Luxury Outlook 2022
An ambitious exploration into high-end residential markets across the globe.
To live in the Berkshires is a privilege. To live in the Berkshires beside a pristine, 33-acre lake on a gated property is a rare gift, reserved only for the phenomenally lucky.
Exploring this lakefront compound, it’s clear there are few things more desirable than a home located steps away from a private deck, an exclusive dock, and a stretch of calm water. The fact that this property happens to be cradled in the Berkshires — the idyllic mountain enclave considered by many to be Massachusetts’ answer to the Hamptons — elevates it even further.
In the summer, this segment of the Appalachian range abounds with sumptuous greenery, with clusters of wildflowers so dense they look like bouquets collected and curated by nature itself; in the fall, the landscape bursts and sparkles with bright oranges and ochres, like fireworks frozen in time; in the winter, fine snow crystallizes the landscape like a generous dusting of sugar icing.
This relaxing area for respite and reflection is the sort of scenery that graces this 321-acre property, with meadows, marshes, and centuries-old forests surrounding Atwater Pond. The first glimpse of the property occurs during the quarter-mile drive into the gated property — or from above, descending onto its private helicopter pad. The grounds can be toured further through four-and-a-half miles of onsite trails.
The true prize is Atwater Pond, along with the home perched snugly next to it. When the well-to-do of yesteryear purchased properties in the Berkshires, they affectionately called them “cottages” — despite the fact that they were based on European mansions and castles. The main house at Atwater Pond is a proper cottage in every sense of the term, though no less luxurious than the getaways once owned by the literary greats and business magnates originally drawn to the idyllic beauty of this region.
The home’s glass walls look out over the lake and let in an abundance of natural light. Simply sitting in the living room creates a feeling of continuity with the water — as if the armchairs themselves serve as floaties drifting sleepily in the sun.
But why pretend to be outside when the woods and water are close enough to touch, and so well-furnished? A short walk from the main cabin reveals a cushioned swing that hangs like a pendulum above Atwater Pond; not far from it is a hammock for lounging in the fresh air.
A gorgeous wood-paneled guesthouse, an authentic rural bunkhouse, and a high-end travel trailer convert this property from a secret haven to a communal caravan shared with friends and family. As for animals, swimming in the lake or hiking on the forest path is a dream come true for dogs, while a paddock and run-in provides a pastoral paradise for horses.
One of the best features may very well be the historic boathouse, where canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards can be both launched and stored effortlessly. There’s no better way to view the expanses of this property than from a waterborne vessel.
Where to venture first? Atwater Pond has three different docks, all in the convenient vicinity of various amenities. One part of the property boasts outdoor seating around a fire-pit, for sharing food and swapping stories late into the night. Others feature a sandy beach for reclining in the sun, a deepwater area for swimming and diving, and a bridge crossing over a small waterfall.
Coming ashore at the main house once more, the outdoor soaker tub is an ideal place to unwind after a perfect day of swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boarding around the Berkshires.
Dockside living offers peace, and it offers perspective — in the views beyond the windows, at the vastness of the water and sky; and in the calm contemplation of nature’s magnificence. And it offers immediate proximity to activities and amenities that enable the physical, mental, emotional, and creative wellness that keeps a person happy and whole.
Being nestled in a bucolic bower between the surface of the water and the spreading branches of the trees, with a wharf outside the backdoor — this truly is a superlative lifestyle. If that bower happens to be a hidden diamond of a property in the Berkshires, all the better.
Need a little more fun in the sun? See what a day in the life in Galley Bay Heights is all about.