I have only the best memories of Vacation Village in the Berkshires. Why? Because that was our honeymoon spot three years ago! The stay was a gift to us from our relatives who are timeshare owners. At the time of our wedding I just graduated from college and did not have a job yet. After having paid for the wedding this was a much appreciated gift since we could not afford a 'dream vacation'. So take note that this was our honeymoon, and to an extent we could have overlooked some negative aspects of the property. The fact that the place was mostly inhabited by families with kids did not bother us at all. Now I would gladly go back there with a baby as well.
LOCATION: Vacation Village in the Berkshires is in a great location for that area. Though don't expect anything within walking distance. You pretty much have to drive everywhere in the Berkshires unless you are staying in town. Here, you are within half an hour of all the prime attractions in Pittsfield, North Adams, Lenox, Williamstown, Stockbridge, Lanesborough, and Lee. If you are looking for a quiet place to relax, get away from the city, and experience a place where there is no time - this is for you. If you are into everything art, culture, and music - this is a place for you as well. If you have kids, they will not be bored here and the fresh air will do them some good. In a way, the Berkshires have a little bit of everything - except for maybe nightlife.
As for climate, it is a great place to be any time of the year. We were there in August and thoroughly enjoyed the weather. If you come here in the winter though, there is some great skiing right across the road at Jiminy Peak (one of the 'greenest' ski areas by the way). There are more nearby ski resorts, but don't expect anything huge. These are hills compared to Colorado. In the fall the foliage is spectacular. Spring is a great time as well with all the beautiful gardens and nature.
AMENITIES: Vacation Village is a timeshare resort, though you can rent a unit if you are not a timeshare owner. It was never really the thing for us, but we did attend one of their presentations. There are two types of units here. The larger one is Suite A and the smaller one is Suite B. We stayed in Suite A which is basically a one bedroom flat. We were easy to please because we are not very picky when it comes to accommodations and the condo was nicer than our first rental apartment! If you want to stay here, there is also the option of renting both the A and B units together - it would sleep a total of 8 people.
The unit is very spacious, I think four people could stay here comfortably. It was just the two of us, so it was more than enough. It is bigger than our first apartment, so we enjoyed it to say the least! There is a full kitchen and a separate dining area, a good size living room with a sliding door to the deck, a spacious bedroom with jacuzzi, and a huge bathroom. The living room has a fireplace that I imagine is nice in the winter, but we didn't use it. The view from our room was amazing! We watched the sunset in the evenings. Though I am not sure if every unit has a mountain view, I think most of them do.
COMMON AREAS: The common areas were about average. We didn't really use them. There is an indoor and outdoor pool with great views, a great area for kids to play in a shallow pool and playground, a small fitness room, and video arcade. I did use the internet area with computers to check e-mail. That was actually the place where I received an e-mail with the interview offer at Rob Bramhall Architects! There is wifi, but you have to pay extra. There is a washer and dryer on every floor of the condos, we actually used it a few times and it was very convenient. They provide a laundry basket in your room.
DECOR: As an interior designer I wasn't too impressed, but the decor was tasteful and comfortable. It is very traditional, don't expect anything top notch modern. They should really loose the wallpaper border and put crown molding there instead. Though that might have already changed from the time we were there three years ago. Overall, it works in its New England simplicity.
SERVICE: The staff was very polite, friendly, and as far as I remember, helpful. They made great recommendations for dining options in the area. Don't expect anything like room service though. Daily maid service is at an additional cost, so you'll be making the bed yourself.
DINING: There is no restaurant on site. The closest ones are at Jiminy Peak, a five minute drive. Though the Berkshire area does not lack in fine dining by any means. We went to a great Indian restaurant which unfortunately I don't remember the name of. For the most part we actually cooked in our suite. You can check out some amazing [and expensive] fine dining in Lenox.
ATTRACTIONS: The Berkshire area has something for everyone, that is why I love coming here. On our honeymoon we went horseback riding, spent an afternoon on a lake in a row boat, went up to the tallest mountain in Massachusetts, went to the Norman Rockwell museum, and spent an evening at Tanglewood. There are many museums, theaters, hiking trails, lakes, and rivers. Nature, culture, art, and music all come together to make the Berkshires the ultimate playground for any age. If you have money to spend, the fine dining and shopping are top notch here as well.
VALUE: Though as I mentioned our stay was compliments of our relatives, Vacation Village can be a great value for your stay. You can rent one week in a one bedroom suite for under $500 or a two bedroom suite (sleeps 8) for under $700. I think that is a great deal! You will not get a five star resort of course, but you will be comfortable and within a short drive of everything this region has to offer.
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