Rock Hall – A Gatsby-esque Escape in the Southern Berkshires
Greeted by a crackling eight-foot high fireplace, a glorious foyer adorned with vintage decor and a tall Dark ‘N Stormy, my arrival at Rock Hall Inn was nothing short of enchanting – only a small taste of the tranquility the weekend had in store.
In addition to Rock Hall’s warm and captivating innkeepers, Stella and Michael Somers, the distinguished boutique-style lodge was a majestic-yet-cozy getaway that was as inviting as it was romantic. The estate has been completely outfitted with a mix of both modern and antique furnishings, marrying the nostalgia from older pieces with chic, contemporary accents and European flair. The entire experience would not have been the same, however, if not for the personal attention, intricate details to comfort, and broad range of activities offered for personalities of all types.
The inn prepared a delicious Mediterranean brunch with fare for every taste. Fresh-squeezed OJ, strained Greek yogurt, imported cheeses, local organic bread, and a variety of fresh fruits were a close second to Michael Somers’ mouthwatering frittata du jour and famous house-cured gravlax. I was in food heaven…and then in a food coma.
Lunch was at a nearby Litchfield hotspot, The West Street Grill, frequented by high-profile celebrities and locals alike. The bistro was quaint and the food flavorful- and boy, can they work wonders with tofu. Yeah, you heard me…I said tofu. The exceptionally friendly and knowledgeable staff didn’t hurt either.
The innkeepers later escorted me to a lovely dinner at Infinity Music Hall and Bistro, where I enjoyed succulent scallops atop a butternut ribbon salad with melted leeks in a cabernet-vinegar reduction. The casual, cozy atmosphere helped me to unwind before heading upstairs to the building’s beautiful, historic theater, where I rocked out to the best Billy Joel cover band I’ve ever heard. It was refreshing to know that amid the serene woods of the Berkshires, locals still knew how to throw a party.
I’ve been on my fair share of getaways, but the service at Rock Hall was simply unmatched. After mentioning my admiration for the late Etta James, I woke up in the morning to hear her soulful voice echoing through the Estate. Small touches made all the difference throughout my stay, like the fire that was lit in my room’s wood-burning fireplace before I retired for the evening or how the masseuse managed to transform my chamber into a private spa sanctuary while I sipped my morning coffee in the dining room. Pure heaven, I tell you. Pure heaven.
It’s nearly impossible to pick only a few noteworthy mentions from my stay, as Rock Hall proved to be as versatile as it was unique. For starters, the inn offers an abundance of truly uncommon experiences, from guided, herbal trail walks and private water aerobics sessions to cocktail-creation classes, where guests use fresh fruits and herbs from the garden to master the art of mixology.
Aside from the lodge’s private movie screening room (complete with theater seats, a vintage popcorn machine and an assortment of candy, of course) my favorite feature of the home was found in my bathroom. It wasn’t the three-way mirror that faced the deep, clawfoot bathtub or the (dare I say) orgasmically soft robe hanging aside the neatly stacked towels. It was the Marble Surround original steel cage spray shower.
At first glance, it was a bit frightening to look at- in fact, the words “medieval torture chamber” came to mind. The shower was outfitted with a weave of silver rods that lined the surrounding marble walls. When I opted to test out this interesting feature, water streamed out of both the bird’s eye shower head and horizontally out of the metal beams like massaging ribbons. The abundance of stimulation might not be for everyone, but I sure enjoyed it.
Rock Hall Inn was peaceful, comfortable and quirkily lavish. With generous hosts, exclusive on-site activities, and spellbinding views, this Connecticut gem makes for the perfect couples getaway or personal pampering haven. Surrounded by postcard-worthy, quintessential New England towns, great antiquing (check out Hunter Bee in Millerton), thriving culture and delectable cuisine, even the opportunities nearby are endless. But first, you’ll have to make it out of the bedroom.
19 Rock Hall Road Colebrook, CT 06021