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“The SHAFT: a wolf in sheep's clothing?” 1 of 5 stars
Review of The Greenbrier

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The Greenbrier
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   300 W Main St, White Sulphur Springs, WV 24986   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“The SHAFT: a wolf in sheep's clothing?”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2011

My fiancee and I don't get away very often; however, the rare occasion on which we spend the time and money to escape our busy urban living, we were treated poorly to say the least. Our room was located near the elevator shaft and the main service entrance to the hotel. All night long we were kept awake by the activity of staff coming and going from the service entrances. When concerns were expressed at checkout and later a call placed to the management staff, they simply said they hoped that our next stay would be more pleasant. I can tell you this: there won't be a "next stay". I have honestly had better service at a Days Inn - at least there you get a continental breakfast with your stay. I have been a long-time fan of the world-class elegance which the Greenbrier used to offer, but I'm afraid the new management is determined to bring it down to the level of a low-end Las Vegas. Very sad indeed!

Room Tip: At their prices, at least demand peace and quiet for a restful escape.
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,875 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (489)
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English first
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2011

My wife, 8 month old son and I recently returned from a July 4th weekend stay at The Greenbrier. This was my second stay there, having stayed there last year for the PGA golf tournament. So, with that said, obviously, my two visits here have come at very busy times for the hotel. Please keep that in mind as you read this review.

We stayed in a Spring Row cottage which was nicely decorated in Greenbrier fashion. It had a shared front porch with astroturf, and even though the porch was shared, our neighbors were all spread out at least 15 feet apart and rarely did we see anyone else on the porch, so that wasn't really too much of a disappointment. The room itself had a spacious living room, with a hallway leading to the bedroom. The bathroom was in the middle of the hallway, and there was an extra sink opposite the bathroom (which also had a double vanity). The extra space allowed us more options for setting up our son's crib (more on that later), but none of the crib locations were ideal -- the crib would either have to be in the front room, meaning anyone coming and going would likely wake the baby; the hallway, in which case using the bathroom would be difficult; or the bedroom. In the past, we have booked suites that have had nice separate areas where we could place the crib and still access the essential parts of the suite ourselves. Here, although it was better than a standard room, it wasn't quite as ideal as I might have hoped.

Spring Row is located between the North entrance of the main building and the pool/golf/tennis area. Depending on which cottage you're assigned, you might have a 3-5 minute walk to either the main building or the pool area. We were closer to the pool area and in retrospect might have preferred to be a bit more in the middle, but again, where we were was fine.

We opted for the meal plan, which I strongly endorse if you have it as an option. The food is ridiculously overpriced, and by that, I mean grossly overpriced -- much more so than what I have encountered at any Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton. For instance, at Sam Snead's restaurant, I ordered "The Stuart Appleby," which is a lamb chop dish honoring the inaugural winner of the PGA event there, who shot a final round score of 59. Well, the dish is priced at $59 and was, in my opinion, worth no more than $40-45 no matter where you are. Similarly, there was a "Tom Watson" dinner option featuring a 4 oz filet and lobster tail for $74. Now the good news is, if you were on the meal plan, these prices do not matter, because you are entitled to order them with no up-charge, so in our case, there was no harm. But I think I would have been horrified at the lack of value had I actually been paying the listed prices.

Along those lines, although most of the food we ordered was delicious, my wife and I agreed that the food was somewhat "cruise ship-ish." By that I mean that many things came out SO quickly, that you knew the dish was pre-prepared. You could easily envision the food-making "station" as opposed to an individually-prepared dish. Fortunately, and somewhat remarkably, the quality did not suffer much at all, other than possibly the presentation.

The breakfast buffet was very good and reasonably priced at $25. The overall meal plan, which covered breakfast and dinner, added approximately $70 per night per person, so if you're planning to have the $25 breakfast, $45 for your dinner doesn't go a long way without the meal plan. As it was, we were entitled to order 3 courses, and coffee was included.

We spent some time by the pool, which is in a beautiful setting. The pool was understandably crowded but we were always able to find 2 chairs. I was, however, disappointed that despite the fact that there were plenty of staff at the pool, it was very difficult to place a drink order. On one of the days at the pool, we were never even approached by a server. Not the end of the world for us, but if you're someone who demands the highest level of service at a resort, please keep this in mind.

To sum it up, we had a wonderful time and will likely return 2-3 times per year, as the resort is less than 2 hours from our home. The staff is very nice and in most cases, they try really hard. That said, there is a little something that is missing from the overall resort that prevents me from giving it 5 stars.

The one thing that frustrated me the most involved our check-in and special requests. My wife made a spa appointment for 2pm on the day we arrived, and we asked that they consider us for an early check-in. Now, I understand they were busy and that early check ins cannot be guaranteed. However, I called the reservation department at 10am the morning of our arrival to renew this request. I was told at 10am that our room was now vacant, and that they would attempt to have it ready for us by 1pm. So, when we arrived and were told the room would not be ready until 3pm, I was frustrated. Either tell me I cannot check in early or make a better attempt to accommodate my request. But please don't tell me at 10am that the room is vacant but fail to have it cleaned within 4 hours of that conversation. After all, the reason we were there so early was the spa appointment, which is a revenue producing event for the hotel. So I felt like they could have done a better job of accommodating this request given all of the circumstaces discussed above.

This frustration was made worse by the fact that when we arrived in the room, there was no crib (as we had requested), and when we called to renew that request, we were told that they would "try" to "find" us one, but that they weren't sure that they could. An hour later, we got a crib, so it ended up not being a big deal, but the hour spent worrying about crib availability was not the relaxing arrival I had anticipated at a 5-star resort, and I just think they fell short of the smooth arrival process I'm sure they strive for. Little things like this can make an impression on people.

Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston WV
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2011

We had a fabulous time. The staff was incredible the food was out of this world. This is a great place to just relax and enjoy the beauty of the hotel itself.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Level Contributor
161 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2011

My wife and I made our 11th visit over 20 years this past week, the first since the Casino opened, and we thought the hotel was as good, if not better than ever. We stayed in a newly renovated deluxe king w/golf package and would give the hotel a 4.5 Star, ranking it close alongside the Cloisters/Lodge in Sea Island as the best in the South in our opinion. Bedding/amenities top of line. Decor and conditioning show the new owner is putting his money where his mouth is and the friendly (always courteous and efficient) service showed the employees are happy again....key to The Greenbrier's great reputation for over 200 years now. Conditioning of the golf courses was top notch. The only drawback is that food quality is very good, but seldom gourmet (as are their price levels).......much as always and characteristic of large hotels anywhere. Cost is always higher end here, because of the activities and service level. The dress code are reasonable and refreshing, considering the clientele, and they do appear to be largely enforced.

We are so grateful that Marriott was not able to put its "mark" on this property. We'll be back again soon and would recommend to family, friends and business associates.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
41 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2011

I had been wanting to go to the Greenbrier for a such a long time - it's a four hour drive from DC, but a gorgeous trip. The hotel is very traditional, lots of color, a bit much in all honesty, but also part of the charm. We had a nice room - with very loud flower wallpaper, but the room is a good size, and incredibly comfortable bed, but a dated bathroom. Played lots of tennis - great courts which date back to the origins of the hotel. The tennis pro is great and fun to hit with.
The first day we headed to the pool - it was a Saturday and around noonish. It was absolutely packed and when we arrived, we put our name on a list having been told that's how you could get a chair. While waiting we got some lunch. It seemed the kitchen was completely overwhelmed - it took way too long for us to get drinks, get our appetizers, then to get our meal. After lunch, we revisited the young girls we left our name with - and were then told that the list wasn't being used, but it was first come first serve. Clearly irritated, they accomodated us, but there was no clear process to get a chair. Overall, it didn't feel like the kids working there knew what they were doing.
We had dinner the first night in the main dining room, which was good, not great. There's very good shopping if you're interested, lots to do at the resort.
Our check out was a big mess. We were with a group, and the entire group ended up on one bill. Instead of breaking out our charges while we stood there to checkout (which she had done for the checkout prior to us), the woman at the front desk went into the back - disappeared for almost an hour while I waited - to fix the whole problem. I asked for help twice from people working at the front desk to no avail. Finally in complete frustration, I decided to leave and as we were walking out the door, got to speak to the Manager who straightened everything out in five minutes. I left frustrated and angry, but thankful for the intervention by someone who cared to take the time to help a customer.
I have to say I left not ever planning to return.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wheeling, West Virginia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2011

The print in the rooms is a ittle over the top. Rooms were clean and service was nice. If you want to eat at the resturant make reservations early they tend to book up. There are several places to pick from on the property.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Level Contributor
38 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2011

Went for a business convention. Rooms were very nice but a little over the top with the flower prints. For men you might have to check your guy card at the door. Extras are very expensive so bring lots of cash. Maids will come into your room a lot during the day and keep moving your stuff that is out. The bunker tour was very interesting if you are a history fan. It is $30 bucks a person. They did them quite a few times each day while I was there. I had one free afternoon to check out the pool. It looks great. Bad news after putting on my suit and walking a very long while in the heat of late June I find out it is closed. Some child had an accident at the pool. Really for all the staff that is around they can't check babies to make sure they have on swim diapers and plastic pants? They check this at my park district pool where I am paying a lot less. Also if this does happen at my local pool they close it for 30 minutes shock treat the pool and check it and then open it up. Here it was closed for 24 hours. Really? They still had a ton of staff taling to each other around the pool all day. Get the lobster mash potatoes at the steak place. I am still thinking about them.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about The Greenbrier

Address: 300 W Main St, White Sulphur Springs, WV 24986
Location: United States > West Virginia > White Sulphur Springs
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in White Sulphur Springs
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Greenbrier 4.5*
Number of rooms: 710
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located amid the breathtaking Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia, The Greenbrier is a National Historic Landmark and an award-winning resort that has been welcoming guests since 1778. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Greenbrier Hotel White Sulphur Springs
Greenbrier White Sulphur Springs
Greenbrier Resort White Sulphur Springs
Greenbrier Wv

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