Black Swan Inn on the Lake
Nestled in the Berkshires in Lee, MA, Black Swan Inn on the Lake offers a centrally-located home base for anyone hoping to explore the area. If you follow our blog, you may have seen us mention it in our updates on our recent trip to the Berkshires. Now that we’re home and we’ve had a chance to go over our notes, we’d like to share an in-depth look at our stay for families that may be considering visiting the area!
If you missed them earlier, you can read our updates from part 1 and part 2 of our stay in the Berkshires–we mention quite a few things we did and places we visited.
With its quaint New England charm, Black Swan Inn on the Lake felt more like a bed and breakfast than a cookie-cutter hotel. And while it had clearly been remodeled and up-kept, it hadn’t been scrubbed of personality. Rooms in the hotel ranged from Doubles to Suites and either faced the lake or the landscaped parking area. Like many hotels in the area it was modest in size, which made navigating the property a breeze, whether heading to the lobby or sitting area for the continental breakfast.
Black Swan Inn on the Lake at a Glance:
- Variety of room sizes from double to suites
- Located on a lake with water access
- Lake views from some rooms
- Boat rentals available
- Free wifi
- Exercise room
- Continental breakfast with stay (gluten-free options available)
- MINT Lakeside Dining restaurant on-site
As we mentioned above, Black Swan Inn on the Lake was centrally located in Lee, MA. While only a few minutes from the adorable downtown area, it felt peacefully removed from any busy-ness nearby. We found it was very easy to get from town to town and we did quite a bit of exploring during our stay. We loved that it was located on a lake and enjoyed both the view from our room and freedom to hop on a (rented) pontoon boat for a morning without having to leave the property.
The hotel had 2 levels and was configured in a rectangular shape with rooms on both sides length-wise. The lobby and MINT Lakeside Indian Dining restaurant were on one end and the sitting area where the continental breakfast was laid out was on the opposite end. Rooms had open balconies that either looked out onto the lake (like ours) or onto the wooded parking area. Given the petite size of the hotel, it was a quick walk to and from the car to our room, which is always nice with kids.
Double Room First Impression
During our time at Black Swan Inn we stayed in a Double, which was laid out similarly to your traditional double-queen hotel room with 2 queens, a bedside table, TV, bureau, desk, and sink adjacent to the bathroom. The room was adequate for a family of 4 with children our boys’ ages, but would be cramped in our opinions with more than 2 small children–you may want to look into a suite or booking more than 1 room if your party is a larger size.
We didn’t spend much time in our room during the day as most of our time was spent exploring the area, but we did enjoy our view of the lake, especially early in the morning and at sunset!
Our beds were comfortable and aside from a little audible noise from the lobby (which we were directly next to), we slept fine. The open balcony was a nice touch, but given that we were adjacent to the lobby we were also adjacent to the dining area for MINT and therefore didn’t spend much time on it during service as diners were only separated from us by several feet and a window. When service was not underway, we enjoyed some peaceful dining and relaxing of our own on the balcony.
Tip: If possible, request a room that isn’t too close to the lobby and facing the lake so that you can enjoy the lake with a little more privacy.
The bathroom was organized in such a way that the sink and counter were on the outside of the room where the toilet and combination shower/tub were. We generally like when there is a separate water closet so that people can brush their teeth while others shower or go to the bathroom–you know how it is with kids!
As we mentioned above, the rooms at Black Swan Inn had their own balconies, which were connected to one another, yet separated by a small divider between each. Because we were located directly next to the lobby, we were also neighboring the glassed-in dining area for MINT, which smelled amazing. We really enjoyed our balcony and our gorgeous view of the lake, but we tended to avoid it during dinner service at MINT. Overall, it was a really pleasant experience to be able to sit out on the balcony with a cup of coffee in the morning or in the evening if we brought dinner back to the hotel. The balconies were open so we did find it got a bit buggy at dusk, so we recommend bringing some bug spray with you if you’re there during warmer months.
|This was our view from our balcony|
The Continental Breakfast
We’ve visited quite a few places over the years that offered continental breakfast, but few have catered towards many dietary restrictions or allergies. Thankfully, Black Swan Inn had a handful of gluten-free and dairy-free options ranging from gluten-free cereal to waffle mix (by request) and almond milk. I cannot tell you how excited I was! The boys really enjoyed the fresh waffle maker and Patrick was a big fan of the yogurt and fruit options. Overall, we were actually quite impressed with the variety offered at Black Swan Inn’s continental breakfast. Like most continental breakfasts there wasn’t a huge variety of proteins, but at least they accommodated a number of food restrictions/preferences!
The Lake & Renting a Pontoon
While we enjoyed many things about Black Swan Inn, our favorite by far was definitely our time in a pontoon boat on the lake. We spent one morning scooting around on our own and really had a blast. I think for all four of us it was actually one of the major highlights and an activity we highly recommend! Our pontoon was large enough we easily could have fit a handful more people on it without feeling cramped. There are other boat rental options available in addition to the pontoon. Definitely inquire about rental rates if you book a stay at Black Swan Inn–you won’t regret it!
|He may be a sensory kiddo, but all bets are off when speed is a factor!|
|He’s been talking about his driver’s license since he was 3, this was basically a dream come true. 😉|
Black Swan Inn on the Lake Final Thoughts
If you’re looking for quintessential New England charm, Black Swan Inn will serve it to you! The property was lovely, the location was fabulous and the staff were so incredibly accommodating. To be honest, of all the places we’ve visited this year I’d say Black Swan Inn had some of the kindest, friendliest staff we’ve come across–from upper management and the front desk to the lovely gentleman that kept the continental breakfast stocked. Everyone went above and beyond to ensure our stay was really pleasant–thanks, guys!
Our room was comfortable and the only thing we noticed was some extra noise from the lobby because of our close proximity. Having a balcony that overlooked the lake was definitely a great feature and one we’d highly recommend if you’re able to book one of those rooms.
The location of Black Swan Inn was fantastic and gave us the ability to not only explore Lee, but many other parts of the Berkshires without feeling as though we spent hours in the car–always good when traveling with kids. The highways and streets were easy to navigate with GPS even though we were not at all familiar with the area. If you stay at Black Swan Inn make sure you check out downtown Lee because it is adorable–some great dining and shopping! And if you want even more shopping, Lee Premium Outlets were just a short drive away.
While we enjoyed many aspects of our stay, the pontoon boat and our time on the lake was definitely our family favorite. We highly recommend renting a boat if you stay at Black Swan Inn.
We were informed that Black Swan Inn would be adding a fire pit in the near future, which we think will be a great addition! It’s clear that while many areas in the Berkshires haven’t necessarily catered towards families in the past that some are really trying to change that–Black Swan Inn being one of them. We look forward to seeing how they continue to evolve as time goes on because we think they’ve definitely got what it takes!
All in all, our time at Black Swan Inn was really pleasant and we think it is definitely worth a visit if you want to experience the Berkshires with your family. Personally, we’d recommend going in fall as it’s not only a somewhat quieter time of year, but the foliage is absolutely stellar!
Have you been to the Berkshires?
Note: Our stay was hosted. All opinions are our own based on our personal experiences.