INNside Skinny: Deerfield Inn, a historic treasure close to Boston
Take three and a half centuries of Massachusetts history pristinely preserved in a living museum, add the modern amenities today’s travelers seek, and you’ve got the perfect combination of history and hospitality at the Deerfield Inn. Located within the confines of Historic Deerfield, a national landmark village offering 11 beautifully preserved colonial homes, buildings and the Flynt Center of Early New England Life, the Deerfield Inn is owned and operated by Historic Deerfield as a lodging and dining facility for visitors. While it has all the trappings you’d expect from a classic preserved inn, plenty of elements sought by today’s travelers are seamlessly integrated into the inn to provide a comfortable and upscale setting. An easy side trip from Boston, simply take Route 2 from the Massachusetts Pike and experience a preserved village with seasoned charm in generous proportions.
We arrived with our two daughters at tea time, so my youngest enjoyed her first cup of tea. Actually, she enjoyed the homemade cookies a bit more than the tea, despite additions of honey and sugar! We strolled Main Street before catching up with innkeeper Jane Howard on her beautifully restored bright red bicycle, very much in keeping with the village setting.
The girls were captivated by the museum gift shop located immediately adjacent to the Deerfield Inn. A word of advice: buy it when you see it in the store. We never got a chance to get back to the store during our stay and I’ll be hearing about the arrowheads we passed by for a long time now.
With 24 guest rooms, a fabulous tavern and a fine dining restaurant, the Deerfield Inn is the perfect example of a rambling country inn. Offering all the amenities of a resort hotel, yet with period country inn décor including fine antiques, artworks of historic Deerfield and authentic wallcoverings, I tend to agree with my youngest daughter that it was just as much a small resort hotel as an inn. Flat screen TVs and a generous DVD library, complimentary wi-fi and guest computers allow visitors to stay in touch. Rooms feature private baths with organic soaps, amenities and rainshower shower heads. Large thick bath towels and a green attitude toward towel recycling are particularly pleasing.
We stayed in rooms 162 and 163, located in the Carriage House, both named after illustrious Deerfield characters. The two rooms were adjacent and a separate door and small hallway offered privacy from the rest of the rooms on the floor. I noted a number of these “family suites” throughout the inn, along with a number of families with young children in the dining room. Many inns cater exclusively to adults, so I was happy to discover the family-friendly attitude at the Deerfield Inn, evidenced by the kid’s menu in the dining room and old fashioned candy sticks in the rooms.
We dined in Champney’s Tavern, named after the famous painter with summer ties to Deerfield. We loved the fact that almost every piece of food which graced our table was grown or raised within ten miles of the inn. Organic, grass-fed beef and pork joined fresh greens and vegetables in a symphony of flavors to please locavore diners. From kids to adults, the menus held special surprises. While we’re not martini drinkers, my husband and I were fascinated by the martini menu offering 100+ concoctions named after famous Deerfield residents or stories. My oldest daughter, a chocoholic at heart, couldn’t pass up the inn’s famous decadent chocolate cake, and better yet it exceeded her expectations and discerning palette. Between the arrowheads and the chocolate cake, we’ll need to find another date when we can return to the Deerfield Inn soon. Perhaps another visit will be in order after September when the Relaxing Room is added. Word has it that varieties of massages, including lomilomi, deep tissue, strong hands, hot rocks and couples massage, will be available then. Can’t wait!
The INNside skinny: Be sure to ask for the complimentary passes to tour Historic Deerfield, a $12 per person value available to guests of the Deerfield Inn. Schedule your visit for one of the Historic Deerfield special events; your complimentary admission offers entry to most special programs, too.
When you go:
Deerfield Inn, 81 Main Street, Deerfield, MA, 01342-0305, toll free: 800-926-3865 or locally 413-774-5587 frontdesk[at]deerfieldinn.com.
Steps from the renowned Deerfield Academy and set among Historic Deerfield’s living museum, twenty-four guest rooms and suites accommodate two or more guests comfortably. The Deerfield Inn’s restaurant serves a complimentary continental breakfast to guests each morning, with hot entrees available a la carte. Lunch and dinner are served daily in the Champney’s Tavern or the Deerfield Inn main dining room.
Marti Mayne is the B&B Editor for Wandering Educators