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.
- 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