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“Terrible” 1 of 5 stars
Review of The Dinsmore House Bed & Breakfast

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The Dinsmore House Bed & Breakfast
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1211 West Main Street, Charlottesville, VA 22903   |  
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Douglassville, Pennsylvania
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Terrible”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2013 via mobile

This place is terrible. Breakfast at McDonalds is gourmet in comparison. The rooms are shaby at best - cracked walls, peeling paint, not even a paper cup in the room. The TV was in a second room far from the bed. Do not waste your money.

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DINSMOREHOUSE, Owner at The Dinsmore House Bed & Breakfast, responded to this review, March 18, 2014
Our breakfast is made daily in house, using fresh ingredients and local vendors when possible. Over the last 11 years we have consistently received overwhelmingly positive feedback on our breakfast. I’m sorry it did not meet your expectations..

For clarification, of the review, we do indeed provide cups and bottled water in each room. The TV for the Jefferson Suite is in the sitting room, so guests who prefer to watch TV in bed may want to choose any of our other rooms.
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145 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    80
    31
    20
    8
    6
See reviews for
12
89
5
5
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Bideford, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2013

We really wish we had read the reviews here before booking. Our experience was a great disappointment. A lovely old house, great potential, location good except for the new modern hotel overshadowing it. Our room - The Library Room - had no window, which is not explained on the website. It was quite small, and the en-suite was very tired and needed updating. Breakfast: very poor with no choice. We were told it's pancakes today, and that was it. Ran out of decaf coffee which was annoying. Would not stay here again as it's very overpriced for what you get.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DINSMOREHOUSE, Owner at The Dinsmore House Bed & Breakfast, responded to this review, March 18, 2014
Since the Dinsmore House Inn is a 200 year old former private residence, each of our rooms is different. Some are larger and brighter, others are smaller and less bright. We try to fairly represent the difference in the rooms on our website, and provide pricing tiers, so that budget-minded guests can have the B&B experience at a much lower rate than our high-end rooms. On our website we provide pictures of the Library Room and describe it as an "interior room." There is a large window in the bathroom and a transom window from the bathroom to bedroom.

It appears in this situation, you did not receive the value you expected in your room, and for that we apologize. We will try to do better job of highlighting differences in our rooms, with more pictures and better descriptions. Our breakfast offering is a select hot dish each day, along with thick cut bacon, bakery bread and fresh fruit. We are happy to accommodate guest requests for breakfast items if the day's dish doesn't meet their tastes. I’m sorry breakfast did not meet your expectations, and I have raised your issues with our staff, so that we can improve our level of consistency.
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South Carolina
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

Our stay at the Dinsmore was not the greatest bed and breakfast experience. There's certainly nothing wrong with the Dinsmore if you like much older, historic, very dated homes. My husband and I loved the idea of staying at a historic inn right in the middle Charlottesville, but the actual experience wasn't quite as wonderful as we hoped.
PROS:
*Location: The main reason we chose to stay here and the primary reason the Inn gets 3 stars. We literally were right in the middle of Charlottesville. We walked to dinner down the street, and loved all of our foodie experiences in this city! It was also easy for me to jump out of bed and head out for a run around UVA campus, which is beautiful and worth a tour.
*Clean: No complaints for cleanliness. The b&b is old, but our room was fine. No stains, dirt, hair, etc.
CONS:
*Construction: We stayed during the week in July 2012 and there was constant construction directly across from the Dinsmore. We awoke to the sound of construction by 7am every morning. Not a big fan of waking up to the loud sounds of a construction site.
*Run down appearance: There was some charm in staying at a little piece of Charlottesville history, but I think that we discovered our preference for clean, crisp b&b's vs. shabby, dated b&b's. We stayed in the Madison Room, and the bathroom was tiny, creeky, and the shower weird to use. This might just be our preference for newer faciltities though.
*Food: There was nothing wrong with the food, but let's just say I couldn't eat bacon AGAIN for one more morning without wanting to gag. I think I expected higher standards since Charlottesville is known as such a foodie culture where fresh, local, vibrant flavors are the norm. Breakfast casseroles and Eggs Dinsmore weren't up to par with the incredible food we ate at other places around town. Also, they ran out of the Culligan water and free snacks after our first day. A glass of water would have been nice to have access too.

Overall, we enjoyed Charlottesville and the location of this B&B, but we would stay somewhere else next time.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DINSMOREHOUSE, Owner at The Dinsmore House Bed & Breakfast, responded to this review, March 18, 2014
Thank you for the kind words about our inn and its location. Many guests seek us out for a unique lodging experience in a prime city location, walking distance to UVA, the Downtown Mall and dozens of local restaurants.

With the new UVA Children’s Hospital preparing to open, we truly appreciate the 9,000+ guests who have stayed with us over the last several years despite the construction across the street. It has been a trying experience at times, both for our guests and the innkeepers. We took measures to reduce the impact of the construction on our guests, installing black-out shades in the rooms and purchasing white noise machines for each room as well, but some external factors are out of our control. The new hospital will be a great service to the community, and we are happy to have the construction soon behind us. For more information on the new hospital, search “Battle Building UVA”.

As for your remarks about the Madison Room bathroom being run down, we couldn't agree more. That's why we spent $8,0000 in January to give the bathroom a major upgrade with a new tile shower, frameless shower door, fresh paint and raised panel walls.
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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

The history and architecture of this house were really fascinating. The location was (arguably) the best in Charlottesville. However, the property is being run as something between a small hotel on a very tight budget and a B&B. There are a few minor items that would be of minimal cost to update that would be major improvements (B&B quality towels [they have the low budget motel white type], extension cords so that tv/lamp/AC could all be used at the same time, bed side lamps with a place to plug them in, shower head cleaning) but overall, we enjoyed our stay and would return. The staff was friendly, the breakfasts good and in general our visit as we explore America’s Road to Independence was one we would recommend. (Note it is difficult to give the Dinsmore House a rating. Thus I've compared it on a scale of B&B in a similar price range. I'd like to give it a very good but it just doesn't quite make that.

Room Tip: There is construction across the street thus I would not recommend the sleeping porch. They do have...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
DINSMOREHOUSE, Owner at The Dinsmore House Bed & Breakfast, responded to this review, March 18, 2014
Thanks for the kind words about our staff, location and breakfast. I will pass them along to our staff for encouragement.

Thanks also for pointing out areas where we can improve. We are looking for ways to enhance to the rooms, and guest feedback like yours is very helpful to that end.

One response regarding comment about the towels: We do provide high quality towels, not the cheap hotel towels as indicated. They are, and always will be white, but they are not of low quality. We launder them and iron them on site daily.
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Winter Park, Florida
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

The condition of this property was surprising when compared to the internet photographs. We were very disappointed. We did enjoy the breakfasts. The owner, dog and sister were very pleasant. The location was convenient. If the building had been in top condition the experience would have been much better.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
DINSMOREHOUSE, Owner at The Dinsmore House Bed & Breakfast, responded to this review, March 18, 2014
Thanks for the kind words about the breakfast, staff and location.

We are committed to the improving and maintaining this 200 year old house to meet our guests’ expectations. Many of our guests kindly let us know when something in their room is in disrepair or needs attention, so that we can address it. When we fall short in the upkeep department it is unacceptable. To that end, we have reinvested more than $40,000 on improvements to the inn just in the last three months. Improvements include two remodeled bathrooms, new furniture in the common areas and 3 guest rooms, new carpeting and flooring in two rooms and the installation of a $13,000 heating and cooling system. Guests can follow our improvements on the Dinsmore House website blog and on Facebook.
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Arlington, Virginia
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2013

Wow, I was totally unimpressed by how run down this B&B was. I felt like I was in an old fraternity house. Peeling paint beat up doors, cob webs, weeds along the landscape, run down but it's clear they remain full due to their close proximity to UVA-they are right across the street from UVA hospital. They are also IN the same parking lot as the Marriott courtyard and steps away. These logistics would not cause me to stay away but the poor shape of this inn would. This place has potential but is in serious need of repair, renovation and some regular maintenance. Here's the plus: super nice thoughtful, helpful staff and a tasty breakfast and good DVD selection. Too bad they aren't reinvesting some of their profits into keeping this old home in good working order. I stayed in the veranda room.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
DINSMOREHOUSE, Owner at The Dinsmore House Bed & Breakfast, responded to this review, March 18, 2014
Over the last decade this old building has seen a lot of wear and tear. We did not provide proper and timely upkeep to building and we are working diligently to address that. It is a 200 year old building, so all the changes won't happen overnight, but we have used this off-season daily improve the condition and quality of the inn.

When we fall short in the upkeep department it is unacceptable. To that end, we have as the reviewer suggests reinvested more than $40,000 on improvements to the inn just in the last three months. Improvements include two remodeled bathrooms, new furniture in the common areas and 3 guest rooms, new carpeting and flooring in two rooms and the installation of a $13,000 heating and cooling system. Guests can follow our improvements on the Dinsmore House website blog and on Facebook.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Annapolis, Maryland
Top Contributor
121 reviews 121 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013

We spent 2 nights at this facility and could not have been more satisfied. The owners and staff were very gracious and helpful. The room (the Virginia room) had an outside entrance which was not a problem and it was very comfortable with all of the amenities we needed. Parking was provided in the Marriott lot about a block away and was very convenient. Also, the breakfast was terrific, even the morning was the electricity was out in the a large area. I'd go back again if we visit Charlottesville.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Virginia room which is in an attached addition, but has a separate entrance. It wa...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
DINSMOREHOUSE, Owner at The Dinsmore House Bed & Breakfast, responded to this review, March 18, 2014
Thank you! Most of our staff have been with us for several years, and so they understand how important it is to be friendly and helpful with our guests. Whenever a guest goes out of her way to compliment our staff, we make sure to pass that along. The best part of innkeeping is interacting with guests.
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Additional Information about The Dinsmore House Bed & Breakfast

Address: 1211 West Main Street, Charlottesville, VA 22903
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Virginia > Charlottesville
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 16 B&Bs / Inns in Charlottesvill...
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 8
Also Known As:
The Dinsmore House Bed And Breakfast
The Dinsmore House Hotel Charlottesville

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