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“Best place to stay in the Berkshires”

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Shaker Meadows Bed and Breakfast
Ranked #2 of 2 Canaan B&B and Inns
Woonsocket, Rhode Island
Level 3 Contributor
1 review
“Best place to stay in the Berkshires”
Reviewed December 2, 2013

I have been coming here every year since Jean and Sean bought the place. It was very run down, the buildings are old. But that is part of it's charm. Over the last few years I have seen the progress they have made in restoring this historic site. Yes , there are still some things that need refreshing, but they will not effect your stay. The rooms are clean, bathrooms stocked with items you may have forgotten and the food can not be beat. I must eat dairy and gluten free and I have always had a fabulous breakfast when I'm there. Jean will cook to order with a little advance notice. There is so much to do in the area, any season, and the place is so quiet and beautiful I always go home refreshed.

Room Tip: the suites have full (small) kitchens and several beds and private baths. the farmhouse is charming...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank mhynes2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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47 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 (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Montague, New Jersey
1 review
Reviewed November 30, 2013

We stayed in this beautiful Bed and Breakfast for two nights. The staff was friendly and helpful and anticipated all our needs. The accommodations were fantastic with a kitchen, sitting area, 2 bedrooms (one in a full size loft), and a bath. The view of the field outside our door was gorgeous. The room was clean with all the amenities we would ever ask for. Breakfast was fresh home made and delicious. We will definitely be recommending Shaker Meadows to our friends and family.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Julia G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 16, 2013

Incredibly accommodating, and they have a gluten free menu for guests! The buildings are certainly not posh, but the location was quiet and Tanglewood accessible. Good for travelling families, as a number of rooms have separate bedrooms.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank hfpsimon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manalapan, New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed July 28, 2013

My wife and I stayed two nights (Thurs & Fri) and were fortunate to have the entire farm house to ourselves. I agree with some of the comments about the appearance of the buildings but knowing that the farmhouse is a restored 1700's building added an image of charm to our experience. The steep stairs and low ceilings only made it more fascinating. The Lilac room with the king sized bed was comfortable and had a nice sized closet and dresser which is more than other B&Bs in the area offer. As mentioned by others, the dedicated bathroom in the hall was not ideal but since we were alone, it didn't matter. Jean informed us that they are renovating that bathroom during the week and other areas later. The attention to detail was outstanding to the point that there was a freestanding metal toothbrush holder on the sink which accomodates a family full, without tipping over as would occur when trying to stand them up in a paper cup. Jean also supplies bathrobes for when it might become necessary the pass others in the hall when nature calls. The quality of the breakfasts were well documented by other reviewers. Jean couldn't be more professional and amenable as a hostess. There were enough amenities provided to make everyone's interests comfortable. There are passes and beach towels for access to a nearby lake and tennis rackets for local tennis courts nearby. The kitchen and living room area downstairs was well stocked for anyone planning on bringing their own food. The one inconvenient item was the need to go to the office for the available WiFi connection and cell phone service was best achieved standing in the driveway outside.,,,The windows could be cleaned and the bugs and webs around the porch could be overlooked as part of the country atmosphere. The convenient location to Tanglewood and all things in the Berkshires makes this a nice place to stay if you are open minded enough to accept the minor complaints...We would come back again.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Metsfan47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jupiter, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
96 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed July 11, 2013

I honestly feel pretty bad about posting this review, however, people need to know what this place is all about. The in keepers are lovely people! Very nice! Unfortunately, their B&B is tired and in need of a major cleaning and repairs. It is also expensive!!! I understand that old homes, this one in particular was built in 1790 are dusty! However, if this home were cleaned daily, Example: windowsill dusted, floor vacuumed and mopped etc, it would be easier to maintain. There were many dead bugs all around the kitchen sink, windowsills and floor.

Again, I understand the home is old, but if proper cleaning is done daily as guests leave, I don't believe this would be a problem. More upsetting than the condition of the house was the smell. When we walked in the smell hits you immediately. The smell of must and almost mold. We had a headache after an hour or so of watching TV in the living room. There is no way a window has been opened in a very long time! The roof was covered in moss and you can see the outside of the house was in total disrepair.

After speaking with Jean, she was very understanding and allowed us to checkout with a full refund. (We were only checked in for a few hours) Again, lovely people, however I feel as though they need to work on the cleaning inside and out! I get the feeling they aren't doing well financially and perhaps just hanging on, which is why updates or things being repaired have not been done. This is a very small town with not much going, so that may explain it!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Vbkate725
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
strider2013, Owner at Shaker Meadows Bed and Breakfast, responded to this review, December 18, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review our bed and breakfast on Trip Advisor.com. As you say, when planning to visit, people need to know what our place is all about. Now that our very busy summer and fall seasons are over, we'd like to take the time to give you a little more information about our mission and operation, and speak to each of your concerns, so that perhaps you might have a fuller, and more accurate picture of our operation, "what we're all about," than you were able to surmise from your brief encounter.

Our mission has essentially two components: hospitality and stewardship. We at Shaker Meadows aim to provide a welcoming, comfortable and relaxing experience. Our first priority is to offer comfortable beds, quality linens, and delicious, homemade meals to our guests, as well as excellent customer service. We regret that, not having stayed at our B&B, you missed experiencing the comfort of our 100% Egyptian cotton towels, fine linens, and the full, country breakfast that so many of our guests have enjoyed and praised.

Stewardship of the historic buildings and grounds is also very important to us. You mention the challenges of maintaining a 1790s house in your comments, and it's true that the need for capital improvement is constant. Because improvements are budgeted and scheduled around high occupancy, the work must be carefully prioritized. For the comfort and safety of our guests, structural and mechanical improvements take precedence over cosmetic concerns. For example, the fireplace in the living room is unfinished because we removed a massive iron stove from the center of the room which was vented through the fireplace and up the flu, and took up a large part of the room which we needed to be clear for guest seating and safety. The trim work had been removed by whomever installed the stove. The earliest we can schedule a master carpenter to complete the cosmetic part of the job, the new trim, is spring of 2014. In the last few years we have installed a wireless fire and security alarm system, replaced a 1948 oil-fired boiler with a high efficiency propane boiler, replaced the outdated cesspool with a double shallow-tank septic system and replaced the flashing at the roof peak of the Farmhouse. Each of these upgrades, as you know, requires many hours of research and installation time, and thousands of dollars.

You describe the Farmhouse of the B&B as "tired," which seems to imply that the physical property is getting more worn over time, however, the exact opposite is true. When we purchased this property in April of 2001, the farmhouse floor was caked with multiple layers of paint and stain, the walls had six layers of peeling paint and wallpaper going back to the 1880s, the three porches were deteriorating, and the grounds were overgrown with dead trees and weeds. We sanded down and refinished the farmhouse floors; removed, scraped, sanded, primed, painted, and replaced all the interior moldings; scraped the wallpaper off the walls, plaster patched and painted them; and brought in new furniture and fresh linens. We rebuilt the southeast porch of the Farmhouse in 2006, the west bulkhead in 2008, and rebuilt the entire east porch in December of 2012.

Your perception that "the outside of the house is in total disrepair" perhaps stems from seeing some chipped paint on the window casings and kitchen porch, and seeing that the siding needs cleaning and/or replacing. Of course, we understand that appearance is an important part of the guest experience, and are aware of the cosmetic and aesthetic improvement that can be attained by painting and re-siding, so we look forward to completing these projects as time and budget allows. We believe, however, the assertion that the exterior is in total disrepair is inaccurate.

You seemed concerned that the "roof was covered in moss," as were we when we first encountered it. The Farmhouse roof is, in part, a composite slate roof, put on in the 1950s. Both our inspector, at the time of purchase, and our roofer, just last winter, explained to us that, unlike on an asphalt-shingled roof, moss on a slate roof has a neutral to beneficial effect, and should be left in place. We researched this statement and found confirmation from many sources of its accuracy. We have never had any trouble with the roof, and expect it to perform excellently for many years to come.

As for the cleanliness of the premises, we do appreciate your comments, as it keeps us cognizant of how important this is to our guests. We have very high standards for our B&B, and, if you look through other reviews from TripAdvisor.com and Bedandbreakfast.com you can see that our guests often comment on, and highly rate, the cleanliness of the accommodations. I do apologize that you found the Farmhouse not up to your own standards. We do have very high occupancy in the summertime, and your check-in, early on the afternoon of July 7, came hours after a large number of guests checked out following an extremely busy July 4 holiday.

The windows have been a restoration challenge for us. We decided to leave the original windows in place rather than install replacements. Many of the windows were not easily opened, and the configuration made it impossible to clean the outsides of the windows without approaching with a ladder from the exterior. At the time of your visit we already had an appointment in place with a master carpenter to repair and consult with us on the condition of the windows. Many repairs were completed in August of this year (subsequent to your July visit) including repairs to the sash weights and pulleys to restore the ability to smoothly open and close the bedroom windows. We have since completed cleaning on many of the downstairs windows, and further repairs and cleaning are planned.

You can see that the repairs that have been completed since our arrival negate any need to conjecture as to why "updates or things being repaired have not been done," as repairs and upgrades are ongoing and have been throughout our stewardship of the property.

As for the "very small town" of New Lebanon, many of our guests greatly appreciate the rural beauty and quiet and visit us just for the lovely surroundings. Of course, to achieve the wide popularity and steady occupancy of our little inn, we do not depend entirely on New Lebanon's many attractions, which include Darrow School, The Tannery Pond concerts, The Theatre Barn, the New Lebanon Shaker Village and Museum, Lebanon Valley Speedway, Hand Hollow Preserve, and the Lebanon Valley Heritage Visitor's Center. Our clientele, in summer, also come to enjoy Tanglewood, the world-renowned summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, which is just eleven miles from Shaker Meadows, and, in winter, they come to ski the trails at Jiminy Peak Ski Resort, the largest ski area in southern New England, just eleven miles to the north. In addition, we are a short drive from Bousquet Ski Area, the world-class Williamstown Theatre Festival, the Berkshire Theatre Festival, Shakespeare & Co., Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, the Colonial Theatre, Bash Bish Falls and Taconic State Park, Mount Greylock State Park, the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail, the Harlem Rail Trail, the Mahaiwe Theatre, the Clark Art Museum, the Berkshire Museum, Hancock Shaker Village, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, the Berkshire Botanical Gardens, the Norman Rockwell Museum, the Red Lion Inn, and the charming shops, restaurants, antique stores and strollable downtowns of Lenox, Stockbridge and West Stockbridge, Mass., and Chatham and Hudson, New York.

We wish you happy travels in your future!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Connecticut, USA
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed June 27, 2013

Proximity to Tanglewood on the back roads (no traffic) will bring us back to this B&B. We stayed at one of the suites. The kitchen was nice and big; living room adequate for 2 or 3 with additional sleeping room (twin bed & sleeper sofa) . The bedroom was an upstairs loft and quite small but the bed was comfortable. Light came in early due to the skylight and the light from downstairs. Deck on the back had a pleasant view. The public areas are welcoming. Breakfast was awesome. Jean & Sean couldn't have been nicer and more informative about the area. Will go back.

Room Tip: We liked the suite. Didn't see any of the other rooms.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Diana06798
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pa.
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2012

What I mean, is from the outside, this would not have been my choice of B&Bs. However, once going inside, the innkeeper was sooo nice. The rooms were fine. Not beautiful but fine. We stayed for one night, and the rates were very fair which included breakfast. I think the outdoors just needs a good power wash and all will be well. I would hesitate to recommend at first glance, because I don't think everyone will be open minded. Good we were, because we did have a very nice, fun experience with the innkeeper and the other guests. Our room was $110 and we shared a bathroom with our friends. If we weren't with friends, I would not have wanted to do so, but the other rooms do have private baths.

Room Tip: Not sure only saw ours which was in the farmhouse upstairs, sharing a bathroom
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank bongail
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shaker Meadows Bed and Breakfast

Property: Shaker Meadows Bed and Breakfast
Address: 14209 State Route 22, Canaan, NY 12029-1918
Location: United States > New York > Canaan
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Canaan
Number of rooms: 6

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