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“Great setting, needs some updates” 2 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
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Pembroke
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Great setting, needs some updates”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2006

We stayed for a long weekend wedding in August and had a great time. The staff at checkin was helpful and friendly. We arrived at 7:30 in the evening after flying across the country and were hungry. The dining room closes at 8:30 so, went to our cabin and ran back up to dinner. I have to say the weakest part of the place is the food. The dinner was awful. Several entrees seemed to start with frozen product, the appetizer was deep fried mushrooms and the wine list doesn't even bother to offer any Virginia wines (some of which are good). Breakfast was exactly the same each and every morning. The nearest food options are 20 some minutes away unless you are staying in the cottages and can cook for yourself. The lake is very small these days and not worth the hike to it, other than to see it. The pool is also small, but very comfortable and the kid's pool is great for small children. We saw a half dozen cabins and rooms and each one was in a very different condition. Do not stay in the lodge because each room is a window, bed and not much else. The rest of the cabins are hit or miss. Bring anything you think you will need as there are no wine glasses, wine openers, ironing boards or hair dryers in the rooms. The lack of air conditioning is not a problem because the area cools down nicely at night. I wish the hotel would improve the room and the food to make the property worth the $300 a night rate for cabins.

  • Stayed July 2006, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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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188 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 (53)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Charlottesville, VA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2006

I am a young physician who recently (June 2006) went to Mountain Lake with my fiance and her family to help celebrate her parents anniversary. Her parents made the arrangements directly through the hotel and I was gracious for the invitation because I had heard that it was quite expensive.

I am going to be as objective as possible: Unfortunately it rained the majority of the weekend. Not the hotel's fault, because rain happens especially in Virginia, but a resort/hotel should provide some means of entertainment for their guest for those rainy weekends. Not even close. They have an entertainment/game room on the "resort" grounds that is disgraceful. They have several run down pool tables with barely useable cue sticks, several arcade games that don't even work, ping pong tables with broken or damaged nets, and they make you pay to use ping pong balls. There were leaks and small puddles inside due to the rain. I was honestly amazed. The real sad part is that the old building has wonderful potential if they were to put some money back into it, which you would think they would be able to do when you look at the cost for a weekend stay.

One day the rain did break and when we were at the lake, which is really low due to poor rainy seasons, the life jackets were old and the boats out dated. They had a wine and cheese "cruise". Yeah right, it was an old pontoon boat that went around the lake a couple of times. Plus when we went to add a few extra folks to the list and hour before the "cruise", they said that they were out of wine for the trip and could not accomodate any more people. (We only saw about 12 people on the boat that went out that evening)

Well I've said enough, you get the point. I'm a really easy going guy, but if I was the one who had to fit the bill, I would have been severely upset. The food was pretty good, but you can get that almost anywhere, especially considering the price. I thank my soon to be inlaws for so kindly inviting me to come along but am disappointed that they too were less then thrilled with the accomodations for their anniversary celebration.

Please consider looking elsewhere unless major renovations and updating is made.

  • Liked — nice bed
  • Disliked — about everything else
  • Tips/Secrets — beware
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Pembroke hotels

Bedfordshire, England
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
143 helpful votes 143 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2006

We were drawn to the Mountain Lake by there fact it was connected with Dirty Dancing, one of our favourite films. From that point of view, it didn't really disappoint especially when we got to see the film on site in a small theatre due to it raining on the first morning. The problem is it didn't stop raining, a common feature up in the mountains apparently. Perhaps the rain did taint our view of the Mountain Lake, but we did find it to be somewhat amateur in its operation, perhaps due to the fact that it is now a Not-for-profit organisation set up under an endowment from the Moody family of Galveston Texas who were the last owners. I think that they have set up rules which basically mean that the hotel is stuck in a time warp, hence no air-conditioning and televisions. Also because it is by American standards an old building, there are apparently planning rules preventing things such as lifts.

There were a lot of complaints on this site about the attitude of the staff, but I would say that generally I found them to be pleasant and helpful. The only irritating time we had was when the snack bar by the pool closed at 2:00pm, rather than a posted 5:00pm due to the fact that it had been raining. Frustratingly the sun had then started to come out, and because the main restaurant also closed at 2:00pm this left us with a 12 mile drive to a service station on highway 406, to have what turned out to be the best burger we had in America.

We stayed in the main hotel and found the window and ceiling fans suffucuent to keep the room cool. I heard however that it was horrible the previous week when they had unheard of 95 degrees up there. The pool is very small, in fact it is smaller than the one in my back garden, and I live in England, not exactly the land of big pools!

Having done the History Cruise, and a few trails, and a film or two in the Activities Barn, with inclement weather still on the cards we decided to decamp from this hotel after three days rather than four and we are glad we did so. As an Englishman I could use a phrase often used by Americans when coming to London, and say Mountain Lake was rather quaint!

  • Liked — The Dirty Dancing locations I knew so well from the film
  • Disliked — It's all a bit amateur
  • Tips/Secrets — Don't go here, and if you do get a burger at Tickles Gas Station on 406
  • Stayed July 2006
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston Wv
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2006

My wife and I drove up to Mountain Lake (7 miles up a mountain) with the intention of staying, we had no reservations. When we got there we were totally shocked, this place is in bad need of renavation and some major repairs, the lake was almost dry, the pool looks like a kiddie pool the windows all had fans going. We went into the lobby it was not clean at all the big screen door was about to fall off. It is as though they have never cleaned it up from the movie"Dirty Dancing". Maybe great for kids, don't have to worry about them tearing up things but the price is a little steep for it to be so run down. I guess it was nice MANY years ago but not now. WE did not stay and don't think we would ever consider it. Oh yes, parking is all gravel and very dusty.

  • Stayed July 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2006

After reading several of the reviews I was skeptical about staying at Mountain Lake, but my wife was looking an all inclusive hotel so we decided to give it a chance. First I was very concerned about no having AC. We stayed over July 4th weekend and this was not a concern. They have ceiling fans as well as fans in the windows drawing air out of the room and for most of our visit neither was needed. In fact the one thing I would say is bring a jacket and long pants because it was very cool in the evenings. I will say we tried to get a feel for the weather prior to coming, but the young staff was not very helpful. The average high for the mountain in the summer is 80 degrees, with average temp of 59.

To rate the food I have to break it down by meals:
Breakfast was buffet style and was great. The fruit was outstanding (not normally a fruit person).
Lunch was very good (not included in the price)
Dinner was good, but not great. One night our appitizer was cold, but they quickly corrected the problem. Also if you catch fish in the lake the chef will cook it for you.

The staff is very young, but we found them very friendly and helpful if not exactly knowledgable.

The activities they have included in the price are all great. We had fireworks on the 4th, a magic show for the kids Wednesday and a campfire with smores and storytelling on Thursday and all are highly recommended.

There are tons of activities for the kids and our three year old slept like a champ each night we were there.

The hiking trails are awesome and we took full advantage.

Finally, Is it a 5 star hotel? no Is it a 3 star hotel that is great for kids? yes
Would I come back? yes

  • Stayed July 2006
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, MA
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2006

We stayed in two of the cottages on the ridge, Fincastle and Spruce Run, for my parents' 50th anniversary. The "we" included their four children (eight with spouses) plus nine grandchildren. This was a lot of togetherness! The cottages each had kitchens, so we had breakfast and lunch there. In the evenings down at the Inn there were activities such as "pizza and movie night" for the kids. The dining room had "regular fare" and a few unusual offerings (buffalo? and possibly frogs legs?) which we were surprised to find some of our children tried. The cottages are a definite uphill walk from the Inn, lake and other activities. We were happy to get our exercise, however if you can't make the walk, you can drive, although the route is circuitous. The lake was wonderful - we rode paddleboats, fished, did a history cruise and swam. On rainy nights we used the ping pong and pool tables in the activity barn. On nice evenings we tried bocce, horseshoes and giant size chess. There are a number of wonderful hikes on the property, including a rhododendron walk around the lake. We really enjoyed the chance to be "away" from everything. The flip side is that it is a minimum 20-30 minute ride down the mountain to get groceries or visit the hospital (required due to a "kid accident"). Everyone enjoyed this trip and would be up for a return visit.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2006

I plan to have a wedding at the Lake in June 2006, I have been planning for a year. Mountain Lake is a beautiful place, however the staff is not so beautiful. I got the run around for the past year about times, cost and such. I am only having a wedding at the gazebo because I know from experience the food is not worth $50 a head. I have been treated differently because I am not paying for a reception there. I am very disappointed with the way I have been treated. It has been descriminatory because I';m not spending the $50 per person however I am spending $250 a night on 5 rooms and renting chairs gazebo and such and I don't recommend this place to anyone. There needs to be renovations and most of all NEW MANAGEMENT. It has a lot of potential but is very low on my list. NO A/C and no TVs if that is your thing. Not a whole lot to do other than hiking

Stayed June 2005
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
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): $
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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