Returned to The Greenbrier after many years. We suspect the new owner has a vision to bring this icon into the new millennium while keeping its' old world charm & elegance. I think it's on the right track, but I think they have some work to do. The staff is a big asset, if not the biggest asset to this resort. I think you have to stay there to understand. It's all about service with a personal touch, they all seemed vested in the hotel. We did not encounter one surly or inefficient or unfriendly staff member. That is hard to find anywhere.
If you don't "get" the interior design then it's hard to appreciate the talent that went into the original design and how seamlessly the new additions (casino) blend into the hotel. It's just best to lose yourself in the Dorothy Draper/Carlton Varnay world.....you're on vacation!!! The casino is lovely in an old world (think Monte Carlo) style.....jackets required, no smoking, no loud music, no loud bells....just lots of fun. You can walk out of the casino at 3:00 am and have a choice between the best ice cream soda east of the Mississippi at Drapers or have a nightcap at the Cafe Carlton.
I think the big issue for me was the food at the Main Dinning Room. I prefer the main room because it is what sets The Greenbrier apart from so many resorts. The ambiance is perfection, but the food, while very good needs to go to the next level. Some items we ordered were not cooked properly and were a bit bland. Might be time to go after a top chef. The other restaurants were very good, but the service was a bit too slow. They seemed overextended at the Forum as we waited 30 minutes past our reservation and then did not get served for quite awhile. That would not do well in a 5 star review.
The Spring Row Cottages are our favorite for our family. They need some updating but are still lovely. The pool improvements are excellent. The view from the edge of the infinity pool out over the golf course and beyond to the mountains is just sheer perfection. Our family loved the golf courses, the horseback riding, clay shooting, fishing, along with the spa & fitness center. All got rave reviews.
The Greenbrier is not just another resort....it's a setting and a place that has it's own unique feel, smell, pace and beauty. I just love it.... and hope its' journey back to the top is swift and flawless. We will love to be there each step of the way.