Smithfield Station is fully as picturesque as shown on its website, and the private balconies offer a terrific view of the water (not sure if that is the river, a bay, or what, but very attractive). However, the town does live up to its situation as home of the world's largest plant producing the ham and pork products for which Smithfield is famous, and the plant is but a few miles up the river. One morning when the air was still and the humidity high (apparently not at all unusual in that area), the atmosphere wafting across the water and surrounding the hotel can be very odiferous. I suspect even the most ardent ham-lovers would not be breathing that in with any kind of pleasure.
After a much hectic work week, we couldn’t wait to start our weekend getaway at Smithfield Station. On arrival, we were greeted by a nice staff at the reception. We had a discount coupon for a standard room, which in itself was quite nice and far above a typical hotel room: King bed, fireplace, champagne and chocolate covered strawberries, small sitting area, etc. As promised in their brochure, the room came with a balcony where we watched the boats and the sun setting, on 2 comfortable Adirondack type chairs on our balcony, which were unfortunately stained with the souvenir leavings of the birds that had apparently been reposing on them some days before our arrival - not sure why the cleaning staff had overlooked this obvious issue.
The restaurant is equally picturesque, with great views from the large windows facing the Marina and water. Last reservation at their restaurant is at 8:00 pm (early for us after a long day of travel and touring and a late lunch but not impossible). However, if you want a romantic candlelight dinner for 2, this is not the place. I think we were the only ones in the restaurant actually dressed for a nice dinner. Family style casual is definitely the ticket, at least on a summer weekend, and be prepared for lots of children. Perhaps if the restaurant stayed open later, and reserved for couples seeking that quiet and intimate dinner setting, this would have been ideal. We have no problems dining with other large groups even with a very fussy baby, but the parents certainly tired and harassed; apparently we were not alone in our thoughts, as another older couple looked decidedly unhappy with the noise.
My husband had crab cakes which were quite nice, though they did not live up to the billing on their menu as world famous. The Sunday night special – prime rib - was another matter. The meat was dry and flavorless, the dishes arrived incorrectly, we had to ask for the Au Jus for the Prime Rib, the courses took a bit too long to be brought out even though the restaurant was by this time not at all crowded. We felt sorry for the waiter who obviously did not enjoy having to deal with the mistakes from the kitchen. On the way back to our room along the exterior boardwalk, we noticed a bottle of beer and a half empty wine glass on an outside table by the boardwalk, which we were very amused to see remained there all the next day and evening, and even the following morning at breakfast, which seemed symptomatic of the lack of attention to detail.
Did we enjoy our getaway? Yes, we certainly did. The location is superb for visiting the many tourist attractions in the Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown area, and to be away from the honky-tonk atmosphere of that triangle for accommodations. There are so many historical places to visit around that area, and we highly recommend visiting all of them, even if you do not go to Williamsburg (where we have visited several times already). But would we go back to Smithfield Station? Probably once is enough, though we would consider it if we could not find a more conventional B&B that offers rooms at similarly reasonable rates.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Good afternoon aerojet28,
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Thank you so much for your review. You have pointed out some areas of concern that looks as if we need to address. As I have said many times before, it is our desire that no one leaves Smithfield Station anything less than delighted. Perhaps you caught us on an off day, as I promise our facility is not usually as described. While I can do nothing for the smell of ham in the air (it does happen sometimes, locals call it the smell of money to make it at least sound better) I can certainly address glassware not being picked up! Thank you for pointing out these areas that need improvement and we will do our best to get them addressed. Thanks again for your review and we hope to see you again.
Yours in Hospitality,
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.