My husband, his parents, and I went last weekend to MLL's Dirty Dancing weekend. We had a fantastic time. I'm going to break down my review into sections to counteract the negative review left last month.
We ended up in the Pearisburg cabin, and it was wonderful. All of the exteriors to the buildings/cabins have purposefully been left rustic, but the insides are beautiful. The Pearisburg cabin has four large bedrooms (two with a king bed and two with two queen beds and each with its own bathroom), a fully equipped kitchen, a table, and a very nice living room. It even had a large fireplace and a walk-out back deck.
The Dirty Dancing weekend includes a viewing of the movie, a tour of the areas on the resort where the movie was filmed, a Dirty Dancing trivia game, dance lessons, two evenings of music and dancing, and four meals per guest (two breakfasts and two dinners). We really enjoyed our experience. They brought in professional dancers from Sapphire Ballroom and Dance Center to teach the classes as well as to do a Dirty Dancing song showcase and dance with the other guests. We chose to add private lessons for an additional fee of $25/half hour (group lessons are included and free), and we ended up with Dave Verde as our instructor. He was wonderful and so down-to-earth. My father-in-law had come to MLL claiming that he would not be dancing at all that weekend. Thanks to Dave, my father-in-law voluntarily chose to dance and learned a few dances quite well. All in all, we learned salsa, meringue, foxtrot, and the East Coast swing. The first night of dancing was with a "big band" live musical group, and they were quite enjoyable. However, it was the second night with the DJ that was the most fun. The DJ was awesome! We danced the night away and stayed almost until they closed for the night.
Like others have mentioned, the meals are buffet. However, unlike what other reviewers have said, they kept the buffet very well stocked. It always had an array of choices that would be sure to please many different taste buds. We were lucky enough to get Anna as our waitress for dinner both nights. She was the best waitress we have ever had. She was there taking care of our needs before we even knew we had them. And she looked out for our table as far as the desserts went, even holding aside special items to make sure that we could get them. Definitely request her if you can. She is worth it, I promise.
The last aspect of the trip that I want to talk about is the people. Everyone from the staff to the other guests was so nice. All of the Dirty Dancing guests were so friendly, and we left with contact information from a few of our new friends. However, it is the staff that deserve the real gold star. We booked our weekend through Josh Stevers. He REALLY took care of us. We cannot speak highly enough of him. Kerrie Hurley, who is also an amazing front desk staffer, was one of the funniest people that we've met. She too went above and beyond for us and took us back to see some of the behind the scenes spots. By the way, if you are looking for a hotel room instead of a cabin, make sure you book room 232. That's Patrick Swayze's room. :) Speaking of, Baby's family stayed in the Virginia cabin in the movie. You can also book that cabin.
Yes, there are gnats, but apparently, we were not there when they were at their worst (at the time of the July 2013 Dirty Dancing weekend). They are annoying, but they are not terrible. And the store had plenty of options for souvenirs for the Dirty Dancing weekend AND for the lodge. We ended up spending probably $200 there by the end of the weekend between our four visits.
All in all, it was a great trip, great experience, and we will be more than happy to return in future years. Definitely look for Kerrie and Josh when you book, Anna when you eat, and Dave when you take your lessons. This experience was worth every penny.
- 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