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“Beautiful Resort, Fine Dining Falls Short of Expectations.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Omni Homestead Resort

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The Omni Homestead Resort
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   7696 Sam Snead Highway, Hot Springs, VA 24445   |  
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Ranked #1 of 2 hotels in Hot Springs
GreenLeadersBronze level
Bethesda, Maryland
1 review
“Beautiful Resort, Fine Dining Falls Short of Expectations.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2011

We just returned from a three night stay at the Homestead. Overall the trip was very nice. The resort is beautiful, the staff was extremely helpful and pleasant, the Blue Ridge Mountains provide some breathtaking scenery, but the prices on the menus in the "Fine Dining" venues were not in line with the food quality, at all.

Our first night we ate at the Grille. When my husband called to make the dinner reservations for the trip he was told it was the only restaurant open that night (off season & mid week). The servers were gracious, knowledgeable and friendly. Unfortunately, the food was mediocre at best and we were surprised that there was not a menu for the kids since it is a family resort and the Grille was our only dining option that evening. The Sole Meuniere ($52) and was bland and the presentation was unimpressive. The fish of the day, Orange Ruffy served "en papillotte," was just okay, and definitely not worth the $32 we paid. The filet mignon served with Tiger Shrimp ($42), was good but still a bit pricey, and the duck ($36) was delicious and the best deal on the menu. The total bill for two appetizers, four entrees, two demi bottles of wine, two cocktails and two soft drinks with tax and tip (15%) came to $382.

Except for the fact that my children were provided "kids menus" over the course of the next two evenings, the experience was the same in the casual restaurant and the other fine dining restaurant, expensive and mediocre. I will say that of the three dinners, the third evening was the most disappointing. The entrees were not pleasant to the taste at all. The prime rib, the two new york strips and the duck were so salty that they were unpalatable. Whomever was finishing the sauces in the kitchen that evening must have had a bad day or something. We ordered two desserts, the Gold Brick Sundae and the Dueling Cakes, both were delicious and what you would expect in a restaurant that used the term "fine dining." On a side note, my husband and kids also noticed that the mashed potatoes were exactly the same in all three restaurants and while I would not say that they were from a box, they certainly did not have the texture of freshly cooked and prepared mashed potatoes.

The golf, the skeet shooting, the rifle range, the indoor pool and the Jefferson Pools were all a lot of fun and totally worth the expense. All attendants were very friendly and very helpful. There was an abundance of clean towels at the huge, spotless indoor pool.

I had two spa treatments and found the staff to be extremely pleasant, but the services were extremely overpriced.

The daily tea was nice. We bowled each evening after dinner and it was a lot of fun. Again, the staff was extremely accommodating, which really made the experience much more fun.

Overall, I would recommend a trip to The Homestead. It is a charming, old world resort experience that is immersed in American history and set against some of the most beautiful landscape in this country.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (382)
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English first
nc
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
56 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2011

We have visited The Homestead in Hot Springs, VA seven times over the course of the last 5-10 years. We have traditionally loved the grand interior and family activities. We have also enjoyed the modified american plan (ie we know how much both the room and the morning and evening meals are going to be prior to our visit) and we then usually enjoy bowling, skeet, the pool, golf and spa. It is expensive but, until this latest visit, we really felt we got our money's worth. The accommodations were still grand, the breakfast buffet the best we have ever had and the time with our family was priceless... not having to get in the car to go anywhere is a big plus especially since there are eleven of us. But.....service at dinner had declined since our last visit...they were unable/unwilling to fill even the simplest of substitution requests on the menu. Some of the items were still topnotch--the salmon for instance but do not order the prime rib. The lobster bisque was lukewarm at best. There was some trouble our first morning about seating the eleven of us all together but once we insisted, it just took them a few minutes to move tables together and on Sunday morning a table was waiting for us.
In addition, on Saturday, we had thirteen spa treatments and they were unwilling to allow my older daughters to be with my younger daughters for their manicure/pedicures and facials. We have always utilized the spa suite for our treatments so that we could enjoy each others company. This is one reason we have traditionally chosen the Homestead over the Greenbrier. No deal this time even though that is precisely how I had requested it....and been told it would be. My facial was performed by an obvious smoker with the hint of stale tobacco on her fingers...yuck. Skeet and bowling were fun and our time together made it still a wonderful weekend despite these service problems. Housekeeping did a great job by cleaning our room in the morning as requested and returning for turn down while we were at dinner at night.
Finally, if you are a platinum amex holder don't expect much out of the perks... there was no room upgrade, the resort credit only allowed outdoor activities which didn't include lessons so don't expect to use it at the spa or for skeet lessons or golf lessons or merchandise. Also, we were not told about it at check in and just found the coupons on our desk as we were straightening up for check out.
Having said all that, we still love the resort and hope they will improve on their service. The management at the resort emailed me a survey and I filled out and emailed it back. They contacted me so I am keeping my fingers crossed that service will improve and they will be more accommodating for larger groups and special requests

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
charlottesville, VA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2011

Overall, we had a very nice stay at The Homestead; with a few improvements, the stay could have been upgraded from "very nice" to "great" (tripadvisor didn't have the option for 3.5/5 stars, which would be my official rating). As an active couple, we were more than satisfied with the activities that were offered and partook in :

* archery : a total hoot; our instructor Matt was very capable, friendly and easy-going.

* hiking : we hiked Deerlick Trail, which I'd recommend for any who enjoys a modestly challenging hike. It's billed as "strenuous" (ha), but if you're remotely in shape, its more than manageable. Additionally, we did the guided Cascades Gorge hike, which is led by an extremely entertaining guide named Brian -- i highly recommend this one.

* sheet shooting : fun! we opted for the lessons as well and received some great instructions from Steve, who was very personable and patient

* Jefferson Pools : don't miss this outing either. The old semi-openaired bathhouse was a fascinating bit of history to take in, and the hot spring mineral soak was hypnotically relaxing.

* Bowling : this was our pre-dinner (and sometimes post-dinner) staple activity; though the lanes & equipment were a bit clunky, we had a blast .

The rooms themselves were fantastic. The decor was classic, ornate, and comfortable, but not over the top. Beds extremely comfy. BIG windows (that you can actually open) were a huge plus -- both the breeze & the views were wonderful.

The only negative about the rooms is that there seem to be some issues with the hot water heater.....we took more than a few cold showers :(.

With regards to the Staff, almost everyone of them was pleasant & helpful. Whitney, at the front desk, greeted us by name every day and helped us plan several outings. The bell hop staff (Jacob especially) was extremely polite & helpful as well.

We only had one negative experience with the Homestead staff, but it was a big negative. There was an extremely dour, erratic, unpleasant staff member named Amy who, no matter what the request (re-keying a room card, calling in a dinner reservation), made us feel like we were inconveniencing her (interestingly enough, the review entitled "Horrible Service, Oddly Substandard Facilities” seems to reference the same staff member). Who knows, maybe she was having a bad couple days.....but still, a place the Homestead should realize that some people just don't have the temperament for a guest-facing role.

Overall, we had a very pleasant stay, and I suspect that we will return at some point in the future.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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TheHomesteadResort, Manager at The Omni Homestead Resort, responded to this review, March 30, 2011
Dear Herringtown:
Thank you for the review. We appreciate your feedback on your visit. It sounds like you were able to enjoy the variety of outdoor activities we offer. We are sorry to hear that you had an unpleasant experience with one of our staff members. We will look into this as we pride ourselves on having friendly staff who delivers outstanding service. We hope to see you back here soon.
Sincerely,
The Homestead Management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia Beach, VA
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2011

We had a nice Presidents' Weekend stay at the Homestead. It was extremely crowded (holiday weekend) and packed with kids. So while it was great for families, it was a little less romantic than we'd planned. It was our wedding anniversary, though, which the staff readily acknowledged throughout the weekend (it must have been in their notes). We were upgraded to a prime room, so that was a really nice touch which we really appreciated. Here are some tips that I wish we'd known before we went - hopefully some of these will help make your trip that much more enjoyable, too:

∙ Bring your own wine. The prices at the resort are outrageous (I guess they have a captive audience, so they can!) so bring your own and keep it in your room! There are wine glasses & bottle opener in the room mini bar.

∙ There are obviously lots of dining choices at the resort, but we also enjoyed eating at Lindsay's Roost (a VERY easy walk from the resort, in the town of Hot Springs) one afternoon after a hike. It's very casual, but after the outrageous food prices at the resort for a few days, it felt good to eat a $3.25 cheeseburger and $2 bottle of beer.

∙ Even with the big holiday weekend crowd, we found everything to be pretty darn efficient (frequent shuttles to the offsite activities, etc.) I guess this isn't a "tip" but just a hollah to the resort on this one!

∙ Make your reservations for everything (activities and dining) well in advance. Of course our weekend was more crowded than most, but still, we made reservations 3 weeks in advance, which we THOUGHT would be early enough....and couldn't get seated in the main dining room till 9pm (fine for us, we're late diners, but not so cool if you had young kids) and a couple of the activities we were interested in were already sold out.

∙ There's a bonfire outside every night for s'mores, so very fun! They sell s'mores kits in the pro shop for almost $20! (gulp!) My tip would be bring your own s'mores fixins!

∙ One of my favorite and most relaxing things of the weekend was so simple: just sitting in the library, reading a good book and drinking a glass of wine. So make sure to bring a book!

∙ We didn't get to eat at 1776 Grill (didn't have reservations) but we heard from multiple guests that it's better than the Main Dining room, so you might want to try that if you're planning on a formal night.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Arlington VA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2011

We took our grandkids to The Homestead in 2010 and 2011, hoping to start an annual skiing tradition. Our 2010 stay was wonderful, but we were disappointed in 2011 with the service and meal plan. We made our hotel reservations months in advance and were only able to get dinner reservations at the buffet, which could not compare in quality, service or ambiance of the restaurants. To charge a family the same price for both was insulting. We wrote a letter conveying our experience and were offered apologies.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2011

The idea of going to a resort and just "being there" is not the definition of fun for me. This was certainly not the case when I went to the Homestead with some friends, we certainly did a lot. The guys at the gun club were great, falconry was pretty cool and Sam Snead's tavern served great food. Yes, it's old, but I think that is part of experience. Thanks to the Homestead staff for a great time!

Stayed April 2010, traveled with friends
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Atlantic City, New Jersey
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2011

We just returned from a holiday weekend at the Homestead. Our first surprise were the mountain roads with plenty of sharp turns on the last 45 miles from the Interstate (81). I would recommend making the trip to and from in the day light as we did it at night and needed a cocktail upon arrival! This grand old resort is beautiful and overall the experience was pleasurable. We spent two evenings at the 1766 restaurant. This is a lovely room. The service was very good and the attention to details was exceptional. The manager of the room, William, does an excellent job. On our first evening, we had a young waiter from Jamaica, Sonhil (?) who was charming and delightful. The view of the out door ice skating rink, strung with white lights, and the blazing fire pit was amazing. These dinners were the highlight of the visit.

The spa is lovely but overpriced. We visit many spas and if you can believe it, you can get better value for these services in the very expensive states of NJ and NY. We each had two deep tissue massages. My husband was pleased with both of his appointments. I had one very good session and the other was fair (actually I think she fell asleep during the last 5 minutes!). Go for one service and enjoy the steam room and sauna.

There is plenty to do at this resort. It is also very family friendly. I would recommend this resort, if you have the spendable cash, for folks with children. There were hundreds of children there over President's weekend. It is not a place for a romantic weekend but I will say there are plenty of activities for children so I can't say it was a bother. The only down side was that we were unable to use the swimming pool as it was constantly filled with dozens of children jumping in from all ends.

They hold a very nice afternoon tea in the huge center hall/lobby. A young man played lovely tunes on a baby grand piano, hot chocolate and teas were served along with tea sandwiches and sweet treats. A separate children's table was available. Grab a couple of high back chairs along the side and sip tea while enjoying the people walking up and down the main lobby. It's a delightful hour.

We purchased a food plan which worked well for us. You can order other items on the menu for a surcharge but we found the selections just fine. We had breakfast in the main dining hall each morning. The room is run by an efficient group of seating captains and a team of mostly Jamaican staff who are on their game. The buffet is ample. The woman who prepares omelets on the right side of the room is exceptional. She obviously loves her job and you feel it.

I could pick apart a few things but overall I must say we enjoyed this experience. I would return.

  • Stayed February 2011, 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
    • 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 Omni Homestead Resort

Address: 7696 Sam Snead Highway, Hot Springs, VA 24445
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Virginia > Hot Springs
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 hotels in Hot Springs
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Omni Homestead Resort 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Open since 1766, The Omni Homestead is one of America's most storied resorts, offering unparalleled hospitality and southern charm in a 2,000-acre setting within the Allegheny Mountains of southwestern Virginia. Renowned for its natural hot springs, The Homestead is distinguished by 483 luxurious guest rooms and suites, 72,000 square feet of meeting space, a wide array of fine and casual dining choices, an expansive spa, championship golf courses that include one of the nation's finest mountain courses (The Cascades), Allegheny Springs, a two-acre family-friendly water attraction complete with lazy river, water slides and water play zone. The resort also offers the South's first downhill ski area, an Equestrian Center, top-rated Shooting Club, archery, canoeing, falconry, Segway tours and a wealth of other recreational attractions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Homestead Hotel Hot Springs
Homestead Hotel Hot Springs
Homestead Va
Homestead Hot Springs Virginia
Homestead Hot Springs Va
Homestead Resort Hot Springs

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