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“Not What it Could Be” 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
Arlington, Virginia
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Not What it Could Be”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2008

I was at the Homestead in March for a conference. Overall I enjoyed my experience, especially for the discount rate we were given as part of the conference. A lot of little things, however, added up to make the stay not as great as other resorts.

Check-In: We found it very difficult to get help and had to track-down valet and bell-hop services. Once we'd done that the front-desk told us our room wasn't ready but that everything was fine. When we did go to get the keys to the room, a different person was helping us and was completely confused by our reservation and took 20 minutes to straighten it out.

Room: The room was very pleasant. Nice spacious bathrooms and bathtubs. Soft white towels and big sinks. The bed was very comfy. Do not, I repeat, do not use their rollaways. The first night I slept in a rollaway in a collegues room because the hotel was booked. It was among the worst sleep I've ever gotten. Homestead would do well to invest in new rollaways.

Activities: All of the activities seemed nice, while I only really took advantage of the hiking. The South Trail is a nice way to see the resort grounds, while the more difficult Deer-Lick Trail offers amazing hillltop views.

Spa: I had a mixed experience. The staff was very friendly and the facilities were clean and large. I enjoyed the relaxation room and I loved the raspberry tea. The room where I had my facial, however, was extremely cold. Additionally, my facial did not include an extraction, which both I and a friends were expecting as a part of the $160 experience. I've only had one other facial, but it was much better.

Food: The worst part about Homestead. I ate at the Casino twice and Sam Snead's once. Both were overpriced bland, and at some level bad, food. The service was average. The tea in the Great Hall was the one thing I enjoyed. I recommend the Roost join in town which was cheap diner food but so much better.

Conference Facilities: I believe they are new and I enjoyed them. One very old High School looking bathroom was strange but other than that fine. When the hotel catered breakfast, however, they only put out one table and the lines were up to a half hour long. This may be the fault of the conference committee, though.

There is a lot to do at the Homestead and it is a truly beautiful, relaxing place. If they work on some of these problems I think they can remain the excellent resort they have been for most of their history.

Stayed March 2008
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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
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Washington DC
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2008

For the price that my husband and I paid (found a deal on travelzoo for $189 for a preferred resort room), I enjoyed the experience at the Homestead. If I find another deal like this, we may go again but the resort is not worth more than that. Overall, I found the Homestead to be fair (you get what you pay for) but not generous that guests felt pampered. It is not comparable to a four or five star resort.

The property is lush and beautiful. It was very crowded during Easter weekend but it is such a large property with so many sitting rooms, it is easy to find a nook to read, relax or play a game of chess/checkers, games which can be found everywhere.

The staff was polite, efficient, and accommodating. They accommodated a late checkout and waived a valet charge because the parking lots were full. However, the resort felt understaffed and everything felt rushed. There was only one person at the concierge at any time helping walk-ups and answering telephone calls so there was always a wait. When I did get a chance to ask my question, the answer was rushed and short (no additional information was offered) and little chance for follow-up before she picked up the phone again.

Parking is limited. There is a small parking lot up the hill and another one behind the Homestead. The lots were full when we checked in so we were forced to valet. I spoke to the front desk and they waived this charge.

Guest Room: We were on the 4th floor in the West Wing (which is the closest to the spa, indoor swimming pool, and Sam Sneads Tavern). The views are okay but nothing spectacular. The rooms were small and dated (heating/AC unit looked old and rusty, windows did not lock and close properly) and the bathroom was cramped. But it was clean.

Dining Room: Sam Sneads was booked so we ate in the Main Dining Room. The service was friendly but rushed. The food was not five-star but better than expected. $80 flat fee per person plus tax plus 17% service charge. They are VERY serious about the dress code for men. It is jacket and tie – no exceptions. We were not expecting to eat there and did not bring a jacket and tie, although my husband was in a nice pair of slacks and a collared sweater. They lent him a jacket and tie to eat there. 1766 is $80 plus $35 additional fee plus tax plus 17% service charge. There is no where else to eat on the resort. You can drive to Cucci’s, John’s Steakhouse, Country Café, or Gristmill Restaurant in Warm Springs or take a shuttle there for $10 per person. The concierge has menus for all of these places so you can make reservations. For more causal dining, next to Sam Sneads, we saw Lindseys Bar and Grill and a deli which has Subway sandwiches. Breakfast is less formal. Among other things, there was a pancake and omelet station and a variety of fresh fruit.

Jefferson Pools: $18 per person and there is a shuttle that leaves every hour on the half hour from the resort. 12-1pm is co-ed time. The bath is in a run down shack with changing rooms around the pool. The bottom of the pool is graveled. The place was a little grimy but we had a great time. Water was warm (although it did not feel like 98 degrees) and it was quite relaxing. The sulfur is not overpowering. Ladies pool is 5 feet deep and the men’s pool is 7 feet deep. Because there is no swimming allowed, there are noodles around the pool to keep you afloat.

Other facilities: Ping Pong room had one table with a crushed ball, swimming pool was completely overrun with kids (adult swim is for one hour in the morning), and the bowling alley was $10 per game. The free movies were old ones but they served free popcorn and soda. There were lots of activities for kids and it would look fun to bring an extended family here for vacation.

  • Liked — Jefferson Pools, common areas, and lush surroundings
  • Disliked — Mandatory service fee; all activities cost extra
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2008

This hotel claims they are four star/five diamond. The service and condition of the htoel are anything but. The valet and bell staff were helpful, however upon arrival we found the front desk staff to be indifferent. Despite paying for a preferred room with a resort view, we were initially given a small room, with an old tv that overlooked the front parking area and was next to the ice machine. When we complained, we were told there were no other rooms available, eventhough the website said otherwise. They finally found another for us and after 20 minutes the bellman showed up and took us to our new room, which was a little bigger and had a newer LCD TV. The bellman did not bring new keys nor our luggage with him, so I had to return to the front desk and get new keys. The first set did not work, so I had to return to the front desk again and get new keys made. Upon returning to the front desk, I was accused of holding them next to my cell phone or credit cards resulting in the keys being deactivated. This was not the case as I kept the keys out of my pockets and in the paper folder. The second set worked fine. The carpets in the room looked a little worn, but the carpet in the hallways was even worse, stained, dirty, and wrinkled throughout the hotel. I actually tripped on the wrinked carpet more than once.

Be warned, Room service and the restaurants are definitely overpriced. We were not on the meal plan, and room service for a burger, kids spaghetti, cheese pizza, two shrimp cocktails and three soft drinks totaled $130 after the mandatory $5 per person delivery charge (yes $15 delivery charge for my wife, daughter and myself) and 17,5% gratuity were added to the check. On the second night we decided to have dinner in the dinning room, since we weren't on a meal plan, I inquired about the cost and was told by a Maitre'd and hostess that it would per $80 per adult and $30 per child plus taxes and mandatory gratuity. I also confirmed this same information by calling in-house reservations from my cell phone. $190 for two adults and a child (9 yo) is steep, but my wife really wanted to eat there.

Upon being shown to our table, my wife attempted to pull out her chair and the top of the chair came off. All the chairs at our table were really wobbly and I worried that they would fall apart at any moment. My daughter took a sip of water from her glass and cut her lip a little bit, as the glass was chipped. The waitress apologized for both occurences and was excellent and very attentive throughout the meal. The somelier came and we ordered a bottle of wine. She delivered it and we never saw her again. We had to refill our own glasses throughout the meal. The food itself was excellent, and up until that point, we had really enjoyed our stay inspite of the other shortcomings. At the end of the meal, I was presented with the bill, and was surprised to find that we had been charged $45 for my daughter's hamburger, fruit and desert. I really hate being lied too! When I went up front to protest, and told another maitre'd that we had been told the children's meal would be $30 by the hostess and different maitre'd, he shrugged his shoulders and said, "No its $45 and they were misinformed." When I told him, I would like the bill adjusted since two of his staff were misinformed he refused and said there was nothing he could do. When I asked for a manager, he again refused and said,"If you have that much of a problem with $15 perhaps you shouldn't be staying at The Homestead." I stood there dumbfounded and again asked for manager, either from the restaurant or hotel. The maitre'd again refused and said if I still had a problem I could take it up with the front desk, but he could not and would not summon a manager. I then had to walk to the from dinning room to the front desk (a good distance pass the resort shops and great hall) and asked them to summon the manager on duty to the dinning room. The MOD came and I told her everything. She was fairly new to the resort, but resolved the matter satisfactorily. But again this entire exchange should not have happened at a resort that claims to be 4 star/5 diamond.

Overall our stay was okay, bu the incident with the Dinning Room really soured it. We will definitely think twice before staying at The Homestead again.

  • Liked — Mountains and surrounding scenery
  • Disliked — Condition of hotel interior
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Pittsburgh
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2008

We booked for a 3-day weekend in early March because I received a sale promotion from Hotwire. We went with another couple and they checked in first. We asked to be roomed near each other (i.e. adjoining rooms), which they did NOT accomodate even though the hotel was near empty the day we checked in. We also asked for an upgrade and we did nget it. Our room was very nice with a balcony ad great view of the front of the hotel. Our package included breakfast and I did not understand that dinners could have been included, so we just paid "ala carte" for dinners. Imagine our shock when we got our bill at the Grille (over $300 for 2). And then the next evening at the dining room (almost $300 for 2). We decided that we weren't going to let these outrageous amounts ruin our 3-day weekend. We enjoyed our spa treatments and the facillties, And everyone of the employees were very friendly and helpful. We will return again, but now that we know what they charge for dinner, we will most likely have dinner at Sam Sneads and other local restaurants. One final note - it is very nice, but it is not the Greenbrier.

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terca
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2008

I had never been to The Homestead...was quite excited to get away for a long weekend with my 5-year-old son.

I'm sure there are many reviews that tout the tradition and beauty of the resort, so I'm just going to focus on the things that stood out for me.

We arrived at the end of ski season with the hopes that my son might be able to do Bunny School for a couple of days. Unfortunately weather disallowed that after only an hour on skis. But the staff was very accommodating, did not charge me, etc. I do believe that, when the conditions allow, this is a good deal @ $65/half day which includes lessons, lift ticket, snack for about 2.5 hours - one session in a.m. and one in the afternoon OR you can do all day.

Also of note, I found the staff very accommodating at check-in. We arrived on a Thursday and the resort was not fully booked. The bumped our room class up slightly which gave us a little more room (great for when you're travelling with children). However, I did come to find out (from housekeeping) that not all of the rooms have been renovated (ours had not) and that was a bit disappointing. In fact, it seems like only a small % actually have in a certain section/area. You may want to inquire about that when making a reservation. All-in-all, it was great to have spacious quarters.

And - I have to also say that the Kid's Club is GREAT. My son loved spending time there and meeting other children at the resort. And it was fun to see them run into each other outside the club. A nice connection!

The flip-side of the above positive experiences: the spa was a disappointment. I've been to spas all around the country, so I know I have a higher expectation - but that should be okay when you're going to a high-end resort like The Homestead. Here are my thoughts:

1) It's very spacious, with a great wet area and a couple of nice relaxation areas. I wish I had known about the "Serenity Lounge" before my treatment when I actually had more time to enjoy it.

2) The swedish massage I received was "okay"; I wouldn't say it was necessarily worth $140 for 50 minutes. But it was a nice treatment. Perhaps some of the other, specialty treatments would be more enjoyable - can't say...

3) BIG DISAPPIONTMENT that took the whole experience down to be the singularly most low-end spa experience that I've ever had...and certainly one would expect more from an established resort such The Homestead. Here's what happened:
* I ordered lunch, which is generally not an unusual request at other spas that I've visited.
* It came on time and was handed to me in a large brown grocery-style bag while I was in the shower/sauna area. Not a very appetizing presentation.
* I asked if there was anywhere special to go and was told "just anywhere". I was not able to find even a single cafe-style table to sit and eat respectably.
* The food was served in a styrofoam container with the marg. pizza right on top of the salad and thus messy and soggy. I'm just shocked that it couldn't even be provided with the minimum level of courtesy that you might show to someone ordering room service.
* So, there I finally sat in the middle of one of the relaxation areas upstairs trying to balance a pizza and salad in a single styrofoam container on my lap and enjoy it?
* Messy, unappetizing, unappealing.

I dare say that they could purchase a cafe table and 2 chairs for less than $150 and find a quiet nook for them. And I would further venture that the restaurant could take the service/presentation at least a half-step further.

In this regard, I believe they owe more to their guests and also to the history and tradition that The Homestead represents.

Since we live only 3 hours from the resort, we may try it again during warm weather season. There seem to be a lot of great activities to enjoy year-round. However, I'll probably save my "spa-ing" for other locations.

  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
usa
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2008

We have been visiting the Homestead on and off for fifteen years. It was once an expensive but friendly place. In the hands of its most recent owners, KSL Capital Partners, it has become something quite different -- the subject of a corporate plan to extract as much money from guests as it can. I thought our experience on a recent weekend was an anomaly, but reading the reviews below back to last summer, many guests have had similar complaints. Here are some of the things we were faced with: the entire wing of the hotel we were in was about ten degrees colder than the rest of the building. In our room, the heater was on constantly but just blew cold air. Putting the thermostat up to 80 made no difference. There are no prices on the menus in the main dining room. I'm not surprised. For the price they charged, I could eat at the best restaurants in any major city -- and not be surrounded by 300 other diners, have a waiter who is actually assigned to my table, and a sommelier who knows the wines on the list. At breakfast, the only option was a buffet, no a la carte choices. So I went to the coffee shop and was charged $4.50 for a small cafe au lait. The afternoon tea, which was once served to you in the Great Hall, and then declined to a do it yourself service, has recently had everything but the tea eliminated, unless you want to pay $17 for a few tiny sandwiches or $33 for that plus some cake. It used to be free. The crowning corporate achievement came when my daughter booked us on a one hour fly-fishing lesson. We were a little surprised when it went on for over two hours but discovered the reason when we checked out. The concierge had, without our permission, booked us on something called a `Cascades Experience', which was neither in the brochure nor on the price list, at $159 per person. After we received a hostile response from the concierge, I spoke with the manager who reduced the charge to the one hour fee. I thought this was just a mistake, but if you read the reviews below, you'll see a disturbing pattern of similar overcharges. Draw your own conclusions and check your bill carefully. After this, I'm not returning the the Homestead. I'll be going somewhere where my family is more than just a name on a credit card to the owners.

  • Stayed February 2008
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Boston
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2008

The Homestead in Hot Springs, VA wasn't so hot! Our very expensive room overlooked a huge roof. No view. Dinner in one of their restaurants, that had a sur-charge, cost our family almost $600.! No prices on menu. Yikes. My spa experience was below average. My room was cold and light. No warmth, no soft music. My body scrub was very quick. Not worth the price or my time. Everything cost extra--skiing, skating, tubing etc. After our dining disaster we chose to go to a couple of restaurants in the area that were very nice. We couldn't get a hold of anyone at the front desk when we tried. We were told we had to go up the hill to the ski lodge to view some fireworks. We actually stayed on the front porch and had a great view. So, service was not great.

  • Liked — The Presiden't lounge
  • Disliked — Cost and spa
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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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 ( Wi-Fi ) 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*
Number of rooms: 483
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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