Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it. These words, once spoken by Greg Anderson, emphasize just how meaningful an experience can and should be.
Here at The Beechwood Hotel, we believe that the experience of your journey is just as important as the reason you came to stay with us. This is a truth you will realize as soon as you arrive at our historic hotel.
The beginning of your journey will be studded with marble floors, unique lighting, custom-designed furnishings and a magnificent stained glass window above. A black walnut fireplace provides a comforting atmosphere in the hotel’s main floor sitting area, as the photograph above portrays. An interesting tidbit to note- the fireplace was once a part of a New England home in the mid-1800s.
You will soon make your way to a place of true elegance and sophistication – we invite you to take a peek at our Grand Ballroom and experience the complete beauty of this space for yourself.
A Little Touch of History
Do you dream of a space that is as rich in history as it is in elegance? No need to separate the two. Historical elements are incorporated into the architectural structure and décor throughout the hotel. Charles and Janet Birbara, owners of the Beechwood Hotel, have made certain – with many personal contributions – that guests have a unique experience with each visit.
On your first visit, you may feel as though you’ve traveled back in time. A collection of century-old lithographs depicting musical and theatre productions from the late 1800s and early 1900s adorn the walls of the hotel’s public spaces.
Fixing your gaze upward, you will notice a breathtaking domed stained glass lighting fixture overhanging the hotel’s main stairway as well as the main dining room of Ceres Bistro, the hotel’s restaurant.
Originally existing in the music room of a San Francisco mansion, the stained glass piece in the restaurant takes on an elegant oval shape. This piece is constructed from more than 5,000 pieces of glass and flecked with gold leafing. No chandeliers could match the extraordinary presence of this find.
With every renovation and expansion that the hotel has undergone over the past two decades, the Birbaras have found ways to incorporate their private collection of antiques, memorabilia and architectural discoveries. The lithographs and stained glass fixture are some examples of discoveries that the Birbaras made at – wouldn’t you guess – various auctions.
As Janet would say, “When you live in New England, you always go looking for antiques. And then one thing leads to another and another.”
A touch of history can be found around every corner.
The Maria Gill Wilson Chapel
There is a particular thrill in finding a treasure that can’t be found anywhere else. Charles and Janet Birbara appreciate this truth and are proud to be able to offer such a treasure to guests at the Beechwood Hotel – The Maria Gill Wilson Chapel.
Named after Maria Gill Wilson of Worcester, this historic chapel was originally part of the Worcester City Hospital founded in 1872 and is now the hotel’s wedding chapel and reception area. The chapel was build at the turn of the 20th century thanks to a gift from William R. Wilson, a Boston banker who wanted to find a way to immortalize the name and legacy of his late wife.
Another auction purchase, this chapel is nothing short of magnificent.
The significance of this chapel is only more pronounced due to its nearly unchanged appearance. All of the original wood beams, the carved wooden ceiling, wainscoting, and stained glass windows were manufactured in Indiana and are true to the original. The chapel even includes the bronze plaque that was dedicated to the hospital years ago in commemoration of a sizable donation made by Englishmen George Jacques, whose support helped found the original hospital in the late 19th century.
The elegant touches preserved in the Maria Gill Wilson Room allow for a guest experience like no other.
The lighting is the only element of the chapel that has not stayed the same. Instead, hanging sconces that originated from a Masonic Temple in Pittsburgh were purchased at an auction by Birbara, who thought “they would fit just beautifully in this chapel…” And he was right.
Couples from all over Massachusetts and beyond have fallen in love with the Maria Gill Wilson Chapel and have chosen the Beechwood Hotel for an unforgettable wedding celebration. A perfect wedding begins with the perfect setting, and this Victorian chapel helps to create a unique, historical and romantic experience that the bride and groom can cherish forever.
Enjoy Your Journey, and Your Stay
Like Greg Anderson said, enjoy not just where you’re going, but how you get there. The historical elements that are infused throughout our hotel add an extra touch of old-world beauty to your stay, making your journey an experience that you will not soon forget.
For those times when you need to distract yourself from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we have a unique and timeless experience to share with you. Let us share with you the historical delight of our hotel in Central Massachusetts. You’re just moments away from turning your travel into an adventure.