To the Manor Born
In 1907, Hildreth Kennedy Bloodgood and his wife, Julia, built an estate in New Marlborough, MA, that they called Mepal Manor, after the English village outside of London where they'd spent their honeymoon. The Bloodgoods were also responsible for bringing 200 hackney horses to the United States, the first of which was the prize-winning Star of Mepal.
Mepal Manor has 12 beautifully decorated guest rooms—the salon and spa are in a separate building just a few hundred yards away.
Since 1970, the property had been a special-education school for teenagers, who lived in the manor house and attended classes in an adjacent building. Then in 2000, Brad Wagstaff and Leslie Miller purchased the manor and its outbuildings. Their goal was to collaborate with longtime friend and architect Bob Swain to restore the manor house and create an intimate and luxurious spa. It took four years of extensive renovation to transform the manor into an elegant country hotel and the former classroom and gymnasium into a first-class salon and spa.
The manor house features 12 beautifully decorated guest rooms—breakfast is served daily to guests in front of a roaring fire. The focal point of the 6,000-square-foot spa is an outdoor hot tub overlooking 240 acres and offering panoramic views of the rolling Berkshire hills to the southwest. The spa has a retail shop, four serene treatment rooms, a full-service salon and a yoga and pilates studio with a radiant-heated maple floor.
The spa carries Comfort Zone products, which are imported from Italy. Treatments include the Hydramemory Facial, which utilizes such deeply hydrating ingredients as honey, hibiscus and trehalose (from desert plants). Guests can partake in nine different types of massage, from Aromasoul, a 90-minute treatment using pure essential oils, to Thai, which focuses on stretching with assisted yoga positions and deep compression work. The salon offers a full range of services, from manicures and pedicures to cuts, color and waxing. For more information, visit mepalmanor.com. —MARIANNE DOUGHERTY