The Five College Bed & Breakfast Association (www.fivecollegebb.com ) lists many small bed-and-breakfasts in the area. One of the most popular is the Lupine House (185 N. Main St., Florence, 413/586-9766 or 800/890-9766, $80–90), where hosts Evelyn and Gil Billings go out of their way to make guests feel at home. In addition to a fireplace, VCR, and computer access, the house provides convenient access to the bike path.
For a touch of the old grandeur of Springfield , check into the Lathrop House B&B (188 Summer Ave., Springfield, 413/736-6414, www.lathrophousebandb.com , $100–175), an 1899 columned mansion that had previous lives as both a Jewish temple and an art school. The multilingual innkeeper tends a rose garden and outdoor swing, and cooks breakfast in a kosher kitchen.
Looking like the gingerbread house right out of the Brothers Grimm, the surprisingly affordable Allen House Inn (599 Main St., Amherst, 413/253-5000, www.allenhouse.com , $75–195) sports art, antiques, and wall coverings meticulously chosen to evoke Emily Dickinson’s day. A five-course breakfast is included.
Black walnut trees dot the acre of grounds at the Black Walnut Inn (1184 N. Pleasant St., Amherst, 413/549-5649, www.blackwalnutinn.com , $120–170), a luxurious Federal-style brick mansion. The rooms are individually decorated with sleigh beds and lace and organza canopy beds; the largest has a gas fireplace and whirlpool tub. Children are welcome—and will appreciate the hot apple pie served with breakfast.
The grand brick Hotel Northampton (36 King St., Northampton, 413/584-3100 or 800/547-3529, www.hotelnorthampton.com , $205–270) is a 1927 colonial revival building overlooking a park downtown. Rooms are filled with floral prints and include wireless Internet, HBO, and continental breakfast.
You can’t get much closer to history than the Deerfield Inn (81 Main St., Deerfield, 413/774-5587, www.deerfieldinn.com , $150–260), located within the heart of Historic Deerfield . The rooms include four-poster beds, plush mattresses, and plaques telling the story of historic town residents. In one room, a ghost named Herschel is known to throw magazines around when peeved.