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“An Average Experience” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Clarion Hotel & Conference Center

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Clarion Hotel & Conference Center
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   233 Lowe Drive, Shepherdstown, WV 25443   |  
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Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Shepherdstown
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“An Average Experience”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2012

We stayed at the Clarion Hotel in Shepherdstown for four nights in September 2012 for the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam across the Potomac in Maryland. The hotel is an easy 10 minute drive to the battlefield. The exterior and lobby of the hotel are very inviting and the front desk staff is extremely cheerful and helpful. However, the attention to detail by maintenance and housekeeping leave a little to be desired.

Upon arriving we had to request a room change as our room had a strong smell of chemical, probably from excessive cleaning solution. Within minutes our noses began to become irritated. Even though the hotel was full during our stay the front desk honored our request. The exterior of our new room had what appeared to be mold/mildew on the wall near our door. The room itself was nice enough for what we expected. We knew we weren't staying in a Westin and only planned to be in the room at night.

As others have noted the bathroom could use updating. The wallpaper was peeling from the bottom up on two walls. The bathtub spigot was not attached to the wall and each evening, after housekeeping had been in the room, it was turned at different angles and needed to be turned so water didn't spay out of the tub. The room itself was nice, but the carpet could be changed as it had wear wrinkles. Housekeeping seemed to do the bare minimum in our room. One day we came back to the room to find our bed was "made" by simply throwing the covers back on the bed. The pillows were in the same position we left them in the morning.

The microwave and refrigerator were nice to have as we packed a cooler each morning for our day at the battlefield.

Even though there are plenty of negatives in this review, they are minor in nature and wouldn't prevent us from staying here again on our next visit to Antietam. As mentioned earlier, the hotel won't exceed all your expectations, but it's nice enough if you need a quiet place to stay.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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141 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Aomori, Japan
Top Contributor
131 reviews 131 reviews
69 hotel reviews
Reviews in 76 cities Reviews in 76 cities
108 helpful votes 108 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2012

I stayed at the Clarion Hotel in Shepherdstown for five nights in August 2012. The staff seemed friendly and interested in promoting positive experiences for the guests.

As a facility, however, the Clarion was tired and just barely OK. Huge negative: the windows in the guest rooms did not open! How sad -- find the architect and fire him/her! As a result, I was stuck with noisy AC or fan options -- neither or which ever turned off. I thought the room was clean and comfortable enough, but the furnishings in it were neither stylish nor current. Moreover the room was dark and needed more lighting. Also, my room telephone did not work at all, despite my inquiring about it at the front desk. That said, wireless Internet worked fine and delivered good bandwidth -- thanks! Also, I was glad the room frig was unplugged -- this saved energy, as I didn't have a reason to use it.

The advertised "health club/spa" consisted of a smallish room of aerobic fitness machines, another room crowded with free weights and weight machines, and a outdoor pool/hot tub and indoors sauna. I used the fitness machines several times. They were small in number, worn out, and dated (compared to the equipment at my local YMCA). The equipment would have been state-of-the-art in ca. 1995. By no means did I depart thinking I had experienced a "health club". The weight machines also were barely average in terms of their quantity and currency. I did not try the pool, hot tub, or sauna; from what little I noticed, the kids in the pool seemed to be enjoying themselves.

IMHO -- the hotel's website claim to "beautiful landscaping" was extreme hyperbole. By no means was the Clarion property a dump; but neither was it pretty.

Bottom line: Sheperdstown's Clarion is a barely adequate facility. It is appropriate for housing federal government employees -- you definitely won't come away from it thinking, "how dare those feds -- they have it made!" In line with other reviewers' comments, I expect the Clarion's sweetheart deal with Uncle Sam is a major disincentive for investing seriously to improve the properly.

If you are a private citizen plunking down your own money, I expect you will find better nearby lodging choices at an equal tariff -- a Bavarian Inn is in town, for example, and perhaps you can do better there. In addition, Martinsburg WV is just down the road. And Virginia isn't far away.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
York, Pennsylvania
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2012

If you're planning on staying at the Clarion you should be aware; This is not a traveler's Hotel. The primary purpose of this Hotel is to serve the Government training facility (Eastern Management Development Center) that is directly attached to the Hotel. Because of this guaranteed business, the Hotel does little to no maintenance/updating of it's rooms.

The rooms are small and worn. Some smell like smoke (ours did), others smell like mold (other guests on floor). Some of our bathroom tiles were missing grout while a lot of the grout that was there was discoloured with mold. The furniture is showing serious signs of wear and tear and I'm fairly confident that it has not been replaced since the Hotel opened over a decade ago.

The staff was neither friendly nor helpful. When we walked into the lobby we were greeted with a sign saying the pool was closed (of course this was during the recent heat wave. Later on when exploring the hotel we saw the signs posted closer to the pool which stated that the pool was closed 'By order of the Health Department'). When we checked into our room we walked in to find our Air Conditioning cover laying on the floor. The AC was also non functional. The fan worked but it was not cooling. The beds were covered with some kind of dirt and hair. We went to the front desk and the person there literally just shrugged at me and said there was nothing she could do as they were fully booked that night. Here's a protip for the Clarion staff: when a guest who checks in at 4pm has a major problem with their room, you move them to another room and have your houseman clean/fix/repair the problem room and give it to someone who checks in hours later. You don't just shrug at the guest and blow them off.

Other hotels in the area were fully booked so we were stuck. Luckily I was able to get the AC partially working by unplugging the unit and restarting it several times. The final straw was when I attempted to take a shower in the morning. I turned on the water and was immediately hit by an odor. It literally smelled like swamp water.

Broken AC. Dirt, mold, odors... The Clarion of course charged us full price for our experience. They don't even offer the most basic continental breakfast which is pretty much an industry standard for hotels that charge $120+ per night like the Clarion does.

Room Tip: No breakfast offered.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2012

Stayed here for a couple weeks on business in the area. Will try to avoid going forward.

The rooms were overall dirty. Shower curtains with dingy brown stains, vents coated in thick black dust, musty smell, etc. It wasn't the most comfortable stay. if there were a handful of visible problems I'm sure there are more I don't see.

Also coming for business I was shocked at the lack of internet connectivity. There was no high-speed ethernet available - in fact, the rooms had "modem" connections on the desks. Modems... What decade is this? Then the "free wifi" didn't work over half the time and the other half it was a 1-bar connection which disconnected constantly. Over one day it just straight-up wouldn't connect for anyone in my group. When we asked the front desk they replied "I'm not authorized to reset the internet. I could with more complaints." Poor customer service. We had different people complain to eventually hit the arbitrary amount to have the staff reset it. It then went back to its choppy 1-bar glory.

Overall, between the dirty rooms and outdated amenities I'd avoid this location if given a choice.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape May, New Jersey
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2012 via mobile

We stayed here for a HS reunion held in the hotel. The location is great if you are visiting the University or the town. The hoter is clean but dated. The room was a typical hotel room. The day we checked in the temp. was near 100. The AC was off in the room when we entered. The wall unit was EXTREMELY loud. Very annoying! The fridge and microwave were unplugged. The ironing board would not close. Bathroom was clean. Average place to stay.

Stayed July 2012
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Arlington, Virginia
3 reviews 3 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2012

Don’t bring you kids to the pool. This a no toy or splash zone, cause people should be able to use computer, phone and book or other water sensitive equipment, next to the pool without getting it wet. The 2 restaurant at Clarion is not recommended to use. The “Tuscany Grille food” taste like the food come from a jar and “Rumsey Taverns” served me “fresh” dry microwave spareribs. Cold outside and inside hot. It was grilled, but not the same day as served. Rooms are nice and clean.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Morris Plains, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2012

This was a basic hotel that was chosen because of its location and the fact that it had handicapped rooms. I use an electric scooter to get around so this is always a factor. The rooms were small and charmless - more like a dorm room. It was also very dark. The bathroom was quite large and the shower was great. There was a sink basin with no shelf space anywhere in the bathroom, even though there was lots of room in there. Current designers of hotel accessible baths seem to think that wheelchair users don't use toiletries or toothbrushes. Are we supposed to put them on the floor?

The staff was very nice but it seemed that casual visitors were a rarity as they were more accustomed to the Federal Govt. employees coming for training.

We were the only ones in the restaurant for breakfast and yet we had to wait 30 minutes for our eggs, which we then had to send back as they resembled hockey pucks. Maybe we just hit a bad day.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Clarion Hotel & Conference Center

Address: 233 Lowe Drive, Shepherdstown, WV 25443
Phone Number:
Location: United States > West Virginia > Shepherdstown
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Shepherdstown
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Clarion Hotel & Conference Center 3.5*
Number of rooms: 168
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Also Known As:
Clarion Hotel And Conference Center
Clarion Hotel Shepherdstown
Clarion Shepherdstown
Shepherdstown Clarion

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