Over the Christmas holiday I spent five days here in Room #500, the “Deluxe Queen,” which the staff informed me is the bridal suite. This is a very attractive and comfortable room with plenty of space in a sitting area, including a pull out couch and two chairs. At the other end of the room is a desk for getting some work done. There is also a four cup in-room coffee maker with china cups (are you reading this. Mr. Marriott?) The bathroom has a ceiling heat lamp and heated towel rack.
The room was quite charming with a terrific view not only of downtown Northampton but also of the Holyoke Mountain range. (Those with sharp eyes will spot the old Mountain House on the Mt. Holyoke ridgeline. This was an active hotel in the 19th century; today its remains are preserved by the state.)
Some reviews have complained about the small sizes of the rooms. Those rooms are in the original section of the hotel. I had a chance to see a couple and they are indeed small, with just enough room for two queen beds or one king, and not much else, although they do have a desk wedged in. I think many people will feel cramped in these if they are planning to stay more than a couple of nights.
To make sure you get the kind of room you want, do some preliminary research. Go to the hotel’s web site and use the “availability search” box in the upper corner. Key in a reservation date well in the future (not necessarily the date you plan to visit the hotel.) Click on the “Check Availability” button and a new page will load, showing you all of the hotel’s room types with photos. (Note that if you key in a date in which a certain room type is sold out, that room type will not show up on the resulting selection page).
The smaller rooms have the cheaper rates. At this writing my Deluxe Queen (not to be confused with the Junior Deluxe Queen) runs at $235 while the smaller rooms run at $175. Generally the more you are willing to pay the better room you will get. After you make your reservation on line, call the hotel and ask the staff's assistance in selecting a room. Emphasize you want to get one of their newly renovated rooms if that is important to you. (On a related note: I found the staff to be highly knowledgeable and eager to help throughout my stay.)
The owner has apparently invested a good sum of money in refurbishing the hotel. I believe the results are praiseworthy, although I can understand a negative reaction by those who are looking for the hotel in its original condition. The owner has been less successful in renovating the Wiggins Tavern. Old timers who remember the tavern as it was in the 1970s (as do I) will be distressed by an unfortunate makeover which has removed the much-loved old dark booths and polished things up at the expense of charm.
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