The cheapest accommodations are at once the most scenic and least convenient. Overlooking North Adams , the Wigwam and Western Summit Cottages (2350 Mohawk Trail/Rte. 2, 413/663-3205, www.thewigwam.net , $70) offer bare-bones cottages from May to October.
Named after a character in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Goldberry’s Bed & Breakfast (39 Cold Spring Rd., Williamstown, 413/458-3935, http://goldberrys.tripod.com/ , $80–125) aspires to be a place of refuge for “weary hobbits.” Genial host Mary Terio provides high-speed Internet and homemade breads and muffins in a homey Greek Revival house a short walk from Williamstown’s  center.
Located at the crossroads of North Adams , the Holiday Inn Berkshires (40 Main St., North Adams, 413/663-6500, www.ichotelsgroup.com , $91–180) offers reasonable accommodations along with inoffensive art and polyester bedspreads.
The tiered, cubist exterior, painted in hues of teal and mauve, is your first sign that the Guest House at Field Farm (554 Sloan Rd., Williamstown, 413/458-3135, http://guesthouseatfieldfarm.thetrustees.org , $150–295) is not your ordinary bed-and-breakfast. A Bauhaus-inspired modernist masterpiece, the home is full of modern art and design-conscious period furniture. A heated outdoor pool, private decks, and terry-cloth robes create a sense of peaceful refuge that melds with the natural setting of 300 protected acres that surrounds the house.
In a world of techno-and-neon boutique hotels,
The Porches Inn (231 River St., North Adams, 413/664-0400, www.porches.com , $130–335) stands out for channeling the spirit of North Adams —both old and new. Workmen’s row houses from the 1890s have been transformed into luxury guest rooms, with DVD players and ultra-soft sheets. The design sensibility, however, comes right out of blue-collar Americana, with paint-by-numbers paintings, vintage lamps scrounged through eBay, and breakfast delivered in steel lunch pails.