These once-dilapidated mill-workers' houses dating from the 1890s were refurbished and connected with one long porch to become one of New England's quirkiest hotels; they now strike a perfect balance between high-tech and historic—rooms have a mix of retro 1940s and '50s lamps and bungalow-style furnishings, along with stunning bathrooms with slate floors, hot tubs, and mirrors fashioned out of old window frames. Some two-room suites have loft sleeping areas reached by spiral staircases. Suites have pull-out sofas and can sleep up to six.
Jul 3, 2012
What a disappointment! I came here with the intention of writing about the place (I'm a journalist) but would have been hard-pressed to describe it in a way that would have made readers want to visit. From a design perspective, the renovation is great. As were the chocolate croissants that were served for breakfast. That's the good news. While the rooms are nice, the hotel property itself is not much of a haven from the mean streets of North
Adams (a place that has all the disadvantages of a downtrodden city, but none of the charm of a small town). The pool area is small and not half as luxurious as the room rates would suggest. You can sit on the front porch, but you'll have a view of litter-covered sidewalks, a busy (read: not relaxing) two-way road, a "park" that looks more like a dump, the fence that lines the Hoosic River (a mere trickle through a concrete riverbed) and beyond that, Mass MOCA, which is arguably the only reason to stay here. The inn bills itself as dog-friendly (dogs are allowed in one of the buildings) and I thought it would be a fun getaway for my city dog. But when I showed up with my dog (a well-behaved "doodle" who stops traffic with her cuteness) I was treated like a persona non grata--immediately confronted with the lengthy list of areas where dogs are not welcome, told to sign an agreement that contained all the very same provisions I'd read online, and then verbally informed of same. I get it--rules are rules, but the attitude was that Porches was doing me a favor (did I mention the room rates?) by allowing me to stay with my dog. My room contained a cute, mid-century modern-esque, vinyl desk chair. Too bad it was ripped and covered over with duct tape. Light bulbs were out in two of the room's lamps. When I peeled back the white bedspread, I saw hundreds of little black dog hairs from a previous guest! I understand that you're not going to put the $10,000 rugs in the dog-friendly rooms, but for $180 a night it would seem that a clean room in good repair would be a given. I complained politely and discretely (perhaps too politely and discretely) and, to the hotel's credit, the bulbs were replaced and the linens completely changed. But that was it. No apology from management, no bottle of wine, no token of thanks for saving another guest from experiencing the same. It's just not smart customer service (I also write about business). I spend a lot of time in hotels, and my experience has been that valid complaints--especially those related to cleanliness--typically elicit major efforts to make it up to the guest. Finally, I asked the front desk for the names of nearby areas that allow dogs to swim. I was told to go to the Fish Pond, which is either part of Windsor Lake or another name for Windsor Lake--which was never clear to me. Upon showing up at said Fish Pond with the aforementioned dog, I was told by a local that dogs are NOT allowed at the Fish Pond/Windsor Lake. In fact, there are no dog-friendly parks in all of North Adams, the local advised after helpfully calling a friend to check. But I might try nearby Williamstown, she suggested.