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“Excellent on all fronts” 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
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Excellent on all fronts”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2014

My husband and I recently stayed for two nights at the Inn and it was a wonderful experience. We were treated incredibly well and the staff made a point to be sure we had two different dining experience as we ate there both nights. We have eaten in most if DC's and NY's finest restaurants and thought I could no longer be impressed, but every course was amazing and the wine pairings were incredible.

Our room was lovely, quiet and with several thoughtful amenities. I highly recommend the Inn to anyone who is celebrating a special occasion or to those you simply want an amazing weekend getaway.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IALW, General Manager at The Inn at Little Washington, responded to this review, June 23, 2014
We appreciate your very nice review and are flattered to be compared to your travelling experiences. Our colleagues in New York and DC help to keep us on our toes and always working to be better.
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301 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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
Cincinnati, Ohio
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2014

My wife and I had a wonderful stay at the Inn. We used to live in Washington, but haven't been to the Inn in probably 20 years. It is still a spectacular experience. The service is superb, with full attention to every detail -- upon arrival, at dinner, the included breakfast the next morning, with every member of the staff trained, polite and attentive. We stayed at the Inn, but the high point, as expected, was the dinner. It was terrific and creative, and we were delighted to see that this had not changed in our long absence. We both ordered the degustation menu, with associated wine pairings and enjoyed every course. The portions were just right so that we weren't, as often occurs with set menus, completely full at course 5 of 10. If I had anything to criticize, it was that the server missed one of the wine pairings when the particular course was served and we had to get his attention to pour it before we started the course, but that was the only slip from near perfection. If you stay at the Inn and have the included breakfast, what is served without supplemental charge is both enough and very good as opposed to an after thought. So resist the initial urge to also order the eggs benedict. One suggetion -- both the rooms at the Inn and dinner are very expensive, so I would reserve going for those special occasions when you feel like slurging.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IALW, General Manager at The Inn at Little Washington, responded to this review, June 21, 2014
We're glad you returned to see us after a 20 year break and appreciate your comments. We hope you won't wait another 20 years to return!
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Vienna, VA
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2014

Having always heard about the Inn, I decided we would treat ourselves for our tenth anniversary by staying for a night. I must preface by saying we've stayed in some nice places, and eaten in quite a few excellent restaurants, so my expectations - especially considering the price - were rather high.

That said, my wife and I agreed that I'd have to provide two grades for the Inn: one for food, and one for service. The service is par excellence, a truly excellent and personal experience. They knew who we were, and we were treated as personal friends and guests from the moment we arrived. The personable staff went out of their way repeatedly to assist in any way they could, even offering to retrieve items from our room or car if needed so we did not have to interrupt our meals. More attention to personal detail than any hotel at which I've ever stayed. Five stars, without question.

As for the food, well. The Inn and its famous chef have a justly-deserved reputation for fine cuisine. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the execution or the variety presented; I think maybe we're just a little jaded at this point, having also eaten truly excellent, memorable cuisine at other restaurants in the States and in Europe (and Asia as well). If your meal includes Osetra caviar (well, an American equivalent), foie gras, Hawaiian tuna flown in same-day, and freshly grown ground-to-table vegetables and micro-greens, you feel churlish saying anything less than superlatives. If anything, maybe the style of the menu is feeling the Inn's age; it's perhaps not as seemingly innovative as restaurants have now evolved to be over the past 35 years. Our meal at the amazing and creative Funky Gourmet in Athens (wow) last fall may have caused the Inn's offering to suffer by comparison.

Our room in the Inn also seem somewhat smaller and less luxurious than maybe we expected. The bathroom was pretty tiny and difficult to move around in. That's the nature of the Inn itself, of course; so again, not to be ungracious, but at the price it bears mention.

All of that to say - I'm grading four stars for the experience, rather than five. So that's still four stars. We're still glad we did it; but it probably will remain a "once-in-a-lifetime" for us. There are so many other amazing experiences to have. If we do go back to the Inn for dinner some time, we might try staying at one of the several other apparently-outstanding B&B's within walking distance, for a fraction of the price.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IALW, General Manager at The Inn at Little Washington, responded to this review, June 16, 2014
We appreciate your feedback and honest impression of your visit. All of your comments are good ones and will help us focus further on guest room quality and service points.
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Mane, France
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2014

Welcome in the Inn at Little Washington!
It is another world! Everything is more than perfect even if sometimes it look like too much and heavy!
The food was correct... nothing WHAOU!
I really recommend this Relais &Chateau as a very very good experience

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled on business
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IALW, General Manager at The Inn at Little Washington, responded to this review, June 16, 2014
Thank you for your great comments! We're glad you enjoyed your visit.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knoxville, TN
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2014

The Inn at Little Washington is a singular property. If you have ever wondered about going there, do it!
We returned for a second time having bought a night there as an auction item at the L'Amour du Vin where Chef O'Connell was the guest chef. And I am so glad we did.
Everyone we met, from the gentleman who greeted us in the parting lot to the manager who checked us out at the end our stay was warm, welcoming, and helpful. The service provided by the staff was absolutely without flaw. And yet, the service was very comfortable, not obsequious or overdone. We felt like we were being welcomed into their home. Not easy to seamlessly hit all the bases. But that's what they did.
We stayed in the Clairborne house so named in honor of the chef and food critic Craig Clairborne. (This used to be Chef O'Connell's home.) This is a magnificent house; a beautifully appointed home with two story veranda and beautifully landscaped back yard. This is a wonderful place to stay and would be perfect for two couples.
To describe our dinner and dining experience I would have to exhaust every superlative in my vocabulary. If this was not the best meal I have every had, it was one of them. However, the experience was over the top. How so? Well, we ate in the kitchen at the chef's table. If you are offered this, don't even think twice. You will never have another dining experience like it.
As I said, this is a singular property. Chef O'Connell has invested his life into the inn and the kitchen. His commitment to excellence and attention to every detail is evident everywhere you look. And yet, he and his staff welcome you in as guests in his home.
Bravo!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
IALW, Manager at The Inn at Little Washington, responded to this review, June 13, 2014
Thank you for your wonderful comments. We are glad you were able to join us at L'Amour du Vin and stay in the Craig Claiborne House as a result. We hope to see you again soon.
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Washington, DC
Top Contributor
217 reviews 217 reviews
57 hotel reviews
Reviews in 70 cities Reviews in 70 cities
268 helpful votes 268 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2014

My wife and I recently spent three nights at the Inn at Little Washington in Washington, Virginia.

This is a world-class hotel and a complete indulgence in luxury and service. Before going, a potential visitor, however, should understand that this is a restaurant with a hotel. Both are wonderful but have no illusions that this is a resort or spa. It is not. Washington, VA is a small hamlet. There is little to do there other than enjoy the scenery, take walks, bike and enjoy great food at the Inn. For gym, spa, business meetings, etc. you had best go somewhere else.

BUT if what you want to do is relax, enjoy some of the finest food you will find anywhere in this country, maybe take a stroll or two, sit in a garden and read, have high tea and indulge than this is the place.

To begin with, the staff is terrific: friendly, helpful, indulgent and eager to please. They were first-rate, committed to service but also not intrusive. Just the right amount of professionalism combined with open American hospitality – a mix that is hard to achieve but is here achieved seemingly without effort.

Next, the accommodations were comfortable and luxurious giving one the feeling of staying in a grand country house rather than a “hotel.” We stayed in room 2 – the Jacques Pepin. We had a wonderfully comfortable bed with a sitting area, a patio, two Juliette balconies, a vast bathroom with separate tub and shower. The air conditioning was great (I like a cold room). In fact, though our room was right over the kitchen, never heard a sound from the rest of the hotel or felt heat or smells coming up from below.

The furnishings are very eclectic – a stage designer designed them and the theatricality shows. Lots of colors and patterns and while I don’t normally like all of that busy design, somehow here it works for the most part.

Room service was prompt and attentive. While the options are narrow, the food is terrific. Their standard continental breakfast includes some of the best yogurt I’ve ever had. The afternoon tea service was an experience – consulting with a “tea master” was fun and different and the little sandwiches and treats were delicious.

There were a couple of small issues, however, I suspect the management should see to. First, the drapes in our room let in too much light too early. They should look into valances to help reduce morning light and keep the room dark longer. Second, the water pressure in the double sinks in Room 2 was practically non-existent. It is hard to shave, brush teeth, apply make-up, etc. with just a dribble of water (the shower and bath pressure were fine). But these were both minor issues compared to how much we loved this hotel.

We would love to return. We were treated like royalty and more than made to feel welcome.

Room Tip: All the rooms are named after great American chef's or food writers, the more prominent the name...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Inn-LittleWashington, General Manager at The Inn at Little Washington, responded to this review, June 3, 2014
Thank you for your generous comments. They inspire us further in our ongoing pursuit of excellence.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chestnut hill
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2014

okay, I know I am in a minority here, or perhaps saying what others are afraid to, but I just don't get the panache this place clearly has. Yes, the service is impeccable, but in my book it is so impeccable as to border on creepy. Who of us really needs that much attention. The decor is extravagantly eclectic, but just too too much. In addition, our room was on the second floor. I awoke throughout the night to the sounds of the people above us walking around. This is an old property and the floors creak - a lot. (I do not consider myself a light sleeper.) In addition, there is one thing that I found rather tacky -- the room charge includes breakfast, but it only includes the continental breakfast. Somehow with rates exceeding $1,000 per night one would think it would be otherwise.

Room Tip: make sure you are on the top floor given the noise of the floor boards.
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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, June 3, 2014
We do regret that your stay with us was not what you expected. Thank you for sharing your perspective.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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