Rock Hall Luxe Lodging
Rock Hall Luxe Lodging
Address: 19 Rock Hall Road
Web Address: http://www.19rockhallroad.com
One of the great pleasures about what we do is finding largely undiscovered properties. Rock Hall, open just since 2008, is ideally located in the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut in the Southern Berkshires and is equally convenient from NYC, Boston, Albany and anything in between. It is an extraordinary property and a tranquil retreat from the trials of everyday life. The hospitality of owners/innkeepers Michael and Stella Somers elevates a marvelous property to levels experienced in few other places.
The 10,000 square foot Mediterranean Revival Estate sits on 23 lush acres and was designed @1912 by renowned architect Addison Mizner, known as the “Architect of Palm Beach”. The home, which recently was approved for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, is the last known example of Mizer’s work above the Mason-Dixon line.
The exquisite grounds were said to have been designed by the firm of Olmstead and Olmstead (founded by Frederick Law Olmsted) and feature one of the largest plantings of specimen trees in New England. Glorious flower gardens dot the property and an apple orchard and fruit and vegetable gardens provide the bounty for incredible breakfasts and snacks.
Purchased in 2005 as a second home by the Somers, the house was painstakingly renovated to its original glory. Calling upon her design background, Stella supervised the work and stocked the property with an amazing collection of antiques; from furniture to dishware to children’s toys and more. It’s fun to just walk around and look at everything. In 2008, the family decided to turn their home into a luxe B&B and their efforts have created a wonderful oasis.
The main building (there is a handsome pool house too) is nothing if not “grand.” Soaring columns reach to beamed ceilings in the living room and chestnut paneling, a massive stone fireplace and comfortable furniture create a warm, yet elegant feel. A formal dining room with a huge crystal chandelier sits across the room and beyond the living room is a rock walled sunroom and a game room.
There are 4 corner rooms (and a penthouse suite) with wonderful views of the beautifully manicured grounds and gardens. The rooms are huge by any standard and exquisitely decorated with wonderful fabrics, antiques and accessories acquired during the innkeeper’s travels. The renovation modernized the rooms with things like wi-fi and flat screen TV’s, but the delightful charm of the nearly 100 year old house remains; high ceilings, hardwood floors, crown moldings, glass doorknobs, spacious closets, original bathroom fixtures and working fireplaces. Add luxury linens, plump beds with down duvets and pillows, plush, soft, fragrant towels and wonderful bath amenities and you’ll find it hard to leave your room. We had an amazing sleep in the secluded setting and I slept well beyond the time I normally wake-up.
We stayed in Chamber #2 which in addition to everything else had the best shower I’ve ever encountered, a welcome addition to our “Hall of Fame” of showers. You’ve heard of “surround sound”, now imagine “surround shower”….worth the trip alone. Extra benefit: a deep, antique footed tub.
With only 4 rooms, weekends book up well in advance, so plan ahead to enjoy this great property.
While there is no restaurant, you will still enjoy a culinary adventure from Michael’s kitchen. Late afternoon brings a complimentary hors d’oeuvre (ours was an amazing homemade guacamole and chips) served in the Great Room or poolside and one of Michael’s specialty cocktails. In the morning there’s lavish breakfast spread including their signature house cured gravlax, artisan breads, fresh fruits, Greek yogurt, fresh squeezed organic orange juice, organic honey and walnuts, local cheeses, local organic hand made granola, house made preserves and a vegetarian friendly “Frittata of the Day.” We also enjoyed some house smoked trout as well. Wonderful start to the day.
Both innkeepers had high powered, stressful careers and seem to relish the roles of country gentleman and lady and they are good at it. They are not absentee owners, they do the work and it is obvious that they have spent many hours talking about how to make the guest comfortable and welcome. Little touches abound and the innkeepers are around when you need them, but always discreet and respectful of your time alone.
Rates are $275-$425, the penthouse up to $550.
WHAT OTHERS SAY...
Editors’ Choice for Yankee Magazine’s Best of New England
“Follow your hearts to one of Connecticut's great destinations for romance.” Connecticut Magazine
A Gilded Age Mansion gets a new lease on life as a resort-style B&B-Berkshire Living
WHILE YOU ARE THERE:
There is much to do in the surrounding area from antiquing to fishing and boating, to golf and skiing. The area is well know for its music with Tanglewood 30 miles away, the wonderful Infinity Hall, and the annual Norfolk Music Festival, just 3 miles away in Norfolk.
The truth is though, that apart from lunch and dinner, there’s enough to do on the property and the setting is so peaceful and serene that you will be tempted to never leave. When the weather cooperates, there is a 75’ swimming pool and Jacuzzi that overlooks the meadow and a state of the art synthetic grass tennis court. There are walking and snow shoe trails through the woods, a wonderful apple orchard and bikes to explore the surrounding area.
Inside there’s a fitness room, a billiard room with an antique 1926 Brunswick pool table, a game room, handmade Syrian backgammon sets, a card room, a library and even a movie theatre with its own popcorn machine. Spa services, Pilates, yoga and tennis instruction can all be arranged. The masseuses come from famous surrounding spas….no names, please.
DRIVING DISTANCE: Boston: 2 hours 45 minutes, Hartford: 1 hour, Albany: 1 hour, 38 minutes, NYC: 2 hours, 34 minutes