omni-berkshireThe Omni Berkshire Is Put To The Test – and Passes With Flying Colors. Most of the time, our family travel involves destination. It’s all about being somewhere different, seeing the sights, and getting a taste of a new place. And most of the time, our hotel room is just a place where we shower and sleep. It’s just a pit stop in the city we’re racing through.

But earlier this month, my son Max had the opportunity to experience a hotel room in a way we rarely do. I was attending the first-ever Family Travel Conference, and was pleased to be invited to bring one of my children along with me. Max, 15, was the obvious choice of my five – old enough to stay alone in the hotel room while I attended classes, but young enough to stay put and not ask to venture out alone.

First Impressions

As soon as we entered the Omni Berkshire, Max was impressed. The staff was friendly and helpful, and the large bowl of apples in the lobby was a welcomed quick snack after our trip there. We unpacked quickly and ventured downstairs. After I registered for the conference, we headed to the Fireside, the hotel’s cozy restaurant, for lunch before my first session.

The Fireside was offering an adventurous three course prix fixe menu in honor of restaurant week. Not surprisingly, though, my teen passed on that and turned to another Fireside specialty – burgers. Max ordered the Original Mini Burgers – a quartet of thick, cooked to order burgers topped with all the fixings (hold the tomato at my son’s request). The burgers, coupled with Coke in a glass bottle which Max kept as a souvenir, quenched his appetite for a Manhattan meal. (Another good thing about 15 year old boys – their tastes are relatively simple!)

Room 1420 and the Teen Test

omnimaxThen, armed with a deck of cards and two days’ worth of homework, Max retreated to our room to wait out my sessions. After dinner that night, I returned to get Max’s mini-review of the room. It went something like this:

  • “This bed is comfortable, yet firm enough to use as a table.” Which he proved to me firsthand later on as we sat on the bed to play gin rummy.
  • “The amount of outlets is impressive.” This is so so important when traveling with a totally connected teen (think laptop, phone charger, iPod, and game system).  As a mom with a bad back, I was also impressed at the accessibility of the outlets.
  • “It’s hard to do homework when the TV is so big.” Uh, son, we WILL talk….but I was equally impressed with the 37 inch LCD HDTV. I guess I’ll let him off the hook.
  • “I don’t know why you thought I’d be lonely. Somebody stopped by almost every hour.” That might have been an exaggeration. But the wonderful staff did stop by to present Max with the Omni Sensational Kids Program backpack (which, of course, was a little young for him, but a great souvenir to bring home to his younger sister). Later, cookies and milk arrived for a bedtime snack.

Typical teenager – he took for granted the free Wi-Fi and glasses of complimentary orange juice we received just because we signed up for the free Omni Select Guests loyalty program.  This was definitely a room with perks!

Not many people get to examine their hotel room “up close and personal” for as long as Max did that trip. Teens can be tough, but the Omni was a winner for the kids in our group. Max appreciated the amenities and gave the Omni his biggest compliment – “Can we stay here next time we’re in New York?”

Disclaimer: We stayed at the Omni Berkshire as part of the first-ever Family Travel Conference, so we were hotel guests. The burgers and bottle of Coke were out of pocket, while the Wifi and OJ are available to anyone who signs up for the free Omni Select Guests loyalty program.