Unfortunately, this is the first negative review I have written. That is partially due to the fact that we always research where we choose to stay, and generally find that positives far outweigh potential negatives. That is not the case for the historic Homestead. At the Christmas tree lighting, the new manager remarked he had been at the property for 8 days, hopefully he can get things moving in the right direction.
Having just moved to Virginia from Colorado, we were looking for a new Thanksgiving tradition. In the past, we spent the holiday on the slopes. From the reviews we read, The Homestead seemed like a good choice. What we discovered through the course of the trip was that most of the guests had stayed at the property before, and many of them have been staying for decades, literally. That makes me believe that these people have too much of an emotional connection to see things objectively. I heard guests making excuses for the hotel constantly. That is a bad sign. Guests should not be defending a product, the product should speak for itself.
Here is my objective assessment:
- The staff. Everyone we encountered had a positive attitude, worked hard, and clearly wanted to help guests in whatever way they could. Without the staff, I'd have given a 1.
- The property. The Homestead has remarkable curb appeal. You can see the history and majesty of the property as soon as you drive up.
- The prices. The rooms were at least double what they would normally be because of the holiday, but should have been probably 1/5 the cost. Having stayed all over the world, if I pay $500 a night for a room, I'm expecting slightly more than Holiday Inn. Maybe I'm crazy.
- The food: For the price, the food was a joke. Again, I don't mind paying for a nice meal. I do mind paying for inadequacy. The filet mignon I had at Sam Snead's Tavern was the worst I've ever had in my life. The food at Jefferson's and the Casino was pretty good, but not nearly as good as the price tag indicated.
- The Spa: The massage was great, however, we booked the spa so that we could also enjoy the outdoor hot tub and pool that is just for spa guests. These areas were closed for the ENTIRE day though because of ice. I found this hilarious having just moved from Colorado because 1. there was no visible ice on the pool deck and 2. if there was ice, GET RID OF IT! Unbelievable. I'm trying to imagine a hotel in Breck or Aspen or Vail telling their guests the pool is closed because of ice.
- Thanksgiving dinner: We chose the Thanksgiving buffet dinner, as did the vast majority of the other guests. The buffet was set up in a massive banquet hall. With the hundreds of guests eating, they set up ONE guy serving ONE turkey at a time and ONE pan of each of the sides. Needless to say, the lines to get food were absurd, and I never actually ended up getting mashed potatoes, having waited for a new pan for 10 minutes on two separate occasions. I can't imagine such poor planning at any hotel/restaurant. Here's the best part, the buffet was $75 per person, just for the food. With one drink a piece for my wife and the automatic 17% surcharge plus taxes and tip, we ended up paying $250 for a few pieces of mediocre turkey and some apple cobbler. The Thanksgiving Dinner experience sort of epitomized the entire trip for us. Paying mightily for nothing more than the name of the resort.
- The pretentious society folk. I grew up in Georgia, so I am very familiar with the Southern patriarchal status crowd. The Homestead is absolutely teaming with wealthy well-to-do Virginians that believe that staying at The Homestead in some way conveys their worth to whomever they are trying to impress. These are the folks that equate expenses with quality. If you are like me and base quality on the product/service regardless of expense, you will be left wanting. Severely.
This review is already too long, and I could continue with many more examples, but I think I've conveyed my point. I think next year, we will head to the Caribbean and have twice the quality for half the price. Or anywhere else in the world for that matter.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for choosing The Homestead to spend your Thanksgiving holiday and for your very helpful feedback. Be assured that we take your comments seriously and they will be very useful to us as we make plans for not only next Thanksgiving, but all future holiday events. Omni is very proud to have added The Homestead to our family and we are looking forward to making this magnificent historical property even better. We hope that you will return sometime in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.