Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

The Potting Shed Spa at Blantyre - Spa Review

Find Respite in Lenox, Massachusetts

By Irvina Lew

A view of The Potting Shed at Blantyre
A view of The Potting Shed Spa at Blantyre

Blantyre, one of the jewels in the crown of New England country inns, is a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux collection and is located in pristine Lenox, Massachusetts within easy driving distance from both New York and Boston. This picturesque Berkshire Mountain destination offers historic authenticity, intriguing sightseeing and exciting events.

As a summertime cultural capital, Lenox is famed for concerts at Tanglewood, the Bard at Shakespeare and Company and abstract art at Frelinghuysen Morris House & Studio. Along with The Mount, where Edith Wharton lived, and the cottage where Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote, another historic house museum, Ventfort Hall, displays an enticing exhibit featuring Les Petites Dames de Mode: 59 magnificently attired 29-inch-tall fashion mannequins.

A meandering drive leads to Blantyre, a manor house turned courtly country inn, where each of the 24 large and luxurious lodgings are graciously decorated. The Tudor style manse offers butler service for room service breakfast and/or afternoon tea as well as for pre-dinner cocktails in the living room. There’s delectable dining at individually decorated tables in a variety of inviting venues where each table is set with its own china and a coordinated floral arrangement.

The Greenhouse at Blantyre A treatment room
The Greenhouse at Blantyre
A treatment room

The small, pampering spa is housed in its namesake, the estate’s former Potting Shed. Guests who frequent the spa can stay in the baronial manse or individual cottages (where one of the world’s most illustrious musicians sets up residence during the Tanglewood season) or in the carriage house which is both adjacent to and connected to the spa. Many guests prefer in-room services, but most are delighted with the intimate size and personal attention at The Potting Shed.

The spa entry—located near the estate’s Tennis Courts (where guests ice skate in winter)—offers a small reception area and a fitness room (there’s nothing banal, such as a commercial boutique!).  What’s best is the cozy and inviting space called The Greenhouse, where one window-wall forms the backdrop of the room’s centerpiece, a heated Jacuzzi. From here, guests view the exquisite outdoor pool and terrace where, in summer, lunch is served. The staff is exceptional, many of the dozen or so therapists (each one is on call) have years of experience at nearby Canyon Ranch (some still work there) and all appear delighted with the exclusivity and personal attention they can give clients at Blantyre where only the few dozen in-house guests have access to spa services. On the upper level of the Potting Shed, there are three treatment rooms, two massage rooms and a wet room which is also—and mostly—used for massages, plus a mani-pedi space in a sweet windowed nook. While there is a complete treatment menu, there’s no doubt that massages, facials and pedicures are the most in-demand services at beautiful Blantyre.

The kinds of movies made for foodies, including classics such as Like Water for Chocolate and newer releases like Chef and Ratatouille.

We taste-tested several brands to help you find the best kombuchas on the market and the results are delicious. Bottoms up!