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“Pure opulence and seven decadent sins!!!!!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Inn at Little Washington

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The Inn at Little Washington
Middle and Main Sts, Washington, VA 22747   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 10 Washington B&B and Inns
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Pure opulence and seven decadent sins!!!!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2014

If you want pure decadence and opulence with personalized customer service, go to the Inn - point blank - period.

Since the Inn opened in 1978, the year Greg and I got married, this has been the tenth time that we have visited and to our amazement, Chef O'Connell and his staff have continued to surpass our expectations. It took us 15 years after it opened to afford our first visit and we felt that it was worth every penny because we were treated as if we had dined and resided in one of the most opulent restaurants and Inns in Europe which we visited (with our parents money) when we were in a work study program in college. So, the Inn became our anniversary excursion. When the recession hit and I was diagnosed with an incurable illness, we used the recipes in the cookbooks which we owned and tried to relive our previous experiences at the Inn by trying to recreate the recipes but failed miserably because something was missing. So, last year, when I became stronger, we returned for our anniversary, we wined and dined like a pair of hungry bears waking up after hibernation craving nothing but the finest that life had to offer and boy did they fill our quest for decadence bar none. And yesterday, as we celebrated my birthday, Chef O'Connell just continued to excel, exceed our expectations, excite us, and left us looking at the calendar planning when we would attend again.

After my husband and I made room and dinner reservations for my birthday, we then happened to find out that he received a promotion on the date that we left. Although we started the trip chipper and excited about the treats awaiting us, after sitting in what seemed like miles and miles of traffic, and arriving feeling war weary ready to crawl into our beds and go to sleep, we were greeted as if we were honored guests, coddled and taken to the bar area where the attendant poured us an exquisite cocktail, and were escorted to a quaint, warmly lit room which had a nook that seemed like it was fine tuned for our weary bones. The personalized attendance of the staff, the ambiance of the room and the cocktail soon warmed us up!!

They then escorted us to the Thomas Keller suite - who I believe is the first American to be awarded three Michelin stars - and coincidently is 58, the age that I was celebrating. This two level suite well paid him homage. Upon entering, we were escorted into a sitting room which contained a nook nestled between two opulently decorated curtains outfitted with a comfortably cushioned beige brocade sofa. The two chairs on the other side of the sofa were covered in a rose brocade fabric that my husband and I could not believe was the same color and brocade material of our rose sofa at home. In addition, there were touches of gold, deep blues, and greens which were so artfully ornate and decadently arranged that we felt like we were in a palace suite nestled away from the rest of the world. The bedroom in the loft above was richly decorated in burgundy and gold and the chaise lounge accompanying the king size bed made us wish that the entire suite was our own home. Several of Chef Keller's books were in the room as well as the Chef O'Connell's cookbooks and upon looking at an ornate mirror on one of the walls, we soon discovered that the mirror opened to uncover a 60 inch flat screen TV.

More amenities followed: a wet bar with a refrigerator filled with beverages, a marble bathroom with heated floors and a shower built for ten, a beautifully decorated deep claw tub, two balconies, and a view of the festive white lights and koi pond. All of this - along with the champagne that my husband and I consumed - reawakened us and had us giddy for the next experience.

Shortly after we settled in, the staff delivered afternoon tea by our favorite attendant, Mike. As for the tea service, the ham biscuits, cucumber "sandwich", scones, and other treats including fresh fruit, coconut macaroons, and their signature swans gave us just enough to awaken our palates. The first of many "sins" had begun to sate our quest for decadent food.

Then we walked down to dinner. What can we say!! We were greeted by staff who remembered our names and were served our second decadent sin - three individual "amuse bouches" or one bite treats: a spoonful of pork belly and warm applesauce - the combination of both savory and sweet which blended very artfully together; "chips and dips" served on a stone, a simple sounding dish which contained several different herbs and spices which individually worked together to tickle our palate with just one simple bite. (If my son, Mike, were there, he would say "just remember not to bite the stone). To end it, we had fried potato wrapped in a chip topped with caviar. Simply sublime as the Inn serves nothing but quality caviar!!!!

We were then served our third decadent sin - a red bell pepper soup with Sambuca cream which we recognized before it hit the table. We had this on our first trip at the Inn and as stated above, although we own the cookbook, unfortunately, since the Chef's essence is imbibed in the soup, something that the cookbook can not contain or capture since it can never be recreated similar to each of our fingerprints, as much as my husband tried to recreate Chef's recipe, it was sublime to receive the original red bell pepper soup.

For my fourth decadent sin, I ordered a "tin of sin" with caviar and peekytoe crab and slivers of cucumber. Last time, I shared this dish with my husband but this time, I asked him to order his own - which he gracefully did. (Although it is nice to taste the various dishes on the menu, this is one item that each person at the table needs to order for themselves.)

For my fifth decadent sin, I ordered foie gras served two ways (warm and cold). The Chef is generous with his portions and each variation had its own unique nuance.

For my six decadent sin and the "piece of resistance" - the PEPPER CRUSTED AHI TUNA WITH FOIE GRAS AND PINOT NOIR BURGUNDY BUTTER SAUCE PRETENDING TO BE A FILET MIGNON!!!! Remember this dish!!!! This was my favorite dish from years back and when I saw it sitting in front of me for the first time in years and bit into the first piece - I literally levitated from my chair without using my oxygen device which has now become a part of my life - and groaned with pure delight. Thanks above that we had a private table!!! Interestingly enough, my husband had originally ordered another entree but after tasting my plate of tuna, foie gras, and burgundy butter sauce in one mouthful, he hurried up and asked if he, too, could have the tuna instead. During the early days, this was the most popular dish at the Inn. It has been reworked and the dish is still delicious, but I love the decadence of the original.

Due to my illnesss, I ended the evening early - yet Chef O'Connell - once again, stopped what he was doing to personally thank us for attending his Inn when I in fact felt humbled that such a Legend would take the time out to personally thank us for coming - with that handsome, embracing smile on his face. Here again, his staff, and notably Landry, gave us such a personalized experience, we felt as if he were our own personal valet and the fact that the rest of the kitchen staff also took the time to personally greet us and thank us was so unexpected and humbling.

Shortly after we arrived back at our room, our regular attendants then arrived to bring us the rest of our dessert and coffee and in fact, one young man - whose father also works at the restaurant - came to tell us goodbye because he would not be there to greet us in the morning. The last time we were there, we felt like we were royalty. Forget royalty. I am proud to state that I felt as if my husband were the President and his Mrs - who also had a birthday yesterday.

What can I say about the customer service. The next morning, we had breakfast in the room and the staff once again outdid itself to ensure that we had all we needed. I experienced my seventh decadent sin: the Eggs Benedict contained the best hollandaise sauce, as once again, the Chef was able to imbibe one of the five basic mother sauces with his unique individual essence.

Since I have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, my husband and I have agreed that we would spend our time and our money only on people or experiences which elevate us and bring us joy. The Inn meets both of those criteria - people who give us joy and an experience that elevates us. Since I can no longer fly, to have a world class Inn and restaurant so close to us is such a blessing. Again, we commend the Inn for maintaining its standard of excellence and continuing to embrace and amaze us. We will be returning soon and often.

  • Stayed January 2014, 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.
Inn-LittleWashington, General Manager at The Inn at Little Washington, responded to this review, January 29, 2014
Karen and Greg, our thanks go out to you for such an endearing review and for your continued loyalty over the years. How can we ever thank you for spending so much time to expertly portray just how important The Inn at Little Washington is to you? Just knowing that our staff and the special touches that they provide have given you an extra amount of joy makes us smile! Your review is so much more than just a review…it’s a story; a map of your journey at our Inn, from start to finish, and we loved going along with you through each location. Thank you for making our day with your outstanding write-up! We are anxiously awaiting your return.
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301 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    221
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14
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (71)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Broad Run VA, United States
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2014

Dinner at "The Inn" is always a special ocaasion. As our wedding anniversary which falls on New years Eve, was our 25th, we decided to celebrate at The Inn's famous new year's eve gala. this year's theme was based on Turman Capote's much celebrated Black and White party. the theme ,black and white was celebrated in the decorations;beautiful white flower arrangements on all the tables; a black gift box for each table tied with a lovely silk satin ribbon and carried over in the menu items. Upon being seated each table was served small box of popcorn with a grating of fresh truffles followed by caviar on a white cream sauce served on a toast; The whole evening was just beautifuly and imaginatively carried out making this restaurant/relais chateau, a destination to those who love the art of eating and cooking.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Inn-LittleWashington, General Manager at The Inn at Little Washington, responded to this review, January 17, 2014
Happy 25th Anniversary! We’re pleased that your experience at The Inn at Little Washington was memorable and provided you with the perfect place to celebrate such an important day. It would be our pleasure to welcome you back very soon and we thank you for your kind review.
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Dunkirk, Maryland
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013 via mobile

Best experience by far. My husband surprised me for my 40th. Best food ever. Staff was amazing. It is an Experience of a life time. Best birthday ever , I can not wait to go back for our anniversary. When I telling you the food was to die for trust me I am such a picky eater. I loved it all! I recommend doing the wine pairing wines were Devine.

Stayed December 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Inn-LittleWashington, General Manager at The Inn at Little Washington, responded to this review, January 6, 2014
We are grateful for your kind recommendation of The Inn at Little Washington and love hearing that your birthday celebration was made memorable. It would be our pleasure to welcome you back and we thank you for your comments.
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Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2013

These folks have it 100% right. From the moment you pull up in front of the door to the time you depart you will be treated royally. Wonderful accommodations, wonderful helpful and friendly staff.
Afternoon tea was delightful. Each course at dinner was a taste sensation. I thought this was a "bucket list" place to visit. I want to go again and again and again.
Very special lovely place

Room Tip: We chose a junior suite as we wanted a larger room. It was perfect.
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  • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Inn-LittleWashington, General Manager at The Inn at Little Washington, responded to this review, January 6, 2014
How wonderful to hear that every single aspect of your stay at The Inn at Little Washington was exceptional. We’re so pleased to hear that you would like to return and we look forward to greeting you very soon. Thank you for your gracious review.
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2013

This was our second time staying at the Inn. The first time every detail was perfect. This time the Inn staff were disorganized and seemed to be overwhelmed.
Our name was mispronounced repeatedly by staff. Although we were taken to our room in another cottage, we apparently had not been checked in so that attempts at charges at the shop didn't work. Our hanging clothes were taken to our room in advance - later to find that one of my husband's shirts got temporarily lost but was later retrieved.
Our dinner reservations were at 7:30pm. We decided to have a glass of wine in the lounge in the late afternoon and staff tried to seat us for dinner.
The suite or apartment was very Colonial Wiliamsburg in decor - not like the lovely whimsical environment in the Inn itself. And the bed was very soft making for aching bodies in the morning.
That being said - the food is still better than everyone else. Service in the restaurant was excellent. We will return but will stay somewhere else at a fourth of the price.

Room Tip: Stay in the Inn itself - not an out-cottage.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Inn-LittleWashington, General Manager at The Inn at Little Washington, responded to this review, January 6, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience at The Inn at Little Washington. Please accept our sincerest apologies for what seems to be missed opportunities to create an enjoyable stay for you. We would hope to be able to welcome you back to regain your trust in the future and we appreciate your honest feedback.
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New York
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2013

We live in Manhattan, NYC and traveled to the Inn for a special birthday celebration. We almost froze to death in our room. (See below.) I went into town before we left, and a woman in one of the shops remarked that I looked like I'd "been cold for a very long time." When I came back to our cottage, I asked my husband if he had taken a shower and he said, "it was too cold." That's not the cozy experience we paid $2,000 for...

I was surprised by the almost comical service we got at the Inn. (It would've been funny if it weren't so darn expensive, and we live in NYC for goodness sake!) We had a nice guy help us check in. When we went to dinner a few minutes later, he was the guy waiting on us....It was like the I Love Lucy Episode where they visit a small town and the one guy keeps changing hats... The meal was going o.k., until a young guy put my husband's entree in front of me and my seafood entree (he HATES seafood) in front of him. This can happen at The Olive Garden, but not at a $300 per per meal when there are only two entrees to be served!

It was also a shame that we had to wait a long time to get the sommelier to bring us our bottle of wine and for the cheese guy to serve us cheese at the end of the meal.

fyi --they also charged $80 + tax and tip for the packaged bowl of spaghetti for our 8 yr. old. He didn't even have dessert :(.

The chef/owner was nowhere in sight. I would've liked a chance to meet him and give him my feedback personally.

The continental breakfast was very nice.

Room Tip: Don't rent the Mayor's House anytime there's cold weather (i.e. from October through Mar...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Inn-LittleWashington, General Manager at The Inn at Little Washington, responded to this review, December 23, 2013
We are very sorry to hear that we failed to exceed your expectations. Thank you very much for bringing this to our attention. Please be assured that we take comment such as yours very seriously. The concerns that you mentioned will be promptly looked into and we hope to be able to welcome you back for the exceptional experience you expect from us.
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Washington, DC
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2013

My husband took me here for my birthday. Upon arrival, they escort you in take your coat and let you warm up by the fire. We were then seated and menus were printed with Happy Birthday message to me. We chose the a la carte menu. Everything was delicious. I started with the tuna, mac and cheese and then lobster for main dish. The mac and cheese was amazing, actually everything was. The service is top notch. Our waiter Jess was very personable and told us several things about items on menu, the chef, talked about all the rooms at the inn and even arranged for a tour of the kitchen. When we were leaving they went and started the car and warmed it up for us while another service member took out pictures. It was Christmas time, so everything was decorated absolutely beautifully. I can't say enough about this place. It is very expensive, but it was worth every penny. It is a very special experience that everyone should enjoy at least once.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Inn-LittleWashington, General Manager at The Inn at Little Washington, responded to this review, December 18, 2013
We are extremely pleased to hear that your recent experience at The Inn at Little Washington was so enjoyable. It is our goal to create lasting memories for each of our guests, especially on special occasions such as birthdays. Thank you for letting us know how thrilled you were with your visit and we look forward to seeing you again soon.
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Additional Information about The Inn at Little Washington

Address: Middle and Main Sts, Washington, VA 22747
Location: United States > Virginia > Rappahannock County > Washington
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 10 B&Bs / Inns in Washington
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the small town of Washington, Virginia, The Inn at Little Washington is the only Double Forbes Five Star, Double AAA Five Diamond property in the Washington metro area. The Inn's eighteen bedrooms and suites are sumptuous hideaways created by Joyce Evans, a London stage and set designer, for whom The Inn has become a life's work. Many of the furnishings were purchased in England, numbered and shipped to Virginia to be assembled on site like a giant jigsaw puzzle. The Inn offers a range of accommodations from well-appointed rooms to luxurious, two story suites many with balconies and garden views. The Inn's dining rooms are pure fantasy - a wondrous cocoon of luxury. Rose-colored, silk lampshades float above each table creating a private, romantic world below. Chef/Proprietor Patrick O'Connell's creations arrive as if served by invisible hands, course after course more dazzling than the last. From the award-winning 14,000 bottle wine cellar, which includes the finest offerings from Bordeaux, Burgundy, California and Virginia, the Sommelier plays matchmaker between you, your dinner and the wine. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Inn At Little Washington Hotel Washington

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