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“Relaxing place” 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)   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Pembroke
Archdale, North Carolina, United States
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Relaxing place”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2013

After receiving a Travel Zoo deal for a one night stay here I absolutely had to go since this is where part of Dirty Dancing is filmed. I had read that the lake was mostly dried up but it was worse than I expected. But nature has a mind of its own and the owners have tried to fix it. the room was really nice. It didnt have a TV which my boyfriend and I actually liked because it made the experience more relaxing. The filming spots for the movie were easy to find. 'Baby's' cabin was the first thing I spotted. Other than the bathroom sink not draining well and the dry lake it was over all a very relaxing, cozy experience.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
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115 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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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 (37)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Narrows, Virginia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

It seems like Mountain Lake has been going downhill for the past year or so. We live in the area and come to the hotel to eat every 4-6 months. In 2011, we came for both Oktoberfest and thanksgiving. Both events were very enjoyable, with good food and great atmosphere. Last summer (August 2012), we took a group of 6 to eat Sunday dinner in the restaurant. Our bill was $230 (tip included), but the food was cafeteria level at best. The salads were of bagged salad quality. The steaks were gristly. The mashed potatoes appeared to be a mixture of fresh and instant potatoes. My wife's manicotti was on par with spaghetti-o's. The server actually warned us to avoid several of the desserts. Finally, my wife and I decided to come to Oktoberfest again this fall (October 2013). They have significantly changed this event and it is now called Bavarian Bash. The food was not good. The quality was poor, and it cost more than in previous years. The sausages were good but aside from
that I think the food was generally a disaster. Here's a clue, too: Germans don't put cream cheese frosting and cinnamon sugar on anything (such as pretzels). The menu selection was very small. The apple strudel appeared to have been purchased from a grocery store. Everything was lukewarm or cold. Also, it was ala carte so we had to whip out the card to pay every single time we wanted something more to eat. When asked about the changes, some staff indicated that new management was responsible and encouraged us to speak to them about our concerns. They even pointed them out at the event. I didn't want to cause a scene so I didn't say anything at the time. I don't know why the food is going downhill but be warned. I haven't stayed at the hotel so I can't comment on that. Surroundings are obviously beautiful

Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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, November 12, 2013
DryFlyFishing,

There have been many changes at Mountain Lake Lodge since your dining experience in August of 2012. At the end of 2012, Mountain Lake Hotel was closed for five months and underwent a multimillion dollar renovation. The overnight rooms were refreshed, a new aerial adventure course was built, a new Mountain Lake Outfitter was created, our new restaurant Harvest and our new tavern, Stony Creek Tavern were born. As you mentioned, a majority of our management is new along with our philosophy and purpose for Mountain Lake Lodge - a place to connect families to each other and to nature!

I apologize that your dining experience at the new Bavarian Bash was not what you were expecting. Being that we serve the food and beer outside, I know that we experienced tremendous challenges in keeping the food warm on one of the evenings because the outside temperature dropped into the 40's. I agree we need a better solution to keep the food hot even on cold nights! This year we tried to offer some fun food for the kids - a pretzel station! Yes, cream cheese probably isn't traditional German cuisine, but we thought that the kids would appreciate the sweet and the salty!

We did change the food options this year to a la carte menu. Our intent was to cater to everyone. We have received a variety of feedback. Some really appreciated being able to purchase exactly what they wanted to eat. Some liked that they could just buy a beer and brat and didn't have to purchase a whole buffet. Again, our intent was to try to cater to everyone. Thank you for letting us know your preference on the pricing and food arrangements.

Again, thank you for your feedback and we will definitely take it into consideration moving forward.

Kind Regards,

Heidi Stone
Director of Sales & Marketing
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Boones Mill
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2013

We stayed in the Chestnut Lodge which had a balcony and fireplace. The room was cozy and had plenty of room. Mountain Lake Lodge offers many activities. They have a game room with ping pong, pool tables, air hockey, etc. They also have a variety of hiking trails and outdoor activities. I can't wait for the lake to fill back up and visit Mountain Lake again.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2013

If you stay in one of the lodges on Blueberry Ridge, you will enjoy your visit. The 3 and 4 bedroom units are very nice. There is a full kitchen, screened in porch, fireplace, tv and very comfortable beds.
We had heard with new management the food was greatly improved. Our dinner was reasonably good, but breakfast was a disaster. At both dinner and breakfast, they were short staffed. The coffee was cold, the buffet was luke warm at best. We were never offered any option for breakfast other than the buffet. People waited at least 15 to 20 minutes in line for food to come from the kitchen. When it did come out it was gone before you could go through the line. The food was prepared for 1/3 of the people there.The lodge was full that weekend and they didn't seem prepared for the guest to dine with them. Obviously, we cooked the rest of our meals in our kitchen. It is a shame as they have the potential to be great. They also lost the revenue from 3 meals we had planned on eating in their dining room.

Room Tip: Stay on Blueberry Ridge if you can.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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, November 4, 2013
Dear Virginiaboater,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience during a recent visit. My personal apologies that your dining experience was not up to our standards. Our new Executive Chef, Michael Rork, has recently joined our team and he is making tremendous improvements to the dining experience. I could not agree with your more about HARVEST offering an a la carte breakfast option and we are in the process of making the change this week. Please let me know when you are planning another trip to Mountain Lake Lodge. I would personally like to meet you and thank you for giving our Lodge another opportunity to "wow" you during your dining experience!

Have a wonderful holiday season,

Heidi Stone
Director of Sales & Marketing
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Springfield, Virginia, United States
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2013

Nice place. Great for outdoor activities. The 'Dirty Dancing' room was small and not as nice as expected. I loved the drive to the place- it's about 20 minutes up the mountain from the main road. We didn't get the best views as the mountain happened to be covered in fog during out trip.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Radford, Virginia
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

Living in this area for many years, we had always heard about Mountain Lake and its fantastic brunch offered on Sundays. Finally, we decided it was time to give it a try and we made reservations.

We were seated at our table in front of a window with a nice view. Our waitress came in a few minutes, introduced herself, and took our drink orders, and then invited us over to the buffett to get ourselves something to eat. Immediately we noticed that most of the wait staff had food stains all over their shirts. Most of the food was good or very good with the exception of the prime rib which was overcooked and dry. The desserts, of which there were 3 to choose from, were still frozen when served. No bread was offered although we did see bread being brought to a couple of tables. Several of the glasses and flatwear at our table had spots and stains still on them, most likely water spots. Also, and this is particularly important to me, I like my food hot. Many of the dishes were kept uncovered with a bunson burner underneath, but on a cool day with no lid on the food heat was quickly lost I guess, and the food was "warm."

I guess with the reputation Mountain Lake has, at least in this area, we were expecting more. Spending a few minutes wiping down glasses and inspecting flatwear while making sure your waitstaff was cleanly attired would have greatly improved our dining experience. As for the food, most of it was good or very good, but prime rib can be tricky to prepare. However, I do think hot bread should be brought to the table immediately. The surroundings are beautiful. The people were very nice. The service was good. The food disappointing. It's the little things that can make or break a dining experience.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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, November 4, 2013
Mike W,

Thank you for letting us know about your disappointing experience at Sunday Brunch. I, too, would have been disappointed with the encounter you describe. Mountain Lake is a beautiful place and your dining experience needed to live up to the fine reputation that Sunday Brunch has had for so many years. We have recently added to our team a new Executive Chef, Michael Rork, and he is making significant changes to both the quality of the service and the food. We continue to have very high standards and want our guests to have nothing but an outstanding dining experience. Thank you again for sharing your experience with us. Please do not hesitate to let me know personally when you plan to visit Mountain Lake Lodge in the future.

Kind Regards,

Heidi Stone
Director of Sales & Marketing
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia
Top Contributor
202 reviews 202 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 89 cities Reviews in 89 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2013

We recently stayed at the Lodge for an event being held here. That's probably the only reason we would go to a mountain lodge. Our room was small (more European sized than American) but the expectation is that you get out of your room. There is no room TV, but one can be found in the bar. There are also no elevators, not even the tiny European style, so those who need help are shuttled around in golf carts when they request it.
The lodge itself has a certain charm with the thick stone walls and more rustic decor. Activities seem to be all outdoor related, i.e. hiking trails, lake, bocce ball court, tennis court, pool, and outdoor chess board. The biggest claim to fame is that "Dirty Dancing" was filmed here.
The dining room is really lovely with much of the seating near windows that provide beautiful views. The breakfast buffet that was served was great. The white gravy was a little short on pepper, but I added more spice at the table. Otherwise I had to restrain myself from returning for a second helping.
Currently, the lodge is minus a full lake. Repairs to the earthen dam were required and now it's just a waiting game to get the lake back. The views will be much better when it refills.
All in all, it's a lovely venue for special events. Other than that, I think it's too lacking in standard American expectations to be on my list of places I'd recommend.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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, November 4, 2013
VEC24,

Thank you for taking the time to share you experience with us. It is always helpful to hear our guests' visit through their eyes. Yes, a few of our rooms in the Main Lodge do have a European feel with regard to the size. I will let our reservations staff know that they need to to better communicate the size and amenities of the different lodging options.

Yes, you are correct about our lake not being full as of yet. In 2005, our natural, spring-fed lake started to drain. For the past several years, the lake has been on the decline. At the beginning of this year, a team of geologists were able to "plug" the sinkholes and the lake has been filling naturally since the end of March. The research tells us that by next summer we will have at least 2/3 of our lake back! We are planning on being able to offer all of our water activities next summer (canoeing, kayaking, fishing etc).

Thank you again for taking the time to share your experience with our staff.

Kind Regards,

Heidi Stone
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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
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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