Must-Try Craft Summer Beers

Summer is all about trying new things, exploring new places, and discovering new favorites.  At Sloane’s Restaurant and Bar here at Cranwell we have done the hard work for you of carefully selecting the must-try craft beers you will not want to miss this summer. Here are two that we are loving down at Sloane’s:



Stony Creek Brewery in Branford, CT., has a delightful seasonal beer that we know you will love. Sun Juice is a Belgium Summer Ale that exemplifies everything that Stony Creek is all about: “high quality, experimental, and exceeding expectations.” Saison yeast combined with orange and grapefruit peel, coriander, and chamomile mix together perfectly to create the spicy and fruity complexity you are looking for in a summer ale. It is the perfect drink to enjoy during an afternoon in the sun!



Berkshire Brewing Company in South Deerfield MA., has been making great beer since 1994. BBC has an excellent flagship brew known as the Steel Rail. Steel Rail is an extra pale ale with an outstanding freshness through its 2-row pale malt backbone and signature hop flavor and aroma. Renowned beer writer, Lee Bryson, even wrote that Steel Rail is “what the water in heaven ought to taste like.”

This summer while you are exploring the Berkshires, the deck at Sloane’s Restaurant and Bar will be open and ready for you to grab a draft – and maybe a meal –  and keep your vacation moving in the right direction.


Kyle Windowshot


Kyle Windowshot

Kyle DeSantis has been an Esthetician at Cranwell since 2011. Her years of experience make her the perfect candidate to give the low-down on the most popular product this season. As Esthetician of the month, Kyle has chosen Dr. Babor Hyaluronic Collagen Booster Fluid.

Why Hyaluronic Collagen Booster Fluid?

“Skin care takes on a more concentrated focus with DR BABOR’s powerful cosmeceutical ingredients. Hyaluronic acid, Tripeptides, and Marine Collagen within the DR BABOR Hyaluronic Collagen Booster Ampoule is an example of one of my favorites. All of these powerful ingredients penetrate deep into the skin to plump, strengthen & moisturize while diminishing fine lines and wrinkles. This ampoule is my “go to” anytime of the year for results you can see and feel!”


How to Apply

Apply the DR BABOR Ampoule onto cleansed skin at night and enjoy waking up to perfectly hydrated and visibly firmed skin!

Where to Purchase

Dr. Babor Hyaluronic Collagen Booster Fluid can be purchased on our Spa Shop website. Find this and other products the staff has recommended at!




June Esthetician of the Month & Must Have Product


Lori O’Neal has worked as an Esthetician for 14 years, with 13 of those years spent working in the Spa at Cranwell. As an Esthetician, Lori specializes in skin and skincare. Lori is also a Level 2 Reiki practitioner. Reiki is a Japanese technique used for stress reduction and relaxation that promotes healing.  As a Level 2 Reiki Practitioner, Lori is able to practice the techniques on others during a Reiki massage treatment offered at the Spa.

Lori’s years of experience have given her vast knowledge of the best products and practices available for skincare. Lori has chosen her favorite Product of the Month for June.

Lori’s Favorite Product This Month

Lori chose the A16 Booster Concentrate by BABOR as her favorite product this month. “Vitamin A has been the gold standard for skin renewal, and BABOR has developed a serum that is 16 times more potent than vitamin A without the sensitivity. The A16 Booster Concentrate activates collagen production and stimulates the skin’s own regeneration process, creating a smoother complexion with less wrinkles and fine lines. A plus of this serum is this form of Vitamin A is safe to use on sensitive skin and is also safe for pregnant women. BABOR’s Vitamin A16 Booster does not cause photo sensitivity like regular vitamin A treatments, and that is why I am recommending this great anti-aging treatment for the summer months ahead!”


How to Apply the A16 Booster Concentrate

The A16 Booster Concentrate can be applied once or twice daily, under your moisturizer. Lori prefers night time application as it is even more effective since our skin is already in regeneration mode.

Where to Purchase the A16 Booster Concentrate

Dr. Babor A16 Booster Concentrate can be purchased on our Spa Shop website.

Find this and other products the staff has recommended in our Spa Shop!

unlocking litchfield 2

The Ultimate Bachelorette Getaway at Cranwell

Unlocking Litchfield is a blog about “all things food, fashion, fitness, and fun in Litchfield County, Connecticut” and now – the Berkshires! The blog is maintained by a photographer/writer duo: Lora Warnick takes the pictures and Beverly Canepari writes the content. When these two come together magical things happen and they brought that magic with them to Cranwell.

Unlocking Litchfield 1 Beverly Canepari & Lora Warnick

Lora brought her best girls to Cranwell for an unforgettable bachelorette weekend.  Here is what Beverly and Lora had to say about their getaway:

“The Cranwell Spa & Resort in Lenox, MA, has a very regal, castled, fit-for-royalty vibe to it, which is exactly why it was the perfect spot for Lora’s bachelorette weekend.

Besides an award winning spa (one of the largest in the Northeast) and restaurants to suit both fine and casual dining, the resort also boasts a mansion. And who doesn’t love a good mansion?! The Wyndhurst was built in 1894 by John Sloane (a relative of the Vanderbilts) as a ‘cottage.’ In those days (the Gilded Age) the ‘cottage era’ defined cottages as a secondary residence with a minimum of 30 rooms and 20 acres. Can you even imagine?!

In attendance for Lora’s ‘bachelorette weekend!!!’ were the two of us, Lora’s younger sister, Holly, plus our friend, the fabulous, the entertaining, Kimberley Locke!
A quick hour or so drive up Route 7 to Lenox, MA, and we were there, ready to do bachelorette things, whatever they would be…”

unlocking litchfield 2 Holly, Kimberly Locke, Lora Warnick, Beverly Canepari

To read the rest of the blogpost and see the great photographs visit Unlocking Litchfield.



A Transformative Space at Cranwell Resort

Each year we are privileged to host a variety of special events here at Cranwell. From wedding, anniversary, and birthday celebrations to unique events inspired by the exciting and creative people that are the core of the many businesses we work with.

Recently we were excited to host Jenny Fenig’s group seminar in our Mansion Ballroom. Jenny is an award-winning entrepreneur, best-selling author, certified coach, and marketing and branding pro who provides inspiration to women from all over the world.

Read about her and other exciting Berkshire coaches in the Berkshire Magazine Holiday Issue and click here to learn more about having your own special event or group event here at Cranwell Resort.

Becoming Whole

Finding what makes you happy can take help

Jenny Fenig, another Berkshire-based coach, has carved a niche utilizing the local landscape for large-group seminars and workshops geared more toward finding a social-media platform, essentially a launching point for individual’s “brand of voice,” especially for those who want to enter the realm of coaching.

“My live events and retreats provide fertile ground and a sacred container for business-minded female leaders to gather for connection, discovery, and up-leveling,” Fenig says. “You make more traction in a few days than you would in a few months.”

Continue reading at Berkshire Magazine


The Lowdown on BABOR Skin Care with Esthetician Amy Mannix

Our skin is a direct reflection of our overall health and is exposed to a number of elements on a daily basis. Let’s face it, life often gets in the way of the skin care routines we know we should be doing which is why it’s even more important to take some time to pamper and heal your skin.

Cranwell’s own Amy Mannix, BABOR Master & Mentor Esthetician, is here to share some of the things she has learned about BABOR and caring for skin over the years.

Amy Windowshot

When did you know you wanted to be an Esthetician and how long have you been doing this?

I have had my own personal skin issues since I was in high school.  I did a lot of research and started using whole foods, vitamins & herbs to help with some of these skin concerns. In college I started working in health care and as a gift I was sent to see an Esthetician by a coworker. After my first facial I knew that was my calling. I wanted to incorporate all I knew about nutrition and combine that with skin care to help heal and care for others. It has now been 15 years and it feels like I am still in the honeymoon period of my career.

You are BABOR Master & Mentor, what drew you to the BABOR product line?

The innovation of the line, the results, and how customizable it is. I can be a bit of a science nerd – and the ingredients makes sense, the delivery systems make sense. This is a luxury line that offers exactly what I want to use on MY skin. As an Esthetician, BABOR offers such a diverse range of products and treatments that I can customize a program for any skin care concern or focus. And I feel good recommending and using BABOR because their ingredients work without any unnecessary parabens or chemicals. I need to believe in a product to recommend it to a guest and with BABOR, I wholeheartedly have that.

Are the BABOR treatments good for any specific types of skin conditions? If so, what kind of results can be expected?

There are treatments and products for every skin type and skin condition. I always prepare guests to be wowed after a BABOR treatment. BABOR’s treatments are intended to not only pamper the skin with needed balancing, but really stimulate & heal the skin. The treatments repair damage we put our skin through every day from internal to external stressors. Expect radiant beauty and a youthful glow.

For someone who has never had a BABOR skin treatment what is the first treatment you would recommend and why?

BABOR’s 80 minute skin solution treatment. It is a perfect way to start your introduction to BABOR. It is a customizable treatment for the prevention of aging for every skin type. Some of the techniques included are a deep cleansing and exfoliation ritual including warm and cool compresses, a signature vitality mask to increase circulation and oxygen in the skin, & fluid concentrates to immediately transform and boost the skin. This luxury treatment also comprises BABOR’s Effective Touch massage to bring balance by relaxing and detoxifying the muscles while also de-stressing the mind.

To learn more about booking your first or your next BABOR experience with Amy or one of our talented Esthetician visit our full list of skin care treatments or give us a call at  800-272-6935.


Behind the Capitol Steps with Pianist, David Kane

Capitol Steps is a favorite among our guests here at Cranwell each summer. With nightly shows, except for Tuesday, and a cast that changes out weekly you will always enjoy a unique performance and leave with a smile on your face. Shera Cohen from recently interviewed David Kane, a long time pianist with the Capitol Steps cast.

1)  Describe a typical performance (at Cranwell) for you.  Is it fun? Unique each night?  Relatively the same?  Depends on the audience?  Depends on the day of the week?

It is generally fun- it’s a comedy show! Some aspects are similar as we tend to do the same show over a week. Variables include errors from the cast or myself (hopefully, not too many of those!), age/mood/size of the audience and the day of the week as well but in all in all, there is a general and agreeable consistency to the shows.

2)  Do you have input in preparation for the show? (i.e. choice of music.)  Do you ever help with the new lyrics? Do you offer suggestions?

I have little input with the music selection- which is a good thing since I’m a jazz musician at my core (Jazz= no revenue). I have occasionally made lyric suggestions that have been incorporated in the show but generally speaking, most of the extant humor comes from our crack team of writers.

3)  Do you feel a bit left out of the “action” and humor, literally being on the sidelines at your piano?

Nope. I have my hands full at the keyboard as most of the time I’m emulating a band, trying to remember each performer’s key and following the idiosyncratic tendencies of each performer.  I’m content to leave jokes to the professionals.

4)  How did you get this gig?  How long have you been with Capitol Steps?

I had myself recently carbon-dated and concluded that I have been with the Steps for 18 years or so. I was foolishly recommended by one of our other pianists, who should have known better, Lenny Williams. The rest is history.

5) Besides CS, what else would we read on your resume?  What is your training?  Where have you performed?  How long with Capitol Steps?

I trained as a classical performer/ composer and as a jazz saxophonist though I know better than to play saxophone now. I’ve worked in a wide variety of situations from Symphony Orchestras to Greek Wedding Bands and I even recorded a Zydeco album years ago. I love all music and have been fortunate to play a little bit of just about everything. I also work as a professional chess coach and tournament director.

6) Do you ever get so caught up in the audience’s laughter that you laugh along and, maybe and literally, miss a beat?

Humor tends to lose its impact with repetition so while I will know the upcoming punchlines, I find it useful to identify with the audience’s enjoyment and that makes it more fun for me- it’s like seeing a funny movie with a friend that you’ve already seen before- you feed off of their reactions. There have been only one or two times when something unexpectedly funny happened onstage that caused me to break concentration but that’s only because I’m a battle-hardened professional.

7) Do you think you would ever want to be one of the comedians/singers instead of the accompanist?

No way! Sometimes I imagine I could up there and be funny but, truth be told, the thought terrifies me. In very rare instances there will be a mismatch between our show and an audience where they’re not enjoying the humor as much as they could be- it is at those times I’m happy to be cowering behind the relative safety of my piano.

8)  Are there any onstage or backstage anecdotes you would like to talk about?

Sharing life on the road with a bunch of comedians for 18 years has surely generated an impressive pile of anecdotes over the years- it would be difficult to single out one or two that your readership would appreciate. Rather than leave you empty-handed, I will relate one of my worst moments on stage: During a show many years ago, during intermission, our leader needed to substitute a different song than had been listed. He asked my if I remembered the song “Women’s Room Line”, a song we used to do all the time but hadn’t done in a while. I said ” I don’t think I remember it well enough” as the song had some complexities which eluded my recall at that moment.

Unfortunately, the backstage environment was noisy at that moment and he thought I said “I remember it well enough”. This led to an uncomfortable moment when the singer, one of our pluckier performers, came out and started singing “Women’s Room Line” to my utter shock and horror. Since she had already started singing I was forced to try and play the song which at that point, I remembered approximately 10% of. This led to a bizarre rendition where I played the wrong chord, she tried to adjust to my chord which led to me playing even wronger chords and so on.

Somehow, we got to the end of the song and the audience dutifully applauded despite the fact that from their perspective, they had just listened to the equivalent of an Arnold Schoenberg atonal song with oddly satirical lyrics. After the show, our leader said “We shall never speak of this again.” I’m hoping that with the passage of the years, finally the truth can be told without me losing my job. This is certainly a much more palatable anecdote than the time when I vomited onstage in full view of the audience at the Chicago Field Museum. I will not speak of this again.

See Capitol Steps nightly through August 31 , except for Tuesdays, at Cranwell Spa & Golf Resort here in Lenox, MA. Click here to learn more and purchase tickets.


Savor the Taste of Summer at Cranwell

With the beautiful weather, rolling green hills, golf and swimming comes brand new menus and some particularly tasty events at Cranwell.

Featured on the brand new menu at Sloane’s Tavern is a variety of special appetizers, such as Cranwell’s Vegetable Tempura and Crab Salad Sliders, and some exciting new entrees including Vegetable Gateau and Kabob of the Day.

If Mansion dining is what you’re after you won’t want to miss the gluten free House Cured Salmon and Crab Roulade and Halibut. The exciting new menu also features a variety of salads including the Deconstructed Caesar.

Savory Summer Events at Cranwell

WineTastingIn addition to the delicious new menus we’re also bringing back our popular Monday night BBQ at Sloane’s and adding some tasty events at the Mansion!

  • Sloane’s BBQ – every Monday from June 29 – August 24, 5 – 8 pm, $18.95 plus tax and gratuity. See the full menu here.
  • Wine & Spirits Tasting at the Mansion (Rose Terrace, weather permitting), Every Tuesday from June 30 – August 18, 4 – 5pm  weather permitting.   Berkshire Mountain Distillery Spirits will be showcased.
  • Mansion BBQ – Every Tuesday from June 30 – August 18, 5 – 8pm weather permitting.     Elegant BBQ showcasing locally-sourced food including House Wine, Bottled Beer and Soda.  $75 pp plus tax and gratuity. See the full menu here.


The Sweet Way This Groom Surprised His Bride Who Missed Her Mom

There are few things more exciting for the Cranwell Resort team than being part of a guest’s special day. Part of the excitement is hearing every couples unique story and helping them translate that into the wedding of their dreams. That was especially the case during Jess and Matt’s destination wedding here in the Berkshires.

Your heart will melt when you hear the sweet thing Matt did for his bride-to-be who was missing her mother on their special day. Get the tissues!


This loving California couple not only got the Berkshire wedding of their dreams, they have one of the sweetest moments caught on film here at Cranwell Resort. With wedding season about to kick off we can’t wait to see what special moments will be captured here in 2014. We hope to see you here!

Interested in your own dream wedding here at Cranwell Resort? Learn more our services and packages here.


The Power of Less: 30 Seconds to a Happier You

First let me say, my other ‘career’ is in health and wellness where, for over 20 years, I played in that sandbox with a leader in the wellness space. As the head of an organization, and that can mean most any collection of people, I have recognized the value of taking time to keep my emotional and physical wellbeing in check. Being both physically and emotionally fit keeps things in perspective and helps me to better respond to situations versus react to them, at least more of the time.

As I have heard and have found myself, taking care of yourself is essentially about time – having it when you think you don’t. In between your time here at Cranwell relaxing and gaining perspective on living, I would suggest there are at least 30 ways to live better by making better choices in less than 30 seconds for each ‘exercise’.   Here are 5 that I hope will help, some you may have done and can start again, some may be new and hopefully exciting!

1. Floss Standing on One Foot

Flossing has been proven to help reduce the risk of cardio vascular disease by reducing inflammation which is a result of minimizing bacteria systemically traveling throughout your blood stream. The standing on one foot promotes balance, perhaps the most important element for longevity of movement.

2. Smile at 30 or More People Each Day

Smiling sends a neurological message to your brain you are happy – thus you are.

3. Take the Stairs – Always

Simple but true, even if you are in a 20 story building, take a few flights of stairs and then jump on the elevator.

4. Add One Fruit or Vegetable to Your Daily Diet

“Whole foods” is not just the name of a store; it is the most effective way to nourish your body. I would suggest you choose organic produce which is even more important with today’s food supply.

5. Scream Out Loud

Scream as loud as you can – a release that refreshes! I prefer the car as it allows for a lower risk of disturbing others. You may have used primal screaming in the past but not by yourself which is a very different experience.

Check back soon for the next 5 things on our list of 30 second things you can do to have a positive impact on your health!

Carl Pratt
General Manager
Cranwell Resort, Spa and Golf Club


Photo credit: Alex