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“Lovely setting but poorly managed” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The Woodlawn Historic B&B

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The Woodlawn Historic B&B
Woodlawn Lane, Ridge, MD   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Ridge B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Harrisburg, PA
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Lovely setting but poorly managed”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2013

This B&B is situated on the Calvert Creek near the Potomac River’s junction with the Chesapeake Bay. What is your basic reason for staying at a B&B? Assuming comfort and beauty are the first considerations, the second “B” is still an important part of the equation. This one disappointed us on that count –especially the first day. This historic manor is a beautiful-appearing B&B, well landscaped, and in an incredible natural setting. The suites, both in the main house and in the offset building, are roomy with bed, bath and sitting room areas. Basic housekeeping services however, were hit-and-miss on our visit. The local area is rich with history extending from the 17th century days of the founding of the country through the civil war. From the B&B, there is easy access to the MD Point State Park (it was self-pay when we went, so a map had to be requested from the park headquarters; sadly, there is also a great deal of trash all over the park, much of it obviously left by recent park visitors) and two small public parks with monuments to the Confederate prison camp internees held there. Nearby to the north, is Historic St. Mary’s Village – a small scale living history experience with artisans in costume, a neat old ship, the Maryland Dove, and several reconstructed buildings from the early 17th century era. The access lane to the B&B is about .7 of a mile, and unpaved. We drove for 4 hours to get there the first day; so of course we built in a small time cushion for navigating the Baltimore beltway and trying to arrive near the 3:00 PM check in time. Our host, Jim Grube, explained that our room was not ready when we made it there at 2:30 PM. The weather was damp, cool and spitting rain. Mr. Grube suggested we take a drive to allow enough time for the room to be prepped. At any other B&B, one would expect an offer to sit and wait in a comfortable common area or great room, with a cup of tea or coffee, but instead we set off again to kill 30-45 minutes of time. Fortunately we found a nice First District Community Park (CGI Park?) and availed ourselves of a short walk and their restroom facilities. We gave the B&B an hour to allow sufficient time to ready our room. That first afternoon and the next morning were a disappointment compared to other B&Bs that we’ve stayed at over the years. My primary concern goes to the condition of our suite, in a building offset from the main house, upon our arrival. While there were the nice complimentary soaps, shampoo and conditioner and the sitting area even had a handy little refrigerator, our prepaid rooms had not been fully cleaned, dusted or vacuumed. We were too tired at that point in the trip to be too picky. Though the mirrors seemed clean, chrome faucets on the bath wall and vanity, were unpolished, dull and spotty. The whole time we were there, I saw no dedicated cleaning staff. Breakfast, we were told, was at 8:30 AM which differed from the “time of your choice” at the B&B website. Without having a bathmat for the shower, one stepped directly on a small cotton throw rug. I sincerely hope they wash it between guests. The doubtful condition of our room – unpleasant even for paying at a discount rate, was further undermined. Basics such as a small box of facial tissues and a bathroom glass, were not provided. Nor were there, as there as one would expect, in-room rocks or wine glasses. No option to get beverage ice was offered by our host. At least the bath linens were clean and a cushy, generous size. The somewhat outdated TV worked OK; a satellite channel guide (even on paper) would have been helpful. The little fridge was passable – but needed to be wiped out (which should have been done the guests who left the mess). There were no ice trays for the mini-fridge and its freezer door was broken. The B&B has WiFi and the signal strength is good. There is no en suite coffee station so bring your own little coffee maker if you like a cup of java before the breakfast over the manor house.Tired from our first day travels (and our extra hour’s drive after arriving) we followed our host’s advice and went to Courtney’s for dinner, a local seafood dive about a mile down the road. It has dubious décor, but nice enough people and edible if not fancy, food. Check out the pictures on the wall. Don’t expect gourmet. Dress casually. Have a bottle of beer – there’s none on tap – or a glass of wine and relax. The seafood is very fresh since the owner fishes every day. In the morning, our host filled our juice glasses, but our first breakfast was basically continental style and self-serve: coffee, store-bought mini muffins and pastry, a bit of mixed fruit, a skosh of granola with milk and some bagels (but no cream cheese). The dining area is bright, with a lovely view, and was nicely appointed. We took a self-guided tour of the fascinating historic home. For evening dinner, our host recommended the prix fixe menu at Café Des Artistes in Leonardtown, about 20 miles north of the Woodlawn. During the day, we explored Point Park. Following that we drove to the historic St. Mary’s Village, purchased tickets and spent the afternoon there. Our wine tasting was set for 4:30 PM. When we came back to the Woodlawn at about 3:15 hoping to freshen up and take a quick rest, our room was untouched – the bed was unmade; the used bath linens were still gathered on the bathroom floor. Wherever we stay, we try to accommodate cleaning staff by repacking our personal care items and leaving the bathroom counters, and suite tables and dresser tops clear for what we assume will be daily cleaning, dusting and vacuuming. This was not supposed to be indoor camping! I went and got our host, who, to his credit, arrived at our cottage quickly and did a few quick swipes with some spray cleaner. He made the bed and brought clean bath linens. The other two couples either had their rooms cleaned or were less choosy (or less familiar with B&B experiences?) than us.
The wine tasting was pleasant. We enjoyed trying some of the Slack wine repertoire – none of which were overly sweet or mouth-puckeringly dry. Mr. Grube talked with great enthusiasm and pride about the wine making skills of his wife Maggie and son Tucker. That evening, Mr. Grube’s dinner recommendation was spot on; we loved Café Des Artistes. The prix fixe menu had plenty of options and our food was delicious. It was dark on the 30 minute drive back, so my husband drove back with care; we’d seen very active white tail deer in the area. The morning of our departure, the breakfast was better, but still continental. The explanation for the light fare is that the B&B does not meet MD state requirements to provide hot meals. That is disappointing indeed. Like the disorganized, poor housekeeping, it detracts from the guests’ experience. The owner seems nice; I hope for Woodlawn’s success. It was obvious they are understaffed – maybe even un-staffed – for guest service management and cleaning personnel. Is this time of year considered off season by folks down there? If so, it’s a shame because there are lots of travelers who enjoy the outdoor fall weather and leaf peeping opportunities. Bottom line: We have no plans to hurry back in the near future.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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84 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Morganville, New Jersey
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

This August 2013 was our second visit to Woodlawn (the first was September 2012), and we hope to make it an annual tradition. It is difficult to put into words how special Woodlawn is, but I will try to provide some helpful info.

The owners, Jim & Maggie, are lovely, down-to-earth, knowledgeable, kind individuals, and great conversationalists. We enjoyed getting to know them, as we took our time eating a simple, but delicious breakfast each morning (the fresh fruit was FRESH and the coffee was fantastic!), in a comfy room in the main house overlooking the water, and as we enjoyed our complimentary wine tasting one evening (which was accompanied by yummy cheese & crackers, and the nice surprise of fresh figs from the abundant fig trees around the property...that was certainly a first for me, but I'm glad I tried them...so sweet & juicy). Jim & Maggie were happy to accommodate any special requests, including my need to be gluten-free.

We stayed in one of the cottages, which we found to be very clean, comfortable, and spacious. Sure, there are the occasional crickets that get in, but that's to be expected when you're out in the country. No big deal! We loved relaxing in our room each evening, or out on our porch in our adirondack chairs, taking in the bucolic scenery and sounds. The first night the free Wifi wasn't working, but we mentioned it to Jim in the morning and the router was re-set very quickly, and it worked perfectly for the rest of our stay. The satellite TV was nice, too, although we were outside enjoying the fresh air most of the trip. Personally, I preferred to use our vacation time to "tune out" and and just let any cares or concerns from "real life" slip away, and Woodlawn is the perfect place to do it.

Speaking of the outdoors, we could have spent each day just walking and exploring the expansive property at Woodlawn, or exploring the waterways using the complimentary canoe & kayak Woodlawn provides for its guests, or relaxing with a glass of wine out on the adirondack chairs behind the main house, or just sitting on the soft grass under one of the old trees enjoying a snack or watching the beautiful sunsets, and that would have been enough. But we also ventured out to nearby Point Lookout state park, which was lots of fun! We took our dog to the dog beach there, and he had a blast!

Regardless of whether you are the only guest there or if its booked at full capacity, we found we had flexibility in choosing whether or not to be social or keep to ourselves...Jim & Maggie just seemed to know the "right" amount of interaction we needed (always accessible & accommodating, but never intrusive), and there is enough space at Woodlawn that you can be as private as you'd like, just saying hello to other guests in brief passings, or easily find another guest to strike up a conversation with, if you feel like it.

Our dog loves Woodlawn, too. Some places SAY they're dog-friendly, but really they're just barely dog-tolerant...Jim & Maggie are both extremely dog-FRIENDLY, and as long as your dog is well-behaved, he or she is a welcome guest (just ask first, of course, when making your reservation). That said, both times we stayed, there was NO sign of any pets ever being there! The entire place was completely free of any pet hair, smells, or anything else for that matter.

In a nutshell, Woodlawn provides a unique, comfortable, beautiful setting in which to enjoy your vacation time, which you can make as active or relaxing, as social or private, as connected or "unplugged", or as indoors or outdoors as you like. We'll definitely be back!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

For the past 8 years, our family (and extended family) have flown and driven from all over the country to Woodlawn for a magical weekend. Having the family together is great anywhere in the world, but to have it at this amazing property makes this my favorite weekend every year. Jim Grube, the man, the myth, the legend, is as gracious and accommodating as any guest could hope for, and the property itself provides endless exploration and activity for those who like kayaking, bird watching, fig picking, or reading a book on a rocking chair looking out at the water.

Go out and buy a box of blue crabs from Courtney's down the road, pick up some fruit and veggies at a nearby farm stand, stock a cooler of beer and have a feast on the lawn. And Jim and Maggie will no doubt be available for wine tastings too.

It's all one could ask for in a vacation...the place is incredible and most commonly referred to others as "my happy place."

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

We just got back from 2 relaxing nights at Woodlawn - a charming, historic bed and breakfast and winery on Calvert Creek. Jim, the owner , was so welcoming and friendly - offered us a glass of wine while we waited for finishing touches on our room. We enjoyed sipping wine and relaxing in their Adirondack chairs overlooking the water. We then had a tasting of his Slack wines - all very nice - bought one for our time there and one to bring home. We had some wonderful walks around their beautiful lawn with wine in hand watching the birds, jumping fish, and lovely sunset. Our river room was perfect , clean, comfortable and pretty - loved the chairs overlooking the creek from our bedroom sliding doors. Jim had a lovely and delicious breakfast for us the next morning -mini quiches, croissants, fruit, juice and coffee - all wonderful and plenty for our day touring. We had a wonderful conversation with both Maggie and Jim about the history of the area , Woodlawn and the winery - they are passionate about all three. Our hosts were interested, interesting, and delightful and we will be back with friends - a wonderful treasure in Maryland !

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Verona, Pennsylvania
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013 via mobile

We responded to a living social deal for this historic bed and breakfast. It was a good price and included a wine tasting from their vineyard. The deal included a tasting of 8 wines . First, the innkeeper was friendly though we were unable to get into our room until close to 4 pm. The arrival time was 3pm.
Our room was spacious and very clean with a nice view of the backwater off the Cheasapeake.
We were there on a Monday and all but one local restaurant is closed on Monday.( Be aware there are very few restaurants in the area. You need to travel north again to get to most of the restaurant). There is a state park south of the inn with fishing , beach , and historic civil war site. ( Be aware you need cash to get in).
The breakfast at this inn is continental with no homemade items. They are all store bought pastries. There was a fresh fruit bowl of cantoulope and watermelon. The second morning there was no coffee or breakfast available until close to 9 am.
Be aware this is not an inn with a vineyard. It has a wine shop to sell their wine only. No vineyard tour available. We went to the tasting for the wines and instead of the 8 wines promised , they only served 5.
We felt the innkeeper was more interested in the wine portion of the business then the bed and breakfast.
If you want a secluded , out of the way place this would be fine.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2013 via mobile

My boyfriend and I stayed at Woodlawn after coming across a livingsocial deal. Our hosts Jim and Maggie were very warm and friendly and made us feel as if we had known them for many years. They take pride in their winery (yellowlegs was our favorite!) and the winetasting (which turned into many glasses of our favorite wine overlooking the creek) was a wonderful welcome.

As for the immediate area there was nearly nothing to do although point lookout park was a nice drive. On our second day we ran into Maggie and she gave us the recommendation to visit the town Solomons as well as flags pond nature park about a 30-40 min drive. The park was really nice with a beautiful beach and a few hiking trails which were a lot of fun. The town was right on the water with restaurants, bars and shops.

We stayed in the magnolia cottage which appeared to be recently renovated with a very comfortable queen bed and its own private bath. However, being in the wilderness by a creek we were joined by some spiders and crickets. Breakfast was a simple but tasty continental spread in a lovely room within the main house overlooking the creek. All in all the highlight of the trip was the beautiful property and the hospitality of our hosts.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

The staff is very nice and friendly. We enjoyed the live music and the wine. The rooms were clean and lots of space. The view is GREAT. I don't think they adviserise it enough. Don't expect a large breakfast. It is a few miles from "town" but we didn't find it a problem.

Room Tip: Great view of the water. Make sure that you turn the A/C down before you leave your room. The air do...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Woodlawn Historic B&B

Address: Woodlawn Lane, Ridge, MD
Location: United States > Maryland > Ridge
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Kitchenette Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Ridge
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 5
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Also Known As:
The Woodlawn Historic Bed And Breakfast
The Woodlawn Historic Hotel Ridge

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