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“Jolly good place”
Review of Briarcliff Motel

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Briarcliff Motel
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Jolly good place”
Reviewed August 29, 2013

We needed somewhere to stay in the area for a couple of days and hit upon a goldmine... Tranquill spot, tastefully decorated and furnished rooms. Proprietors were really helpfull generally and especially in advising us of where to go and do.

If only I could have physically moved the location to within walking distance of the bar/restaurants we were recommended I would have enjoyed a second/third perhaps a fourth pint and then immediately regreted loosing the stunning views from our window of the tree covered hills laced with mist in the morning...

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LondonCSE_London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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448 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (85)
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English first
Eastchester, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 28, 2013

1. The spartan, inconvenient room reminded us of camp, with very little space for clothing (something that appeared to be the size of a night table). As a result most of our clothing remained in a suitcase. The bathroom was very small with one small shelf which was not properly attached to the wall. The shower had no place for shampoo or conditioner. Very pricey for what was provided.

2. The owners did something reprehensible. Our daughter had reserved a pet friendly room for herself and her family. Richard had told her about it. He checked to make sure one was available and two were, so there was no problem. But then Richard and Clare reversed themselves regarding a pet friendly room and sent an email to me since I originally handled the booking. I did not receive the email. It might have landed in junk. We knew nothing about it. This came right before the wedding we were in the area for. They never called, never got in touch with us to discuss what they were doing. Our daughter and her family had to drive a 200 mile round trip with her 2 year old toddler. The owners never even bothered to apologize. They lied to her saying they no longer had the pet friendly policy, which wasn't true. They told me that they didn't get back to me because I never answered their emails. Whenever they emailed me I always called them as opposed to emailing. When they showed me a copy of their email sure enough it said they would be in touch. Not! We found them uncooperative and unprofessional. They should not be in a field dealing with the public. They might be OK if there is no problem but there was a problem, which they created. Beware!

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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Puzzled524
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ClareBriar, Owner at Briarcliff Motel, responded to this review, September 1, 2013
Really? Liars? Dodgy rooms? Shouldn't be in the service sector? This kind of jars with our 200+ glowing reviews, don't you think?

No one wants to read a long, boring rebuttal, and we don't want to have to write one, but in this case we'll make an exception. To protect their anonymity, because we're nice and because TA says we should, let's call this family the Flakes. Mrs Flake booked three rooms with us in April for an August wedding, for herself and her two adult children. At no point was a dog mentioned. After all, why would you want to bring your dog to a wedding? In subsequent weeks, several members of the Flake clan called us to add nights, subtract nights, add nights again. We emailed Mrs Flake each time with a new confirmation.

Then in mid-May, the daughter of the family called and said she wanted to change her booking again, and bring her dog. Richard spoke to her and he remembers the conversation quite distinctly, because frankly by now they had become a talking point. He told her that he had reservations about it because our policy is designed to offer a couple of rooms to guests who would like to enjoy the Berkshires WITH their dog, as opposed to leaving the dog in the room for hours on end to get bored and insecure, and loudly express its feelings to our other guests. But he said he would discuss it with me and would let Mrs Flake - as the person who had made the booking - know by email, when he sent the latest revised confirmation. This we did, on 23 May.

Ms Flake did not 'reserve a room', nor did Richard say there would be 'no problem'. Nor did our email say we would follow it up, in fact we asked Mrs Flake to send us a quick reply. We rent 2,500 rooms a year and there's not enough time to call everyone to ask if they read their emails. I mean, come on.

A few days before their stay another family member called and tried to make yet another change. And talked about bringing their dog, which they could then store in the dog room with the other ones. Apparently. How relieved were we to have turned down the request last May, because we and our other guests would have spent the weekend listening to a pack of baying hounds while their owners ate cake and danced the night away several miles down the road. At this point it transpired that Mrs Flake had not let her daughter know that she couldn't bring her dog: Ms Flake then said she didn't want to stay without it.

The room had been reserved for her for four months and we were within our rights to make a cancellation charge. But by this point we just decided to cut our losses, resold the room pretty quickly and told Mrs Flake that we would not charge her card. We also spent a couple of hours calling around some of our other guests so Mrs Flake's other kids could be in a room with two beds, instead of one with one bed which was what she told us they needed. Which I think was pretty nice of us.

Seriously, we understand that modern consumers are savvy – you'll form your own conclusions about what is real and what is not. In our two-year adventure, we have been fortunate enough to meet so many great people, who helped our little independent motel be selected in the Top 25 hotels on Tripadvisor in the US for service, and value. We try very hard to keep all those great people in mind when we run up against the odd person who expects to stumble and rant through life getting their own way, despite a total lack of clarity, and then when people stand up for themselves get their own back by posting a vindictive review on this website. Maybe this review will have the intended effect of sending us back to Blighty, broken and broke, our tails between our legs like this family's hapless dogs. Maybe it won't...
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montvale, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 9, 2013

We loved it here and loved Richard and Clare. They are gracious and wonderful hosts. It almost felt like we were visiting friends. The motel has lots of style, kind of a modern/retro chic. Yes, the rooms are bare bones, but they are clean and just what we needed for a weekend getaway. And let's be honest, when in the Berkshires, you're not there to sit in the room. The location is great too. Down the road from Great Barrington, walking distance to hiking trails and a short drive to Lenox. We had our 11-month-old son with us and they were so accommodating (they let us use the fridge in the main kitchen for his food/milk etc), and the high-chair was waiting each morning so he could sit at the breakfast table with everyone. They also had great suggestions on places to visit, restaurants to check out and more.

The breakfast, while not a full breakfast with eggs etc, is divine: homemade scones fresh out of the oven with unique and fun flavors each morning (maple walnut, cheddar etc), homemade granola served with yogurt from a nearby farm, and good coffee. They care about quality and using fresh, local ingredients. I recently stayed at a much more expensive golf club in the Berkshires (with my in-laws so we didn't pick the place) and their pricey buffet breakfast did not even compare. We couldn't believe that the yogurt was generic. We were so looking forward to the farm fresh food we had taken for granted on our last visit. Bottom line, we were at a fancy hotel, but we missed Richard and Clare and the Briarcliff. Every time we drove by it, we wanted to stop in and get a reservation there instead (or maybe just steal a scone for the road). Oh, the scones.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Andrea B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Providence, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed August 8, 2013 via mobile

Stayed here after a Tanglewood matinee with my 15 YO son and my parents. At first my Dad complained about the price (c'mon, it's summer in the Berkshires, get over it) but by the end of our stay he was clearly charmed by the many quirky pieces of decor and humorous missives posted about the place. My son had a blast for the same reasons, and Mom and I enjoyed the aesthetics of the place. Breakfast was wonderful and the hosts were extremely helpful at every turn. And oh yes, best beds we have ever slept in!

Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank gdwtch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Flushing, Michigan
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2013

While we were in the area for a Tanglewood concert, my husband and I enjoyed the hospitality of hostess, Clare and her updated motel. She was knowledgeable and helpful regarding local restaurants. The room was simple, comfortable and very clean. The view of the mountain was a nice bonus. Breakfast was reminiscent of a favorite English B&B...homemade granola, fresh scones and good coffee. We will return.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank Suitcase5021
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bound Brook, New Jersey, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 27, 2013

The Briarcliff is a 60's motel given a hip, fun update by the wonderful couple who own and operate it. The rooms are decorated in a modern, funky fashion. The breakfast (included) in the lobby is the perfect way to start the day. The Briarcliff has toughtful touches, nice service, most affordable, and very clean. The location is easy to find and most convenient to all that the Berkshires has to offer. We'll be back. Put it on your list.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Bill C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
242 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
Reviewed July 21, 2013 via mobile

Interesting mostly successful attempt to re-brand an old motel. By calling it a "modern B and B" and furnishing it with contemporary Ikea style items it is a fun idea. We called directly to save the owners the online agency fees but were still charged $170 on a slow Sunday night. This is the same rate as the chains down the street with central air a pool and point rewards.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank westlakeh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ClareBriar, Owner at Briarcliff Motel, responded to this review, July 27, 2013
We can respect the views of an experienced hospitality professional without necessarily agreeing with them. It's true that the 'chain down the street' is the best place in town to earn 'loyalty' points and swim in a chlorinated indoor pool. If that's what you want. But sitting out on our deck right now are two frequent guests who eschewed our big box neighbour in favour of our more personal touches and service, the view of the mountain directly across the street – which they'll soon be able to enjoy seated around a fire bowl – and a breakfast that comprises homemade and local produce. So isn't variety a great thing?
A few points about pricing: we're not sure when this guest stayed with us, but our Sunday rate is $175 (not $170) in the high season, ie July and August, when we are generally busy through the week. We don't deal with the online agencies any more, since we decided that they do neither us nor our guests any favours. Finally, 'the chains down the street' may reduce their room rates to the level of ours when things are slow for THEM. But they'll charge significantly more than us when they're in demand. We, on the other hand, set what we think is a fair price for our services and DON'T increase our rates when we have more demand than we have rooms.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Briarcliff Motel

Property: Briarcliff Motel
Address: 506 Stockbridge Rd, Great Barrington, MA 01230-1296
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Massachusetts > Berkshires > Great Barrington
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Great Barrington
#2 Business Hotel in Great Barrington
#3 Family Hotel in Great Barrington
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Briarcliff Motel 2*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
New English owners Clare & Richard Proctor have turned this classic 1960 motor lodge, with its spectacular view of Monument Mountain, into a cool 21st century b&b. We offer great value, clean comfortable rooms with a stylish edge, free wifi, a home-made breakfast of scones, muffins and granola with locally-roasted coffee, and a warm welcome. Chill out on the deck in summer, or by the stove in our guest lounge in winter. We are five minutes from Great Barrington and Stockbridge, and under 15 from Tanglewood. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Briarcliff Hotel Great Barrington

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