Tourists, North Adams, MA
The bucolic idyll of the Berkshires in Massachusetts now houses another gem – a cosy 48-room stylishly reworked motor lodge called Tourists, which serves as a gateway to the region’s natural and cultural treasures. Located in North Adams, the hotel gets its name from the Mohawk Trail it sits on – a historic scenic byway (allegedly the country’s first) that opened in 1914. Back in those early days, local businesses, restaurants and attractions would try to attract visitors by simply hanging signboards saying ‘Tourists’.
In current times, Tourists operates all year round, thanks to its unbeatable location where the Appalachian Trail, Hoosic River and Mohawk Trail converge, all whilst keeping top rate art instituitions like MASS MoCA and The Clark Art Institute in easy reach. Its traditional motor lodge architecture combines nostalgic tropes such as single-storey occupancy with room doors opening directly to the great outdoors, with modern twists, like wide expansive windows that look out to surrounding landscape and beyond.
Designed by one of the hotel’s co-founders, Ben Svenson, together with architect Hank Scollard and interior designer Julie Pearson, Tourists’ rooms combine built-in king beds, high vaulted ceilings, as well as built-in daybeds, perfect for reading and napping. A sophisticated air ventilation system circulates fresh Berkshire air into the rooms every hour, while spacious showers, concrete floors and white oak wood walls provide all the design cues that city dwellers look for in a weekend escape. Other memorable features include a well-planted courtyard, filled with native species, a heated saltwater swimming pool, a boardwalk connecting the hotel to a lookout for the Housic River, as well as a 220-foot suspension footbridge that leads to a network of walking trails, hidden glens and meadow vistas.
Sustenance is provided in the hotel’s central lodge – a repurposed 1962 ranch house armed with a fireplace, overstuffed sofas and reclining armchairs, where guests can gather to everything from breakfast and morning espressos to midday snacks and beers in its confines. A second structure called the Airport Rooms, which stands in an 1813 renovated farmhouse serves as a parlor lounge for cocktails and live music. Here, eight individual dining rooms create an atmosphere of warm, nostalgic get-togethers while a southern-inspired menu keeps the comfort going.
Words: Pei-Ru Keh
Photography: Nicole Franzen
915 STATE ROAD, NORTH ADAMS, MA 01247PHONE: 413.346.4933