Kingsmill is lovely, there is no doubt about that, but; compared to our stay last year, we have seen some changes not for the better that made us drop our rating from a 5 to a 4.
The staff at Kingsmill are very nice and accommodating. We are greeted with smiles by everyone, they always make conversation, and say have a good day. So the staff there gets a 5 from us.
Housekeeping. There is definitely an issue with housekeeping at Kingsmill. The rooms are clean, and beds nicely made. The bathroom was clean with no dirt or stray hairs but there were some cobwebs here and there in our room and some dust on fixtures which means they haven't been touched in a while. When we arrived there was no mini-fridge which was requested when we made the reservation so we had to call for it, and it was brought by maintenance about 2 hours later. It seemed housekeeping forgot us one day, because by 6 pm our room still wasn't made up. We are a low-maintenance family... I like to keep the small room neat for my own peace of mind, and all we really require is new towels, the beds made, and a refill on the coffee for the coffee maker. We called housekeeping and upon our return the room was done, but they forgot to replenish the K-cups for us. We were left with one small bar of soap for 3 days, which became a mushy little nugget by that point when it was finally replaced. They need to put just a tiny bit more effort in and it would be very good.
The rooms are nice, and even though not the largest rooms we've been in they are fine for our family of 4. Beds are comfortable, Flat screen TV is fine. Free WiFi worked ok for us. When we were at the resort we spent most of the time at the "River Pool" which is the real draw for us. There are many options in Williamsburg but no resorts with a lazy river pool complex, and actually with a view of the James River.
We get the most inexpensive view here because we are simply not in the room to pay for a view, but even the "cheap" views are nice. Golf or tennis or woods... this year we had a view of the tennis courts and many dead bushes. Yup, they were dead. No green just gray branches. Is this another sign of cutting corners at Kingsmill others have mentioned? I'm not sure. We ask for a room close to the tennis center which is very close to the shuttle service. It's always nice to be able to walk out your door and be 60 seconds away from the bus, when others have to drive to park.
This year we decided to rent bikes and go for a ride on the property, which is beautiful. There is a (I think) 3 mile loop. The bicycles they have are older cruiser bikes. No gears and coaster brakes, which is fine if you are on a long flat path like at the beach; but these were NOT flat paths. We had to stop multiple times to walk the bikes because of the need for gears, and the bikes just wouldn't go. Even my athletic kids had a few issues, standing up to ride the bikes, almost having to stop and push. They need to get bicycles with gears that can handle the terrain they have or create a flat bike path. We saw local residents (Kingsmill is part of a residential community as well) riding their bikes too-and not one was a cruiser. So what could've been a very enjoyable leisurely bike ride just wasn't. We heard another family talking about the bikes on the line for the shuttle. We had a laugh over our surprise of the terrain vs. type of bicycle and all said we'll never do that again!
There is a mini shuttle service (usually a large golf cart) on property to take you from the pools or the marina, etc back to your room location, since the resort is so spread out. The drivers are friendly and the service is usually efficient, but this year we called for a shuttle and it never came. We waited a good 15 minutes and just started walking to the pool.
We do not eat much on property as it is quite expensive, and when we are on the go in hot summer months we don't want big, heavy, sit-down meals anyway. We get a dinner one night and snacks at Currents which is at the River Pool. Seems the best thing to do is order at the bar and they bring your food to you. We also enjoy a lighter breakfast (sandwiches and danish, etc) at The Mill by the tennis center. I (unfortunately) have celiac, so I have to eat gluten free. They friendly girl behind the counter told me they used to offer gluten free bread but since they haven't had it in months it was erased from the board, but luckily I bring my own bread fully expecting that, so be prepared if you are gluten free. We like to get a room service treat one or two nights, but this year we called for room service at about 9:30 and nobody picked up, twice! So no room service this year for us. Not sure what was going on there, but makes one wonder.
A tip, if you have a daughter, you can go in the "wet suite" by the indoor pool. It's not appropriate really during the day since there can be naked women who may not appreciate a pre-teen in there, but at night about 30 min prior to closing, I go in and check and it's always been empty. I take my daughter in (in bathing suits) and we use the whirlpool, sauna, and steam room for a mini spa experience, which is something I hope she will have fond memories of.
I know it will be hard to find something will all the amenities and a shuttle to BG and WC, but we are going back for a long weekend trip in August and sadly we think we are going to explore another property to see if the cost is really worth the experience.