The colonial style rooms lend a b+b feel. Single queen rooms (stayed in 2) were clean, pretty, and had the promised spa quality soaps/lotion mini bottles. Flat panel tv with cable better than "basic". Fridge hidden under tv stand - all furnishings quality items: brands like Bauhaus wood craft. Quilt was reallly a quilt, not a printed-on fake.
Breakfast at the Swan Terrace was excellent, but NOT Kosher, and would be somewhat limited for a vegetarian too. Cost is about $14, plus gratuity 20%.
All items seemed fresh (buffet served in steel/lidded tureen type dishes for choosing own portions. Omlette station was excellent quality but again, not as complete as I'd have liked. Sheraton and Mariott (other states) were lots better. What is it with pig in almost every dish imaginable, in Virginia? Disgusting. Suggestions to improve are at the end of this review.
Sunday's $30 brunch is impossible for Kosher, macro diet, vegan, or naturopathic minded guests. I'm sure, probably wonderful for the non-observant. Crab cakes, oysters, cheese-meat combinations, pork items, and usual hot breakfast foods, all you can eat.
Room was very quiet. Mattress like a plush marshmallow. Climate control was great and discreet.
Lobby is gorgeous: glass multi tiered chandeliers, antiques and items imported from Ireland (rustic wood items), fireplaces in all the sitting rooms, gas flame, not wood burners nor fake "lighted" replicas. Very soothing when there is not a big event going on. ample room during such times, even so. Window views of the grounds are plentiful and serene.
Gardens in february were dreary as expected, though omnipresent topiaries and white gravel paths kept it nice. Patio has rockers.
Meeting rooms are impressively nice - beats Holiday Inn and Mariott. (at least by Midwest standards)
Late check in was smooth.
Doors lock at 6pm - card grants access to buildings doubling as the room key.
Staff is eminently polite, courteous and helpful - and well groomed, many in uniform. Security was very thorough trying to recover/locate lost jewelry (my fault being disorganized because of something requiring a different room assignment, just prior to a big interview within the hour (!) - not a room theft on purpose.).
BONUS: easy access to Regent U. Their library is public access (not children, please - COLLEGE level library) with public computers.
Muffin Pan cafe had short hours when I was there (4 days, thurs-monday)
Swan Terrace is fancy - prices are not "affordable" to me, they are "splurge" level indulgences - tho for a resort this isn't exactly unexpected. Students and budget conscious types need to look across the street to Shoney's, Waffle House, chinese, or 7-11. Hardees and Food Lion (grocery) are 5 minutes away.
Hunt Room is also cost prohibitive (to me or those with families)
Buildings have covered walkways open to the elements. Stylish, but not pleasant if you swim or get a massage at the spa and have to get back to your room! Brrrr!!!! Jolts the body. Ditto if you want a meal - outside you go again.
NO MICROWAVES in rooms. James Lodge had one in the vending area, first floor. Not convenient.
Both my rooms were on the dark side: no reading lamp by the cushioned chair, no overhead lights above the beds or on the walls - tho abundant brass sconces line the halls. Made for unsatisfactory reading/work time (realizing most people are here for romance and relaxation).
Founders Inn aspires to be the go-to hotel in the area, according to the card pushed under my door inviting VIP membership.
I probably would opt for a hotel that provides complementary continental breakfast, if I return to Norfolk. It's inconvenient having to run out and find a place to eat - if budget is a concern. Especially in the rain or winter weather. If other hotels at this price point do this, I'd think Founder's could be competitive. They ARE a 3 1/2 star lodging. I think those into the resort aspect would opt for the upscale dining regardless. They would be well satisfied (apart from kosher and vegetarian)
Electrical outlets are not optimal. I had surge strips (1) in each room. If you want to work anywhere but the wood desk, unplug something. You could also scoot the chair by a window to see better.
The only business center is main building, again - outside you go, on a trek.
If these things were remedied, I'd be much happier.
ALSO: floor space is great in the bathroom and carpeted spaces - bringing a pet would be easy. I wish I had - I'd have slept better!
SPA - prices are reasonable for what is offered. Wide hours each day for appointments.
Corners by the spa are near less crowded parking but farther from elevators and all else. Parking is...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Valued Guest,
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Thank you for your comments. We are glad to hear that you enjoyed our colonial style decor and the quality spa products provided in your room. We aim to provide you with a comfortable stay and know that a fluffy mattress and warm fireplaces contribute to that. During your next visit, we encourage you to bring your pet, as we are a pet friendly hotel. We look forward to seeing you soon!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.