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“Wonderful Resort- Bad Owner Policies” 3 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
Greensboro
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Wonderful Resort- Bad Owner Policies”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2011

Let me first point out that I am not a KSL (owner) fan. I have found their guest policies and procedures to be less than welcoming in several stays at their properties over the years- Given the option I would seek alternative lodging as opposed to staying at one of their properties.

That being said, my family and I stayed recently for a weekend at the resort and had a wonderful time. We all look forward to going back, but will do so with the information in mind that will make for a more enjoyable time. The activities and dining staff were impeccable, especially in the main dining room- we had a wonderful experience.

Our family issues arise with the resort itself, you really need an instruction guide to book your reservation and make the best use of your time. The reservations process is severely flawed and I suspect that the agents are paid on commission that make them not provide the best guidance on what makes the most sense for each guest. Be sure and ask specific questions regarding packages they have available and exactly what they include.

Once you arrive at the resort, do not hesitate to ask what something cost. They are very skillful at asking "do you want this/that?" and not fully disclosing that there is significant cost. I find this interesting as that has been the operations that I have experienced at other KSL resorts. A perfect example is "may I park your car", not disclosing that there are options and costs associated with some. In my opinion the valet parking is a complete waste of money as the self parking is in close proximity to the hotel and you will not need your car while there.

The activities are well planned and we were very impressed with the guides we had in the activities we did. Here is another area where the KSL policies come into question, you cannot hardly walk down the hall without signing a waiver- you must sign a waiver for every single activity. On a legal note, in most states those waivers are not enforceable because they contain blanket releases, even in the event of owner negligence. There is significant case law where these have been thrown out. Seems that they could just do a blanket waiver when you check in.

Our kids are already looking for a return trip and we will do so with the information we need to have a truly enjoyable experience. It is really sad that you need a "test" stay to feel welcome and make the best use of your time. As I have spent in excess of 3,200 nights in hotels in my life, I am not a first timer to the way a place should be run- this one is run from the ivory tower not the heart. There are many resorts out there that have the mixture right between profitability and a truly outstanding guest experience, this is not one.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
TheHomesteadResort, Manager at The Omni Homestead Resort, responded to this review, October 19, 2011
Thank you for your comments. We have multiple package options available that can make the reservation process overwhelming for 1st time or newer guests. Our reservation process is designed to discover the wants and needs of each caller, so that the reservation agents can provide package options that meets the individual needs and what's important to every guest/family. It's our standard to fully disclose all costs involved with the selected package/options while the caller is on the phone, as well as in the reservation confirmation process.

Sonia Colaw
Director of Reservations
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 (370)
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English first
Charlottesville, VA
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2011

After not having a summer vacation this year, I planned some time away from work for five days in mid September. I was looking for a quiet, relaxing get away, that was within 3 hours of home. I booked the unlimited package with Maria at Whatahotel, and received a confirmed upgrade at booking. Shortly thereafter, I received an e-mail from The Homestead requesting reservations for dinner and all of my activities I had planned to do.
Driving to The Homestead was surprisingly relaxing after turning off of I64. When I pulled up to the port cochere, Patrick immediately greeted us, removed our bags, and showed us to the lobby. At check-in, I was quickly acknowledged and greeted, and received another upgrade to a Junior Suite. Unlike other hotels, where the bellman would show you to your room, the front desk had directed the bellman to deliver our bags to our room ahead of us. This allowed us to explore the grand lobby of the hotel, as well as some of the other public spaces.
Our Junior Suite was as large as many Executive Suites in other hotels. The windows overlooked the outdoor swimming pool, casino and golf course.
After settling in, we had dinner at Sam Snead's Tavern. Not located in the hotel itself, but across the street in Hot Springs, Sam Snead's is an easy stroll. Afterwards, we spent a few hours around the fire pit at the base of the hotel's tower.
The buffet breakfast in the main dining room is quite extensive. Just about everything you can imagine for breakfast. Every morning, I left full and satisfied. I was surprised, however, that the buffet breakfast did not change. The last morning of our stay, breakfast just seemed boring after seeing the same thing morning after morning. Overall, the food was good.
All in all, between the numerous activities and solitude of feeling like you're the only two guests at the hotel, I had left completely relaxed. I'm certainly looking forward to returning again next year for my birthday and anniversary!

Room Tip: Room in main part of hotel are best! Go during a special occasion, such as your birthday or anniver...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
manalapan,NJ
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2011

Our Stay at The Homestead, Sept. 19-23, 2011
My husband and were looking forward to our vacation despite the numerous negative reviews we read posted on various travel advisory sites. My husband had notified the reservation manager a week prior to our arrival that we were concerned about the posted complaints and she assured us they were limited to a few dissatisfied guests and had no basis
However, our expectations were dashed, not upon arrival, since The Homestead is so impressive upon first site, but at our check-in. The check-in manager couldn’t be more depressing in her greeting, demeanor, and work ethic if she tried! We had requested a top floor room with two bathroom sinks under the category of ‘Preferred Garden.” The room did meet these criteria-except, it stank from mildew, the bathroom sinks were pitted and mildewed, the carpet badly stained ,and the room was even dusty! Naturally, we did not want this room. With much disdain and inflicting a long wait-despite being the only guests to check –in, she directed us to another room above and with the view of a tin roof. Returning with slight disgust, Rebecca and another check-in manager, told us we would again have to wait for still another manager to show us other rooms. An hour later, a senior manager, escorted us to a similar, small room in the main wing which we agreed upon.
Our first night at The Homestead was sleepless since the aged air-conditioner in the room sounded like a thunderstorm going non-stop.
We finally upgraded to a Junior Suite on the 21st, top floor of the Old Tower. Upon viewing the room with an excellent busboy, Don, we were assured the elevator would not be that noisy since the bedroom was in the inner part. That night, we felt duped. I can still hear the elevator chopping twice on our floor since it clearly was broken and kept missing its target. Having already moved from one room, we decided to stick it out. Having a reasonably quiet room at the Homestead is mission impossible.
THE FOOD, DINING ROOMS AND SERVICE
We had selected and prepaid for all our meals. The prices were normal for Five Star Hotels and Restaurants. The food and service met the distinction of mediocre (two star) to diner food and service.
THE GRILLE- We dined at The Grille on our first night. Although the food was presently with flair, the actual quality of the food was dismal. The Duck was very chewy and the desserts like Crepes which is prepared table side looks pretty, but don’t expect to taste something delicious. Our waitress was very cheerful and accommodating; our busboy did not want to be there! The Maître D was scary.
BREAKFAST- at the Main Dining room is very normal for any buffet arrangement. The Maître De at the Dining Room, Philip, who worked there from Mon. thru Wed., is the BEST. He and his assistant and his serving staff are the tops. They impressed by the simple act of addressing us by name. The wait staff was so friendly, perfectly attired and timely, we felt, perhaps, The Homestead is the elegant hotel we read about. As for the actual food, the pastries were delicious, and the cereal boxes would be your safe pick. There is a station and cook there to make eggs and omelets. The eggs are always watery…institutional eggs. Even the fruit was tasteless. We expected this wonderful, and Five Star wait staff for our entire stay, but unfortunately on our last day, the service under the management of the regular Maître De, Woody, was abominable, inexcusable and very destructive to The Homestead’s success.
LUNCH
Lunch is not part of any meal plan. First day we ate at The Casino. We noticed it was quite empty…always a good warning sign. The sandwiches were good though, but for two sandwiches and two drinks the bill came to $55 with tip. We also had lunch at Rubino’s on the Cascades Golf Course. Same menu, same prices. However, if you would like to see how a restaurant looks when it is not kept up in appearance, Rubino’s is your place. The restaurant has a magnificent location and view of the Golf Club, but the view includes tons of spiders and cobwebs on all ceilings. The entrance hasn’t been cleaned and makes the restaurant look like a haunted house. It must have been a beautiful place though at one time.

DINNER at the Main Dining room is advertised as being ultra-elegant with a dress code. My husband and I like to go formal for our vacation dinners, so no problem for us. The first two nights lived up to our expectations as far as service and venue. The chandeliers and tables are set superbly. As I previously mentioned, Mon, Tues and Wed nights were great. On Thurs., Woody, The Hotel’s regular Maître De was in charge and what a difference. On our first day, we were given a very nice window table for the extent of our stay. On Thursday, despite several tables being available by the windows, Woody escorted us to a dark table, near the kitchen. When we told Woody we wanted our usual table, he did “let us” sit there, but the whole dinner experience was downhill from there. We noticed the wait staff had shirts sticking out; we and others around us, had to wait, wait, wait—for food to arrive, for dirty dishes to be taken away, etc. And the waiters were rude, rude, rude!! My husband ordered a steak. DON’T ORDER STEAK AT THE HOMESTEAD! Tasted as tough as real shoe leather.
ACTIVITIES

Since we are not golfers, can’t comment. Although some of the guests complained waiting was too long because members play first.
We are tennis players. Clay Robinson is the pro there. With our prior reservations, we had contacted him for a suggested tennis program, including clinics. He seemed to be only interested in us bringing more players or only setting up group lessons or private lessons. The clay courts are in good shape, while the hard ones are not. There is no direct entrance to the courts and more than one player was frantic because he was late for a lesson and couldn’t find the court entrance. There are no signs, but the courts are visible. And, don’t forget bug spray if you play tennis or golf because the gnats are notorious and abundant.

Tea Time is a laugh if you like to see some people sit in the lobby. The “dainty” sandwiches are nasty.

BEST is the Historical Tour. It truly is a worthwhile two or more hours of living history. The Homestead Historian has grown up at The Homestead and worked his way up. His stories and narrating skills are excellent and will make you wish the Hotel will be restored to its former reputation as a top hotel and resort. Unfortunately, at the end of the tour, he announces a “goody” is waiting for you to remember the hotel and it turned out to be an old yellow postcard of the Homestead golf course. Several of the tour members left very disappointed .

We suggest if you want to see The Homestead, for the grounds and building itself is very impressive, stay for one day/night . And if you are in the neighborhood of Hot Springs, take a look, but be warned if you take a vacation there or book your next business conference there—you might have some very sleep deprived employees!

Room Tip: NONE-stay for one night at a lower priced room..just to see the Hotel. In fact, a tour for a few hou...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairfax, Virginia
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2011

After reading all the positive comments from other reviewers, it's hard to add anything new or useful. The resort is a historic gem and the walking history tour should not be missed. The service is outstanding and so is the food. The buffet breakfast and dinner in the main dining room are wonderful. The afternoon tea in the grand lobby is a real treat. And where else can you sit in a rocker on a Victorian veranda and surf the net on you laptop? But perhaps what stands out in my mind is the hospitality of the staff. Management can teach process, but no one can teach genuine friendliness and warmth. The Homestead's people really do make this a special place. Another reviewer mentioned that rooms in the garden wing are larger than elsewhere; that's where we stayed and the room was certainly spacious enough -- twin sinks and two luggage racks were a nice touch. As others have said, you can drop a lot of money here, but it's certainly worth it.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Cross Lanes, West Virginia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2011

My daughter and I try to take at least one short vacation together every year. Vacations in recent years have included Amelia Island, Florida, Cape May, New Jersey, Lake George, New York, and the Hudson Valley. All of these places were enjoyable but none compared to the three days we spent at the Homestead in August, 2011. The beauty of the hotel and surrounding grounds is breathtaking. Our suite was spacious and had the most delightful large, very private porch. The service at The Homestead seemed "different" from other places we have visited. Not overwhelming but definately more than adequate. The staff tended to be low key, almost as if they were serving us (very graciously) in their own home. As a result, we felt as if we were at home, also. The food in the Main Dining Room was good but a little pricey. Our waiter made excellent recommendations as did the wine steward. There are several other good options including the Casino and, for lighter fare, Martha's Market is great and has small table for outdoor dining in warm weather. The outdoor pool and warm and inviting and was not crowded when we were there. The indoor pool is the most beautiful I have ever seen. They have guided hikes for all levels. My daughter loved the Gorge Hike. There are activities for almost any age or interest. The Homstead is a very old and historic hotel. In a few places, there was evidence of its age, but that was part of the charm. The Homestead is not for everyone. Visting the Homestead is like stepping back in time when life moved at a slower pace, elegant, comfortable and relaxing all at once. I can't wait to take my grandchildren in a few years. It will be a yearly "must" for my daughter and me, and hopfully for the rest of my family, from now on.

Room Tip: The Homestead is large. Anyone who has difficulty walking long distances should make sure the staff...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 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.
Chicago, Illinois, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2011

We were at the Homestead for the first time this weekend. I had been to the Greenbrier a few times, and always enjoyed myself there. While I felt that there were some parts of the Homestead that needed a little polish, there was something about the Homestead that was truly special. In part, its the history, the sacred springs, and the beautiful surroundings. But really what makes the Homestead unique is the people who work there. Honestly, there is a level of hospitality at the Homestead that frankly doesn't exist anymore. People were so gracious that it just warmed our hearts. Woody in the dining room, William in the 1766 room, Owen, Jack and Matt who waited on us tonight, were beyond courteous and polite. They took a sincere interest in our well being, and our enjoyment of the evening. I think its a level of service of a bygone era. If you want to feel what it was like to travel first class on Pan Am, the Queen Mary, or stay at the Ritz in Paris, the Homestead is the place to visit

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2011 via mobile

From the food, to the service was fabulous.. The food at the Casino is great the service even better. The breakfeast buffet is a must visit. If you want one of the best donuts ever uuuuu have to go. Will be visiting often..

  • Stayed September 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.

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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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