My hopes are that others will read this review and heed the warning before supporting Creekside Resort, Greenville, WV, whether for a wedding or just a short stay. First, let me say that my family are all educated professionals, with a plethora of event planning experience between us. We are military Veterans, educators, business owners, and Federal and State employees with a continued commitment to public service. Kelley Sill completely ruined the wedding experience for my parents, who paid for the event, and for my sister, the bride. I will begin with the planning experience. Signing the contract with Kelley was a mistake we made. It was a contract that allowed NO option to cancel the event without her keeping thousands of dollars. It wasn’t until after the contract was signed that Kelley showed her true colors. It was too late to cancel the event because she had already collected several thousand dollars that would not be refunded. Most venues will take a percentage of the cost, depending on how long before the event you cancel, but not Kelley. She demanded numerous payments up-front without a detailed explanation of the charges, and when asked to provide further information, she was apathetic and unwilling to break-down charges. The more money that was paid, the worse the service became. Kelley was not willing to allow other vendors into her establishment that were not provided through her (see statement from Kelley in blueberry stain charges below). When other vendors were contacted, she actually went to the bakery behind our backs, and told them not to provide service; she told the florist that she would not clean up any flowers that they delivered. If you contract your own cake, then she charges an extra plating fee to clean the silverware and linens. I have written proof that these events occurred. She charged an up-front service fee of $4,500 for her “wedding coordinator” fees, but little to no coordination was performed on her part for this event, aside from owning/managing the Creekside. This fee was in ADDITION to NUMEROUS fees that I have never been charged at a venue before. For example, she did not check with the bride to ensure the programs were being distributed (they never got to the guests), and she did not check to see if the tables were set up for the reception; therefore, my mother and I ended up setting up the tables during cocktail hour, rather than enjoying our time at the reception. She did not ensure the sequence of events was being followed, and these are MINOR details that someone who is paid $4,500 should coordinate, and these tasks were coordinated by my wedding planner a few years ago for significantly less. Kelley even removed a white tablecloth from under the sign-in table right in front of the wedding guests at the reception, telling them that she didn’t want marker to get on it because it was an antique. Why put it out then, and why expose wedding guests to such behavior?
Kelley’s husband was the officiant at the wedding, and he should be ashamed of the way he treated my family, namely the bride and groom. For example, he was asked to say “Holy Spirit”, instead of “Holy Ghost”, and he told them he would say it only if he could remember. He was very rude, unfriendly, and unkempt. He charged $350, plus tax for his service (in my experience this is usually made as a donation to a Church rather than a set fee for personal service), and he also refused to join my family at the rehearsal dinner OR the reception when so graciously invited.
The cabin was not worth the $310/night we were charged. I could have stayed at the Greenbrier Resort for less, and been provided 5-star service. Kelley also charged half of the room payment 60 days prior to the event, AND there was a 2-night minimum, so guests who came Saturday were NOT given the option to stay at Creekside. It was a requirement, as per the contract, to fill most of the resort with wedding guests, and provide Kelley a detailed list of everyone at the resort, something she should have tracked as the owner/manager when guests made reservations.
The food service was an absolute let-down. During the planning phase, I was shocked to learn that there was only one choice of meat (pork was chosen), or else extra charges were incurred. Kelley tried to increase the cost of the food during the meeting because she had raised prices, but after I questioned her, she was forced to agree to the price sheet that she had provided us prior to raising prices without our knowledge. The pork at the reception was DRY, DRY, DRY, and tough, and the green beans served with it were extremely undercooked, I enjoy al dente green beans, but almost raw…not so much. The rolls were also VERY DRY, as if they had been left out overnight. The rehearsal dinner food was very meager and bland. We were wishing we had brought frozen pizzas with us to supplement the food. Breakfast was even more meager than the dinners, and the staff was certain to make sure no one ate enough to get full. They stood behind the counter and served each portion (1x1 in quiche squares) at each meal. The alcohol package was disgraceful. There is no liquor, but Kelley charges as much for beer and wine as full-bar options cost at other venues. There was a choice of one beer and one wine, or two wines, and the bride and groom ended up spending more to provide two wines and one beer selection. There was also no cash bar option at this establishment (I asked during the planning meeting, and was quickly shot down). There was also no choice to serve alcohol at the rehearsal dinner. It would be better for Kelley to have a non-alcoholic wedding venue because it is obvious that she wanted to discourage drinking. This is definitely dependent on the type of wedding that you want, but it did not suit the bride and groom’s wishes, and once again, it was too late to back out once we learned of these restrictions.
Kelley Sill should be ashamed of herself for not returning my parents’ $500 security deposit. To add insult to injury, here are the reasons she did not, directly from her receipt:
1. Clean up of litter (including large quantities of cigarette butts, beer tabs,
beer cans, bottles, broken glass and other debris) on grounds in multiple
areas (parking lots, landscaping and lawns) $140.00
2. Wine glasses broken at the wedding reception (5 x $6 each) = $30.00
3. Staining of tablecloths by blueberry pies (not wedding cake as was agreed
upon) brought in ($120).
Total deducted = $290.00
Balance returned = $210.00
What kind of catering venue charges for stains on the tablecloths? I’m not sure if anyone else has experienced this, but it was a first for me! Also, individual guests should have been responsible for their areas, NOT my parents!!! My family doesn’t even smoke, and it is disgraceful that they should be charged for cleaning up cigarette butts. We cleaned up around our cabin prior to leaving, and I also found cigarette butts when we arrived that I graciously threw away. We do not smoke, so it was not from my party. Also, for those who do smoke, there were NO receptacles for cigarette butts anywhere on the property. Those who provide a service to the public should not judge those who smoke. Also, there were no televisions or phones on the property except for a couple of emergency phones outside at random locations. I had friends coming who had left their children at home, and this was a serious concern for them, since there was NO WAY to contact their childcare providers. This is detrimental for anyone who may experience a family emergency during their stay, as there is no cell phone reception at Creekside. Communication during the weekend was impossible, even between cabins due to the lack of landline phones and reception. I can understand wanting to get away, but it is possible to have a quiet vacation and still remain connected to loved ones in case of emergency or necessity. It wouldn’t hurt to be able to watch the news as well.
In conclusion, I would not recommend wasting any of your money on this sub-par resort with disappointing, low-class service. I wish that I could warn anyone considering staying at Creekside that their money could be better spent at so many other beautiful, welcoming spots in West Virginia. I was born and raised in this Wild and Wonderful state and know it has more to offer than the Creekside. There are so many other places that provide amazing service at great prices where the owners/operators actually WANT you to come and enjoy your experience.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fortunately, many guests at your sister’s wedding, as well as other members of your immediate family, did not share the views that you have expressed here and were very complimentary of the resort, the service they experienced during the weekend and the food. I am sorry that you feel that your family was not well served by the resort and by me in particular. However, since it seems that you were misinformed on a number of matters, perhaps that explains some of the difficulty.
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All costs for the wedding were stated on the initial estimate, including vendor fees for vendors arranged through us. A full explanation of costs was given when requested. Using our vendors is optional as was made perfectly clear during the planning process. No pricing for vendors or food was changed during the months leading up to the wedding. A standard payment plan was agreed to. Why there should be a complaint now about the cost of optional vendors arranged through us is a complete mystery to me as those costs were known at the time the decision was made and they had complete freedom to make other choices.
It is completely untrue that I had anything to do with a cancellation of a wedding cake arranged by your mother with a bakery. The fact that the blueberry pies were unauthorized had to do with them not being wedding cake, which was what was to be brought in for the wedding reception. All our wedding literature clearly states that food and beverages for a wedding event are to be provided by Creekside, with the exception of wedding cake. In coordinating with a florist hired to come to Creekside by the family I took the time to let her know that a cleanup of decorations is not part of what is provided by us. This is stated in the facility use agreement for the wedding, but she might not have known this. The fee which you mention as being for my coordinating services is in fact a wedding event fee and covers many things including (primarily) the preparation and rental of all the event spaces (what some places call a “site fee”) for the wedding ceremony, rehearsal and reception, as well as the rehearsal evening bonfire that we prepare and start for the group. Coordinating services through the event and in the months leading up to the event are also included, but that is not the primary service provided for that fee. The only other charges that your parents paid for the wedding were for the wedding reception meal itself. There were no price increases for the meal or anything else above the pricing quoted in the estimate given. That meal included selections made by the bride and groom and a one entrée buffet was chosen, being the least expensive option, although more entrees could have been added. I really cannot imagine what the numerous other fees could be that you are referring to. It is clearly stated in all literature that a standard gratuity is added to the meal for service, which is a completely expectable cost at a dining establishment. The only other fee that ever even came up was a standard plating fee on wedding cakes brought in and that was not charged because your mother objected strongly and insisted that there were family members who wanted to serve the cake and that they would take care of it entirely. However, instead of wedding cake being brought in, blueberry pies and ice cream were brought in (without any notice of a change being given to us) that stained our floor-length, white tablecloths badly. The serving of these desserts also did require the attention of our staff, which we still provided at no extra cost.
The programs for the ceremony could not be found by your family before the ceremony and were never given into my keeping to be set out. I would have been happy to help in that way if they had. The reception tables were completely set many hours before the reception. You and your mother may have been putting out some personal items or favors during the cocktail hour, but that is not something that we typically do and no one communicated with me to request help in that area. The program/guest book table that we provided at the ceremony site was taken to the reception area by someone in the wedding group. That table, which has an antique lace cloth, was then being used to hold stones which were to be signed with permanent markers. I removed the lace cloth during the appetizer hour, before guests were invited up to that area (although a few family members were in the area) and left a white cloth on the table with the stones.
My husband is only one of the ministers who performs wedding ceremonies at Creekside and does so at the standard rate that we quote on all the estimates we send out. He met with the bride and her mother (the groom did not come to the meeting) many months before the ceremony and if they did not like his manner or appearance they certainly did not have to ask him to perform the ceremony. The ceremony had been decided on months in advance but he made last minute changes to accommodate concerns of the bride and groom. He did not, in fact, receive an invitation to the wedding reception ( he did not expect to---but I don’t understand the reproach) and as he received a very last minute invitation to the rehearsal dinner he had to decline due to a prior commitment.
I’m sorry that you did not find the food to your liking. However many of the guests took time to compliment it and said it was extraordinarily good. As both the dinners and breakfasts were buffets and people could return for seconds and we did not run out of anything, I am not sure why there should be a complaint about quantity. There was certainly the possibility to have wine and beer at the rehearsal dinner, but it was not ordered. I understood that alcoholic beverages were not wanted for the meal, but perhaps that was not the case, since considerable drinking seemed to be going on in the parking lot out of the backs of pickup trucks. However, this was not due to me discouraging wine and beer sales. I’m sorry if you did not find the beverage package chosen for the reception by the bride and groom and your mother to be to your liking, but the selections were theirs. We have other offerings, and it was known from the beginning that we do not serve liquor. We are licensed to serve wine and beer and do so in compliance with our state license regulations. We provided an open bar for the hours specified and had plenty of the drinks ordered. I’m sorry to say that we did have to repeatedly remind this group that bringing in outside alcoholic beverages (coolers of beer, as well as liquor) to the reception is not allowed by our licensing. We do not usually have to do that at an establishment like ours. The heavy drinking that happened at the reception was probably the main contributing factor in the littering of our grounds that took so long to clean up. There are ashtrays on the decks, (smoking is not allowed inside) but many people threw their cigarette and cigar butts in the planted borders and lawn or in the parking lot instead. The amount of broken glass and other refuse that had to be cleaned up from the grounds was also considerable. The deposit was not charged for damages in specific cottages, but for the event spaces and grounds, as was specified, and was quite modest considering the amount of clean-up required. We only very rarely have to charge a wedding deposit for littering and damages, but unfortunately we had to in this case as our regulations were not followed.
While it is true that some cell phones do not work at Creekside, many now do. We have a land line phone in our visitor center that guests can access and use 24 hours a day at no charge. Our two largest cottages also have their own phones and we have a phone for emergency use on our Woodland Trail as well. The guests who had young children at home were in communication with me and arrangements were made so that they could be contacted if needed by those caring for their children.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.