I stayed here on my way back from doing the 150th re-enactment of the battle of Gettysburg as I was re-tracing the line of the Confederate retreat (they crossed the Potomac slightly upstream at Williamsport). Laurel Lodge just snouted it above The Jackson Rose due to the view offered by the Cedar room. This overlooks the Potomac and Maryland Heights on the other side of the river as well as the railroad track (strangely not featuring in the reviews or the publicity). Thanks to heavy tree growth and the fact that the trains don't appear to run through the night, this was not a problem and anyway I find the sound of American locomotive whistles romantic. I was quizzed as to whether I knew what river it was - I've visited the area many times so I did know!
I only just got there before the latest check in time of 7.00 pm - don't know what would have happened if I had been later. While I just wanted to sort out my kit and have a shower, I got the full tour and was even required to pay up there and then. The room was somewhat gloomy but of a decent size and the bathroom was well equipped with a hair dryer tucked in a little cupboard. There are a few nice features like a fridge and beverage facilities (and cake) although this is downstairs in the hallway.
Expect a trek if you want dinner in Harpers Ferry. The historic centre is quite a way away and down a steep hill - fortunately some nice Irish people gave me a lift back up the hill. Dining options are few - down to two on a Monday night apparently. The innkeeper Chris professed to know nothing of the top-rated Vista Tavern and Grill which is only just outside the town - I had even passed it on the way in. But their posh restaurant was apparently booked for a private function and the 'We've got crabs' sign by the entrance was a bit off putting anyway.
If I've got any criticism it's that the innkeeper was too obtrusive. I was up early putting stuff in the car - a fact that was commented on. Was my room bugged?! And I got a full description of where the breakfast ingredients were sourced from. Frankly, I couldn't care less except it was all completely delicious and probably worth going back just for that. By the way you'll need to decide what time you want breakfast the night before. The value for money aspect has been a little dented by a significant recent price hike but Laurel Lodge should certainly feature on your Harpers Ferry short list if only for the view (and the breakfast!).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Enjoy the history and scenic beauty of Harpers Ferry from this charming B&B. The stone Craftsman bungalow is a short stroll from Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. Explore the natural wonders of our area by hiking the Appalachian Trail, biking the C&O Canal or floating down the Shenandoah or Potomac river. Or, simply relax on our wrap-around porch overlooking the Potomac River gorge. ... more less