26, 2014 ; and for James Taylor’s July 3 and 4 concerts on Thursday, January 16.  All proceeds for the July 4 concert to benefit Tanglewood. Rooms at The Rookwood will start filling up sooner. Make your reservation early to avoid disappointment!

B&Bs for Vets at The Rookwood Inn

Posted on October 19, 2013 by Amy Lindner-Lesser

For the fourth year in a row, The Rookwood Inn is offering its rooms as part of the B&Bs for Vets and as our way of thanking our military for their service. 20131017-202010.jpgEvery one of our 20 rooms is available at no cost for the night of November 10 to active, reserve, discharged and retired military personnel, with proof of service. The Rookwood Inn is also offering additional consecutive nights (up to three) for 50% off the regular winter rates.

Arrive at The Rookwood and enjoy our afternoon refreshments. Last year, our regular offerings were augmented by Bartlett’s Orchards (a fantastic apple orchard and farm stand in Richmond, MA – just over the mountain from the inn), and a very generous baker and friend of The Rookwood Inn,  Terrill. Then you’re off on your own for a delicious dinner in one of the great restaurants in and around Lenox.

Awaken in your comfy room on Veteran’s Day to the aromas of one of our delicious breakfasts. You can choose a table for just the two of you, or decide to share with a fellow service man or woman. When it’s time to go, you’ll leave with wonderful memories and some additional thank you for protecting us gifts and our desire that you’ll be back to stay another time. B&Bs for Vets – our way of saying thanks for taking care of us!


Audubon sanctuaries near The Rookwood Inn will make nature-lovers go wild

Posted on July 13, 2013 by Amy Lindner-Lesser

Do you love to get outdoors, hike, explore, canoe, bird-watch, and picnic? The Rookwood Inn is surrounded by beautiful landscapes and unique nature sanctuaries teeming with wildlife.

In fact, two Audubon Wildlife Sanctuaries — Pleasant Valley and Canoe Meadow — are within minutes of The Rookwood, each offering extensive hiking trails, riverfronts and lakesides, acres of forests, meadows, mountains, and local wildlife sightseeing opportunities.

Here’s a custom map of where these sanctuaries are in relation to The Rookwood Inn:

View Nature Sanctuaries Near The Rookwood Inn in a larger map

Pleasant Valley (~ 2 miles from The Rookwood)

Pleasant Valley is about two miles from the Rookwood Inn and boasts a thriving beaver population in the Yokun Brook. Their lodges can be found along the shores of the brook and, although primarily nocturnal, you may be lucky enough to see a beaver swimming along in the water or working on its dam. In the springtime, there is notable Salamander migration along the West Mountain Road.

The park also has trails that wind through hardwood forest, wetlands, meadows, and along Lenox Mountain’s slopes. The Housatonic River and area lakes also feature canoe trips from mid-May through Columbus Day.

Canoe Meadow (~ 6 miles from The Rookwood)

Canoe Meadow is a mere mile from the center of Pittsfield, and is most notable for its plentiful variety of birds, such as Ospreys, Great Blue Herons, Waxwings, Hummingbirds, Owls, Hawks, and Bobolinks, depending on the time of year. The meadow is a bird-watchers dream, with programs such as the Birds to Watch, Focus on Feeders bird count in February, and May’s Bird-a-thon.

Canoe Meadow also has trails winding through woods, wetlands, fields, and along the Housatonic River. Nature enthusiasts regularly sight beavers, otters, and Wild Turkeys.

This summer, come to Lenox, Massachusetts to explore acres and acres of nature. And after a day of outdoor adventuring, it’s just a short drive back to luxurious comfort, afternoon refreshments and a delicious breakfast in the morning at The Rookwood Inn.

Theater & Performing Arts Venues near Lenox, MA

Posted on June 26, 2013 by Amy Lindner-Lesser

The Rookwood Inn is fortunate to be nestled in the midst of a vibrant and multi-talented theater-loving community.

Within just a few miles of our Berkshires bed and breakfast are several wonderful, varying stage productions and theater groups that offer endless opportunities to be entertained and surprised. Whether you love Shakespeare, drama, live bands, comedy, musicals, thrillers — even rock and roll! — Lenox, MA and the Berkshires have it all.

Below are a few of the more prominent groups and stages in the area.

Shakespeare & Company

With over 150 contributing artists who strive to perform as the Elizabethans did — their roots in classical ideals and a love of universal mystery, poetry, and physical prowess — Shakespeare & Company has been creating theater of unrivaled excellence since 1978. View their calendar.

Shakespeare & Company is approximately 1/2 mile from The Rookwood.

Berkshire Theater Group

The Berkshire Theater Group supports performing arts on five stages around Lenox. The group is involved in a wide range of the arts, including theater, dance, music, and entertainment. View their full events list or choose a stage.

Their theaters include:

  • Fitzpatrick Main Stage, about 5 miles from the Rookwood
  • Unicorn Theater, about 5 miles (housed on the same campus as Fitzpatrick)
  • Neil Ellenoff Stage, about 5 miles (also housed on the same campus as Fitzpatrick)
  • The Garage, about 6 miles from the Rookwood
  • The Colonial, about 6 miles from the Rookwood

South Mountain Concerts

During early fall, South Main presents some of the world’s leading chamber music soloists and ensembles. Built in 1918, the Colonial-styled concert hall is now on the National Register of Historic Buildings. View their concert schedule.

South Main is approximately 5 1/2 miles from The Rookwood

Barrington Stage Company

With several award-winning plays and musicals to its credit, the Barrington Stage Company attracts upwards of 50,000 patrons each year on its two stages. They are nationally recognized for having productions of superior quality, as well as educational programming. View their calendar.

Barrington Stage Company is approximately 7 Miles from The Rookwood.

You’re just a click away from Rookwood relaxation and enthralling entertainment. Why not treat yourself to a restful vacation and quality theater?

Spring in the Berkshires

Posted on March 12, 2013 by Amy Lindner-Lesser

We turned our clocks back this past Saturday night and many of us, myself included, are in desperate need of that lost hour. The positive part of Daylight Savings Time is that as I sit at my computer writing this blog at 6 pm it is still light out!  This brings up a whole lot of reasons why an escape from your early spring routines with a Rookwood Inn Escape is perfect at this time of year!window box

The tranquility of our location lends itself to a feeling of complete relaxation. You can meditate, if you want, or add a massage to enhance the relaxation. Pick up that book or magazine you’ve wanted to read for months and actually start, or finish, it. Visit Colorful Stitches in Lenox Village to find that special wool for a project or learn how to create your own work of art and come back to The Rookwood Inn to knit or crochet in front of a cozy fire. Visit Rhythms or Kripalu for a yoga class or workshop. Take a hike and explore flowers, trees, birds and animals awakening from their winter hibernation. Returning birds can be seen (we have a huge pileated woodpecker here at The Rookwood).

Perhaps you prefer culture. Shakespeare & Company is in production, the Berkshire International Film Festival is in swing, and there is always a concert or movie to be found. The Clark Art Museum is open and through May offers free admission to its wonderful exhibits.

We’ve turned our winter special into a Spring in the Berkshires special valid through April. Stay any two nights in a standard or deluxe room for $299 (plus tax and gratuity) or in a mini suite for $499 (plus tax and gratuity). Our delicious breakfasts and afternoon refreshments are included, as is our warm welcoming service.

Whatever the season, you’ll find the reason to visit The Rookwood Inn, Lenox, and the Berkshires!

Bring in the New Year at The Rookwood Inn!

Posted on December 12, 2012 by Amy Lindner-Lesser

New Year’s Eve carries with it the idea of something very special. Some people go all out to find a special place to have dinner,

Make it a Happy New Year at The Rookwood Inn!

Make it a Happy New Year at The Rookwood Inn!

perhaps go dancing. Others find a cozy meal at home or with friends to be their special way of celebrating. This year, start a new tradition at  The Rookwood Inn.

Spend two, or three nights including New Year’s Eve at The Rookwood, enjoy the beauty of the Berkshires both inside and out. Go skiing (downhill or cross-country), try snow-shoeing or snowmobiling. Stroll through the unique shops and villages like Lenox and Stockbridge. Enjoy exhibits at the local museums such as the Norman Rockwell or Clark Art Institute or MassMoCA. Take in some music. Savor delicious meals at one of the fine local restaurants. Or spend your time at the inn snuggling in front of a fire, reading, playing a board or card game, or talking with friends  – old or new.

At midnight on New Year’s Eve join us for a dessert and cheese gathering along with a special champagne toast.  Sleep in on New Year’s Day and then join us for our our famous  brunch. Check-out is extended until 2 pm to allow you to have a lazy morning. If you spend three  nights we’ll give you 25% off our New Year’s rates. Two nights, take 10% off.

Rookwood Inn Offers Gift Ideas for the Holidays

Posted on December 4, 2012 by Amy Lindner-Lesser

Whether or not we want to accept it, the holidays are quickly approaching. Even if we wanted to forget them, the stores and television commercials keep reminding us. Chanukah and Christmas will be here soon! Can’t bear the thought of another tie or pin? Don’t want to buy fuzzy socks or scarves? Look no further.  The Rookwood Inn has some great gift ideas for you – one size fits all – including your budget!

How about a weekend (12/7 & 8 OR 12/8 & 9) at The Rookwood Inn including two tickets to the Lenox Holiday Inn Tour, Choral Festival and Gingerbread House Contest? We’ve wrapped this one just for you with a very special package price of $299 (plus tax and gratuity)!

 If you can’t get away this weekend, a gift certificate make the perfect gift for anyone in your life – a loved one, business associate, good friend, birthday or holiday. You pick the amount of the certificate and we do the rest. We will issue a certificate and mail it to you or the recipient with a note. They can then use it toward any Rookwood getaway, at any time of year and toward any room they wish. As our special holiday gift to you, we’re offering a second gift certificate for you to use however you wish for 10% of the purchased certificate value. This means that if you purchase a $500 gift certificate for Aunt Mary and Uncle Bill, we will send you a certificate for $50 for you to use yourself or gift to someone else.

Should you prefer a smaller gift, Rookwood Inn mugs, bathrobes and cookbooks are available.

Thanksgiving Wishes from The Rookwood Inn

Posted on November 20, 2012 by Amy Lindner-Lesser


Thanksgiving Wishes from The Rookwood Inn

Thanksgiving reminds us to take time out of our busy lives to pause and think about the people and things we are grateful for. At The Rookwood Inn, YOU are at the top of our gratitude lists! Thank you for your continued support of The Rookwood through your visits, your wonderful reviews of your stays, being our Facebook friends, and sharing us with your friends and family. We appreciate your visits, your weddings, your girls weekends away, family reunions, just to name a few of the reasons you come. We love reading your letters and emails and sharing in your lives.

Have you heard about Small Business Saturday? This Saturday, November 24th Guests Receive a $25 Credit for any purchase over $25 made at a participating small business when paying with their American Express card. This can be for a stay this weekend (we’ll make sure to charge your Amex on Saturday the 24th), or for a deposit for any stay in the future, or for a Gift Certificate for a special holiday gift. So, make your reservation or buy a gift certificate on November 24th  and get a $25 credit from American Express. To participate you need to enroll an eligible American Express Card at www.shopsmall.com. The number of enrollments is limited and closes at 11:59 p.m. MST on November 24th, unless the limit is reached earlier. So don’t wait!

This is also a time to be thankful that the summer schedules will soon be available. Stay tuned for the Tanglewood announcement (the link will be both a blog post and a regular e-newsletter) which should be released soon after Thanksgiving. Remember to book your room early to avoid disappointment.

Stay tuned for some exciting winter promotions. We want you to see what we love about the Berkshires this winter!

Bed and Breakfast for Vets – Another Successful Year!

Posted on November 15, 2012 by Amy Lindner-Lesser

November 11, 2012 was the third time The Rookwood Inn participated in the Bed and Brekfasts for Vets program. Three years ago, we offered 8 rooms at no charge to active, reserve and retired service men and women as a way of saying thank you for their service. Last year we offered 10 rooms. This year, thanks to the generosity of The Rookwood’s employees (Chris Manarchik, Lana Schafer, and Jennifer Kahlenbeck) who donated their time and skills, we offered all 20 rooms at no charge to the service men and women.

It was a wonderful evening and breakfast time here. We had men and women from all branches of the service here. They represented many arenas but shared the common bond of being in the service. Everywhere I turned there were groups of guests sharing their stories and giving each other helpful advice on where to go for services. The sound of laughter and conversation pealed through the inn.

Through my employees’ generosity we were able to provide each room with flowers and candy, a sumptuous display of afternoon refreshments including fresh apple cider and donuts donated by Bartlett’s Orchard of Richmond.

Here is a letter we received from one of our guests:

Dear and staff,

Now-a-days it seems that any letter you receive is someone complaining about one thing or another, but I have the honor of writing to you to say thank you for a wonderful Veteranss Day stay. You, Lana, Chris, Jennifer and Isabel made our stay wonderful and I felt the need to write and tell everyone how much we appreciate all you did. As a Vietnam vet I cannot express how much your kindness means, as the vets from southeast Asia were not viewed as returning heroes, but your hard work makes up for our being slighted. So you should be very proud of all that you and your staff do on Veterans Day and you should be proud of your patriotism and your thoughtfulness.

Please let everyone know that you and the Rookwood Inn made a lot of people very happy and gave us a place to get together and feel comfortable talking about our lives.

Thanks again,
Bill and Sherrie Brassard


Welcome to Rookwood Ramblings!

Posted on March 24, 2012 by Amy Lindner-Lesser

Welcome to the first Rookwood Rambings Blog. For those of you who’ve been Rookwood friends and family for a while the name, Rookwood Ramblingsisn’t new. It has been the name of our newsletter (remember when it was printed and mailed out?) and then our email version. Being a creature of habit, I decided not to mess with tradition. The newsletter will be e-Ramblings and will continue to be emailed to our loyal followers up to 6 times a year. The Ramblings Blog will be posted on a more regular schedule, hopefully weekly. 

The purpose of the blog will be to communicate with you on a more personal level. I plan to share some of the local charm, lore, charater and events in a way not possible in a newsletter. I will share news of what’s happening, new openings, shows, restaurant reviews and more of my opinions than I normally do. If you have ideas of what you’d like to see featured, email me. I’ll try to incorporate as many of our readers’ ideas as possible.

It is absolutely incredulous to me that as I write this post on March 23, 2012, I am sitting  the front porch (veranda) of the Inn. The sun is bright and the temperature is almost 70 degrees! It is mind blowing to imagine a more beautiful 3rd day of spring. Our daffodils have bloomed (something I’ve never seen before in the Berkshires!). The rhododendron buds are bursting forth. Forsythia is blooming all around us! Chris, my assistant innkeeper, had dusted off the porches, removed the wicker and cushions from their winter cocoons and brought them onto the porches. The wooden benches have been restored  to their rightful places on the front lawn. In short, The Rookwood and its inhabitants (animate and inanimate) are awakening from a brief winter slow-down and are ready for our guests to return!

There are two exciting events which will be happening in and around Lenox. I’m going to mention them now and then detail them in other posts. The first is the  Berkshire Cycling Classic a 62 or 81 mile bike race starting in Lenox and winding through picturesque southern Berkshire County on May 6. The other event is the Berkshire British Car Show. If you or anyone you know loves British cars like MGs, Austin Healey’s, Rolls Royces, Bentleys or anything British then Father’s Day weekend (June 9 and 10) is the time to come to Lenox. Call us for special offers both weekends!

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