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“A C'ville jewel” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Clifton Inn

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Clifton Inn
1296 Clifton Inn Drive, Charlottesville, VA 22911   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #12 of 33 Hotels in Charlottesvill...
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“A C'ville jewel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2012 via mobile

If I hadn't gotten married in Newport, RI, I would see about tying the knot here. Just a beautiful Virginia property with lush views and an elegant cool. This is the south I think of when I tell people about Virginia.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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254 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (50)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Columbia, Maryland
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2012

When I first visited The Clifton Inn I feel in love with the beauty of the Inn. It captures historic antique meets modern pieces beautifully. I had a winter weekday destination wedding and was on a tight budget. Clifton Inn was able to work with me on our budget.

During my first visit I met with one of their sales employees, Brigette. I had met with another wedding venue that day and Bri was so friendly, sincere, and enthusiastic. Bri had great ideas for our big day and we were able to ask her questions. After meeting my sister and I contacted her through email and phone to ask other various questions.

My second trip to The Clifton Inn my now husband and I booked for the venue. We didn't book or reserve any rooms yet because we were not worried about any events going on. Sadly, there was a wedding on Saturday that we didn't find out till later on so our guests could not stay there Saturday- Monday. We did reserve a few rooms Sunday night. Some of my friends had a tough time making the reservations when they called. One time someone said "we don't have a wedding for that day." However, they were finally able to book those rooms.

The next time I visited the Clifton Inn, my sister and I met with the wedding coordinator Melissa. We didn't get the warm and fuzzy feeling that Bri gave us. Melissa was professional but we didn't feel as excited as before. Some of the things that Bri said was possible Melissa said they couldn't do. A few weeks later we received an email from Bri that she was no longer working for The Clifton Inn and I was really bummed out.

Over the last final weeks we contacted Melissa through phone and email. My sister who was supposed to be my planner was really busy and played phone tag with Melissa for two weeks. I was finally able to contact her and ask her the million questions I had which she was able to answer. We were able to negotiate on food as well as make decisions on beer and wine. I thought that we had decided that only beer, wine, and mimosas were to be served so when we received the bill I was not psyched that guests had ordered things that we didn't decide on. Not sure if it was because Bri didn't pass that information along or if we were not vocal enough.

The day of the wedding the Clifton Inn team was able to set up the decor that we brought as well as set out the name tags. It looked fantastic as well as the cake that I emailed a photo idea of. I had asked Melissa if she would be there the day of the wedding to keep us and the guests on time and she shared that she might only be there in the morning but her coworker Stacey would be there. We arrived on time for the brunch and sat down. The food was delicious as well as the wine they helped us select. However, we never were greeted by Melissa, Stacey, or anyone else on The Clifton team. I was really confused on who was in charge and who was going to keep us on schedule. Needless to say we were over schedule and had like twenty minutes of dancing towards the end at which we were hoping for a bit longer. I did email Melissa that evening to see where they were and she said she was there but didn't want to interrupt me when I was having conversations with our guests. I understand that but my husband and I didn't feel special or welcomed. We kinda felt like we were the poor couple that couldn't afford a wedding there. The night of the wedding I was thinking that our room would of had a note like congratulations new husband and wife or something but nope. I guess I was hoping for a more special treatment.

My friends who stayed at the Inn loved the rooms especially the guests at the farm house. The Carriage House is definitely a must stay.

Overall the wedding day was beautiful and I still recommend someone to get married at The Clifton Inn because the food and service from the wait staff was awesome. The cake was also delicious and very reasonably priced.

  • Stayed December 2011, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norfolk Virginia
18 reviews 18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2012

We eloped at the Clifton Inn on June 21, 2012 and couldn't have been happier. We were greeted upon our arrival by the GM and shown to our room in the Carriage House (an impressive upgrade). Stefanie, one of the wedding coordinators, had taken care of all the details for us. After the ceremony we had an epic 4 course dinner in the dining room. I need to make one thing clear, this is not a "tapas" restaurant, this is fine dining at its best (think "Top Chef"). Now my bride and I have been to some pretty darn good places to eat, NYC, London, Paris nothing has come close to the food we were served at the Clifton Inn. There isn't enough space to give the meal justice but every detail was exquisite. The service led by Anthony was extremely attentive without being over bearing, 2 thumbs up. In summary the grounds were impeccable, the staff superb, the food perfect, the Clifton Inn has earned a warm place in my heart and we will return.

  • Stayed June 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester Hills, Michigan
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2012

Overall this was a phenomenal stay. We stayed out at the separate property and were doubly blessed that no other guests were there but the four of us - so we had all the living area, full kitchen, and eating room to ourselves. The heat was unusually high, so using the lovely porches was not an option. Lots of space, very comfortable and cozy beds, lots of light - beautiful rooms.

The Inn itself was just as lovely with beautiful grounds, a gorgeous pool, lovely decor, and a staff that was extraordinarily service oriented. And they took care of each of the "missteps" immediately. But why the missteps? Like lipstick on my coffee cup, cold coffee for one of us, regular scrambled eggs instead of the eggwhites my husband ordered. The registration form in our room had a daily rate $20 higher than we had been told when we reserved the room - called to inquire, was told we would receive a call back, and never did. But again, the minute I raised it in person, it was taken care of.

Breakfast is not really a full breakfast - coffee, juice, and absolutely yummy fresh danish (croissants, blueberry muffins, and cinnamon twists). But you can order off the ala carte menu.
One morning we ate on the outside porch, the second inside to avoid the incredible heat. Both were lovely.

Dinner was an unusual tasting menu. You select how many courses you like, and they are in credibly flexible about letting you order additional courses as you go. Every dish was wonderfully fresh, many of the ingredients from the gardens. Some were extraordinary - some not - fascinating taste of something that looked like it belonged in a museum, delicious salad, marvelous beet risotto, wonderful steak dish, and outstanding shortcake dessert. And each dish has surprise ingredients that make the taste experience even better. Not as tasty dishes - though fresh and I'm sure well prepared - were a pappardelle with vegetables and mushrooms, a scallop entree, and a few others.

Maybe the tradeoff of the flexibility of ordering is the unfortunate wait between each courses. They are intentionally small (fully disclosed) so you're still hungry while waiting for the next, with 10-15 minutes between each. Maybe if we had been drinking wine we wouldn't have noticed as much, but definitely took away from the fine cuisine and service.

The turn down service also included some tiny tasty cookies in a lovely special box, with larger ones to take on your trip when you check out.

The final surprise - the 15% service fee which we were not aware of. Even when checking in the individual talked about the afternoon teas and pool and other services that were "all included, so please take advantage of them". Also nothing on the registration form. We were not able to use those services, and had tipped throughout our stay, not realizing there was a pretty hefty service fee. When I saw it on our bill I asked, explained our surprise, and I suspect it was also adjusted.

My own company has a similar problem - we make mistakes along the way, always small, and then immediately solve them with excellent customer service. I'd prefer we not make them in the first place, and always wonder about the people who don't ask and just get angry or drop us. The Clifton Inn is outstanding in so many ways, it seems like making those small fixes would make them unbeatable.

Despite the little bumps, a very special place worthy of a special vacation.

Room Tip: We used the Dogwood and the Peony - our favorites. An easy quick drive or walk to the Inn and seemed...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2012

I loved this place.

On arriving, I was struck by the beauty of the house and grounds. It felt a bit like going back in time.The staff were welcoming and I got upgraded to a big room in the main house. The decor was traditional and stylish without being stuffy. I was pleased to find a BOSE sound system and some complimentary wine.

I went down for a swim in the pool. I had been told there were towels by the pool but I couldn't find any and had to trek all the way back to my room... That was the only problem during my stay.

The room was comfortable and breakfast was good. I didn't have any other meals there because they were too expensive.

Conclusion: expensive, but effortlessly charming

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manotick, Ontario, Canada
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2012

We stayed one night at the Clifton Inn and could not wait to leave. First, the postive aspects. Reception staff were friendly, albeit a bit pretentious, and we did not feel relaxed and comfortable. The waiters who served lunch and dinner were lovely and knowledgeable - a pleasure to deal with. Dinner was delicious, but the portions were small and the best dishes were the ones that required no cooking: eg. the cheese plate. Second, the reasons that we would not recommend this inn. The photos on the website are misleading. The path to the river is overgrown with tall grass, and the end destination is a skinny, worn, deck where about two people can stand, and two benches that are so old, dirty, and worn that one could not sit there if wearing anything semi-formal. The pool was dirty and cold (unheated), and the towels were kept in black garbage bags in a trunk that was difficult to find. We wanted to like the room that we were given as it was an upgrade (Honeymoon Cottage), and the gesture was appreciated (there was a wedding party that occupied the rooms in the main inn, and we suspect that is why we were moved). However, the smell coming from the bathtub in the 'cottage' was impossible to ignore; like stagnant water (perhaps some bleach would help?). Finally, the loudness of the air conditioner made it impossible for us to sleep; we were very tired in the morning. And all this came with a $33.75 per day service/lodging fee on top of the accommodation rate and taxes? For what, we did not know. We wanted to like this place based on some of the positive reviews, but we simply would not recommend it to family and friends.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
___027, General Manager at Clifton Inn, responded to this review, June 16, 2012
We appreciate feedback as it helps us improve. There are some points here, which we feel are certainly valid. However, some are incorrect, for example the grass at the river - the river is not on our property so we do not feel it is fair. Nevertheless, we have certainly taken on board the correct points, made corrective actions and as a consequence have improved.
Thank you
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlottesville, Virginia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2012

My husband and I were not going to be able to celebrate Valentine's Day on Valentines' this year, so instead we celebrated a day early at the Clifton Inn. The atmospher is very intimate and the food... well it rendered me speechless multiple times. Every dish that came out was better than the one before. The have a seasonal menu, but if you get a chance to try the scallops they are an absolute must! They almost literally melted in my mouth. The service was incredible and so was the menu and wine selection. My husband and I will definitely be going back for another special occasion.

Stayed February 2012, 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.
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Additional Information about Clifton Inn

Address: 1296 Clifton Inn Drive, Charlottesville, VA 22911
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Virginia > Charlottesville
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Charlottesvill...
#2 Family Hotel in Charlottesvill...
#8 Romantic Hotel in Charlottesvill...
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Clifton, a luxury hotel member of Relais & Châteaux, puts guests in the best of both worlds with the intimacy of small inns and exquisite comforts of world-class hotels. A spectacular 100-acre setting in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The best fine dining on the Charlottesville restaurant scene. World-class service. The list goes on and on. Clifton memories are here for the making. Consider yourself cordially invited to make some of your own. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Clifton Hotel Charlottesville
Country Inn Charlottesville
Charlottesville Country Inn

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