My husband and I shared a lovely, relaxing weekend at Hillbrook Inn in late August. Having never been to the area, I have to admit, we were a bit nervous. A European-like chateau in the middle of West Virginia? We feared something tacky and Disney-like, but that's not what we found at all. Hillbrook is a lovely more than 100-year-old Tudor home with creaky floors, nooks and crannies galore. It's filled with quirky and eclectic antiques, and the owners are accessible but not in your face. We loved it. There were a few hitches that keep me from giving it five stars, but I'd still recommend it to friends without reservation.
We loved our room, the Point. We were a bit nervous about it too, as it's the cheapest room available ($169), but it was perfectly fine. (In fact, we were really glad we didn't splurge for one of the more expensive suites. They're probably more spacious, but they're not part of the original house, which leads me to believe they lack some of the character we loved.) The Point isn't large, but it was certainly large enough for us. it has a full/queen bed, a decent-sized closet and a sitting area with a table and two chairs. You have to duck when you enter it through a tiny hallway, but that's part of the charm. Because it's right above the kitchen and the office, though, we could hear commotion downstairs in the morning. It didn't bother us, but if you're sensitive about noise, it might bother you. Another thing to know: no hair dryer or ironing board. Oh, and no TV either.
Breakfast is included with your stay, which is quite a bargain. You eat whatever the chef prepares. One day we got a fruit plate and then pancakes with fresh whipped cream. Another day we got a yogurt parfait and then an omelet with sausage links. The coffee was some of the best I've had. And the breakfast room -- a solarium looking out on the grounds -- is lovely.
We decided to splurge for the $65/person five-course dinner, based mostly on the rave reviews we read on TripAdvisor. Unfortunately, we were quite disappointed with the food. The dining experience, however, was wonderful. You eat in the home's lovely dining room. Think dark wood, high ceilings, candles. It feels very romantic and intimate, and indeed it is! The night we were there, there were five tables of two and one table of five. I doubt they could ever fit more than that. The food, though, was not what I expected for $65/person. First course: a spinach-pastry something-or-other topped with a deliciously tart sauce -- the whole thing was surprising, interesting and good. No complaints about this course. Second course: a simple salad with parmesan cheese. Really? A salad? That feels like cheating. Third course: penne with a light white sauce. It was fine. And it was homemade. But a basic pasta? That's not a particularly interesting culinary experience, if you ask me. Fourth course: filet mignon with asparagus. It tasted good, but again, this isn't what we expect of a restaurant that calls itself gourmet. FIfth course: for dessert, a chocolate cake. Again, good, but gourmet? No. If we had to make the choice again, we'd eat about five minutes away in Charles Town, where there was a restaurant called Dish that looked to have similarly fresh, simple, good foods, but much cheaper.
The grounds: There's enough space for a nice walk, but not enough for a run. We had a nice time lounging on a hammock. We were also very excited about the life-size chess game, but we were disappointed to realize so many pieces were missing that it was impossible to play.
Stuff to do: We mostly enjoyed a lazy weekend, but we also trekked to Harper's Ferry (about 20 minutes away) and went riving tubing on the Shenandoah (about 10 minutes away).
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you so much for the lovely review. I know it wasn't perfect, but you had so many wonderful things we wanted to address. First, thank you for appreciating all the hidden nooks and crannies, and great architecture of the Inn. It is a little hidden jewel that we love deeply and enjoy sharing with others. In addition, I wanted to touch upon the hustle and bustle of the Inn. I have approached the staff to remind them that their could be a guest above them, and to remember to be courteous to the guests and their quiet time. Each guest chooses rooms or suites that are fitting to them and we would be happy to discuss every room at the Inn and describe what it has to offer. I will also advise my staff to remind guests of the Points exact location in the future. The cottages are in a separate building and have a lot to offer guests that like extra amenities. There are a total of four suites containing antiques, hand panted walls and as built to emulate the main house. Although it is a newer building it has its own set of charm and character. As for the hair dryer, iron and ironing board...housekeepers were told about this matter and they have been replaced. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. I am so sorry that you did not enjoy the dining experience to the fullest. Our Chef works very hard to make sure our guests have a pleasant dining experience and I have shared this information with her. We hope that during a future visit you will mention your experience and allow us to create something more for you to enjoy! I also agree that the Dish is a wonderful restaurant and send guests weekly to visit Doug and his establishment. I also dine there often and can appreciate what they accomplish. I also wanted to let you know that a gift came in the mail this week! A NEW chess set from a guest. A guests at the Hillbrook Inn, that we enjoy having purchased and sent us a new chess set for guests to enjoy! The thoughtful gesture really touched us and we are so grateful for their kindness. These are the type of guests that visit the Hillbrook and we are blessed to enjoy the time with them during their visits. Thank you for taking the time to write this review for others to read it is helpful when planning a get-a-way and we enjoy hearing the feedback, because it helps us to grow and critique Hillbrook!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.