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“Romantic rustic retreat”

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Historic Banning Mills
Ranked #1 of 1 Whitesburg B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed March 28, 2013

My husband surprised me to this retreat that I have never heard of. Sad, really, as it's an amazing gem super close to Atlanta and surrounding areas.

Staff: Amazing. Young and attentive, personable and really seem to care. You felt like you were the special guest at summer camp. The chef was very sweet when my salmon dinner was under cooked and was very concerned for my meal and my stay. The owner/founder was on hand throughout the stay and really seemed to enjoy checking on guests.

Cabin: wonderfully rustic. There were really bad storms the night we stayed and every time the thunder boomed, the whole cabin shook. I kept thinking this must have been what it was like 100+ years ago! The cabin we were in had both a front porch and back porch- overlooking the gorge. Beautiful and relaxing. There is a small kitchen with everything you need. Recommend you bring some supplies with you so you never have to leave the property. There was a carpeted loft that would be perfect for kids, tweens, etc. There was also a nice sized futon.

Downside: the bed. Really uncomfortable for me. It was really hard and not very relaxing to try to sleep in. And the pillows are like... flat. flimsy. Not really what I'd call a pillow. The electric "stove" heater worked really well although it doesn't regulate heat so you're either cold or hot. Overall, very little to "complain" about. If you live in the Atlanta area, I recommend you bring your own pillows!!! Might make the bed a little better suited for sleeping.

Room Tip: Select a cabin or be the first to try the new "tree houses".
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank REDRENSINK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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159 - 165 of 212 reviews

Reviewed March 18, 2013

My husband and I went to Historic Banning Mills for training purposes. We stayed in a cabin for a little under a week.

Pros:

- The TUB: this was probably my favorite part of the stay. The tub was absolutely wonderful and provided a relaxing end to each day.
- The layout: they fit a lot of amenities into such a small cabin. We had two twin beds on a second floor, a futon and a queen bed. We also had a small dining table, a bathroom, a jacuzzi tub and two TVs.
- The food: absolutely delicious (but, I had more heartburn and indigestion there than I've had in a while, so that might be a con haha).
- Employees: very friendly, attentive and helpful.
- Location: absolutely BEAUTIFUL.

Cons:

- The bed: our bed was on a slant, so I rolled into my husband while sleeping each night.
- The temperature: the ac/heat unit didn't seem to keep the cabin warm enough at night. We spent many nights waking up freezing, but not sure of what to do because we didn't want to turn on the fireplace and burn down the cabin!
- The shower: the water pressure is a plus, but the temperature has a mind of its own. Although the shower starts off warm, it will begin to turn off and when the water comes back, it's much colder.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Vronica346
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2012

This was an amazing find! The cabin was amazing, the landscape is beautiful, the staff are nice, and we found so many things to do both free and paid. The zip line was so awesome! We also went horseback riding, enjoyed a couples massage, and had lunch on a paddle boat on the lake. Such a wonderful experience for such an affordable price. This was a weekend getaway that I won't ever forget!

Room Tip: Get a cabin! You'll love it.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Imit8ionOfLife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2012

My husband and I had a fabulous Fall getaway at Historic Banning Mills. (This was our 3rd stay there.) What I like about it is that It is a "bed and breakfast", but not your typical bed and breakfast. You can choose to stay in a private cottage with a private porch AND enjoy a full breakfast in the beautiful lodge!! We stayed in a cottage with an efficiency kitchen. We brought soup and sandwich stuff and did not have to drive anywhere to eat - especially after having the big breakfast they provided!! I loved the private porch overlooking the Snake Creek gorge!! The cottages are rustic, but are nice. I just wanted to sit on the porch all day and enjoy the beautiful outdoors - VERY relaxing!!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank BerryPurple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2012

I finally got to cross ziplining off of my bucket list. A friend and I opted for the Level 3 tour (not knowing what we were in for). They started us off slowly so that by the time we got to Level 3 it was all joy! :-) The staff at Banning Mills was very knowledge and helpful. I look forward to visiting with them again and glad that I chose them for my zipline tour.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank sapreme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2012

It was a fantastic experience for my family. 11 year old twin boys and my husband had a great experience. Only did the first step but plan to go back for more soon. It is a costly experience but looking forward to some specials to help for the next trip.

Room Tip: I did not stay in the lodge we just came for zip line
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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Thank castlex4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2012

My wife and I went to Historic Banning Mills to have a quick weekend escape, with zip-lining and a couple's massage. The activities did not disappoint, however, our cabin left a great deal to be desired. When we arrived we found a semi-rustic cabin, as advertised. We've stayed in much nicer (for much cheaper) but everything seemed clean and comfortable so we settled in. The in-room jacuzzi was great for a relaxing soak. The bed was acceptable for a hotel bed, and I'd say the linens were above average.
After we went to bed it became apparent that the heat pump was not up to the task of keeping the the temperature at 68 degrees. The unit was very noisy, and since it was on the same wall as the headboard the noise was very insistent. The unit would run for 15 minutes, cut off for a minute or two, run for fifteen minutes, repeat. Essentially the machine provided an abundance of noise and a shortage of heat. I got up to turn on the gas logs and found no pilot light and a non-functioning ignitor. So we burrowed under the covers for a chilly night.
When we woke up it was 42 degrees outside and below 60 in the cabin. So being a little cold we wanted a nice hot shower. This was not to be. The water temperature started off just fine, but it didn't last. The pressure dropped to the point of a slow drip, and when it returned the water was frigid. The remainder of the shower oscillated between scalding and freezing. Although I was a bit put off, I thought from reading all the excellent reviews (here and elsewhere) that the excellent service would take care of these inconveniences. I went to the desk at breakfast (very tasty this day) and asked for the pilot light to be lit, and for the water heater to be inspected. The young man there assured me that he would take care of these items while we were zip-lining. I thanked him, thinking that all would be remedied before our second night
We had an excellent time zip-lining. Especially my wife who was more than a little frightened before we began. The guides were awesome, the views were terrific, and we never felt unsafe.
When we got back to the cabin after zip-lining we tried again to shower but were greeted by our oscillating water temps again. I checked the pilot light on the gas logs. No Luck. I went down to the desk to remind them. I spoke with the same young man who claimed that he had taken care of it and suggested that perhaps housekeeping had extinguished the pilot light ( I have no idea why they would have done that when expecting temps in the 40's that night). But he assured me that he would have it taken care of by the time we were back from dinner that evening.
Needless to say when we got back from dinner that evening the logs were inoperative and we settled in for another chilly night. We woke up the next morning to a cold room, and were greeted in the lodge by a cold breakfast. I guess they serve the corporate groups an hour before the regular guests. Why they would leave the breakfast to get cold, I don't know.
So we checked out and expressed our displeasure and we received a dismissive apology, and no attempt to make things right. We spent nearly $700 (including $165 per night for the room) over the course of 48 hours, so we expected at least a small amount of customer service. We were sorely disappointed.
Overall, I feel a day-trip here would be fun, but I wouldn't encourage anyone to stay here overnight. The hotel side of their business seems like it gets much less attention than the zip-lining and the guest experience suffers for it. They should probably try to hire someone with a better background in hospitality, before charging luxury rates for below average accommodations.

TL,DR: Try the zip-lines. Don't waste your money spending the night.

Room Tip: Stay in Carrolton or Newnan. Definitely not here.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Nathaniel B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bestzipline, Manager at Historic Banning Mills, responded to this reviewResponded October 29, 2012

Nathan and his wife were here on the weekend of Oct 19th thru 21st. They did stay in cabin room 16. We are glad they enjoyed the adventures at Banning and were pleased with the clean room and linens. We are very sorry they were disappointed in some of the other aspects of their stay.
The two level cabin rooms have two forms of heat sources. One is the hotel style heat/air system which is usually sufficient for our guests. We do remember them asking for the gas log fireplace to be turned on and We Did Go down and turn on the pilot light. Sometimes a guest accidentally turns off the pilot light by turning the knob that increases the flame, the wrong way and the fireplace will not work unless it is turned back on. If the pilot light went out a second time and they did ask the staff to turn it on again, we are sorry if that request was missed. Since the cabin rooms are two levels, we do have a ceiling fan that we ask the guests to leave on. Heat rises and the fans are reversed to keep the hot air circulating through the cabins. If a guest turns off the ceiling fan, the hot air will tend to stay at the second level and be cooler on the first level.
A quick phone call to ask the staff to come back and light the logs again would have been all it took to remedy the situation. This is no excuse if our staff forgot the request but asking again would have been better than being cold. It would never be our intent for a guest to be too cold. We did have maintenance check the wall unit. The unit is a Fredrich unit, top of the line and it was working very well and was quite. We are not quite sure what noise they were referring to The Bowers did not let the front desk know about any loud sounds from the unit, during their stay or even at check out.
We also checked the shower. The instant hot unit was working very well. We did go ahead and change out the water saver shower head just in case it was reducing water flow too much. With instant hots, if water flow becomes too low, the sensor on the instant hot will not recognize enough flow and it could possibly have caused a fluctuation in the water temperatures. Again, we do apologize if this happened. We were not notified of this problem until the guests checked out.
I am not sure what happened regarding a cold breakfast on the second morning. We did have a hot buffet out and we also cook eggs to order. We do apologize if the breakfast was not up to their expectations but again, they did not say anything to the staff. It would have been very easy for us to get the chef to cook another breakfast for them and we would have been very happy to do so.
We are always disappointed when our guests do not have a good time. We try very hard to make a guest's stay wonderful. We do make mistakes but if we know, we do try very hard to remedy situations. it is difficult for us to do so when notified at check out or through disappointing reviews.
We hope that Nathan and his wife might come back one day and that their stay will be very wonderful.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Historic Banning Mills

Address: 205 Horseshoe Dam Rd, Banning Mills, Whitesburg, GA 30185-2560
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Georgia > Whitesburg
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Whitesburg
Price Range: $99 - $189 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Historic Banning Mills 3*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in the middle of 1200 wooded, preserved acres in the beautiful Snake Creek Gorge, this Country Inn and Retreat Center is known for the world's largest,longest continuous zip line canopy tours, adventure and team building treks, Day Spa, history museum and on site chef. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Historic Banning Mills Hotel Whitesburg

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