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“not what i thought it would be to far off the grid” 3 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
Waldorf, Maryland
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“not what i thought it would be to far off the grid”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

there is no air condition the bathrooms were very old long trip down the mountain to get anywhere view is to die for that's what keeps this place going besides the dirty dancing movie our Jacuzzi didn't work they were able to fix it we didn't try it because it looked like it had not been used or cleaned in a while the staff is friendly the tree top zip line was fun

Room Tip: pick the new rooms
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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146 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
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

Visited this property for an annual fall car meet. I had read some of the reviews online and was uncertain about how I would feel about the property. Our room was not in the main lodge but in a small grouping of about 12 rooms called the Chestnut Lodge ( I think)...we were about a 1 minute walk from the main lodge. The room was very attractive with a king bed, sitting area with sofa and chair in front of a working stone fireplace and a balcony, with two rocking chairs, overlooking the woods. Also had a small refrigerator, microwave, coffeepot with coffee/cream/sugar. The room was clean and attractively decorated. We had a bit of trouble trying to get the TV to work because we were unfamiliar with DISH. They were very prompt about coming to the room to set this up for us. Though the weather was hot and humid (August), at night we didn't need A/C due to the cross ventilation, ceiling fan and the location/elevation. If you like nature and outdoor activities, you will probably enjoy the hotel. It appeared to be very family friendly and folks looked like they were having a great time. The main lodge has had extensive work done and is also in great shape. The renovation retains the spirit of the original historic lodge with new tasteful appointments. Newly added bar seats about 10 at the bar with a couple of tables. Secluded winding location limited us from straying too far off the property after dark. Yes there were some gnats down by the lake but they didn't bother me much. Great photo ops. Morning brunch was good with cereal, yogurt, fresh fruit, juice, coffee, eggs, potatoes, sauteed vegetables. french toast/pancakes. New River Gorge is nearby for extra outdoor activities - if you need them. We also found nearby (30 minutes - Blacksburg/Christiansburg) thrift stores and resale stores if you are interested in that sort of thing.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Greensboro, NC
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2013

We selected Mountain Lake Lodge after seeing in on TravelZoo. We had heard that it had been redone and we decided to rent a cabin with some friends. Total adults 4, kids 7. We rented a cabin. The cabin was great. Very clean and updated, plenty of room for everyone. It was rainy there in July and VERY cool (60s). There really is just not a lot to do in damp weather. We did the zip line, ropes course which was fun and hit the pool but really that is it. The pool is TINY!! It is smaller than most in ground pools at peoples homes so it was PACKED the entire time we were there. Although there is a snack shop next to the pool, it is not open because they have not had a health and safety inspection. So forget about getting snacks or drinks at the pool. The lake is no more than a mud puddle and if you want to fish or tube you must drive about 40 minutes off the mountain. Believe what people say about the the black gnats!!! They are everywhere! We love hiking but you could not get your car unloaded without being assaulted by them. OFF and other bug spray does nothing to keep them at bay. The only good news is they do not bite, but they are in your eyes, mouth, nose, ears. etc.... Yuck. I would chose a place elsewhere.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heidi S, Director of Sales at Mountain Lake Lodge, responded to this review, September 17, 2013
Dear Vandalia23,

Yes, you are correct - the gnats were unusually thick this past year. It was a very wet summer which was great for our filling lake, but not pleasant otherwise. Thank you for your comments about the pool. This situation will be much better next summer as all of our lake activities will be returning! Thank you again for visiting us this summer. I hope you will consider us again next summer when we'll have a full range of water activities back at Mountain Lake!

Warmest Regards,

Heidi Stone
Director of Sales & Marketing
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Annapolis, Maryland
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

We went last week before school started, and we all had an amazing time. We knew about the lake drying up before we got there, so were weren't expecting much in that respect. Both of my kids were able to participate in activities with and without us...(which was a nice break).

The restaurant was fine...but not enough food. Several times they seemed unprepared for the crowd and there wasn't any food (breakfast). Dinner is certainly not cheap, but the food was good and there was a lot of it. A lighter menu in summer might be preferable.

We got a cabin on blueberry ridge and it was nice. Not 5 star...but clean and nice. Not enough toiletries to last, and despite putting the sign up, no one came to clean. The a/c didn't seem to work so that was a bit frustrating as it warmed up a bit -- but I like to sleep in a cold room.

Recommendations: Per a former user, you need a small grocery on site -- going down the mountain through the fog was kinda scary! Offer sandwiches and bagels -- something to eat and run -- we would've done more activities if we didn't have to leave. The hours for the restaurant were limiting.

Signage must be improved! We arrived in the dark of night and had to literally find our way...It was not clear or easy -- especially with tired kids. A guide to activities and amenities waiting in our room would've been helpful as well.

The activities were fun, but everything needs to be replaced...arrows were old and broken, targets were difficult to penetrate and hard. The barn activities were dated too. New ping pong balls are really needed and the pool tables aren't smooth anymore.

That being said, the kids running the activities and the staff were great. They tried hard to do the best they could. We loved not having (or not realizing we had Wifi) it helped us really connect with our kids. it was one of the best vacations we've ever had. The kids are begging to go back.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rochester, NY
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

I just returned from staying at this hotel, we went with our car club for our annual fall meet. The location is scenic and has some very picturesque hotel buildings. You must read the history of the hotel on wiki to get an understanding of what this property has gone through recently. My only real complaint is that the parking lot was not paved, or level and had ruts in many places. I was told that is on the list of improvements scheduled that will be addressed soon and I sure it will be, as we saw evidence of several major repairs and reconstruction projects in progress at the property during our stay The hotel management team has just spent a ton of money on refurbishments and upgrades while trying to maintain its original charm. As you may have read that it was the site of some the filming of Dirty Dancing. There is a small building on the site that explains, and shows the making of the movie. Many people return to capture the excitement and vibe of the movie, and there have been several sellout conventions held at the site by fans of that film. I stayed in the original stone main building, there are four types of accommodations from the original hotel rooms in the main building, to a more modern hotel type room in a different building, plus historic individual cabins originally owned by private families. And in addition to those three types there are larger outlying homes within the boundaries of the property that are available. The main building has the bar and main dining room plus the front desk and several meeting rooms that are full equipped with sound and av systems and a large room that we held our final night banquets in. My room did not have TV or air but fast free high speed internet. The reason the room did not have AC because at over 4000 ft of elevation, with the building located in the mountains plus the 24” thick walls there is no real need for air even thought it was 85 outside. At night I had to close the window as it got so cool even in the third week of August. They have just added a five star chef to the staff and hold team meetings at 230 in the afternoon to discuss improvements or problems. I thought that alone was pretty neat and a direct reflection of what they are trying to do at this hotel. My room was freshly painted and although the bath was small it had very dated fully functional fixtures, I thought was a nice touch to retain those older fixtures as part of the charm of the room. I had a rather large closet several chairs with good reading lights, over head light and fan, window fan and a double bed. The window was toward the rear of the hotel and allowed the evening breezes descending off the mountain to enter. I closed the blinds first, then had to close the actual window when it became too cool in the room. Very quiet, I never heard any one next door and the thick antique wooden door prevented much of the hallway sounds from entering. I spoke to another club member who stayed in the front of the hotel and they stated that they too had to close their window when it became cool in the room at night. But they had a lovely view of the lake and outlying mountains. The lake is refilling due to a fracture in its base system several years ago that has been repaired and should be refilled completely within the upcoming year. My rate was 115 a night with an included free breakfast buffet. There is a spa, masseur, zumba classes all which require reservations. Lots of other outdoor activities, pool , tennis, archery, basket ball , hiking, ect. Great place off the beaten path, 7 miles up the side of the mountain. A great get a way location.

Room Tip: Back of the main lodge has no view but is very quiet, Front of the main lodge has a view. Several di...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
central Ohio
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

My son was at orientation at Va Tech so I thought I'd have a little vacation while waiting for him. My oldest son was with me. I expected a great resort hotel with plenty of activities and it came up short. It is located in a beautiful area on top of a mountain and the hotel itself is a beautiful and comfortable stone lodge. The lake has lost so much water that there are no water sports there, can't kayak and doesn't look swimmable either. I think that they should tell you this at booking or upon check-in. My son did the overhead treetop adventure which was a good beginner course but not very high or very challenging but ok. The other major difference from the website is that they show two restaurants, a casual one and a formal dining one and in reality only the formal one was open. It was expensive. The food was good but I wasn't expecting to pay that for lunch and dinner. Also the menu in summer is what I would consider 'winter fare' such as stew, chicken pot pie, soups. Delicious but not summer menu. There was no phone reception there and I was waiting to hear from son at college who had questions for registration but didn't realize we couldn't get reception. I think this is a great place for families in a cabin, lovely setting but you need to have a lake to use for more fun and more things to do. The pool table area was so hot, we couldn't stay in the barn loft.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Rye, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at the hotel for one night. After finally arriving from an 8 hour road trip, we were taken back by its beauty. We had to change our reservation and cancel the next night's stay, which we did with ease. We were given directions to our cabin and told to enjoy ourselves,
The property is large, gold carts are can be rented to get around. No one offered to help us with our luggage or locating the cabin. This is the issue with this hotel. No one seems to be around to help. The main lodge itself is full of helpful staff, but once you leave, no one is around the grounds.
The lake is dried up, but coming back to life. This too was a surprise.

The food was lovely and the staff worked hard to please us. Of course, this us where Dirty Dancing was filmed, so it is a definite must to visit. They could just use some more bodies to help around the campus and offer some mire activities

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
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): $
Number of rooms: 101
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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