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“Fell below expectations.” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast

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Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast
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185 Claiborne Ave, Rocky Mount, VA 24151   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Rocky Mount B&B and Inns
youngstown, ohio
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Fell below expectations.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2013

Maybe I'd be more forgiving if I hadn't just spent three heavenly days at a B&B in Asheville, North Carolina (Hill House Bed and Breakfast) and a night in a well-appointed, charming cabin in the woods at a B&B in Glade Valley, North Carolina (Glade Valley Bed and Breakfast), but the Claiborne House fell WAY BELOW EXPECTATIONS.

First, this B&B is not in a rural setting, but a fairly suburban one with houses right next door and a chain-equivalent Mexican restaurant on corner. Although you can see the mountains in the distance from the back of the property, you certainly aren't in the country. It is convenient to the Blue Ridge Parkway which is why we chose to stay there.

The Mexican restaurant was recommended by the innkeeper and we made the unfortunate choice of eating there, The restaurant staff were very nice, but the food is nothing special.

The house is architecturally interesting and the interior and furnishings quite beautiful. The house, though, is a bit dark. Our room, the Blue Ridge Room, was smaller than it appears in the photos, although the bathroom is a decent size. I spent the night coughing, either from dust in the lace canopy and curtains, or from cat dander from the cat I spied in the study though a window of the house. I had no idea there was a cat in the house. The bed itself, however, was comfortable.

Also, unlike other B&Bs where I have stayed that have nice towels and bath products, this one had rough, mismatched towels and Big Lots hand soap. Having a tv with cable in the room was a nice bonus, though.

Breakfast was tasty. Not fancy or gourmet, but good - French toast, sausage, fresh fruit.

Also, even though we were the only guests the night we stayed, we were met by knocking on our door at 11:30, 30 minutes past checkout time. To be fair, maybe the innkeepers had someplace to go, but this was in such contrast to our prior experiences with warm, accommodating hosts, that it stood out.

I would say staying at Claiborne House felt like staying at the home of a distant acquaintance. We were accommodated and our basic needs met, but there was none of the warmth and personal touches you might experience someplace else.

My thought is that anyone who thinks it is four- or five-stars hasn't stayed at a four- or five-star B&B.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
ClaiborneInnkeeper, Owner at Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast, responded to this review, October 16, 2013
How did we guess when you were asked if you were ready to go a half hour PAST check-out that a negative review would appear on Trip Advisor? Go figure. We should have just charged you a late check-out, since you didn't even leave at that point, you were just getting your stuff together.

This is something people don't quite understand, when someone takes advantage of you then writes a stinky review, but as I say those people you-all-know-them, sometimes do stay at B&B's...

We do indeed have a cat, we are a family, and we have one cat and one dog whom we love dearly, so we do pet them and kiss them. They do not go into the guest areas, and trust me people ask over and over to meet them, those who enjoy family pets. I have to explain there are people who do not like pets, or have allergies, so we keep them from the guest areas. Even though the entire house is ours.

We are not gourmet, we don't claim to be, our guests typically aren't after gourmet, but something home-cooked and delicious, at least you enjoyed your breakfast, oh wait you were the man who doesn't "do mornings" so the 9am breakfast was not what you wanted. Your girlfriend sat and ate alone until you finally came down.

We never said we were RURAL. We say we are in the heart of Rocky Mount, an historic main street town. We are the county seat of Franklin County which has 50,000 residents, and Rocky Mount has 3000 residents. Small town. We are small town. We say we are small town. Hear the church bells ringing on our corner...this is a small southern town.

The town would like a word with you about being a mountain community, of course. The movie Lawless was about this community, and the same time you were here we had guests from England who were shown southern hospitality to the max and even in the newspaper regarding it. It is a shame you felt cheated in that area.

We cannot compete with Asheville NC, lord no. The rates there at Hill House...$190-$245 a night! Your room was only $115 with the $10 discount we gave you. That is $130 more A NIGHT than we charge, at their "leaf season rate" of $245! Our rates are the same year-round, weekday and weekend.

So all in all we wish you the best, and hope you will find what you are looking for. We are not happy you chose to belittle us, the area and even our little Mexican restaurant...they are terrific. What sort of food would you expect in a town of 3000 people? It is clean, the service is great, price is super reasonable and it is tasty! We will continue to send our guests to El Rio Mexican Grill. They can even make table-side guacamole for you.

The Leete Family Innkeepers

No, don't worry we won't let this one get us down, this is what being in the people business is all about! We will continue to focus on the great guests who love staying here! We hope to see you soon at The Claiborne House B&B (in small town USA) in ol' Virginia. Follow our funky blog "Claiborne House Coffee Talk" if you wish to see what we are all about.
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84 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Herndon, Virginia
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2013

I was looking for a place to spend the weekend celebrating my wife's birthday and the Claiborne House jumped out of TripAdvisor at me. All the reviews were spot on, this was definitely a good pick! The B&B experience is done right with a very comfortable house for relaxing and even a little romance. The room (Cascade) was large....and more importantly very quiet! I requested flowers for a little check-in surprise and they were waiting with a nice birthday greeting. The breakfast in the morning was fantastic, right down to an excellent cup of coffee to start the day. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this B&B for anyone looking for a great place to spend some time, a huge upgrade over the run-of-the-mill hotel stay!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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ClaiborneInnkeeper, Owner at Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast, responded to this review, October 16, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review, you were delightful guests. We are happy the birthday surprise was a big hit too!

God bless and we hope to see you again!

The Leete Family - Your innkeepers at The Claiborne House B&B
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Suffolk, Virginia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

Reserving a place to stay sight unseen is a little like buying a pig in a poke. What Shellie promises on her website is everything you get and more. The Rocky Room [the "smallest" in the inn?] is spacious. The closet is huge. Even though we knew there were other guests in the inn, we never heard them after we retired - a BIG plus. The ease of having a keyless coded main entry was appreciated. Parking was easy and the walk through the gate and along the garden path to the front door was a calming transition from "work person" to "vacation person." Homebaked sweets [different every evening] greeted us as we returned from the day's adventures and there was a well stocked mini-fridge along with a variety of teas and coffees. The breakfasts were WONDERFUL!!!!! Shellie, Tony, Sienna and Rachel [the keepers of this haven] don't hover but are extremely friendly and gracious to a fault. Shellie does an excellent job of making sure most all questions are answered in her notes and informational packets. Will we stay there again and most importantly would we recommend it to our friends? ABSOLUTELY!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ClaiborneInnkeeper, Owner at Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast, responded to this review, July 12, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write this review. We really appreciate it! Our reviews are all from real people who stayed with us, so we value your feedback!

As a family-owned and operated business, we are delighted to have such amazing guests stay with us, who love what we have to offer! We put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this old beauty. (Especially Tony, he puts most of the sweat equity in!), so it is wonderful to hear you innjoyed your stay.

God bless you and yours in Suffolk Virginia! We hope to see you again here in Blue Ridge Country Virginia,

The Leete Family Innkeepers (See y'all on Facebook!)
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NotAppalachia
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

We have now stayed several times at the Claiborne House as a stopping off point to points south, and always look forward to our returns. We have checked out several rooms - the Sierra Suite has a great king bed and private door to the gardens, the Blue Ridge room has great views and an extra large bath, and the Wash House is perfect and private. Shellie has the guest fridge stocked with water and sodas, including Cheerwine, my favorite regional specialty. Breakfast is always a treat and we had dinner during our last visit at the new Mexican restaurant just a few doors away - which was fab! We can definitely recommend this B&B, whether you are in the area for music, leaf-peeping, or just passing through.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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ClaiborneInnkeeper, General Manager at Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast, responded to this review, June 3, 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time to review The Claiborne House, it means the world to us. It is always so wonderful to see you again here in Blue Ridge Country! We sure love our guests, they are fantastic.

You are correct, the new restaurant on our corner is pretty good, we are happy they opened here. The tableside guacamole at El Rio is terrific, they will be getting their ABC license soon, so on your next visit you can enjoy a margarita or Corona with your Carnitas tacos.

God bless and have a super summer,
Shellie, Tony, and Family
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Monterey, California
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013

I enjoyed my time at Shellie and Tony's home/B&B, and I recommend it. I know that (like some owners/managers) , they read reviews and comment, and I think that people can be intimidated by that. But for people reading this--I'm keeping it real.

My into to Rocky Mount itself wasn't fantastic--when trying to find the B&B--I saw a young woman being harassed/followed by a cluster of aggressive young men. She was high-tailing it down the street, and I pulled over and asked her if she was OK (I probably should have insisted on giving her a ride home, in retrospect). She said she was OK but... Anyway, when I arrived at Claiborne House, I was a little unsettled by that (I had gotten lost too, and Shellie was very patient with me).

Once I had arrived at the B&B, I felt more comfortable. True to the other reviews, Shellie and Tony are nice people. When I arrived, Tony said "oh!" when I confirmed it was "just me" and I was a bit surprised by his reaction actually--but (optimistically) perhaps my beauty + charm stunned him and he could not imagine why I didn't have an adoring suitor or two ;-) Heh. But seriously, single people travel too.

There was an incident where a pissed-off preppy woman showed up demanding a refund after a misunderstanding over a reservation. Shellie shouted at her "get out of my house!" which was probably warranted.

There is a rules list which I would have preferred seeing on the website. Profanity is not welcome. Drinking alcohol--also not so much. I can't recall the exact wording,I opened a bottle of wine on the deck and it wasn't an issue.

Food--as others have written, they are accommodating and I think that's great. I've been to B&Bs where they get offended if someone asks for a simple egg plus toast meal.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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ClaiborneInnkeeper, Owner at Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast, responded to this review, May 14, 2013
Thank you for the nice review Emma Dash!

You were super sweet and accommodating after the crazy woman drove all the way here to scream at us and tell us we weren't where we said we were (since 1895). She was cussing up a storm, very aggressive and demanding her money back (which we never charged).

But that is water under the bridge, the police were nearly called, almost...and as I tell our guests, every once in a while a bad guest makes an appearance here, but thankfully not often! She was the ONE for 2012. The worst we had ever experienced, and I am so sorry you had to overhear all of it.

"Our rules" are tongue in cheek, and this is what it says on the room check in sheet (cut n pasted) I borrowed the verbiage from the Floyd Country Store 10 years ago, because I thought it was witty:

• Basic Guidelines: We operate on Granny’s Rules “No Cussin, No Drinkin’, No Smokin’.” If you enjoy smoking, please do so outdoors only near ponds (not on the porch). If you decide to smoke in the room, you will be charged a $300 fee to air and clean the room. Wine, Beer & light beverages – please drink responsibly. Glasses and wine opener in dining room near mini fridge, as well as snacks and sodas.

Happy Spring from VirgINNia, Shellie, Tony, Sierra & Raquel (and Junie B).
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Richmond, Virginia
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

This is an interesting inn, with the same intimate style service and accommodations we have found in European cities; basic but very comfortable. If you are looking for over the top luxury, go elsewhere, but if you appreciate decent, clean and honest folks trying to provide you with a comfortable accommodation, this is perfect. The family is unobtrusive yet very helpful, if you need them, just ask and if not, well you get the sense you are perfectly alone and private. Breakfast is a key point of excellence as is the abundant hot water, attention to reading material and good lighting. Food allergies and preferences are effortlessly addressed and a good deal of care is taken to be certain you are comfortable and happy. I think it is one of the more pleasant experiences we have had in the VA inns, and I must say it is a worthwhile experience when you are in the Smith Mountain Lake area.

We were in the Blue Ridge room and the bath is an exceptionally large and comfortable space. Enjoy!!!!

  • Stayed March 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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ClaiborneInnkeeper, Owner at Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast, responded to this review, March 26, 2013
Anita this is so lovely, thank you!

After you both left, the snow fell and It covered the area softly and quietly and was magnificent! I wish you were able to enjoy it, but then driving home is not as fun on the slippery icy roads.

Come see us again, you were delightful guests!

Junie B says hey to your four legged fam in Richmond,

God bless,
Shellie, Tony, Sierra and Raquel
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Jamestown, NC
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

I do not know why it took me so long to write this review. My wife and I spent our 21st anniversary there. Shellie and her family were extremely accomodating and super nice. We asked for vegetarian breakfasts that were prepared for us perfectly. When I asked for decaf coffee she made a pot just for me! The house is really cool; old hardwood floors (squeaks, creaks and all), vintage mouldings, interesting eclectic decor. The guests we met at breakfast were also very nice (a young couple on their honeymoon). I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys staying at B&B's. The only setback, and I am not degrading this review any less for it, was that they could have dusted a little better on lower portions of the furniture in the bedroom. I picked up a book from a shelf below a night stand and it was dusty. I would stay there again, however.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
ClaiborneInnkeeper, Owner at Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast, responded to this review, March 26, 2013
Thank you Jamestown NC guests for the review and kind remarks. We were thrilled to have you stay with us for your 21st anniversary!

It was really sweet to see the freshly-married-starry-eyed couple amble in to breakfast while you were here. Another treat being an innkeeper. We hope your stay helped to keep the flame burning brightly as well (we wives love that stuff!).

We agree with you about the dust, and we thank you for taking the time to write about it. Another drawback to having an old house dark furniture, and talcum powder users. So we try to keep "eclectic bric-a-brac" to a minimum. No excuses being made, dust is our enemy here at The Claiborne House! (We should search every bag upon entry for talc too!)

God bless, and may this be a spectacular year for you both!
Shellie, Tony & Girls
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Additional Information about Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast

Address: 185 Claiborne Ave, Rocky Mount, VA 24151
Location: United States > Virginia > Rocky Mount
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Rocky Mount
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are the start of The Crooked Road Music Trail! Centrally located btwn Roanoke/Blue Ridge Parkway and Smith Mountain Lake. Enjoy your morning cup from the l30-foot porch with views of The Blue Ridge. Walk to the Harvester Perfomance Center in downtown Rocky Mount! Tap yer toes in Blue Ridge Country Virginia! Private baths, Central HVAC, Cable TV and WIFI in all of our guest rooms! Let us cook you breakfast here at The Claiborne House B&B ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Claiborne House Bed And Breakfast Rocky Mount, Virginia

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