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“Top of the world” 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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Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Pembroke
Manassas, Virginia
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Top of the world”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

This my second trip to Mountain Lake. Note, I called lodge and got a much better price than offered on internet???? This time I had room on main floor near front desk, near restaurant.
I arrived around 5PM and settled in then went to outdoor hot tub, no rail old people like me, it was nice and hot but still had a little trouble getting in and out. Pool was busy, so I just went to restaurant for dinner. Note; service and good but food not as good as before, and since food now not included, I will pack my own food next time. New carpet in restaurant and lodge rooms gave a better look that last year. I missed inside hot tub but they have new fitness center although I found machines hard to use?
After dinner and after dark they put off fireworks, I went down to covered boat dock and were fairly close to fireworks. Some had special designs and looked good although fireworks only lasted about 10 minutes.
Next morning up early and walk along indian trail around dry lake, note this took a long time up and down and threw the woods and when i finally got to lake house and Mountain Lake road, I took road and got back to lodge wet and tired. It was very foggy, and wind was blowing it in waves.
After back at lodge, I had a dip in pool and hot tub, felt so good and watched fog and clouds glide over top of mountain and down and around the lodge. My biggest complaint is time goes too fast, next time I want to stay two nights and will go back to Chestnut Lodge which is quieter and more private than main Lodge. I am looking forward to coming back, Oh by the way I took a gallon of water for the lake and if everyone coming up to lake would bring some water maybe we could get the lake filled faster.

Room Tip: The main lodge is nice but no tv or ac and not as quiet and remote lodges, like chestnut.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Jeffery B, General Manager at Mountain Lake Lodge, responded to this review, July 18, 2013
Dear george g,

Thank you for your comments. You offered some great feedback and I'll be sure I share it with my team so that may make things better for future guests - we're always striving for better performance. I'm very happy you had a relaxing stay and do hope you'll be able to plan more time next visit - and I love your bringing us water! Our lake is filling much faster than any of us imagined and every drop helps - thank you so much for your contribution!

Look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Regards,

Jeffery Burrell
General Manager
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164 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 (49)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Charleston, West Virginia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

Few properties in the Mid-Atlantic region have the history of Mountain Lake Lodge, a secluded and scenic retreat just west of Blacksburg, Virginia. Mountain Lake enjoys a rich heritage with generations of families from all around the country returning to the main hotel, its smaller lodges and cabins to experience its history and now, the new and exciting developments taking place. Of course, it is well known as the location for the filming of the movie Dirty Dancing,
Jeff Burrell, the resort’s new manager, oversees the restoration of the property, including the lake, the victim of a cycle of recent reduced annual rainfall. There is also the renovation of the main lodge and its restaurant, Harvest, with its emphasis on locally sourced foods. Mountain Lake’s management brings a new focus on outdoor adventure themed activities including an extensive zip line course, geocaching, orienteering, hiking, bouldering, archery and cycling.
My wife and I have been vacationing at Mountain Lake for years. We are fond of the place. Our interest has always been in the serenity and outdoor activities it offers. We planned a long 4th of July weekend and, knowing of the effort to store the lake and the resort’s other amenities, we booked three nights in the Chestnut Lodge, a favorite of ours.
We live in Charleston, West Virginia, and so its is a simple drive of under three hours on I-77 to Routes 460 and 700. The road up mountain is winding, but easy enough. When you enter the lodge, the changes are subtle, but apparent to the seasoned eye. Slight changes in decor and furnishings and a quick and helpful response at the front desk signal there are adjustments taking place.
Our room at Chestnut Lodge was familiar, but had received similar freshening since our last stay. Nearby, the old building housing the gift shop and guest activities had been removed and replaced with a larger facility above the old location. The open space created by the removal of the old gift shop structure may be the site of a new small amphitheater. The giant outdoor chess set, the Bocci Ball court and swimming pools remain as well as Mary’s Barn, where various classes are taught, concerts held and dancing takes place.
On our second full day, a long hike took us past the new zip line course. Judging from the number of people gliding overhead or balanced on swaying ropes, poles and chains, it is already a popular attraction. The weather cooperated as we hiked an easy three mile course, ending on Indian Trail. We skirted the lake, stopping to watch a company from New York set up that night’s fireworks display (which was excellent).
Harvest, the restaurant in the main lodge, offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which are not included with the room charge as was the custom in the past. The service was good to excellent, depending on the staff. Breakfast was a simple buffet of standard fare, well prepared and plentiful. We did not eat lunch there, but had two dinners. We were very pleased with the quality of the food, its presentation and delivery. We opted for dessert on our first night, the Blueberry Bread Pudding was what you might hope for in a dessert with that name. We ate well.
We have great hopes for Mountain Lake. It is certainly worth the effort and certainly worth a visit.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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 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, July 10, 2013
Dear Stephen W,

Thank you so much for your kind review - it is true, Mountain Lake is the first property I have personally worked at with literally generations of families as guests - it makes the work we are doing to revitalize this special place all the more important. I was very please to read your positive comments and am very happy you had a good time and are already planning a return stay. We have much planned in the coming months - special events, more entertainment, music festivals and a completely new approach to October and the celebrations of autumn. And that's just the beginning, we're beginning to finalize plans for winter activities and are already working on next summer. Thank you again for your ongoing loyalty and I hope to see you again on your next visit!

Regards,

Jeffery Burrel
General Manager
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Gaithersburg, Maryland
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2013 via mobile

Come here for the scenery and nature,
the lake is filling up and there are lots of mountains to climb. A must is the treetops adventure, go on this adventure course with zip lines. I did miss the 4th of July annual fireworks and it's big family picnic. This year the picnic was small and the fireworks are not until July 6th.

  • Stayed July 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
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Jeffery B, General Manager at Mountain Lake Lodge, responded to this review, July 6, 2013
Dear Mary14365,

Thank you for your comments - based on your ratings, I see that you appear to have enjoyed your stay. Regarding your comments about quality vs. quantity, I'm sorry you felt our BBQ on the 4th was small. While yes, we did offer a more limited menu than in the past, I do sincerely hope you enjoyed the quality of the food. As part of the property's renovations, we looked at how the property offered programs in teh past and have needed to make modifications - including scaling back the buffet offerings the resort had offered in the past. Our commitment to cuisine that is well prepared, using local ingredients and seasonally-relevant options do result in fewer options. And our decision to move the July 4th fireworks was based in large part on our engaging the local communities so as to not "compete" with others who are doing fireworks on the 4th as well - our goal is not to detract from the community but to support it in every way possible. Our celebrations for the Independance Day holiday was designed to be four days of unique events that would allow resort guests and the community to enjoy all that we have to offer. I do hope you enjoyed your stay and will be back again in the future - we're constantly refining what we have to offer and are excited to share it with our guests.

Warm regards,

Jeffery Burrell
General Manager
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Springfield, Virginia, United States
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

It makes me sad about what I am going to say. My family has been vacationing each summer at Mountain Lake since June 2000. My daughter's wedding was there June 15, 2013 and the event staff is FANTASTIC!!! Austin with maintainence is WONDERFUL!!! It's the front desk that I had THE most issue with and after trying to be very nice with the front desk manager, Joshua. I was placated and pretty much dismissed. After spending over $5000 for my daughter's wedding, and the business that was brought in for them that weekend, I expected better responses than what I got. Several of our wedding guests said they didn't know why we like it there so much. They were never coming back. I am very sad because we LOVE this place so much and they were such a disappointment to my family and friends. The good thing was the wedding was PERFECT thanks to Lyndsi and her crew!

Room Tip: My family always stay in the Blueberry Ridge cabins and we love them!!! Fincastle, Pearisburg, Spruc...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Jeffery B, General Manager at Mountain Lake Lodge, responded to this review, July 6, 2013
Dear Ellyn S.

Thank you for sharing your positive and not so positive feedback. While I certainly do not wish to minimize the impact of our mis-steps, I do truly hope your daughter enjoyed her special day. We are committed to delivering an elevated level of service and I am truly sorry that we failed in that respect in the Front Office. Feedback like yours is not always easy to hear but exactly what we need to allow us the opportunity to constantly improve. I do also hope that your guests - and you - don't lose faith and will allow us the honor of welcoming you back. Mountain Lake is a very special place and it is that way in large part to the support of passionate and committed guests like you.

Please feel free to contact either Lyndsi or I directly for further assistance with any remaining items not already addressed.

Warm regards,

Jeffery Burrell
General Manager
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Meridian, Mississippi
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

My husband and I recently spent a week at MLL with a Road Scholar hiking group and couldn't have been happier. The lodge and property is breathtaking and of course, we had to watch Dirty Dancing one night while we were there. The food was excellent as well as the service and we didn't miss the TV or AC. We particularly enjoyed the history of the lodge and are so pleased that the character and charm of the original design are being preserved. Thanks again for a great experience.
Don and Donia Evans
Meridian, MS

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 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, July 6, 2013
Dear rdevans4841,

Thank you so much for your positive comments - I'm delighted you enjoyed the Road Scholar program and your accommodations. I'm glad you were able to find some time to enjoy all we had to offer while keeping up with your exciting program schedule! We love the Road Scholar program and I hope you'll join us again in the very near future.

Warm regards,

Jeffery Burrell
General Manager
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Swedesboro, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
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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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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Additional Information about Mountain Lake Lodge

Also Known As:
Mountain Lake Pembroke
Hotel Mountain Lake
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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