There is a legend at Bash-Bish Falls in Mt. Washington in western Massachusetts’ majestic Berkshires, that the spirit of Bish-Bash, a beautiful Mohican princess accused unjustly of adultery and condemned by the tribal council, lives in the crystal pool under the Falls. They say that if you happen to be down there at the edge of the pool some misty, moonlit night, you just may see her shimmering, silvery form in the falls and that if you listen closely, you can hear her name whispered in the gushing water.
Romance – and legends - abound in the scenic Berkshires, making it an ideal honeymoon haven, any time of year. Intimate B&Bs, cozy inns and posh estate-hotels beckon throughout the romantic and historic area.
Especially noteworthy is the Red Lion Inn, located in Stockbridge, the town artist Norman Rockwell dubbed, “The Best of America, the Best of New England.” Originally founded as the Inn at the Sign of the Red Lion in 1773, its familiar front porch has lulled many a visitor since it opened. Today, its cozy tavern and dining room showcase not only great cuisine, but also traditional New England fare. Guest rooms are comfortably furnished with quaint New England touches, paving the way for a romantic honeymoon stay.
Wheatleigh, in nearby Lenox was built in 1893 by Henry Cook as a wedding present for is daughter Georgie, who married Carlos de Heredia, a Spanish Count. Cook was a New York financier and real estate tycoon and a descendant of Captain Thomas Cook, founder of Portsmouth, R.I. It is said that he built Wheatleigh as a summer cottage for his daughter because she had brought a title into the family. Fashioned after a 16th century palazzo, many of the materials and more than 150 artisans from Italy were brought in to accomplish the masterpiece. While the count and countess resided there only six weeks a year, today, it is a premier country house hotel, open year round and boasts accommodations fit for a king..and queen.
Also in Lenox, Blantyre is another “regal” country house hotel with a choice of accommodations in the main house as well as other options. The “gilded cottages” feature elegantly decorated guest rooms with romantic canopied, brass or sleigh beds and fireplaces, while the Carriage House, offers 10 elegant guestrooms with equally posh amenities. The property’s charming dining room dishes up some of the finest cuisine in the area with seasonal menus reflecting the local produce.
For a fitness style honeymoon, pamper your body and soul at the exclusive Canyon Ranch Health Resort, built around the renovated 1897 Bellefontaine Mansion. Voted best spa repeatedly by Conde Nast Traveler and Travel & Leisure magazines, Canyon Ranch is recognized worldwide. Tucked away in the tranquil Berkshire woodlands, this resort promises the ultimate honeymoon escape with spa treatments, spa menus,and a variety of classes and sports options.
For additional information or to make lodging reservations in the area, call the Berkshire visitors Bureau at 413-743-4500 or visit the website at www.berkshires.org.