I decided at the last minute to take Hubby to the Berkshires to celebrate his birthday. Because of other obligations, we really could only stay one night. Being a very popular time of year, due to goings-on at Tanglewood and Jacob's Pillow, I made many, many calls before finding this gem. The Collins House was recommended to me by another innkeeper who had no vacancies. Fortunately, the innkeepers at the Collins House not only had a vacancy but were amenable to taking a one-night reservation (which most B&B's won't accept during high season).
I was a bit hesitant at first, because they didn't have a website yet, and I was reserving a room without seeing any pictures or reviews. When I called, owner Chauncey Collins immediately put me at ease. Turns out he and wife Linda just opened Collins House as a B&B - it was their home for about ten years prior to turning it into a business. They have three guest rooms, each with their own private bath. Well, our stay here was simply wonderful!!! You might think that newbies might have some kinks to works out, but the Collinses seemed like old hands at innkeeping, likely due to their many years' experience working in the hospitality industry. They were also very reliable regarding directions and recommendations, having grown up in the area.
As hosts, Chauncey and Linda were not only warm and friendly without being intrusive, but also very gracious and thoughtful, providing everything a guest could possibly need or want: soft drinks in the fridge... driving directions to wherever we wanted to go... a sumptuously comfy living room... numerous area guidebooks... reclining chairs on the stone patio... candles and bath salts in the bathroom... one of the best homemade breakfasts I've ever had at a B&B... aaaah, it was as if they had read our minds about what would make us happy! Linda even put a birthday candle in Hubby's breakfast muffin.
And what a beautiful home! Not a creaky drafty old house, the Collins House is fairly new but solidly built, and full of character and classic architectural details. The bedrooms are simply and tastefully decorated, and the rooms downstairs that are part of the main house could be featured in a decorating magazine -- but my favorite room was the bathroom. It was a gigantic room, with a huge tub and a shower. Hubby & I both fit quite comfortably in the tub -- we picked up some champagne in town and lit those candles for a nice romantic bath together. Our room was at the end of the hallway, so we felt like we had our own private suite.
The grounds around the house are gorgeous - it is adjacent to the Devonfield Inn, which sits on a large property. The Collins House has a stone patio behind it with plants, flowers, and flowering trees surrounding it. At breakfast, we sat and gazed out at evergreens and walnut trees, and the treeline in the distance. Its location in Lee is convenient to many attractions in the area. We had tickets to Jacob's Pillow, which was about a 20-minute drive on a very windy road, so Chauncey's directions were extremely helpful. Edith Wharton's former home, The Mount (highly recommended!), is just down the road. Restaurants and shopping in Lee, Lenox, and Stockbridge are short trips from the Collins House.
We took our chances making our last-minute reservations and the Collins House turned out to be a fabulous find. We wholeheartedly recommend it. We WILL be back - and definitely for more than one night!