Press Release brought to you by The Hampshire Companies

Hampshire Destination Properties Supports The Revitalization Of Local Communities


MORRISTOWN, N.J., March 13, 2014—Hampshire Destination Properties, a division of The Hampshire Companies, continues to support the revitalization of local communities by acquiring premier properties in New Jersey, investing in their buildings and management, and restoring them to their original grandeur. Hampshire Destination Properties is dedicated to revitalizing noteworthy properties to help preserve the unique character of downtown neighborhoods while delivering one-of-a-kind destinations worth visiting.

One such property is the historic Bernards Inn, a AAA Four Diamond-rated luxury boutique hotel and restaurant located in downtown Bernardsville, N.J., that Hampshire purchased in 2006. Since that time, Hampshire has invested in a multi-million dollar renovation and redesign of the property to restore The Inn to its original grandeur as the “Grand Old Dame of the Somerset Hills.” The renovation of the century-old building is often cited for sparking the rejuvenation of the Bernardsville downtown area.

Except for a brief period in the early 1930s as the Widow Brown’s Inn, the stately property has always been known by its current name.  The Bernards Inn was built from stones purchased from a demolished local stable on Main Street in Bernardsville and was originally about twice its current size with a large auditorium, bowling alley and billiards hall.  Politicians, local celebrities and Hollywood movie stars, most notably Mary Pickford during the filming of scenes for Madame Butterfly (1915) at the nearby Pfizer estate, are just a few of the guests who have paid visits to the Inn over the years.

But there were lean times as well, and portions of the Bernards Inn were used as a grocery, butcher shop, pharmacy, post office, speakeasy, town offices and the local jail.  It was a fire ignited by the cigarette of an inmate that burned down the northern end of the building where the local jail was then located.  That portion of the Bernards Inn was never rebuilt.

Under the ownership of Hampshire Destination Properties and Proprietor Harold Imperatore, The Bernards Inn has consistently garnered the hospitality industry’s top awards, including being named to the Best Luxury Hotels list by U.S. News and World Report; Wine Spectator’s “Best of Award of Excellence”; Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence; the DiRona Distinguished Restaurants Award, New Jersey Restaurant Association’s Gold Plate Award, and the Historic Preservation Achievement Award from the Historical Society of the Somerset Hills.        

Hampshire Destination Properties’ creative vision and superior execution has ensured that The Bernards Inn will serve as a tranquil retreat and gathering place for travelers and residents alike for generations to come.


Established in 1907, the Bernards Inn is an award-winning restaurant and inn located in the heart of downtown Bernardsville, New Jersey. A Somerset Hills landmark, The Bernards Inn welcomes guests with the style and elegance of a small European luxury hotel, while preserving the charm of a historic American country inn. Under the ownership of Hampshire Destination Properties, The Bernards Inn recently marked its 100 year anniversary with a multimillion dollar renovation and redesign. The Inn offers fine dining, wedding and banquet services, conference rooms, as well as 20 well-appointed guestrooms. For more information about The Bernards Inn, call 908-766-0002 or visit


The Hampshire Companies is a full-service, private real estate investment firm based in Morristown, N.J. The Hampshire Companies is a vibrant, dynamic organization that combines creative vision and superior execution, thereby enabling it to create and enhance value in real estate investments. More information on The Hampshire Companies is available at


03/13/2014 - 12:32


The Hampshire Companies

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