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“I wouldn't exactly call it "glamping"” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hilltop Lodge Glamping Resort

Hilltop Lodge Glamping Resort
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Hilltop Lodge Glamping Resort
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8015 Messer Hill Road, Bolivar, NY 14715   |  
Hotel amenities
Lansdowne, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“I wouldn't exactly call it "glamping"”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

As other reviewers have stated, Owners Richard and Rhonda are gracious hosts. The actual lodge building is made of redwood and is a huge and beautiful building nestled in the woods. Lots of interesting antiques, in the lodge, animal heads adorning the walls over the humungous fireplace (which was lit in the evening). There was a cozy seating area around the fireplace which would probably be really nice in wintertime. Richard is the cook, and the dinner and breakfast included in our Living Social Deal were tasty. Dinner was served buffet style, and we had two choices, meatloaf and turkey with mashed potatoes. There was a large salad bar and very good bread to go with the meal, as well as two dessert options. There was a pool table in the lodge ($.75/game) and a Foosball table (free).

Other than hiking, there is not a lot to do in the area. Unfortunately, due to a recent foot problem, I was unable to actually hike so I can't say how the trail was.

I do have to say a few words about the cabins. Sadly, it's not good. I really wish Richard and Rhonda a successful business, but they need to update the cabins to call this glamorous. I've gone camping at other venues (which did not call themselves glamorous) and had much nicer accommodations. Our bathroom, while slightly updated, was not in good condition. The shower ran two temperatures, hot or cold. Hard to get it to "warm" for more than a few seconds at a time. The furniture in our room was somewhat broken. We did have a small refrigerator and microwave in the room. There was no air conditioning in the room, and although there was a ceiling fan, it only worked when the light was on, so we could not have the fan run while we were trying to sleep. The room had a lot of spiders in it, lots of cobwebs in the rafters, so could have used a better cleaning. The beds themselves were clean and comfortable enough.

The gazebo on the property near the overlook is okay, but needs new seat cushions on the chairs. The ones there were very old, very worn; some even had holes in them where most of the padding was missing. There was a mix of furniture in the gazebo, including wicker furniture which was rotting away.

There was a building, not in use as cabin, which with a little bit of effort would be a lovely family sized cabin. The doors were open so we snuck a peak at this "gem" of a building. It consisted of two cabins, each with two bedrooms, a living room and kitchen. There was a door which would link these two cabins together, making a very large 4 bedroom cabin. Richard and Rhonda should try to fix that building up and just get rid of the very run down current cabins in use and the overall place would be a lot better.

To sum it up, I did not have a bad time. It was relaxing. The grounds are quite beautiful and I can see why Owner Richard loves the place. I just wouldn't call it glamorous, and do feel that it was not accurately portrayed in the sales pitch. If I had payed the "billed valule of $275.00" I would have demanded my money back. At the $135.00 living social deal price, it was probably still a little overpriced.

Room Tip: I understand one room has air conditioning.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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13 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    1.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    2 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    2 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Marilla, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

We are three couples who have been vacationing and going on overnight stays for 30 years or more. We saw this Hilltop Lodge Glamping Resort offer on "Deal Chicken.com" and thought we'd give it a try. We have all camped for many years, so we are familiar with the concept.This place made it sound a bit better than camping,by offering motel style rooms and a Lodge to have dinner and breakfast ,(part of the overnight package). We we not expecting a chain hotel type of stay, but we were expecting a clean and relatively updated accommadations . Unfortunately that was'nt the case. The rooms were from the sixties and had never had anything done to them. Rugs were stained and filled with dead bugs, which must have came in the 2 inch gap under the door. Tile was lifting off the floor, bugs in the bathrooms, and cobwebs lining the old curtains.None of us were willing to stay even though it was already paid for. Also as I mentioned before, the package offer included dinner which was advertised as off the menu. Upon arrival,(before seeing the rooms), the owner/chef told us dinner would be a buffet including Meatloaf and possibly Turkey. There was no mention of a menu. We were trying to be congenial and said ok, but after seeing the rooms that were offered, we told them we couldn't stay. Their response was "it's glamping, and the sheets are clean". Needless to say this "Deal was a Dud"

Room Tip: We saw four of possibly 12 rooms,none of them were habititable.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Webster, New York
Level Contributor
24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2012

My husband and I got a Groupon and thought we might try this for a one night relaxation trip, not too far from our home in the Rochester NY area. We are NOT campers, but have done similar trips when our children were young in W. Virginia state parks, renting a cabin and hiking in the woods (highly recommend W. Virginia state parks, btw). The photos on line made me a bit skeptical, but dinner & breakfast were included in the price, so we thought, "how bad could it be?" Well, let me just say that the people were very friendly. The owner is the cook, and apparently this used to be a public restaurant and bar. The dining room is rustic in a 100 year old redwood building. Lots of animal heads on the wall of the dining room, and a very nice stone fireplace which was lit for us. We arrived at 2 p.m. and were told where our room was. The photo that is on the Hilltop website of the cabin is accurate, and the room picture, was as well. It smelled of a freshly cleaned bathroom, which was good; however, the tile of the floor was circa 1960 although the tub/shower was new fiberglass. The sink was ok, but there was a rusty stain in the area of the spillover drain and it leaked water when the hot spigot was turned on. Other than that, the carpeting was old, marks were on the walls and the furniture was in desperate need of replacement (holes in the furniture from where other things had been) and the decor was a throwback to the orange/gold of the late 60's/early 70s. The beds were ok for sleeping. Clearly this was not "glamorous" camping. Far from it! It was adequate, and we put off spending much time in the room! There was a nice gazebo to sit in on the property and an artificial pond with a tiny bridge. Nearby was a campground that we walked to for a nice view of the hills.

The dinner was ok. There were friendly servers, who also take care of the room cleaning. They were very accommodating. There were 5 choices for dinner. My husband had the halibut in lemon-butter and I chose the Chicken Parmesean. My husband said the fish was rather tasteless (it came with a baked potato, and corn on the cob, plus onion soup and a salad with Italian dressing). My Chicken Parm was rather bland, but I must credit the chef for not making the sauce too salty. The entree was also served with spaghetti and corn on the cob. I, too had the onion soup (I believe it was freshly made and not at all salty) and the salad (served in a large bowl that you could dish out yourself with the dressing already on it.) We also were served garlic bread which were actually round rolls split in two (quite tasty). For breakfast we had our choice of 3 different omelets or French toast. I had a bacon & cheese omelet, and my husband had a cheese omelet. These were very good. We were served toast and hash browns on the side. A 4 oz. orange juice was also served and coffee/tea were offered.

The location of this was quite a rural area of NY with not too much to do other than explore elsewhere. We took a trip into Olean (14 miles away) and saw that town. There was a maple syrup restaurant that we found along the way that looked lovely (Spragues). The Pennsylvania line is close by as is the Allegany National Forest. Some other folks who were visiting brought bicycles and apparently were happy with the opportunities in the area to do some biking.

All I can say is that I felt that I was not in a clean enviornment and I couldn't wait to get home!

Room Tip: Walls are rather thin.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Fairport, New York
Level Contributor
120 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2012

We visited the Hilltop Lodge using a Groupon -- we paid $135 for a "getaway package" which included lodging, dinner and breakfast (billed as a $275 value). This was a fair price to pay for the experience - $275 would have been a bit pricey! One needs to think of the accomodations as being "glamorous camping" (as Glamping implies) and not a resort! Our room was clean and the bathroom had been updated. In general, however, the furnishings were dated, including the TV and microwave. There were 2 double beds. Our room did not have air conditioning, but did have a ceiling fan, and was surprisingly comfortable given that temperatures were in the 90's that day - but much cooler on the hilltop. The owner told us that only one unit has air conditioning and offered to move us (we were the only guests on Wednesday evening), but it was not necessary to do so. It was interesting to walk about the property, which included a gazebo (comfortable but could have used a good cleaning), a look out with a "long view" and a pond with a fountain. These features contrasted with the rusty implements, couple old cars and old RV parked on the property. One could walk or drive over to the neighboring Sunnyhill camping area and use their pool for $1.00, if so inclined (did not look that inviting to us). The best part of the experience was definitely the meals - cooked by Richard and served by Ronda. Richard asked us what we would like to eat from a few choices - and prepared a very good shrimp scampi, salad and pineapple cake. For breakfast we had ham and cheese omelets, home fries and toast. The Lodge where we had our meals used to be a "fine dining establishment" open to the Public and had a lot of interesting history connected to it - there was a scrapbook to read all about it. Apparently, Richard is "retired" now and only cooks for his guests. The walls of the Lodge were adorned with several wild game trophies - not our thing, but would be very interesting to some. Alcohol was available in the Lodge but Richard told us we could bring our own wine to dinner. As we were to be the only guests for the evening, Richard called us in the morning to confirm and told us to just let ourselves into our room if he wasn't there to greet us. He was there when we arrived, however, and provided us with a wine bucket and wine glasses. I would probably go back here if another deal were offered. Richard was a most gracious host and it was very relaxing!

Room Tip: You might want the one room with an air conditioner if it is very hot. Otherwise, the rooms appeare...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.

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Additional Information about Hilltop Lodge Glamping Resort

Address: 8015 Messer Hill Road, Bolivar, NY 14715
Location: United States > New York > Bolivar
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Bolivar
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A Place for all Seasons. Step back in time, enjoy the Allegheny Mountains at the Historic Hilltop Lodge. Under Hilltop's old growth forest canopy awaits stone pathways leading to magical places. Beautiful rock gardens that surround our pond and authentic Redwood lodges, plus park areas where you can enjoy seeing stone patios, gazebo and overlook. Enjoy the Hilltop, our guests will be served dinner prepared for them by Hilltop's Chef. Then stroll though Hilltop's beautiful gardens. Look up through the trees at night and thousands of stars wink back at you. When morning arrives you'll smell a good old-fashioned breakfast waiting for you at the Lodge. ■Our rooms include private bathrooms, two full-size beds and start-up housekeeping. ■The package deal includes meals served in our authentic Redwood lodge. ■Old growth forest, informal garden, with stone paved walkways and rock gardens. ■Allegany County is full of things to do, Golf, Skiing, Gaming, Hiking, or relax in our lodge. ■Located 2217 feet above sea level, deep in the woods, on top of a mountain. ■Private campfire areas. ■Direct TV and wireless internet. ... more   less 

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