Rambling 5 br farm house secluded yet close… – vrbo e gaskell


Shaker Hill is a quirky rambling farmhouse located less than 3 hours from NYC and Boston. Hidden away down a 400’ unpaved driveway on 30 acres of fields and forest in the heart of the Berkshires, Shaker Hill is totally private and surrounded by 30 acres of rolling fields, diverse wetlands, wildlife and forest. It’s serene and connected with nature.

Minutes to both historic Stockbridge and bustling Great Barrington, Shaker Hill is a warm, sunny, rustic 4500 square foot rambling farm house with comfortable rooms and wonderful views from virtually every window. With 5 bedrooms (4 air conditioned, 1 with huge windows and a ceiling fan, and no central air) and 4 baths (2 upstairs and 2 downstairs), 10 people can sleep very comfortably. The master bedroom has plenty of space for a crib. Downstairs are: a huge soaring living room and a sprawling kitchen, 2 large porches and 30 acres of lawns and forest. Shaker Hill is large enough for big groups but also very homey. It’s furnished comfortably and with a den with a 50′ plasma TV (with DISH, Netflix and a PS3 player), a kids’ playroom and other family friendly amenities.

Skiing, hiking, cultural attractions and great food are also within a few minutes’ drive; Shaker Hill is one of those rare Berkshire vacation rental properties that is both totally private and in the center of everything that you love about the Berkshires. During the summer, go swimming and boating in the Stockbridge Bowl about 10 minutes away, and enjoy a variety of summer theater festivals, hiking and more. During the fall, Shaker Hill is a great spot for a leaf peeping. As a ski rental, you can’t get a more convenient location. Outside, enjoy acres of rolling fields and forest. Get in the car and drive a just few minutes to take advantage of all the Berkshires has to offer.

The house was big….That is about all the good things I can say….It was filthy, dirty, old, had mismatched stained and torn furniture, A TV with no stations, kitchen with outdated pots pans, dishes, bowls, stove etc…The bedrooms had dirt, webs, dust bunnies, etc., the bathrooms and showers would not pass a health inspection. I own a summer cape house that I’ve rented for 15 years, so I know what I’m talking about. I would never have a tenant stay a minute in my house if it was in the condition this house was in. The fact that they charge a cleaning fee is laughable, as it implies a professional cleaning crew cleaned it prior to my arrival. The owner is very lucky that I rented the house with 3 other fathers with only one kid each in tow. If we had showed up with other family members or multiple families, I would have demanded he put us up in a hotel and called the board of health to inspect the mouse droppings in the pantry, then the BBB…If my wife was with me, it would have been 20 times worse than the feedback I’m providing…Run, don’t walk, from this house.

When C.M. arrived at the house, he emailed me the following: “All in…FYI the alarm went off for about 30 seconds or so, till I could figure how to shut it off..,its all set , house looks great!” He was there for 2 days. During his stay I did not get any calls from him whatsoever. Not about the TV or cleanliness or anything else. After I received the review, I attempted to verify that it came from him by emailing him and have not heard back.

(1) This house is a large, rambling, family house in a rural location. It is not a hotel, nor is it something out of Pottery Barn catalogue. Upscale hotels in the Berkshires that do look like that cost more per night for one room than it costs to rent Shaker Hill.

Cleanliness: The house is professionally cleaned. The bathrooms are clean and in good order. However, they are not newly tiled. The grout between some of the tiles may be discolored. That’s it. The guest may have mistaken discoloration for dirt, but it’s not. The house is in a rural location, and occasionally a mouse may get inside in the winter. If they do, they’re taken care of. There is no food for them to get into, and no health department issues.

A group of us rented this house for Labor Day weekend in September of 2014. To be honest, it was not what we expected at all. First, the house seems like it needs much more cleaning. The bed sheets and pillows were very old and unclean. The showers and bathrooms were also unclean that we were forced to wear flip flops. When you turned on the fans in the living room, all you saw was dust descending. It seems like the house wasn’t cleaned in a long time.

We cleaned up after ourselves and we placed all our garbage in bags, but we were told by the owner that we needed to specifically go and empty the garbage. And so we did. But when we went to the place designated to dispose of the trash, it was closed for Labor Day. We called the house owner and he told us to go to shops around town and leave the garbage in the garbage dumps of stores. First of all, this is illegal! And second, we were not going to drive around for hours trying to get rid of trash going to different stores. He could have at least apologized and offered to deal with the problem. It’s not like we didn’t try, but the place was closed.

The whole experience at this house was an unpleasant one. Not to mention how expensive it was. You would think for that price, you would have clean bathrooms, clean beds, the basics. I understand that having a house is a lot of upkeep and since this is just a house to rent, it’s not going to be a major priority for the owner. However, you should at least clean it or hire someone to clean it. It’s extremely rude to guests who come and drive hours to stay in a dusty and unclean house.