Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Becoming Royalty in the Berkshires


Last weekend I had the privilege of taking a quick trip north to the quaint town of Lenox, Massachusetts where I discovered on of the true gems of New England, Blantyre. Just 120 miles West of Boston and 138 miles from New York, this magnificent 110 acre Tudor-style mansion is sure to amaze even the most discerning travelers. The overall experience could best be described as ‘ Royal family-esque’.. after all, where else are you greeted upon arrival by a smiling ‘attendant/ escort’ dressed in a stylish tux and wearing a perpetual smile the size of a full moon.

The pre-dinner presentation and reception in the main hall was a wonderful introduction and precursor into what was to come. Both with respect to the service standards and cuisine, the ever present, yet non-invasive service, thoughtfully and artfully presented our dining/consumption choices and subsequently delivered them with the artistry of a ballroom waltz and the accuracy of a Swiss made time piece. Our private dining venue, (3) course gourmet dinner, and the vintage, precisely and thoughtfully paired wines made for a remarkable, memorable dining experience. Our room in the main house was both spacious and ‘historically and cosmetically appropriate’ for a facility constructed in 1904. An exquisite breakfast was served in what could best be described as a quintessential conservatory replete with fine table linens, china, and glassware (if any of the water glasses are missing, look no farther ..we took em!) that made me want to delay our departure indefinitely . The head waiter was efficient, sophisticated (as the French always seem to be!) and an engaging conversationalist.

I think the grounds and floral gardens are a reflection and extension of the attention to detail so evident within the facilities themselves. The spa was intimate and inviting and the gym properly and appropriately outfitted.

Unfortunately for me, but fortunate (and understandable) for Blantyre, the property was sold out so we were not able to see the interiors of the other accommodations but I feel confident that each was just as wonderful as ours. The one exception being the duplex suites in the spa building..candidly I would not book any of those accommodations for my clients as they are just a bit too abstract in their design and configuration..the staircase leading up to the somewhat claustrophobic sleeping area would NOT ring my clients bell..sorry but I fee I must report what I see..

So, in conclusion from the precious jewels in the Blantyre crown that I was able to see and experience my opinion is it is a wonderful (2) day country getaway venue for discriminating clients interested in a historic venue, complemented by a world class culinary and wine experience. The surrounding towns, villages, and recreational and cultural menu of activities only add to the ‘floral lure of Blantyre !!

Unfortunately after a few days back I have begrudgingly surrendered my virtual crown.. and am now back at the professional salt mine of life.. Calgon take me away again..pretty please !?:)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Secrets of Viking River Cruises


The travel specialists of Largay Travel are always in search of the most unique and wonderful experiences and when it comes to river cruising, Viking River Cruises is the world leader.  So when an invitation came to enjoy a river cruise along the Connecticut River on the Lady Katherine while learning about Viking River Cruises, they just couldn’t say no.

Largay Travel Specialists attend a Viking River Cruise Seminar