A hotel searching for an identity: A less-than-stellar stay at Hyatt’s Wyndhurst Manor & Club
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Imagine a bucolic destination that’s less than 150 miles from a major metropolis, yet still feels like a world away.
The rolling hills of western Massachusetts — more commonly known as the Berkshires — are smack dab in between New York City and Boston. It’s the perfect spot for a long weekend escape from the hustle and bustle.
That’s why I was excited to spend a few days away from the concrete jungle of Manhattan (otherwise known as where I call home). This past Fourth of July, I checked in to Hyatt’s Wyndhurst Manor & Club in the picturesque town of Lenox.
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While my stay was indeed a restful (and delicious) one, this property that reopened under the Hyatt umbrella in 2020 didn’t live up to my high hopes.
Between service lapses, middling amenities and grounds that just needed a dose of TLC, the Wyndhurst Manor & Club is not quite ready for prime time. In fact, with a property shared with the Miraval resort, it just lacked an overall identity.
Here’s everything that you can expect.
The Wyndhurst Manor & Club is a Destination by Hyatt property, which Hyatt calls a “diverse collection of upper-upscale and luxury independent hotels, resorts, and residences.”
Depending on the season, rates at the property range from $250 to $500 for a base two-queen or one-king room in Beechers Cottage. As a Hyatt Category 6 property, it’ll cost you 25,000 World of Hyatt points per night. So it’s not cheap but also not the most extravagantly priced property out there, either.
I decided to redeem points for this stay since my dates over a holiday weekend meant I got a value of about 2 cents per point, more than the current 1.7 cents TPG values a single World of Hyatt point to be worth.
Besides earning points through the World of Hyatt Credit Card, remember that you can transfer points instantly to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio from eligible Chase Ultimate Rewards cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve.
During most summers, Lenox is home to Shakespeare & Company as well as the Tanglewood Music Festival, featuring the Boston Symphony Orchestra. It’s a quaint town with cafes, galleries and an emphasis on farm-to-table cuisine.
Think quintessential New England.
As I kept exclaiming to my friend throughout the weekend, Lenox — and the adjacent towns — is just so darn cute. Just a few minutes away from downtown Lenox by car is the Wyndhurst.
First, what’s unique about the property happens to be its Achilles’ heel. The Wyndhurst shares the grounds with another Hyatt-branded hotel, the swanky wellness-focused Miraval Berkshires resort.
While I had hoped that this meant the Wyndhurst would have an upscale ambiance similar to the Miraval, that wasn’t the case. Instead, I often felt like the Wyndhurst was the neglected sibling that got the hand-me-downs.
Last summer, I stayed at the Miraval shortly after it opened, so I was well aware that I needed to set my expectations lower for the Wyndhurst, a property that was less than half the cost.
Unfortunately, things did not get off to a great start.
While the Wyndhurst has its own dedicated buildings and facilities, at the time of my stay, check-in for the Wyndhurst was actually where you check in for the Miraval. This was in an entirely separate area of the property.
Thankfully, I noticed this messaging buried in a pre-arrival email. However, as I witnessed during my stay, many other guests clearly missed the memo and were confused about where to go upon arriving.
At check-in, the front desk associate for the Miraval promptly gave us our keys and a map and quickly wanted to send us on our way. That meant I had to ask question after question to get more information on amenities, opening times and more.
And as a World of Hyatt Globalist, one of the best perks is complimentary breakfast. However, the associate wasn’t aware of how this perk worked. Instead, he told us that he’d give us a call with more information. We never received a call.
Thankfully, all breakfast charges were waived on our bill when we checked out.
As I later came to learn, the Wyndhurst didn’t have its own employees. Instead, it was entirely staffed by Miraval personnel — and it often felt like they put those guests at a higher priority.
Navigating the property
Since the Wyndhurst was almost fully booked, there was no complimentary Globalist room upgrade provided. I expected this since the holiday weekend meant higher occupancy.
As mentioned, the Wyndhurst is on the same grounds as the Miraval. While two hotels sharing the same property doesn’t necessarily have to be an issue, it was in this case.
My major pain point was that the Wyndhurst and Miraval aren’t split up into separate areas of the property. Instead, the Miraval complex essentially cuts the Wyndhurst in half, forcing the latter’s guests to have a long walk (or short drive) to get between parts of the hotel.
To make matters worse, wayfinding is poor and signage isn’t clear about what is strictly for Miraval guests and what is open to Wyndhurst guests.
The Wyndhurst has several buildings with varying accommodations. Even within the same room category, room layout and size can vary significantly:
- Beechers Cottage rooms and suites.
- Griswold, Barnes and McKinley cottage suites.
- The Mansion rooms and suites.
I was given a king room in Beechers Cottage, an older Queen Anne-style shingled house with 28 rooms and suites.
A note about accessibility
Beechers Cottage and the Mansion do not have an elevator and even ground-floor rooms require several steps. The Wyndhurst does have several ADA-accessible rooms, though, in the Griswold, Barnes and McKinley cottages.
My base-level king room was a corner room and, while on the smaller side, had plenty of natural light thanks to the three windows. The bed was also incredibly comfortable; it truly felt like sleeping on a cloud.
Unfortunately, most of the praise stops there. Clearly, the room had seen some updates. But it felt oddly incomplete. I found the decor to be an odd mish-mash of original decorative designs and more modern touches.
The Tibetan singing bowl also seemed oddly out of place and, in fact, is a feature seen at the wellness- and Zen-focused Miraval.
The bathrobes, television and even the phone are all Miraval-branded, too.
As was the case for the entire property, my room in the Wyndhurst lacked any sense of its own identity. I frankly couldn’t pinpoint what aesthetic the Wyndhurst was going for.
However, the biggest eyesore was likely the bathroom, which featured both modern and original finishes, with no seamlessness between the two. Some of the updates were sloppily done, too.
A missing hook completed the, well, incomplete look of the bathroom.
Food and beverage
True to the Berkshires, the food that I sampled was fresh and the farm-to-table element was a key differentiator.
During my stay, the Wyndhurst had three dining options: in-room dining, Sloane’s Tavern for casual fare and 1894, a more upscale bistro located in the Mansion building.
However, hours were extremely limited. In fact, in early July, there was only dining available on property four days of the week. Breakfast was available daily, but in-room dining was the only option — as was a mandatory $10 delivery fee.
While much of this has been since addressed, the Wyndhurst suffered from a staffing shortage during the summer which meant limited food and beverage options during the week.
Thankfully, the items that I was able to order were delicious. One positive of the Wyndhurst and Miraval sharing staff meant that the Miraval executive chefs prepared meals for both properties.
Two highlights at 1894 were the crispy rice topped with tuna appetizer and the seared lamb entree.
The meats and cheeses were all locally sourced, making for the perfect charcuterie board. In fact, I visited nearby High Lawn Farm where the Wyndhurst and Miraval both source their ice cream and cheese.
Finally, the more casual Sloane’s Tavern was also a scrumptious affair with fresh seafood (the fried calamari was spectacular), burgers and salads.
A major downside was that the service was slow — really slow.
One night at Sloane’s Tavern, it took us a full hour to get our appetizers and drinks. The lack of staffing was a problem throughout our stay.
The Wyndhurst brands itself as a premium property and has pricing to match.
However, on the whole, I found the amenities to be a bit lackluster. For instance, the fitness room and outdoor and indoor pools are all part of a facility shared with the community — anyone can purchase a membership for the facilities, including the gym, pool and golf course. And it all feels more like a run-of-the-mill recreation center than a premium hotel.
This stands in stark contrast to the Miraval next door, which has an exclusive, upscale feeling.
I get it, that property goes for over $1,000 per night. But an adjacent four-star hotel should have dedicated facilities that don’t look like your average YMCA.
The golf club is a centerpiece of the property, and while I didn’t partake, it looked to be a beautiful course.
Meanwhile, the Mansion was an amenity in and of itself. It was stunning.
Built by John Sloane in 1894, the manor stands on 380 acres of woodlands, designed by Frederick Law Olmstead. Yes, that’s the same landscape architect who designed New York’s Central Park.
From an expectations perspective, the Wyndhurst struggled. It was clear from the lack of personnel on the property that the hotel is short-staffed. It just felt empty.
In addition, we had asked for housekeeping each night of our stay — but no one ever showed. This was even after multiple calls to the front desk.
However, the team members that I did encounter were friendly and clearly were hustling to provide the best experience that they could given their very limited resources.
My getaway to the Berkshires was a much-needed escape from the grind of New York. I enjoyed the quaint setting, incredible farm-to-table cuisine and the overall slow pace of life.
But unfortunately, the Wyndhurst didn’t enhance my weekend away. Instead, it just became a place to sleep — and that’s disappointing since the property has so much potential.
As a Category 6 Hyatt property, I expected more from the Wyndhurst. Until the property hires more staff and creates a more distinct experience from the Miraval, I can’t quite recommend it. The Wyndhurst just doesn’t have a personality or identity to speak of.
For the time being, save your cash (or your points) and consider other options. Or splurge and stay at the much nicer Miraval next door.
Featured photo by Chris Dong/The Points Guy.
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