New Lenox Marriott Opens It's Doors

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From Left:  Mayur M. Desai, General Manager, Lenox Marriott ,Colin J.M.Toole, CEO, Toole Companies,  Marc Bachman, Director of Sales and Marketing, Courtyard by Marriott   Courtyard by Marriott Lenox Berkshires is scheduled to open its doors in Lenox, Massachusetts today. Featuring a unique historic building with a “Second Empire”  design, as a tribute to Lenox’s famous Gilded Age. Located at 70 Pittsfield Road, the 92-room hotel is independently owned and managed by Toole Lodging. 

Centrally located in Lenox, "The Courtyard Lenox Berkshires is in the heart of the Berkshires - with its renowned cultural attractions including Tanglewood (the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra), Shakespeare & Company, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Berkshire Theater Festival, Clark Art Institute, MA Museum of Contemporary Art, the Norman Rockwell Museum and so much more. There are also plenty of outdoor activities nearby including hiking, fall foliage viewing, bicycling and crystal clear mountain lakes for swimming and boating. And, vibrant downtown Lenox, with its great shopping and outstanding farm to table restaurants, is just over one mile away, "  said a Marriott press release.

Courtyard is known for aggressively researching trends and constantly updates interior space to meet the changing needs of its guests. Marriott Lenox has the latest room design offering "hybrid zones for working, sleeping, and relaxing. Indirect lighting and a neutral, tone-on-tone color palette makes for a soothing and calm environment."

“From day one, Courtyard has prided itself as a brand that listens to business travelers,” said Callette Nielsen, vice president and global brand manager, Courtyard. “Today’s technology has changed how people travel. Our guests want a room that has purpose and flexibility that enables a seamless transition between relaxing and working. Courtyard is designed to offer them a relaxing and functional space to work the way they want to, when they want to.”

The Lenox Marriott's room design is offering "flexible yet comfortable spaces that enable technology. Upon arrival, guests can store bags on the “Luggage Drop” and plug personal devices into the “Tech Drop” ledge for seamless technology integration."

Signature Courtyard furniture and architectural elements replace traditional art in the new guestroom. Lenox Marriott has a  “LoungeAround” sofa that offers a comfortable area for relaxing or for working which also features a light desk on wheels, allowing guests to work from anywhere in the room.

The Lenox Marriott is equipped with what it calls a "Refreshing Business lobby" where guests can use media pods and complimentary Wi-Fi. The lobby also features The Bistro, offering casual, dining for breakfast and dinner, including snacks, cocktails, wine and beer. To the right of The Bistro is a Starbucks.  

The hotel features an indoor swimming pool and whirlpool spa,  a fitness center and guest laundry, and an outdoor seating area surrounding a fire pit. The hotel also offers over 1,390 square feet of meeting space to accommodate functions of up to 77 people.

But will the new hotel succeed? Some Berkshire residents question the need for a new, large "grand" hotel in an area awash in lodging struggling to stay afloat. What exactly is Toole's business plan? 

Toole believes that his Lenox Marriott offers "amenities that other lodging in the Berkshires just does not have." 

But what about the Berkshire off season, between October and May? Joe believes that in those months he will be able to fill up rooms with what he called "latent travelers" who would either cash in their Marriott Rewards" guest loyalty points in Albany or Springfield. "They now have a third option in a more natural setting," Toole said.

Toole Companies owns and operates a growing portfolio of hotel properties in the northeast, both independent and branded. Family run, their hotel roots began in 1989 with the historic relocation and re-purposing of an 1885 schoolhouse turned French country inn. Over the past 28 years, Toole has acquired, redeveloped and built properties comprising their current portfolio. With six members of the immediate family engaged in various aspects of management, "a true sense of family and deep respect for both employees and guests permeates the organization. This personal connection and commitment to guest satisfaction is Toole Companies’ greatest asset and is at the center of its guiding principle," Toole said.

Both the Courtyard by Marriott franchise and the 70 Pittsfield Road Lenox location was obtained by Toole companies in 2012  After numerous hearings and three architectural revisions, Toole was unanimously granted a special permit by the Lenox zoning Board. Toole Lodging group began in 1991 following the relocation of the 1885 St Mary's school a block from its original location, behind St. Mary's Church in Lee to a parcel owned by Toole, saving it from scheduled demolition. Named for the city of origin of the original French teaching order, Chambery Inn quickly became a Berkshire favorite lodging attraction with each classroom turned into a suite, with King canopy beds, a fireplace, Jacuzzi baths and an original blackboard with 13 foot high ceilings.  In 1997 Toole Lodging. purchased the Yankee Motor Lodge with additional 36 units conference rooms lounge and indoor pool added in 2000 and renamed it the Yankee Inn, In 2002 the Southwest Court Apartment Complex at 20 W. Housatonic Street in Pittsfield was converted into Yankee Suites extended stay lodging property. In 2006 construction begin on a parcel adjacent to Yankee in for a new Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton witch open in the spring of 2008.  Toole Lodging organization includes Joe's four children, son in law Mayur Desai. Mollie Toole is the managing partner of the new hotel with complete General management responsibilities  "Mayur has done an outstanding job in preparing the hotel for opening, including purchase of all furniture fixtures equipment, franchise relations and training. He is one of a kind with terrific warmth and interpersonal skills and superior multitasking capabilities," Toole said Joe's son, Colin JM Toole, the firm's CEO, joined the firm in February 2016 following 8 years in Denver Colorado in the hotel development business following his graduation from the Cornell hotel School of Business. Lawrence V. "Larry" Toole and daughter Mollie have been with the firm sense 2009 followed by Luke in 2012 and Colin in 2016.    

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