I am struggling with this one. My experiences las weekend has good and bad. My other half booked this surprise visit for us, it was a last minute booking so he was surprised that it has a room. I was going to return, but that was before I found out the fixed gratuities applied to our bill. If I were to return, I would have mill over what room I have, what food I have .....etc....
Good and Bad are as follows:-
*the place is on 18 acres of estate grounds, very tranquil and pretty.
*there is a spa, so you can treat yourself
*It is pet friendly, so Fido do not have to stay home, there is a $35 pet fee per room, and they provide dog bowls and towels
*flexible check in time, we checked in early and was accommodated.
*the room we got was a very tiny room like a Chambre de Bonne in Paris, a tiny attic room, it is so tiny that on one side of the bed you have to walk side way to get into the bed
*I saw many good comments about the service, in my opinion it is so so, I don't really felt that some staffs are genuinely love their job, but rather than paying lip service to what they told to do.
*now there is a fixed gratuities on the bills, this is what I don't like, this policy was never made clear in the booking, in the website, it only stated that gratuities is not included. In a small link CLICK HERE to review policies, it will take you to a page headed policies, and then under SPA policies, technically it should not include the rooms and restaurant, and then it said you could adjust it if you want to. We have always tipped 20% when the service is good. The fact that the web page make it difficult for patrons to find out the policies and indirectly imposed on patrons, I am not happy about it. Service is up to patrons to decide to give or not and should not be up to business to impose on patrons.
*the food -- there seems to be a lots of compliments on the food, I have to say they were good in asking in advance if there is any special requirement. However, I did not find the food was special, I had a lettuce salad with goat cheese and water melon, and then salmon with a touch of wasabi sauce, rice, grilled pepper in balsamic vinegar, string beans and peas. It was good but not exceptional. I kept seeing award winning chef, but it does not spell out what award the chef has won. The Chef Christine Hale did come out to meet guests at table. Though I don't feel that she is at ease in doing it. She smile and we said the food was good, and she left!
*for breakfast, I always freak out over vegetable fritata, hoping that it is not left over vegetables from the night before (thanks to Anthony Boudain's book of Kitchen Confidentials', and in my experience, the portion was huge, and then there was no bread, instead there was a banana muffin, the muffin is good, but I still prefer a simple continental breakfast over a vegetable fritata and muffin. The first course of fruit was good, which is what I have at home anyway....
*there is this arguments about dinners cannot relinquish their control over their dinning experience. We had no idea of what is on the menu until we got there, which I did not know, I thought there will be a menu and I get to choose. Well, after I am paying so I like to decide what to have.
*some friendly staffs, I was surprise to read comments like staffs take time to get to know you. Well, not in my experience, I feels like that staffs has a lots to do and try to do what they were scripted to do, some in a slow-rush.....
*The soap for the bath and the sink are not in its original wrapper, now I have a strong dislike about that, as God know if they are new soap or not.
*there is no Hvac, so the air conditioning is very noisy, during June is ok, but I can imagine if it is in August or September, one will have to sleep through the noise.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover an unforgettable West Virginia Inn and Restaurant in lovely Charles Town. Our fantastic Select Registry property is an historic country estate with beautiful gardens on 17 wooded acres. Relax in a romantic suite with comfy beds, whirlpool tubs & fireplaces. Experience the gracious service and award winning dining at our secluded inn that makes us stand apart from any property in Harper's Ferry. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hillbrook Hotel Charles Town