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“An honest check of Good and Bad” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hillbrook Inn

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Hillbrook Inn
3.0 of 5 Inn   |   4490 Summit Point Road, Charles Town, WV 25414   |  
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Ranked #2 of 7 Charles Town B&B and Inns
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
419 reviews 419 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 99 cities Reviews in 99 cities
103 helpful votes 103 helpful votes
“An honest check of Good and Bad”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2012

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:-

GOOD
*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.

BAD
*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.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Hillbrook, Owner at Hillbrook Inn, responded to this review, June 18, 2012
Thank you for your honesty! I am happy to hear that your significant other booked a romantic get-a-way for you both to escape last minute. We are happy that we were able to accommodate you as well. I am sorry to hear that you were disappointed in the fixed gratuities on the billing. It is not made to offend guests, but more to be a convenience to them during their stay. We do not want guests to have to carry anything with them as they travel from their rooms, to the spa to the dining room. We would have been happy to make adjustments for you upon check-out. I have also taken the time to update the information for the “web-site” policies as well. We hope this will help to make things clear for our future guests and appreciate that you brought it to our attention.

As for the staff, they were disappointed to hear your comment about paying “lip service” and did take it to heart. They work very hard to make sure the guests have all of their needs fulfilled and answer any questions guests may have. Although they did appreciate your honesty and seeing how their actions are portrayed by other guests. I have spoken to Christine about your disappointment in the menu, and she apologized for making you feel that her conversation was brief. She does like to hear from the guests and their thoughts; she would have wanted to make you feel special with the meal if you were not happy.

As for vegetable frittata, I assure you that you did not have leftover veggies on your breakfast plate. I have looked up the menu for you to ease your mind and as you stated in your critique of the Inn, you had grilled balsamic red peppers, haricot verts, sugar snap peas. The frittata had fresh broccoli, onions, mushrooms and cheese. She also accompanied the egg dish with fresh bacon, and a homemade muffin. If you prefer something simple such as toast and fruit or yogurt and fruit we would have been more than happy to assist in making it happen. Yes, we have no menus at the Hillbrook Inn, because it allows us to purchase fresh. I understand it is not the dining experience for everyone, but because it is unique we take great lengths to tell guests when they are booking over the phone, as we did with your significant other.

As for the soap in the bathroom, they are purchased through a phenomenal and well know company called Gilchrist & Soames. At no point in time are they wrapped in different packaging or reused. If anyone had a concern about our “health safety” they could look up any violations at the health department being that they are public record. Our rooms are checked by the county from the bathrooms to the linens. My husband got a chuckle out of that comment only for the fact that I hate hotels. I am the girl that used to bring her own sheets and wears shoes no matter what floor I was walking on. When we bought the Inn he told me that I had to sleep in every bed, that I had to walk on every floor and I had to feel comfortable if I wanted my guests to feel comfortable. We iron the first 36 inches of every sheet, we take measures on cleaning jet tubs the proper way, we spend a lot of money on packaged products and more. So, we apologize if you felt for one minute that soap would be repackaged! I really wish that you would have told a staff member this before you departed, because I know that is an awful feeling and I never want a guest to feel that way!

I will head out to the snuggery and test a night sleep! I appreciate the time you took to write the review and I will do what I can to make adjustments for our future guests. We are sorry that you were disappointed in the last minute escape your significant other booked for you both, and wish you the best in future escapes!
Sincerely,
Carissa Zanella
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280 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
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (106)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Manassas, Virginia, United States
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2012

My wife and I just decided to spend a couple of days in West Virginia in a B&B. We got more than we wished. The place is secluded and tranquil in an amazing country side. The staff was just amazing and the food excellent. We are coming again...

Room Tip: Try the food.
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  • Stayed June 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillbrook, Owner at Hillbrook Inn, responded to this review, June 18, 2012
We are so excited that you both stayed with us and it was more than you could have wished for. We look forward to future visits with you both!
Sincerely,
Carissa Zanella
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, VA
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2012

What made our stay at Hillbrook Inn so wonderful was the customer service. The staff is very helpful and eager to please. We used a Living Social deal for our anniversary. I had a facial at the spa and we had the 5-course dinner.
The spa experience was nice. The technician sat with me to go over my health concerns and talk for a few minutes beforehand.
The 5-course meal was good, and we decided afterward it we thought it was reasonably priced. They ask for your dining restrictions when you make the reservation. We thought that since we each had specific tastes, we would be eating different things, but we did not. Also, when you're told there is no menu, you expect something adventurous. Our menu wasn't very adventurous: spinach crepe made with frozen spinach, salad, a pasta dish that was made from dried pasta (fresh would be nice), a tilapia dish that did have some interesting rice with it and some vegetables, and the best part - apple tart. You could tell the caramel sauce was homemade.
We are foodies and eat out in D.C. a lot, so I guess our expectations were set a little higher and were hoping to see more creative dishes, considering there was no menu.
Breakfast was tasty, they gave you plenty of food.
There are iPads in the rooms, but in our room the internet connection was really weak.
Overall our experience was great, and we would definitely return again if we were to stay in this area of W. Virginia.

  • Stayed May 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillbrook, Owner at Hillbrook Inn, responded to this review, June 18, 2012
Thank you for the kind review of the Hillbrook! I am happy to hear that you enjoyed your visit with us. I had an opportunity to talk to our Chef as well about the menu that evening. We write down every menu at Hillbrook on the date that it is made allowing me to see everything that is served. I am sorry to hear that it was not adventurous for you, her cooking style is very simplistic. She likes the food to be pleasurable but simple and to speak for itself. As for the internet connection, I will have my husband look at the routers in the house. I appreciate that you brought it to our attention. It has been a challenge having service on a house so large and with such thick walls that are filled with rock and logs…makes it difficult sometimes. We are very pleased to be offering this service to our customers though and they seem to be really enjoying the in room amenities. I am glad to hear your overall experience was GREAT and you will be returning. We look forward to the visit. – Sincerely, Carissa Zanella
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Baltimore, Maryland
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2012

My husband and I took this living social deal. I was very pleased. This was outstanding and a peaceful place. We didn't want to leave. The inn was lovely decorated. The staff was very friendly and helpful when we had questions.The grounds was beautiful and open to stroll around. Two hammocks, bridge and swing to use and relax as well as chairs under old trees. Food was outstanding and we was happy to meet the chef. She did a wonderful job on the 5 course meal. I wanted to take her home with me to cook. The Spa was wonderful as well. If you want to get away and slow down and relax this would be the Inn for you.

Room Tip: Best room for views is the The Locke's Nest. There are steps leading to this room.
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  • Stayed May 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillbrook, Owner at Hillbrook Inn, responded to this review, June 8, 2012
We are happy that you chose to visit us at the Hillbrook Inn! It was our pleasure to share all the aspects of Hillbrook Inn with you and look forward to visiting with you again in the future.
Sincerely,
Carissa Zanella
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Suffolk, Virginia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2012

My husband and I took advantage of a Living Social voucher to stay here for a night. What a find! We've done a few hotel stays through Living Social and Groupon, but this was the best so far. The grounds are beautiful, open, and large enough to stroll about. The inn is lovingly decorated and maintained and Lori took quite a bit of time to show us around and give us a bit of history about the place when we checked in.

We stayed in the Overlook, which has a separate entrance and small porch from which you can view the gardens. The room was beautiful, comfortable, and quiet - we were surprised to see that there were four other couples staying overnight when we made our way to breakfast because we never heard a sound. Lori told us as she showed us around that the bed linens are made on site - they are beautiful. I only wish it had been cold enough to use the thick, down comforter - but something tells me we'll be back and will have a chance to use it. :)

Our voucher included a $50 spa credit, which I used for a pedicure and it was fabulous. The spa is set in a separate building away from the main house, small and tastefully decorated. I think it would be a great place to have a massage when we come back.

The food was absolutely delicious. My husband is a meat and potato kind of guy, not fussed by fancy meals or frills. But he kept commenting on how good everything was - from the macaroons available on arrival, to the salmon (some of the freshest we've ever had) Christine prepared for dinner and the apple tart that finished the meal. Breakfast was hearty and delicious, too (Becky, you're a wonderful mutli-tasker!).

In summary, we have nothing but good things to say about Hillbrook. Make a point of visiting, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

  • Stayed May 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillbrook, Owner at Hillbrook Inn, responded to this review, May 23, 2012
Dear Mrs. Jones:
We are so happy that you were able to visit the Hillbrook Inn! Each of the staff members really treat the Inn with respect and appreciate all it has to offer. It feels like this is “home” to each of us and it is nice to see hear when it shines through. In addition, I am happy to hear that you were able to relax in “Overlook”, it is a delightful room. I am glad you felt you had a “fabulous pedicure”! In addition to enjoying the atmosphere at the Spa, next time you should do a massage, they are “fabulous” as well.
Lastly, thank you for the feedback on the food. It is nice to hear that your husband felt comfortable and enjoyed the dining experience. As for the macaroons, they are often the guest’s favorite! In addition, I will tell Becky she is a “wonderful multi-tasker” for you. Yes, we all wear a lot of hats around here! I can say I am a lucky employer to have so many special people to work with!
Sincerely,
Carissa Zanella
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2012

The perfect get away for a spring or summer weekend - and the bonus is they treat dog companions as well as they do the guests. You feel very special from the moment you arrive until the moment you leave. There is plenty of manicured glass for any dog friend to find hours of pleasure. Equally enjoyable is all of the special touches and the excellent breakfast and five-course dinner.

  • Stayed May 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillbrook, Owner at Hillbrook Inn, responded to this review, May 23, 2012
It was a pleasure to hear that you think Hillbrook is a perfect escape for the spring or summer weekend for you and your “furry friend”. You are all important guests to us and also make us feel special when we know we accomplished our goals for you! So, thank you for the kind words and appreciation for what we do every day and noticing the special touches.
Sincerely,
Carissa Zanella
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reston, Virginia
2 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2012

A lovely couples get away. We enjoyed walking the grounds and playing horseshoes.

Room Tip: Do not pick "The Lookout". The room is small, stuffy, poorly insulated and the AC unit is...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillbrook, Owner at Hillbrook Inn, responded to this review, May 23, 2012
Thank you for the kind words about the lovely get-a-way and the grounds. I read your “room tips” and I apologize for the air unit. Although, I can’t change the physical room size, I did purchase a new one yesterday and it is being installed today. All I can do is try to make things better for guests when they make suggestions. Therefore, thank you deeply for your comments because it makes us strive to be better!
Sincerely,
Carissa Zanella
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hillbrook Inn

Address: 4490 Summit Point Road, Charles Town, WV 25414
Phone Number:
Location: United States > West Virginia > Charles Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Charles Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Hillbrook Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover an unforgettable West Virginia Inn and Restaurant in lovely Charles Town. Our West Virginia bed and breakfast is a historic country estate with beautiful gardens on 17 wooded acres. Relax in a romantic suite at our Charles Town hotel with comfy beds, whirlpool tubs & fireplaces. Experience the gracious service and award winning dining at our secluded inn in Charles Town that makes us stand apart from any Harpers Ferry B&B. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hillbrook Hotel Charles Town

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