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.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
July 10, 2013
Dear Stephen W,
Report response as inappropriate
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!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.