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“Greenbrier vs. Homestead” 5 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
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Greenbrier vs. Homestead”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2010

While both are wonderful and storied resorts, the big difference is development scale.

The Greenbrier has morphed from resort into a sprawling residential community of on-site dwelling clusters, linked by constant paved roads everywhere, all gated and walled off from the fast food and gas station town of White Sulphur Springs, into which guests will rarely venture other than to enter and exit the resort through the Greenbrier's security-restricted passages. In general, the feeling is busy, crowded and occasionally overwhelming, consistent with the interior decor of the Greenbrier which is loud and riotously colorful.

The Homestead is the opposite, with almost no pavement or residential clusters within sight of the resort, leaving the ground's landscape natural and accessible only by foot (or golf cart or bicycle) and creating an entirely different feel. Rather than being walled off from the resort, the village of Hot Springs has been thoughtfully preserved, upgraded with light retail and dining, and integrated into the resort as a natural extension of the setting. There are no security checks, walls, gates or other barriers to define the resort's boundaries, which merge seamlessly into the natural setting or the village, consistent with the subtlety of the Homestead's subdued color schemes indoors.

The two legendary venues are only an hour apart so if you stay at one, visiting the other is a worthwhile sidetrip.

Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
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2,349 reviews from our community

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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 (413)
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English first
MD
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2010

We stayed through a special package rate featured on Rue La La. The deal was fabulous: all activities included. Everything we participated in (golf, canoeing, Jefferson pool, etc.) were top notch, with top notch, attentive servcie. The room was clean, roomy and well appointed. The area is beautiful nesteled in the VA mountains. We did not eat at the resort: too pricey, so we ate at local establishments (check out Bath County websites). The local spots offered great food. Homestead is a wonderful place to "chill out" and relax or go, go, go participating in all their many activities. It was fun exploring all the little nook and cranies of this old yet well kept resort. It had the best indoor pool I have ever been in.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2010

I decided to plan a once in a lifetime trip for my wife and my one year anniversary. As we don't have alot of money I had several conversations with the reservation staff about the stay and if I could see my heart earned money spent wisely. I was told the stay would be marvelous and all anniversary related activities be special. First let me say the resort is gorgeous. The grounds well kept and building well maintained for an older structure. From the outside looking in, this is a wonderful place to spend time (and money). We decided to book the unlimited activities and I was modestly impressed with that staff. The staff were patient and passionate about their field. However, discussing the hotel is a different story. The hotel staff is uninformed, rude and unaccomodating. They are missing the personal touch that I come to expect at a fancy resort. Maybe I'm spooled from the service we register from the Jefferson for our honeymoon. Everytime I picked up the phone or visited the front desk, it was "right away sir,we will take care of it". Here it was different. When I approached the front desk about room service/ menus , the response was " you will have to go back to your room and dial zero" the response should have been" we will take care of it immediately". This is just one example of the lack of attention to detail we received during our stay. The lack of followthrough exists with the guarantee of special service for our anniversary. In conclusion the stay was alright. The hotel staff could use a refresher in good customer service. One such example that will leave a lasting impression with me was yesterdaywhen I witnessed a guest struggling to load out to his car while a bellhop watched insincerly as he unsuccessfully tried to prop his golf clubs on the pillar and having them tumble down the staircase. No assitance was offered by the bellhop. I think that summarizes the iniative of the staff.

  • Stayed June 2010
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Great Falls, Virginia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2010

My husband and I spent 3 days/2 nights for our 27th wedding anniversary at the Homestead. What a wonderful historic setting. The staff were very welcoming and warm and it seemed there was nothing that we asked that they would not accommodate. The outings staff were wonderful and our tour guides and instructors very helpful. We enjoyed meeting the maitre d' Woody, a Homestead institution. Our favorite meal was Saturday night in the 1766 Grill. We kayaked, learned to fly cast, went horseback riding, learned archery, bowled, and went on the Cascades Gorge Hike, We both so enjoyed the hike with Brian the naturalist - most fun 3 hours of the weekend! We'd gladly go back and suggest you go and enjoy too!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Salem, Virginia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2010

It was with real excitement that my family (wife and two children) went to the Homestead on a gift certificate given to us by a dear family friend. Having heard of the Homestead's reputation, we expected a wonderful and memorable experience. Our expectations were only partially met. This once grand queen is showing her age, and, like most royalty who find themselves down on their luck, she is surviving by living off her past reputation and by charging high taxes to the commoners who come to visit.

The worst thing was the room. Very small in size. An air conditioning unit that sounded like a Cessna preparing for take off. Wall paper peeling off the walls. Aging mattresses (not even Queen sized). A barely functioning refrigerator that you had to request once you arrived at the hotel. Lights which didn't work. Old pizza crusts on our outdoor balcony. I have probably stayed at 50 Courtyards by Marriott in the last ten years, and each one had rooms nicer and cleaner than the one at the Homestead - which charged over $200.00 a night for our small, cramped room. And then there are the hidden fees. I want to stay at a hotel that simply states - UPFRONT - what I'm playing per night without then tacking on a mysterious 15% "resort fee." I want room service and restaurant dining that honestly reports what the cost of a club sandwich is without tacking on fees for a server who may not deserve a tip. I don't want to pay add ones for services that I don't want (like a "free" Roanoke Times, which is a mediocre paper) or didn't use (like in-room internet service, which I didn't need because I was on vacation and deliberately didn't bring my lap top).

When you do try to reserve activities for your family, you will find yourself blocked out by the large conventions upon which the Homestead depends. Want to have dinner with your family in the main dining room? Want to go horseback riding with your family? You had better hope that the hordes that have descended upon the Homestead to attend the annual convention of the United Electrical Workers (whose package deal includes free activities) haven't gobbled up all the reservations. And if you get a reservation, be prepared for sticker shock. $300 for a canoe trip. $100 to have your child ride a horse for 55 minutes. $45 dollars to learn how to shoot a bow and arrow. $175 dollars for a carriage ride.

Other reviews have mentioned the staff. The more permanent members of the staff tend to be professional, efficient and friendly (like Richard at the front desk and Kim the bartender at "The Casino"), but some of the younger staff members seem overly relaxed, incompetent, and inefficient. Are they summer help? When my wife asked one of the servers for a decaffeinated tea bag at the "high tea" served at 3:00 p.m. each day, he stared at her like she had two heads. Needless to say, she didn't get the tea.

To be fair, the natural beauty of the area - and the gracious public rooms of the hotel itself - live up to its advance billing. It's a beautiful building, and many of its interior spaces (like the indoor swimming pool) are stunning. And the grounds are lovingly maintained. My young son and I spent several hours watching the fish jump after bugs in the peaceful little fishing pond near the tennis courts - he had no interest in fishing, which is good since the "complimentary" fishing pools were simply bamboo sticks with a fishing line (and impossible to cast more than 12 inches from the shore line).

Other thoughts. We visited the "Arcade" - which featured a few old, poorly maintained video machines stuck in a seedy room in an old part of the hotel. We promptly lost five dollars in the change machine, which required us to trek all the way back to the main lobby and then get shuttled back and forth between the concierge desk and the main desk. We wanted to see the free kids' movies in the resort's historic theater, but we found the movies were moved to a small conference room because of the aforementioned electronic contractors and their meeting. When I did break down and sneak off to check my e-mail in the business center, two of the PC's were not working and the third was slow, slow, slow.

In short, I would give the Homestead a "C+" If you want to chair your guests high prices, then give them their money's worth. And don't require them to pay for mysterious "resort fees" and services they don't want. I've seen other postings where the Homestead Management has expressed their concerns about complaints and invited guests to give them another chance - we'd be happy to, but only if you are offering a free weekend!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Winchester, Virginia
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2010

Celebrating an anniversary, we chose the Homestead over the Greenbrier because the unlimited activity package was available as buy 2 nights get 1 free. We stayed week nights as it was cheaper and less crowded. We stayed 4 nights, with unlimited activities and paid for 3.
We really didn't care about the view from the room because we didn't plan to spend much time there. I didn't pay for a room upgrade and the room was nice, although we had a view of a roof. I saw another family complain about their view (they asked for garden view) and they were moved to a different room.
The afternoon tea in the great hall is really kind of nice. The free morning coffee in the jefferson hall is very good.
We played golf, my wife did the spa, we did kayaking, archery, horse back riding and sporting clays. All of the folks who ran the activities were very good and very patient, except at the gun club. The young men who ran the archery and the kayaks (they also do the paint ball and dune buggies at the ski lodge) were very nice and very patient.
At the gun club, my wife said that she had never shot (or not in many years) and they asked her 3 times what kind of gun she wanted. We were provided with no gun safety training and it was clear the shooting instructor wanted to get through our appointment and move on. My wife gave up after the first station and we were not charged for her shells (you pay $11 per box of ammo). I watched a couple doing skeet in front of the gun club building and their instructor seemed very patient, so we must have had the wrong guy. The sporting clays course is a nice set up, I've done this before long ago and I shot well but had a hard time enjoying it based on the way we were treated.
We did not bring kids, but many people did. The outdoor pool is nice and the most reasonable place to eat ($8 for chicken fingers or a burger and fries), but the pool grill closes at 6.
There were plenty of shuttles. we self-parked the car and never moved it until check out.
We did not buy a meal plan, and if you don't plan to eat 4 courses, you may be better of doing as we did. While we brought appropriate attire, we didn't eat in the main dining room or 1766. I can't see paying $30 for the breakfast buffet, although I heard it was very good.
We ate at Sam Snead's Tavern across the street. The steaks there are excellent, although not big. The $18 steak sandwich is outstanding. Not a philly cheesteak, a steak sandwhich. Don't spend $5 on the mushrooms, though (you get 5 mushroom pieces).
1 block from Sam Sneads, by the bank on a side street is Lindsay's Roost. This may be the only other restaurant and the cheapest place to eat in the county. Just a little diner with $3 burgers and $1.50 hot dogs.
I played the lower cascades twice because it was included in the package (I shoot around 90). It was sufficently challenging, and you can't beat free (included in the package). The greens are ridiculous and I never figured them out. The clubhouse is old (the bathroom is not nice), but all of the Homestead golf gear that's not selling in the main hotel shop moves here and isdiscounted-50% off.
I did not play the old course, but if you want to stay close to the hotel this is right behind the outdoor pool- no shuttle needed. A guy I played with at the lower cascades said you can call late in the afternoon for 50% off twilight rates.
We had a great time and will go back.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Richmond, Virginia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2010

We went to the Homestead for our first wedding anniversary to celebrate it in a very special way. My husband planned the trip as a surprise and we were looking forward to a weekend getaway with full of activities. While we had a good time with golfing, Sam Snead restaurant (lovely and very attentive servicing) and charming people with Southern hospitality, our room was nowhere close to deserving the money we spent (yes I found out about it when the staff left the bill with no envelopes on our door which was supposed to be a surprise).
We specifically asked a room with view and a room not looking at service entrance, as if they were joking they gave us one with a view to the service entrance, the front door staff told us that they usually have upgrades for special occasions but we got none!!. The AC was no where close to functional, it was not cooling, it was very loud, we called the maintance friday evening and they must have come Sunday morning 'cause it started working when we were leaving. Whe we got to the room, we saw that they dumped rusted water into our sink and left it messy. We could not believe our eyes. We took pictures of it too...We asked for a late check-out but our cards were disabled so we had to reactive. Again front door personnel does not seem to be explaning the details well, always a line of people and the room we stayed was no where close to a good experience..Again like some other reviews, we managed to have fun and enjoy our special days

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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*
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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