"The closest thing to staying at a ryokan this side of the Pacific." - NY Times
Berkshires Bed and Breakfast | Western MassachusettsShirakaba2019-10-22T18:11:42+00:00
Berkshires Bed and Breakfast – MA Family Resorts Getaway
For the past 10 years now, New Ashford MA has been referred to by many guests as a mini-Japanese oasis after staying at our 5 year running, award-winning Berkshires Bed and Breakfast Resort here in The Berkshires.
We are so excited to have been able to touch so many people’s lives with our intimate, romantic Japanese hotel experience.
Outside of our 21+ serene wooded acres lies an almost magical part of the world simply called “The Berkshires.”
Where Are The Berkshires?
The Berkshires Massachusetts constitutes roughly the entire western quarter of the state, nearly equal in size to Greater London, in England. The area was named as a tribute to the Royal Governor’s home of Berkshire County just west of London, back in the 1760’s.
The “Berkshire Hills” are the southern, smaller continuation of the Green Mountains of Vermont, and are simply amazing in the fall.
As popular as The Berkshires are, for some reason, it’s not easy to remember how to spell the word!
People search for birkshires, bershires, burkshires, beekshires…fortunately, since the only similar word is “Berkshire” and that is located in the UK…people are still able to search and find eco-friendly Berkshires resorts, and our Japanese guest house.
It’s a surprisingly short drive from all the big cities nearby….so it’s easy to see why the area is so well known for a family or romantic weekend getaway. People in New York City and Boston are just 3 hours away… Those in Hartford, Worcester, and Manchester are 2 hours away, and people in Albany are just a short 1 hour drive away.
And surprisingly, across the border in Canada, Montreal is only a 4 hour drive away from this culturally-rich, environmentally-active area we call home.
Start Your Day with A Western or Japanese Breakfast
After our guests rise from either our Tempur Pedic or Japanese Bed, they enjoy a western or Japanese breakfast on our breakfast table or in their private suites on their Japanese low dining table, designed and built by Sadao himself.
And that is when the fun starts. Because there is far more to their trip than their relaxing stay with us….within just a few miles of our front door, the diverse world of The Berkshires awaits.
If you prefer a leisurely stroll through a golf course, Donnybrook Country Club is a 2 minute drive from our Shirakaba Guest House.
As we’ve said earlier, one of the most beautiful times to visit Western MA is during the fall.
And from each of the 9 holes at this 39 acre public golf course, you’ll find beautiful contrasts between the manicured greens to the bright oranges, yellows, reds, and browns painting the rolling Berkshire Hills around you.
Opened in 2008, Donnybrook didn’t take long at all to be known as one of the best golf courses in the area, and many of our guests have unanimously agreed!
Only 4 minutes from our front door in New Ashford, Ramblewild’s 10+ acres are more than an adventure. More than just a great workout. Ramblewild is an adult playground that challenges your skill, stirs your senses, and brings you closer to nature than you’ve probably been in a long time!
Imagine traversing from tree to tree while crossing through an aerial obstacle course! Moving around on zip lines, hanging logs, rope and ladders, bridges suspended over the trails and ravines below. If you’re not into such high adventures, you can hike and snowshoe around the various levels of environmentally-friendly trails that crisscross through the hills and valleys.
It really is a blast, and the people running Ramblewild are friendly and very helpful. This is a must-see adventure during your stay!
Enjoy a luxurious afternoon with our friends at InTouch Massage & Day Spa, just 15 minutes north of us, at their full-service Williamstown MA spa.
Part of the relaxing ambiance comes from the fact that the building was originally an old 1762 grist mill, which used the strong waters from the adjacent Green River to power the grain mill. This has given the place such a unique history and style!
A short 20 minute drive will take you back in time in the Crane Museum of Papermaking.
The museum first opened in 1930, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and showcases yet another way early Americans used the many rivers in the area to power machinery in order to grind, build, or create things.
More than just a museum, Crane has been crafting fine stationery for more than two centuries! Of course their processes now are much more refined and technologically advanced, but yet they still maintain handcrafting their paper with skilled craftsmanship.
A 20 minute drive (or probably 5 minutes as-the-crow-flies) trip down and around Mt Greylock, you’ll find our friends at Berkshire Outfitters in Lanesborough, MA who can get you all dialed-in for a day exploring the area by bike, canoe, or hiking.
A great group of experienced locals, the team there are knowledgeable at all things out and about around The Berkshires.
Great thing about Western Massachusetts is, no matter what time of year you visit, there are several outdoor activities at every turn, for every age! Perhaps that’s why we all love it here so much!
7 Minutes: Berkshires Ski Resorts
Speaking of winter fun! Jiminy Peak is only seven minutes from our bed and breakfast, and we are more than happy to shuttle you to and fro, so you only have to worry about having a blast!
Those of us locals who have lived here for a while, are very fond of Jiminy Peak and what it has accomplished for the area. Outside of having runs for beginners, intermediate, and advanced skiers and boarders, we are proud of Jiminy Peak Resort for being the only eco-friendly mountain resort in North America to generate its own energy using their wind turbine.
They have a quaint little village for aprés-ski, where you can dine in their restaurants, and enjoy perusing through their several shops.
Opened in 1955 as the public home of the immense private art collection of Sterling and Francine Clark, The Clark Art Institute, along with Williams College Museum of Art and MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art), are the powerful trio of important art museums located in the NW corner of Massachusetts.
In 2008 The Clark expanded its museum, adding on a 32,000 square foot wing, and then again in 2014 adding another 11,000 square feet of exhibit space. The Clarks were very fond of the Old Masters, as well as French Impressionists including Degas and Renoir, and early American artists such as John Singer Sargent and Winslow Homer.
In addition to the permanent collections, The Clark is home to many temporary exhibits. For example, from June 11-October 10, 2016, the museum will display 28 beautiful paintings from the Old Masters, 24 of which have never before been on display in North America. These amazing paintings are on loan exclusively from Madrid Spain, The Prado at The Clark.
Since 1937, The Boston Symphony Orchestra has made Tanglewood its home. With nearly nonstop indoor and outdoor performances throughout the entire summer through early September, locals and visitors alike are enchanted with concerts by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops, visiting national and international orchestras, big name artists like Chris Botti, Earth Wind and Fire, Jackson Browne, Brian Wilson, Dolly Parton, James Taylor, Garrison Keillor just to name a few.
Tanglewood attracts more than 300,000 visitors each year.
Berkshires Best Local Restaurants
After a full day of exploring all of the activities, venues, and events that The Berkshires has to offer, it’s time to sit down, relax, and have a delicious meal at some of our favorite local restaurants. Louise and Sadao’s Top Picks:
Love LOVE this place! This is our favorite Indian restaurant in town! (House of India Pittsfield MA runs a close second!) Their food is not only delicious, but the atmosphere is really cheerful and enjoyable. This is a great change of pace from the other wonderful restaurants both North and South of our Berkshires B & B.
With 199 reviews on TripAdvisor (including one of our recent guest’s!), Coyote Flaco is a refreshing change of pace in both atmosphere and cuisine. The current owners are wonderful people, and back in 2006 when they bought it, they added Mexican dishes to the menu, and the place just took off!
As our guest’s review says, we are happy to go pick up your take-out for you so you can have a delicious meal in the comfort of your suite or our TV room!
This is one of our favorites because of both their food and their philosophy. They are strong supporters of independent farmers, and therefore their contemporary cuisine uses seasonal, local ingredients straight from the local farms surrounding their 2 restaurants and 1 catering location. Learn more about this great group of people at www.mezzeinc.com.
If you’re looking for the quiet charm of an old 18th century Berkshires farmhouse, Mill on the Floss serves delicious French cuisine and sophisticated wines. It’s a lovely place to snuggle down into a quiet, romantic candlelit meal together.
If you’re in the mood for authentic Italian, then Zucchini’s is our recommendation to you! Fresh, local produce help the Chef/owner create amazing dishes that are simply outstanding. And don’t forget the mouth-watering desserts he makes with all the local fruit and berries when they are in season. Oh man.
And exclusively for our Berkshires B&B guests, we offer an optional private Japanese dinner event for up to 4 people, as well as a sushi-rolling lesson if you choose! The 3+ hour events include an authentic 6-course Japanese meal prepared by Sadao himself, and served either in your suite or in the large Ume No Ma Tatami Room with our Japanese style dining table.
After Your Adventures in the Berkshires, Come Back and Relax
So many things to see and do in the area! But when done for the day, our guests are more than ready to take a dip in our 39’ indoor pool, or detox in the infrared sauna. And though we don’t have a Japanese hot tub, we do have a 6 person indoor Sundance hot tub which we move outside under the stars during the warmer months.
The kids enjoy playing on the PlayStation or watching Netflix on either their in-room TVs or in our large family room with 61” wide screen TV. We also have a library of over 150 DVDs that can keep you entertained for hours!
This page just barely scratches the surface of all the amazing things you can do and see here in the western side of Massachusetts. It truly is a magical place for visitors to experience.
But, at the end of each day… once they’ve explored what the Berkshires has to offer… our guests are more than happy to come back to the serenity of Shirakaba.
If you’d like to see if there is availability at our Bed and Breakfast Berkshires mini-resort, simply click the link below and choose your dates.
How Far Are You From Our Bed and Breakfast Berkshires MA?
Seemingly a stones-throw away from the frenzied lifestyles and snarled traffic of the Northeast, Berkshires Shirakaba brings quiet. Calm. Tranquility. Balance.
We have been able to host and befriend hundreds of wonderful people in our peaceful little Guest House nestled up to Mt. Greylock in Western Massachusetts. Many of our return guests are happy to make the short drive and visit us again and again. We have hosted guests driving in from cities such as:
Boston, MA: 2h42m
NYC, NY: 3h17m
Albany, NY: 49m
Philadelphia, PA: 4h24m
Montreal: QC, Canada: 4h22m
Manchester, NH: 3h7m
Hartford, CT: 1h41m
Syracuse, NY: 3h8m
Providence, RI: 2h33m
Burlington, VT: 3h35m
New Haven, CT: 2h18m
Poughkeepsie, NY: 1h39m
And once here, they enjoy so many of the surrounding towns for their beauty, cultural events, outdoor recreation, and of course, food! Some of the best are found in:
New Ashford, Williamstown, North Adams, Clarksburg, Adams, Cheshire, Lanesborough, Pittsfield, Lenox, Dalton, Lee, Stockbridge
And are all under a 40 minute drive from our front door!
** IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: We are closing/retiring as of November 8, 2020. We are currently all booked up until then. Thank you for visiting!**