Given the popularity and acclaim of Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Enid and Mel Zuckerman decided to open another health resort on the East Coast. This time, the search for the right location took a long time – until the Zuckermans saw the Bellefontaine Mansion in Lenox, Massachusetts, in the heart of the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts.
Built in 1897, Bellefontaine had been a private home, seminary and then a boarding school, but when the Zuckermans saw it, it was empty and gutted by fire. Applying their philosophy of creating harmony with the surroundings, the Zuckermans decided to restore the mansion while adding New-England-style buildings in keeping with the local area, a classic vacation destination that was once home to Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Edith Wharton and Norman Rockwell.
Canyon Ranch’s architects worked with the local historic preservation board to be sure that their restoration of the Mansion’s exterior and gardens was fully authentic, using materials and techniques consistent with the turn of the last century. In addition, they meticulously restored the beautiful Library, the only room that had not been destroyed by fire, to its original dignity.
By opening day – October 1, 1989 – Bellefontaine Mansion had recaptured its former glory. The Integrative Health Center, a state-of-the-art Spa and new guest accommodations were in the plans from the start. Today the health resort provides an unsurpassed vacation experience in an atmosphere steeped in New England grace and hospitality.