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“Back to being wonderful” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Founders Inn and Spa

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The Founders Inn and Spa
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   5641 Indian River Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23464   |  
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Ranked #20 of 114 hotels in Virginia Beach
Norfolk, Virginia
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Back to being wonderful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

A year ago I complained on Trip Advisor that the hotel and in particular its Swan Terrace restaurant had declined in quality from the year before. Now I am happy to say that the Inn is better than ever.

Again we had our Christmas dinner here. Everything had improved. There was everything on the menu that anyone in our party of 10 could have wanted. The price per person had risen by $5 to $40, but we took a chance, hoping that perhaps the Inn had corrected the problems of inadequate selections and not fresh, hot food. All was excellent. What a feast. And the hotel itself was sparkling clean and decorated beautifully.

I learned this year that the hotel and Regent University is part of the Pat Robertson network. Had I known that before, my prejudices against him might have prevented me from going. However, there are probably plenty of other institutions I patronize that also have kooky owners, and I'm sure he's not the worst. (How's that for rationalization?)

In any event, everyone in the family had a great time again, and we will go back next year, I hope. It is a terrific place for a family reunion.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
FoundersInn, General Manager at The Founders Inn and Spa, responded to this review, January 15, 2013
'Dear Guest,

I am honored that you returned and gave us a chance to regain your loyalty. It pleases me to know that our staffs effort and dedication to improve has been successful.

Capella Hotel Group has taken over the management a little over a year ago. We do appreciate that the changes are constantly noted as positive. We have worked hard to bring Founders Inn and Spa back to its old glory, yet add a worldly touch which was and is our continued goal.

We look forward to serving you in the future.

Best regards,
Sascha Hemmann
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 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 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (102)
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English first
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

Stayed at the Founders Inn as part of the New Year package. I had certain expectations for an inn and spa with a higher priced menu.

First the accommodation was average, it took several hours for the room to heat up to a reasonable level we were staying on the third floor in building 4. That's the next problem, we had no idea there were separate buildings so accordingly I did not bring any jacket expecting to just walk into dinner within the same building. With cold temperatures and a brisk wind it was uncomfortable walking between buildings.

Second the so called spa was very disappointing. I was looking forward to spending time there and it was one of the main reasons we chose this location. Bear in mind the spa is in another building we were not provided robes in our rooms and I did not see any in the spa area either. So after finishing my time there I wrapped myself in towels for my cold walk back to my room. The pool is small once you have 4 people in there it's starting to get crowded especially if you want to swim. The hot tub was a very big disappointment, it was luke warm at best. There was no where I could get warm! I couldn't figure out how to get a locker so I just took my clothes with me into the pool area. The changing room did not have clean floors I ended up with a lot of debris stuck to my feet. My husband used the gym and he said that was a good experience.

Third the inn itself was cold in the communal areas, we tried sitting next to a fire in the lounge area but still could not get warm. They provided hot cider which was barely warm. The decorations were lovely the outside lights lit up the entire garden with a magical glow. We went to dinner and there was no attention to detail. We had to ask for cutlery and plates that were missing from the table even after one member of staff had checked the table was ready. Our bottle of wine arrived during our third course, the service just seemed very disorganized, this was not a diner but also was not a fine dining establishment. Food ranged from very good to average, some creative items on the menu, it would have benefitted from being hot. Breakfast was good although we were unsure whether you just helped yourself since no one told us so we sat and waited to see what other people did.

The experience may be different in the height of summer when the hot tub may feel warmer and the outdoor pool is open giving more room to indoor swimmers.

There just seemed to be a lack of detail by staff which to us would have made a big difference. My advice to management would to work on this in particular issue, maybe there needs to be more training? I'm a very well travelled person and have paid much less for much better service.

I will skip this location in the future which is a shame because the main building has lovely decor and the food is good.

Room Tip: Rooms are in several buildings so it depends what you want to be closest to.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FoundersInn, General Manager at The Founders Inn and Spa, responded to this review, January 2, 2013
Dear Guest,
We are always interested in hearing from our customers, as it permits us to learn and improve our service. I apologize for the circumstances that prompted your comments. One of our major goals is to deliver exceptional customer service and to offer immaculate facilities. From your comments, we failed to provide you with superior service and a clean environment. With this we have not met our own goals. Please accept our sincere apologies. We are looking into the issues you experienced during your stay to assure that this will not happen again.

Thank you for taking the time to bring these opportunities to our attention. We value your opinion and your patronage.

Best regards,
Sascha Hemmann
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

I've avoided the Founder's Inn for it's connections with Pat Robertson for a very long time, but I'm glad I finally gave it a chance. We were there around the holidays and the entire hotel was decorated beautifully. We had a very large corner room with a fireplace. It is not modern. It's colonial style so if you're looking for something sleek and new it's not for you. The Swan Terrace Restaurant was excellent. We had a leisurely meal for a very reasonable price.

Room Tip: The corner rooms with fireplaces have windows on two sides and fireplaces.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FoundersInn, General Manager at The Founders Inn and Spa, responded to this review, January 2, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for giving us a chance and joining us for the holiday season. I am pleased that you enjoyed your Jr. Suite with fireplace, and treasured our colonial style décor. I am delighted that you had an excellent and leisurely meal in the Swan Terrace. I hope you will return to us for future visits and perhaps have a chance to enjoy a few spa services and with warmer weather the garden and outdoor pool.

I look forward to welcoming you again to The Founders Inn.

Regards,
Sascha Hemmann
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nc
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2012

We stayed at the Founders after attending a corporate Christmas party there. The Inn has a classy, old-world charm and a superior staff. Very well maintained, from the grounds to the lobby to the rooms, and impeccably clean; however:

I took advantage of the "Take an Elevator Home" offer (discounted rate for party guests) and was told I had a "Colonial Queen" room. I asked about an upgrade to a King room, but the price was too steep, so I kept the Queen. Turns out the room was extremely small and rather crowded, with a full - not a queen - bed, which didn't go over very well with my 6'2", 250-lb spouse. The result was a rather miserable night's sleep (if we slept at all). The room was much better suited for a solo traveler.

When I brought this disparity to the attention of the desk clerk at checkout, I was first told that "all the beds are queen-size," and later, "It's a hotel-queen" (couldn't figure that one out for the life of me). She did say that she hears the same complaint from a lot of people, which tells me that their claim of having all queen beds is a lot of hooey. Needless to say, I wasn't offered any sort of compensation for our discomfort.

Other than that, the only other complaint I have is that the heat was turned off and the room icy cold when I arrived. It took about two hours with the thermostat cranked to 80 to defrost it to the point of habitability. I can understand saving energy and operating costs, but this was a bit ridiculous, especially in mid-December.

Final words to the travelers considering staying here this winter: Upgrade to a king, and bring your fuzzy slippers.

Room Tip: Couples should ask for a king or 2-bed room.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
FoundersInn, General Manager at The Founders Inn and Spa, responded to this review, December 20, 2012
Dear Guest:
Thank you for your feedback. Information provided by our guests is invaluable for our continuous improvement.

I was concerned to hear about your experience with your guest room mattress. Please accept my apology that you were not able to get an enjoyable night's rest. We strive to accommodate all of our guests and their needs. I can confirm that our beds measure 60x80, the uniform size for a queen size bed which we have now also added to our web site under our “accommodation” link. I know that does not change your experience but I hope that you can feel confident that we heard your concern.

We would like to win back your loyalty. I invite you to contact me directly to make arrangements for a future visit.

I look forward to assisting you.

Best regards,
Sascha Hemmann
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
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Virginia
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2012

We stayed at the Founder's Inn for two nights. We had the standard queen size room. The room itself wasn't anything too spectacular. Pretty standard queen bedroom, spacious though and very comfortable. The Founder's Inn itself is a romantic place to stay. The grounds are beautiful and well decorated for the Christmas holiday. The service was amazing. I was not sure what to expect when we went but we were both very pleased with our stay and will reccomend to other coupls wanting a getaway weekend.

  • Stayed November 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FoundersInn, General Manager at The Founders Inn and Spa, responded to this review, December 15, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your kind comments about The Founders Inn. I am pleased that you found our hotel romantic and our service amazing. I am always pleased to hear praise about our staff, as they work hard to go above and beyond for each guest. We hope to see you again in the future.

Best regards,
Sascha Hemmann
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

Had a wonderful time here at Founders Inn, absolutely beautiful property, loved walking in the Garden, and then sitting at the outdoor fireplace relaxing. My fiancee is at the spa right now finishing up. We are already making reservations for NEW YEARS. Can't wait to return. You will not be disappointed.

Room Tip: I was in building 4 close to the entrance which has a beautiful view of the main entrance which has...
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  • Stayed December 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FoundersInn, General Manager at The Founders Inn and Spa, responded to this review, December 11, 2012
Dear Guest,

I am very pleased to hear about your wonderful visit with us at The Founders Inn. I am glad you enjoyed our gardens and had a chance to relax and use the spa facilities. We look forward to helping your ring in the New Year.

Best regards,
Sascha Hemmann
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

Our very first time at Founders Inn. The staff was so friendly. Thanksgiving at Swan Terrace was amazing, food was great and they didn't rush you. They had extra activities, like cookie decoration, for the kids, which was such a nice treat. Our son, age ten, loved the indoor pool. The grounds are very nice. Our dog loved the running field. Clean rooms, with big TV. We really had a relaxing, nice weekend. My only suggestion would be to have coffee/hot chocolate machines in the lobby area at all times, because there were a few times I would have really LOVED a cup of coffee! Also, the vendor machines need to be checked because some of the crackers/chips were expired. Otherwise, can't say ENOUGH good things about your Inn! We will be back for sure!!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
FoundersInn, General Manager at The Founders Inn and Spa, responded to this review, November 27, 2012
Dear Maryanne B,

Thank you for all your lovely comments. I am pleased that you had a wonderful family experience with The Founders Inn over Thanksgiving, and I will definitely share your comments with our staff. I apologize that you received expired items from the vending machines. This certainly does not meet our service standards and will be corrected immediately. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

We look forward to hosting you and your family on your next visit to Virginia Beach.

Happy Holidays,
Sascha Hemmann
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Founders Inn and Spa

Address: 5641 Indian River Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23464
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Virginia > Virginia Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Family Hotel in Virginia Beach
#13 Business Hotel in Virginia Beach
#22 Romantic Hotel in Virginia Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Founders Inn and Spa 3.5*
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Also Known As:
The Founders Hotel Virginia Beach
Founders Hotel Virginia Beach

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