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“Big Meadows Getaway”
Review of Big Meadows Lodge

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Big Meadows Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 18, 2012

Coming back from W.Va. decided to stop at Big Meadows. Trip was fantastic. Great views and relaxing drive. Lodge is great. Very comfortable. Rooms were simple and clean. Restaurant was fine as was the Tap Room. Everyone was courteous and helpful. Enjoyed the fresh air, great view and quiet. Will definitely come back and hope to get some time to roam around the park

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank James C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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878 - 884 of 1,169 reviews

Reviewed September 17, 2012

Although we try to make it up to Big Meadow Lodge each year on a day trip for lunch-and-a-hike, we thought we'd do a Sunday overnight stay this year. It had been many, many years since we had stayed overnight at the Lodge, so I was interested to see how the accommodations were now.

There are many different kinds of accommodations and I checked them out pretty well before booking. I would highly recommend that you do the same if there are some amenities (e.g. A/C) that you cannot live without. In fact, you may want to call the Lodge directly to ask questions about what is in each class of room/cabin as the online information seems incomplete. When we used to go with the kids, we opted for the most basic room. Now, I like more amenities, so we chose a Blue Ridge room which had A/C, a ceiling fan, and a TV. The room faced the valley and had a couple of chairs and a table on a small patio where we could sit and enjoy the view. It was also very quiet--something I had not really expected, but I did appreciate. (I understand the rooms in the Lodge suffer from poor sound-proofing.)

The room was what I expected--clean and fairly large, but spartan. The bed and pillows were a little soft for my taste, but I slept comfortably....until 2 am when the power went off. Fortunately, it was restored in about 10 minutes, but as I was waiting, I was wondering what one would do if there were a real problem in your room late at night? There are no phones in the rooms so you can't call the front desk. Also, it's pitch black at night in the mountains, so it would not be safe to walk to the lodge without a flashlight. So, I decided if I should come again, I'd bring a flashlight and enter the front desk phone number into my cell phone. (Note: Not all cell phones get coverage in SNP.)

The Great Room was a pleasant place for us to sit and read (although it could use a few more table or floor lamps). The Taproom was cozy and we enjoyed the musicians very much. The food in the dining room was excellent, although the service was very slow on Sunday night. It wasn't just our waitress--the couple at the table next to us had to flag down the host to have him get their waiter to make an initial contact. There must have been a staffing problem since our service on Monday morning for breakfast was perfect.

While I really liked the views from our room and the amenities of the Lodge (Great Room, Taproom), I did not consider the room itself to be "value-for-money". Obviously, I was not the only one who felt this way. While waiting to be seated for breakfast, a woman told us that they had not been able to turn off their heater and had to open the windows all night so they wouldn't suffocate. Also, as I checked out, when the clerk asked the man next to me how his room was, he said, "Just so-so". Unfortunately, I did not get to hear why he was so disappointed in the accommodations.

Finally, it may be a small thing, but it's an annoyance to me: a "voluntary" charge of $1.00 to the National Park Foundation is made to all reservations. Since the first night of a reservation is charged before you arrive at the park, you are charged this "voluntary" fee without having a choice about it. Despite the fact that I have no problem with the National Park Foundation, I do have a problem with "voluntary" fees that aren't "voluntary". I fully intended to have this charge removed when I checked out, but it took so long to get waited on by the front desk that I just wanted to get my receipt and go.

Room Tip: Call the Lodge to find out what amenities are available in each room. If you opt for a Blue Ridge r...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank longhorn74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2012

We got a special deal through the internet. It turned out to be slightly more than accommodations booked through the hotel. However the deal included a bottle of wine (quite good) two souvenir wine glasses, breakfast for two and entrance to Luray Caverns, which were spectacular. We had stayed at the lodge before and weren't impressed; the room was small, crowded dark and dingy. Our room this time was in the motel-type building. It was spacious, clean as a pin and met all our needs including being handicapped accessible. We would stay there again in a heartbeat--and probably will!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank JanKin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2012

We like staying in National Park lodges, cabins, and rustic facilities and try to get accomodations in every park we visit. On this trip we had our two labrador dogs along and were happy that Shenandoah permitted pets in the facilities. You pay dearly for that privelege and are limited to just a few rooms, but it was nice to be able to stay in the park.

Every staff person we met without exception was friendly and helpful. They are a great resource and were a pleasure to be around.

The facilities, however, were shabby and poorly maintained when compared with other National Parks we have visited. Rustic is great; but being in need of paint, repairs, and updating is not appealing. Our view from our porch was a row of abandoned old cabins which had broken windows, junk piled outside (broken urinal, busted andirons, lamp parts) and were badly deteriorated. Hardly the view of the forest we had expected.

Our row of rooms had a yellow jacket hive in one of the door frames and swarming wasps buzzing around the porch. We reported this to the staff on Wednesday and nothing was done until Saturday after other guests complained. Too few staff?

The lodge complex experienced a partial power failure on our last night and 1/2 of the complex was rendered dark. No backup generator. No lights, heat, fans, path lights, hot water. Not rustic - unprepared.

Bring your own pillows - the provided ones are cheap. The bedsheets are all flat sheets and fit the beds poorly. The towels are tiny and threadbare - all just shabby. The porch chairs almost all had broken weaving and looked like yard sale rejects.

In spite of the above, we enjoyed the park, the nights in the lodge, and the activities. The facilities are in need of a good scrub, paint, and upgrade to better quality bedding, but you cannot beat the views and wildlife encounters.

Room Tip: Stay in a suite with a fireplace - much nicer accomodations, but they do not allow pets. Get a cabin...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank tridcod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2012

For $150 per night in middle of the week we stayed in a cabin that was smokey smelling and tiny. The carpet was dirty, the blinds on the door were broken, the shower was inflexible, the smoke detector began to chirp in the middle of the night, the walls were paper thin so that we could hear much of what our neighbors in the other side of this miserable little duplex were saying; there was an overall "yucky" feeling that you get when you know you are staying in a dirty accomodation. When we checked out, the desk attendant didn't even ask if everything went okay so we had to verbally give her our list which she perfunctorily accepted offering no apology for the sorry accomodations. Oh, and my wife was awakened by folk outside walking by in the middle of the night unobservant of the "quiet hours" which were supposed to be in effect. Like other cheap motels, this joint does not use fitted sheets over the mattresses so inevitably the flat sheets that were used came untucked and found we were sleeping directly on the nasty mattress! We certainly were staying in an "historic" cabin, built in the 30s and it had much of the original grunge remaining after all these years! No tv. Even the rats in this tiny little room were stoop shouldered! I guess the management figures we shouldn't complain about the rip off we experienced at this"Big" meadows cabin because of the nice view of the valley. They're wrong! Should have known better than to stay at a joint owned by the Feds. Should have read the reviews before booking.

Room Tip: The whole complex lacks the spiffy clean look that a place that costs so much should have.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Chester J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2012

We so enjoyed the experience of staying at Big Meadows but wish we could have stayed longer. The views are spectacular into the valleys and mountains afar off. We did see some wildlife, but wish to see more. The accommodations were great and the meals excellent. We also enjoyed the guitarist who sang to us in the great room near fireplace. The gift shop was enjoyable as was the morning Starbucks coffee! The Harry Byrd Welcome Center was excellent and the displays superb. We'll have to come again to enjoy the theater presentations of Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah Mountains and Valley. Anyone looking for a somewhat quiet get-a-way in a cooler place, with activities if you like, or just to sit and look and read! The deer are a good example of how to enjoy life! Mr and Mrs Entzminger, Oakton, VA

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Nancy Burg E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2012

If you are happy with rustic and love a fantastic view then stay here. I would love to have spent longer but we were on a tight schedule. Tap room entertainment added to a really lovely stop over.

We have stayed at many National Park hotels and always enjoy the experience, however read up before you book because I'm not sure they are everyone’s cup of tea. The view is the only real luxury on site! We did not get the best nights sleep as these old buildings are not that sound proof and in our case the mattress was a bit to soft (clearly this is personal preference). I would not hesitate to stay again, if I come back this way and would always choose a National Park hotel in preference to a chain hotel outside the park.

Room Tip: Valley view in the lodge.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Andy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Big Meadows Lodge

Address: Mile 51.2, Skyline Dr, Shenandoah National Park, VA 22849
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Virginia > Shenandoah National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Shenandoah National Park
Price Range: $152 - $217 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Big Meadows Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 97
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Also Known As:
Big Meadows Hotel Shenandoah National Park
Big Meadows Virginia
Big Meadow Lodge
Big Meadows Lodge Virginia
Big Meadows Shenandoah

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