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“Beautiful property, relaxing retreat into nature.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Mountain Lake Lodge

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Mountain Lake Lodge
115 Hotel Circle, Pembroke, VA 24136 (Formerly Mountain Lake Hotel)   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Pembroke
Swedesboro, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Beautiful property, relaxing retreat into nature.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

We recently spent 3 days at the lodge in the Chestnut Lodge, which we really liked. It was a bit extra for this room and it is a little hike from the main lodge/restaurant. However, the room had a porch with rockers, a TV with DirectTV ( I have heard the main lodge did not have) a nice sitting area, a kitchenette, an individual thermostat with heat and cooling, ceiling fan and a nice enough bathroom. The bed was comfortable, the furnishings nice, and the towels, blankets and pillows were ample and good quality. We took part in several activities, mountain biking, archery, and hiking. We enjoyed those and found the staff very helpful and nice. The grounds were gorgeous and the days provided for a good balance of relaxation and fun. As a note, the lake is currently in a refilling stage due to earthquakes. It is still good to look at, but the boating/swimming opportunities were not there. Also, the hot tub was closed when we were there. Even though it was too cold for the pool, I was disappointed to see the hot-tub closed also. The one area we were a little disappointed with was the food. We thought there was a huge missed opportunity here. The only restaurant had very limited hours. Even though it was Memorial Day weekend and most people were staying through Monday, the Sunday morning breakfast only ran until 9:00. If you missed that you had to wait until 11:00 for lunch. We slept in until 9:00 and woke up hungry. Unfortunately, we had to eat vending machine food for breakfast to tide us over. At 11:00 we weren't the only ones waiting at the door to get in to eat because we missed breakfast. Considering to get down the mountain takes some time and the nearest other food was 15-20 minutes away, we couldn't believe that the management didn't take advantage of this and have another way to get food. A bunch of cold cases, pastries, coffee and soda station, snacks inside of their shop in addition to the art and sweatshirts, would make for some happy campers and bring in extra profit to the resort. The food in restaurant was a mix. Some of it was really good, other things not as much. The menu is small, and the lunch menu is slightly revamped for dinner. We understand that a limited menu is sometimes a profitable one, however, we were surprised at how limited it was considering so many families stay there. I noticed several families struggling to figure out what to feed their children. The bartender was great, kudos to her.
We really enjoyed our trip and hope to come back with the family in the future.

Room Tip: Chestnut Lodge gives you access to a TV and a porch with rockers and a kitchenette. Rooms in the Ma...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Jeffery B, General Manager at Mountain Lake Lodge, responded to this review, June 28, 2013
Dear Lizzyp76,

Thank you for your thoughful comments - if sounds like you enjoyed your stay and allow me to thank you for your constructive criticism. Our food and beverage offerings are constantly changing and we are always seeking out feedback to deepen our menu. Since Memorial Day weekend, our menu has grown substantially and we have extended breakfast hours. Additionally, we will be offering "grab and go" selections for breakfast and lunch through Mountain Lake Outfitters, our all new recreation and outdoors headquarters, opening just in time for the July 4th holiday. And we are scheduling great outdoor dining options on days when hotel occupancy is high - we recognize that our guests need options and initial feedback has been fantastic.

Thank you again for your comments - I hope you'll consider visiting us again when you are back in our region.

Warm regards,

Jeffery Burrell
General Manager
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186 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (53)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2013

Enjoyed two days at Mountain Lake. Initial disappointments were no AC, no TV, and no lake. However, the place quickly won us over with its character, beauty, family atmosphere and excellent food. Can't remember the last time we enjoyed such a fabulous meal both in taste and presentation, in such a unique dining environment, with such lovely other guests, all while watching the gorgeous view and colorful finches at the birdfeeder outside the restaurant window. That the restaurant is farm to table and the meals were included in the promotion were added bonuses. Would be a great place for families to reconnect and engage with nature and ditch the cellphones and internet. Never missed the AC or TV but hope to come back when the lake is full again. Friendly staff. Would not have discovered this place were it not for a Travelzoo promotion but so glad we did. Very surprised that the management didn't play up the Dirty Dancing connection more as it the lodge has a romantic appeal similar to the movie. Unique and unexpected experience.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Jeffery B, General Manager at Mountain Lake Lodge, responded to this review, June 28, 2013
Dear Lqchar,

Thank you for your kind note - I'm happy that the lack of TV and A/C did not dampen your experience - as you so beutifully described, our hope is to have families reconnect with one another while enjoying all that our mountain has to offer. While we do not have A/C in any of our accommodations, only the main stone lodge lacks television - we committed to preserving the character and charm of the original design and TV's weren't part of that design in 1936! I'm pleased that you enjoyed our new restaurant, HARVEST. We've worked very hard to refresh and renew the property over these past many months and it is very nice to read that you had such a good experience.

And to touch on your comment about not leveraging our connection to the film Dirty Dancing - while the hotel had in the past leveraged their connection much more than we are, we do recognize and cherish our association with the film and are committed to furthering that connection. We have several Dirty Dancing weekends planned this year and are working on a permanent exhibit space that will showcase the property's role in the film and its ongoing influence on popular culture. Our decision was based on our desire to celebrate our resort's 150+ year history and not to focus so much on one event in its history.

Thank you again for writing - I hope you'll visit again in the near future.

Warm regards,

Jeffery Burrell
General Manager
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Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013 via mobile

We had a great time. Our room was one of the newly furnished rooms. It was decorated very nicely for the price point. Our room was spotless. All the staff
are very friendly, especially the bartender. He was very helpful telling us about the local attractions and best hikes. The cascade waterfalls shouldn't be missed while you are here. The Harvest restaurant has amazing food, it will not dissapoint. There are many hiking trails and outdoor activities to do here. We especially liked watching the birds at the feeders while dining in Harvest.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeffery B, General Manager at Mountain Lake Lodge, responded to this review, June 16, 2013
Dear Holly_Traveler_9,

Thank you for your kind comments and great feedback. I was very happy to read that you enjoyed your experience and all that the resort has to offer. Since I only have one male bartender, I'll be sure to let Robin know that you enjoyed his recommendations. We've worked very hard to renovate and reintroduce the resort to the region and we're not done yet - our aerial adventure course, Mountain Lake Treetop Adventures opens on June 28 and will offer our guests a one-of-a-kind experience and yet another way to experience this very special place.

Thank you again for the feedback and I'm delighted that you had such a great time. I hope you'll visit our Facebook page and our website to stay up to date on all the special events and entertainment we have planned for the future.

Warm regards,

Jeffery Burrell
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2013

My wife and I spent two nights at the Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke, Va. What a beautiful property on 250,000 acres. It was so interesting to learn the history of the property; it was beautifully decorated and the staff there very friendly and welcoming. No TV in the rooms and no A/C.....didn't even miss them. Cool mountain nights are all the AC you need. There is a TV in the bar if you really need one! The food was good but the kitchen and the restaurant staff are still a bit inexperienced but what they lack in experience they do make up for in their friendliness and willingness to make your stay comfortable.. We understand that the lodge had reopened on 1June and we were there on 12June so hardly enough time to get all the kinks out. We plan to go again in the Fall, and we are confident that it will be much improved.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeffery B, General Manager at Mountain Lake Lodge, responded to this review, June 16, 2013
Dear RL Shafer,

Thank you so much for taking the time to provide such great comments from your recent experience. I appreciate your thoughfulness as you so correctly stated - our proerty recently reopened after an extensive renovation and the vast majority of our HARVEST team are relatively new - and pushing themselves to be better with each passing day. I'm very proud of my team and thank you for recognizing how genuinely warm and friendly the team is. I am happy to see you be back in the fall - we're already planning a multitude of special events and entertainment for fall, so please visit our Facebook page or website to stay up to date on all of our happenings.

Thank you again for your comments and I look forward to having you join us again soon.

Warm regards,

Jeffery Burrell
General Manager
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Fredericksburg, Virginia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013

We were married there on Aug. 12, 2000. It was great. We were married in the gazebo and had the reception in the ballroom downstairs. The food was great and the staff was friendly and helpful when I could not find dress socks the day of the wedding. My bride and our 7 and 8 yr old daughters are on our way to mountain lake for the weekend right now. I will always feel a special connection to this place because that where my Lisa became my wife.
Happily married for 13 yrs and dating for 18.
Thank you Mtn lake.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeffery B, General Manager at Mountain Lake Lodge, responded to this review, June 16, 2013
Dear Jmdwifi,

Thank you for your kind post - congratulations on 13 years of wedded bliss! I hope you'll find some time this summer to visit us and see the renovations and how the property continues to evolve. We've hosted two weddings so far this summer and both were great successes. Having recently joined the property, I am constantly amazed of the deep connections our guests have to this very special place - thank you for being a part of our history and I do hope to welcome you back in the very near future.

Warm regards,

Jeffery Burrell
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salisbury, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2013

We stayed in the main lodge (beautiful inside and out) for 3 nights, our room lacked AC but the fan kept us very comfortable. The bathroom was a bit poky and there were no pictures on the walls in the room but generally it was very nicely decorated.

We were disappointed on arrival to find that;
-the conservancy centre is not staffed (therefore there are no nature talks or guides, however we were offered the opportunity of borrowing a book on wildlife by the outdoor centre staff)
-the lake is more of a pond at the moment,
-the table tennis tables don't exist yet, nor is the outfitter built or the aerial adventure complete yet (we didn't visit MLL for any of these specifically, but as is was raining and they're advertised as there we were a bit disappointed on our rainy days)
-the restaurant menu is basic and after dining in once I wouldn't go back. The food was simple and not of great quality, although breakfast was fine. A MUCH better restaurant was the Palisades in nearby Eggleston.

However you could still see the cabin where the Houseman's stayed in Dirty Dancing, practice your lifts in the heated pool, relax in the jacuzzi, play giant chess on the lawn, the hikes were great with amazing panoramas (free trail guide from hotel), and there's a real sense of getting away from it all.

Pembroke has a nice cascade, and also great proximity to New River for kayaking.

We plan to return to MLL, but not for 5 years or so to let it settle in and to let the lake re-fill.

Room Tip: I'm glad we stayed in the main lodge - no TV in the room but the view over the lake / pond was n...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 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
    • 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.
Jeffery B, General Manager at Mountain Lake Lodge, responded to this review, June 16, 2013
Dear V G,

Thank you for your feedback and I was sorry to read of your diappointment with your experience. As the resort recently reopened after some extensiove renovations, some of our offerings were not quite ready when the rest of the property opened - our Outfitters will open on June 28, along with the Mountain Lake Treetop Adventures, our new aerial adventure course. And yes, the lake is in the process of refilling - after all but disappearing several years ago, we recently repaired the lake bottom to prevent drainage and we are hopeful that the lake will be full once again within the next year or so.

It is through feedback such as yours that we push ourselves to get better - your comments on the restaurant menu are an example of how feedback will inspire change. Our chef welcomes guest feedback and on his behalf, thank you for sharing. HARVEST is committed to sourcing local ingredients and preparing them simply and thoughtfully and with each passing day, the menu continues to evolve. I'm glad you enjoyed Palisades - we know the owner and we are very proud to consider a friend of Mountain Lake and a pillar of our community.

I do hope that you'll consider joining us again if your travels bring you to our region - thank you again for the feedback.

Warm regards,

Jeffery Burrell
General Manager
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Baltimore, Maryland
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

Spent 2 nights in the lodge. Looked at the hotel website before the trip. Was planning on having dinner there both night. First night we were planning to have a drink and just crab a quick bite (light dinner) at the bar (according to the website they serve food at the bar). But when we get there, we were told they don't serve any food at the bar yet. We were directed to the main dining for food. Going over to Harvest, got a really small menu, not much to choose from (the menu is half the size of the sample menu showing online now). I don't really like what's on the dinner menu. I heard a couple on the table next to us asked the waitress if they can get the lunch menu and she gave it to them. We asked our waiter if there's more option than we were shown, and he said no. I ordered a shrimp pasta off the dinner menu, pasta was overcooked, sauce was a bit bland. Then second night for dinner, we take a look at the menu, the exact same thing. So we end driving down the mountain and eat somewhere else.

Back to the room, it's clean and looked good. There's a whirlpool in our suite, we turned it on, it's leaking. We called front desk, they sent somebody up right away. Took them a while but they got it fixed. Also the whirlpool itself is not exactly the cleanest. And the shower head is half broken. One thing I need to give credit though is the shampoo and lotion there, they do smell really good.

So in general, really nice and friendly people, which is a big asset. But new management need to get their act together. I can tell you I wasn't actually the happiest camper, if it wasn't for all the nice people there, I might have checked out and left early.

Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeffery B, General Manager at Mountain Lake Lodge, responded to this review, June 16, 2013
Dear Agnes L,

Thank you for taking the time to provide comments about your stay, Allow me to first offer a sincere apology that you did not have the experience you had hoped - I've shared your feedback with our team and we're working hard each day to consistently refine our services and processes to deliver the best experiences possible. HARVEST, our new restaurant concept, is committed to serving locally sourced ingredients, prepared in a simple, thoughtful manner. Our Chef welcomes your feedback - and like the rest of our resort, he too is always reviewing guest comments and modifying his menu to exceed our guest's expectations. Finally, thank you for your comment on the friendliness of our staff - I am so proud of the team in place here and see them getting better every day.

I do hope you'll allow us the opportunity to welcome you back - it is through feedback such as yours that allows us to get better. Thank you again.

Warm regards,

Jeffery Burrell
General Manager
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Additional Information about Mountain Lake Lodge

Address: 115 Hotel Circle, Pembroke, VA 24136 (Formerly Mountain Lake Hotel)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Virginia > Pembroke
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Pembroke
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The newly renovated historic Mountain Lake Lodge features 43 Rooms in Main Stone Lodge, 16 in Chestnut Lodge, 9 Mountain Homes in Blueberry Ridge, 8 historic rustic cabins and 9 Front Lawn Cottages on 2,600 acres of preserved mountaintop property owned by the Mary Moody Northen Endowment. Mountain Lake Conservancy, a non-profit organization founded in 1989, serves to protect the land and wildlife resources on the property for future generations. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mountain Lake Pembroke
Hotel Mountain Lake

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