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Reviewed 28 November 2011

We basically had a lovely couple of days at the Homestead in August '11--as long as we stayed out of our room. Food was great, and the "gracious living" atmosphere was a fun break from our usual lives. On the other hand, we were in the Garden Wing on the ground floor with a huge pine tree outside our room so the room was predisposed to being somewhat dark and dank. The room reeked as though the air conditioner hadn't been drained. We didn't report it at first because we thought we just needed to let the air conditioner catch up with the humidity, but by the next day when the room was freezing cold but still humid and smelly we called to report the problem. When we stopped by the desk several hours later they told us they were moving us because of "unresolvable problems". When we went to get our things to move them to the new room, we found the toilet pulled from the wall -- not the problem we'd reported in the first place--the ac still out of order and the smell still disgusting. The room they moved us to, right next door in the shade of the pine tree, was no better. So, by this point somewhat annoyed with me, they gave me one more chance and gave me a room on the sunnier side of the wing which was much better. Unfortunately, the next day we had to leave.
So I know that there are good rooms because I've read so many positive reviews here, but you have to be ready to insist on a good one the moment you walk into your first room and don't like the way it smells.

Room tip: Don't choose a room on the Garden Wing ground floor. If your room smells at all, ask for a change not a repair.
Date of stay: August 2011
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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3  Thank AnnikaColumbus_OH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2011

This is probably one of the best places to go for a man trip. Skeet shooting, sporting clays, fly fishing ..... If you want to do it, you probably can. It makes a nice romantic retreat as well but probably not as many female friendly pursuits. The facilities are exceptional. It is an old resort so the rooms are small but comfortable. The food is also exceptional. We did an all inclusive food and activity package. There are many activities that really are not completely included but it is still a value over paying for everything separately. My wife and I have been before.

Date of stay: November 2011
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Thank mpdan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 November 2011

I stayed in a room right above the lobby. Very nice room, spacious and elegant. King mattress was sunken in two spots ("his" and "hers") not a comfortable mattress. The lobby uses real wood fireplaces, the hallway above the lobby smelled like a camp fire the whole week, but I guess that is what the place would have been like in the old days. So if you enjoy a historical twist, you can get used to the wood fire smell everywhere. Could hear lobby music quietly in the night in the room, but turning on the fan masked it. Check in staff (I checked in near midnight) was brusque and not patient. When asking a couple of questions said twice: "I already said that, it's right here. No. I already told you." Housekeeping staff was VERY nice and hospitable though! Always gracious and kind! Food was marginal, and exceptionally expensive. Loved the hikes in the area in fall.

Date of stay: November 2011
  • Trip type: Travelled on business
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2  Thank Meh122
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 November 2011

I had been seeing advertisements for The Homestead for several years and had been wanting to visit mostly for the history, but also because of all the available activities. But after seeing some mediocre reviews I was a little nervous about the cost. But then I scored a wonderful social coupon which offered: 2 nights, 2 buffet breakfasts, 2 free activities, free valet and discounts on other purchases, all for about $400. It was fate! I was meant to go :)

And it was absolutely wonderful! A friend recommended that at booking, I specifically request a room in the original part of the hotel (not the newer addition), and I was so glad she said that. She said the rooms in the addition were comparable to staying in any modern hotel. Not having seen those rooms, I'll have to take her word for it. My room had the antique-feel (the hotel was built in 1799) with extra high ceilings, wood floors under the carpeting (you can hear them squeak as you walk across), huge marble bathroom, and the most comfortable bed imaginable with downy-soft pillows and bedding. While the hotel has modern elevators, it was so much more fun to take the stairs as they're tucked away around corners, with slightly worn tread which indicates the years of foot-traffic. I liked that- I enjoy seeing history in angled stairs, old-fashioned fireman's watch turnkeys, huge lobbies with fireplaces, etc.

Right from my arrival, it was clear The Homestead is dedicated to the customer. I didn't arrive for check-in until 11:30pm, yet was met in the drive by a valet and welcoming receptionist. They have several concierge staff on duty to assist with dinner reservations and area activities. Shuttles are available practically 24/7 to carry guests to/from area restaurants (more about that later) and activities. The highlight of my trip was relaxing in the lobby on a couch infront of one of the fireplaces. This is a popular hangout, so pick the off hours (dinner time) to snag a fireplace couch! I curled up with a bottle of wine and engaged in wonderful conversations with complete strangers. This is also the location for the 3pm tea, which shouldn't be missed. I accidentally stumbled across tea-time on my way to catching the shuttle. It's complimentary, and has tea, hot chocolate, and small sandwiches, scones and chocolates.

The only reason why I am not giving The Homestead 5 stars is because of the cost/quality of food. The main dining room offers a wonderful buffet breakfast ($27), but after that, I opted to dine elsewhere due to the price. The Sam Snead's Tavern was highly recommended, so I had dinner there - big mistake. I order the rib-eye ($34) and it arrived with some glaze sauce covering it. I should have sent it back right then, but I ate it. It completely lacked that flavor which brings you back bite after bite. It truely was tasteless. I chose the red-skinned smashed potatoes, which appeared to have been dished with an icecream scooper -- earlier that morning. They were cold, dry and a perfect circle lump. There really aren't many options for meals in the area, so I don't have a solution to the food dilemma.

I participated in the hot springs, horseback riding and hiking the trails. All of which was wonderfully relaxing. I was a little taken aback that clothing was optional at the springs, but thankfully everyone was opting in favor of swimsuits while I was there :) The trails offer a good workout as they follow up & down the mountain.

I had a very relaxing time and would like to go back. I can't afford full-price, so I'll be waiting for another coupon :)

Room tip: Ask for a room in the original part of the hotel to get the full atmosphere of the hotel built in 1799.
Date of stay: November 2011
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
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2  Thank travelgirl703
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 November 2011

My husband and I just returned from a weekend at The Homestead and had an absolutely wonderful time. We traveled with our infant son and used a Living Social coupon. I had been twice before to the resort while it was my husband's first visit. I do think that the resort has gotten more casual over the years, and we went into the weekend with reasonable expectations for what the cost of food, drink and activities would be and with all of our reservations for activities, babysitting and dining locked in weeks ahead of time.

We played golf, hiked, went through the sporting clays course, had spa treatments, watched a movie at the theater, and ate at Sam Snead's, the Casino Club and the Main Dining Room. All were enjoyable, although the golf check-in staff were strangely unfriendly and the Old Course locker rooms were small, outdated, and borderline gross (this may be because most guests come straight to that course from their rooms so a facility isn't necessary?). Spa and shooting were great and the Old Course was in really good shape considering it was November. We went to afternoon tea just to check the box but it was a zoo with everyone checking in around that time as well--it was more relaxing to hang out in the Great Hall at any other time of day, when it was nowhere near crowded and the fireplaces were lit.

As with many rural resorts, the food was decent but overpriced for what it was--we enjoyed the ambiance of the main dining room and found the service friendly and unhurried, although other reviewers are right that the food is nowhere near five-star. The breakfast buffet was really yummy but I would not have paid the $27 for it if it had not been included in our deal.

Our room was large, clean, beautifully decorated and did not have any of the problems listed in other reviews--but we were not in the Garden wing. We also had requested a fridge which was waiting there when we checked in.

95% of the staff at the resort were genuinely friendly, helpful and welcoming (we didn't notice a difference in the friendliness of tip-seekers vs. non-tip seekers). The resort was incredibly accommodating to our needs with a small child--arranging for late checkout when he went down for an unexpected nap, going out of the way to provide babysitters and help rearrange our schedule when our plans had to change due to weather, etc. I was very nervous to leave our three-month old with the resort babysitter but she could not have been nicer and he was content every time we returned to the room.

I would certainly go back but given the cost of even a short weekend trip would want to look for another package or deal that included activities or a meal plan.

Room tip: We had a corner room in the main wing and it was large and quiet.
Date of stay: November 2011
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
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1  Thank mcb1233
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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