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“Fantastic stay -- Hoping to return!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages

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By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages
3.5 of 5 Bed and Breakfast   |   491 Garbers Church Road, Harrisonburg, VA 22801   |  
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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 4 Harrisonburg B&B and Inns
GreenLeadersBronze level
Richmond
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Fantastic stay -- Hoping to return!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2011

We used a coupon from Living Social to spend two nights at this wonderful bed and breakfast inn in Harrisonburg. Every aspect of our visit was enjoyable -- the breakfasts, the picnic lunch, the spacious rooms, the proximity to wineries and farmers' markets in the Shenandoah Valley. The hosts are gracious but not intrusive. There is hot coffee ready in the entrance hall every morning as you await your 9:00 breakfast (which is not to be missed). The main house rooms are all beautifully-decorated suites which afford a great deal of quiet and privacy, and there are also three cottages which would be perfect for a romantic getaway. We are definitely looking forward to a return visit!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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163 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Arlington, VA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2011

The proprietors here (Janice and Dennis) were wonderful hosts. We stayed in one of the three separate cottages, which had a fantastic whirlpool tub. They served breakfast every morning, and we found lots to do in the area.

Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2011

I didn't really know what to expect since I really haven't stayed in a B&B before, but any hesitation I had was quickly replaced when we were greeted by the extremely friendly Innkeeper and he showed us around the house. One of the first things about the house was how clean it was!

We were shown to our room (we stayed in Bishops Retreat in the Main House) and was pleasantly surprised by the King bed and incredibly soft sheets! It was also nice to have a sitting room as another place to relax. We thoroughly enjoyed our breakfast both days - I was very impressed! The first day we had buttermilk pancakes with a yummy orange cardemom sauce and a side of sausage and fruit (if you have dietary restrictions, just let them know). On the second day, we had an herb egg souffle with a side of fruit, sausage and bread (with delicious jam!!). You can tell the innkeepers work hard to make sure their guests are happy (and full)!

We took advantage of the wineries nearby and took our picnic lunch up to Skyline drive and enjoyed a hike afterwards. I'm so thankful to have discovered this great little getaway!! Thank you, Renee and Natie

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
WashingtonDC
Top Contributor
334 reviews 334 reviews
62 hotel reviews
Reviews in 101 cities Reviews in 101 cities
235 helpful votes 235 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2011

I do not think that this B&B was anything special. My overall feelings is that it’s an adequate place to stay if you have a reason to be in Harrisonburg, but it’s not good enough to warrant a trip to visit it or be excited to go there. I do not think the price matches the quality expected.

First, the location of the Inn By The Side Of The Road is a bit of a let-down. Even though it’s probably not their fault, urban sprawl has surrounded this B&B and new houses are all around it. My partner and I stayed in a “private” cottage, but we could clearly see the people in the house eating dinner (and I don’t mean eating in the B&B main house, mind you, but an actual house people live in 30 feet away). Also, the Inn is not located “in” Harrisonburg, and you have to drive (walking not possible) to get to the downtown area. That is a heavy negative. I could understand if “seclusion” was the reason the house was far from the city, but it’s not secluded at all and it’s literally off a big road.

As for the breakfast, I can’t really say. As we stayed in a cottage, we got it delivered in a basket and couldn’t choose or do much. It was marginally above-average food, just too little of portions. It’s not a credit to anyone that I can’t actually remember what the food was – I guess it was missable. The picnic lunch we got was nice, though. Harrisonburg itself is quaint and there were some good restaurants there.

The service here, however, was rather disappointing. Again, we stayed in a cottage, so I think the whole idea was privacy and being left to ourselves, yet our few interactions with the staff were not altogether pleasant. For instance, the night we got there, we did self-check in (which was easy) and decided to use the large bathtub. It is the main attraction of that particular cottage, and is, in fact, the front picture here on TripAdvisor. Unfortunately, all the candles surrounding the tub were burned out and had not been replaced. As we only stayed there 2 nights, we wanted candles, so my partner went to the main house to ask for some. Yes, it was after 9PM or whenever it was, but the man was rather rude about having to get candles after the place “closed.” Trust me, we wouldn’t have preferred to leave the cottage and go get candles, but they weren’t there in the first place and that’s not our fault. And on check-out, we were visited by him promptly at 11:10 and check-out is at 11. When we were not checked out, he huffed and puffed and said, “Yeah, well we’re just a small business here…!” Uhm…Thank you for sharing that? Am I supposed to think that you are cleaning all 7 rooms all at once at 11:00 on the dot? It wasn’t 2PM, it was 11:10AM. I think the idea of “good service” is lost here. Even though technically we were in the wrong and it was 10 minutes after check-out, I would expect a place that bills itself as “luxurious” on its website would indicate that there is courtesy and not reflexive rudeness, …but maybe I’m asking too much. (And looking at other reviews, I see I’m not the only one with this type of experience.)

I don’t know why someone would give this place 5 stars on TripAdvisor – I would think that is reserved for the best of the best, which this is not. Then the overall location and vibe bumped it down to 3 stars.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
by the side of the road, Owner at By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages, responded to this review, August 15, 2011
We sincerely regret the experience of these two guests. The request for a single tea candle came after 11pm, arousing us from sleep. We do not approach late check outs until at least twenty minutes past the hours and then, very reluctantly. Viewing people "dining" nearby would be the innkeeper's family. We have a family home on the property. Anyone who chooses to be our guests is important to us and clearly this couple was disappointed. We will continue to strive for excellence recognizing we cannot please everyone all the time.
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suburban Washington DC
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2011

We stayed in the main house of By the Side of the Road for an anniversary celebration. The room was large, in fact there was a small sitting room in addition to the main room, and very comfortable. The breakfast was gourmet and special care was taken to provide alternative food that my husband (who cannot eat eggs) enjoyed. The atmosphere was friendly. We asked to see the cottages on the property and those have fabulous bathrooms with fireplaces and large jacuzzi style tubs--maybe next time! There is lots to see in the Harrisonburg area--civil war sites, local heritage centers, farmers markets and wineries. We found a special offer on Living Social.com

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Bethesda, Maryland
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2011

We stayed in the Ardor of Hope suite and loved our experience. The staff was extremely welcoming and the house and suite we were in were beautiful. There was a great jacuzzi in our suite, the suite was impeccably clean, and the B&B even had wine glasses, DVDs, and board games for us to use.

One of my favorite aspects of the B&B was its beautiful decor. It's funny, because I'm Jewish, and at first I was a little taken a back by all the Christian artwork, but once I got used to it I realized I saw it as another way of making the house seem homey (the innkeepers also have family pictures in the common areas) and I thought it was sweet.

One note: While the Ardor of Hope suite's jacuzzi was great, its overhead fan is really noisy and it kept me from sleeping the first night. However, the second night we just used the box fan provided in the room and it was perfect. :)

We came because we got the Living Social coupon so I would like to highly recommend the Joshua Wilton House for dinner. :)

Thank you, BTSOTR, for a lovely trip! I hope it's not too long before we're back again.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Cleveland, Ohio
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2011

We stayed in the Bishop's Retreat room to celebrate my husband's birthday. The owner's were friendly and the room was equipped with necessities. There was a book in the room that described the inn's history and plenty of information about what to do in the area. We stayed 2 nights and the room was cleaned and restocked after the first day. The inn is on a main road near downtown Harrisonburg so it is not for anyone who wants to get away from the city. We had a poor experience with the food that was served. It was not what we expected for a bed and breakfast. On the first day we had 2 undercooked eggs, a small roll, and 1/2 of a strawberry and 3 bites of cantaloupe. The picnic lunch consisted of 2 wedges of cheese, the cheddar wedge had mold on it, 2 dry tangerines, stale pretzels, and 2 thin slices of pound cake. The owners requested a 20% tip for the "extra value of the service and food" which really turned us off. We thought that the extra cost of a bed and breakfast was to cover the food that was served!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
by the side of the road, Owner at By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages, responded to this review, June 10, 2011
After 12 years of inn keeping this is the first criticism of our food and is taken very seriously. We promise "gourmet fare" and have often been requested to promote that more (with photos, etc.) after our guests have enjoyed their meal. Our garnish is always fresh fruits and specifically crafted for beauty and flavor; our entrees normally receive rave reviews. We are so very sorry that this guest was so obviously disappointed. Undercooked eggs and mold on cheese just did NOT happen. The picnic included in this guests's package, is described as a "light picnic, meant to accompany wine tasting". It consists of 2 ozs of Amish Butter or Harvarti Dill and 2 ozs of Cheddar, fresh from our local farmer's market. Our homemade Million Dollar Pound Cake is a family favorite. Dry tangerines and stale pretzels seem to indicate an underlying problem with our offering, rather than be real. Payment was provided by LivingSocial voucher, which means this guest paid 54% less than our normal tariff - thank goodness, since they were so dissatisfied. As to tipping - here is the statement contained in information provided to LivingSocial guests: "Gratuity: While LivingSocial recommends tipping on the full cost of the service provided, the hosts & staff of By the Side of the Road deeply appreciate any consideration for the deep discount received, taking into account the Inn's food and service included in the deal." Most guests are so delighted with what we provide and having been able to get such a great price on LivingSocial that they generously tip. Some do not leave any tip. Either way, it is at the discretion of the guest and we are respectful of both behaviors. Reviews are here to stay but one, such as this, weighs heavily, no doubt.
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Additional Information about By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages

Address: 491 Garbers Church Road, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Virginia > Harrisonburg
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Harrisonburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome our Inn located in Harrisonburg in Virginia's central Shenandoah Valley. Whether staying one night or more, our one-of-a-kind Shenandoah Valley lodging is legendary. Guests return time and again to experience the comfort and intimacy of our four Main House Suites and three Luxurious cottages. We hope to meet you soon! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
By The Side Of The Road Inn & Cottages Hotel Harrisonburg
By The Side Of The Road Inn And Cottages

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