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“Lovely, relaxing weekend”
Review of Boone Tavern Hotel

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Boone Tavern Hotel
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Berea
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed July 27, 2009

This trip was a last-minute idea, and we got a great rate at the lovely Boone Tavern Hotel. The hotel just completed a fantastic remodel, and the entire place is simply beautiful. This is the first LEED certified hotel in Kentucky. They did a great job preserving the old, but adding beautfiul new touches. The room was a bit small, but completely manageable. The bed was so luxurious and comfortable. The bathroom was beautiful with a pedestal sink and white marble floors. The rooms are nicer than they appear on the hotel website.

I can't say enough about the staff, they were friendly and helpful. The rooms and common areas were exceptionally clean. A wonderful stay from start to finish.

The hotel is located in a "dry" community, so if you are looking for nightlife or a cocktail with your dinner, you won't find it here. There are lots of options for this about 10 miles away, so let let this keep you from a stay at the Boone Tavern.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Butterfly322
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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560 - 566 of 579 reviews

Reviewed May 13, 2009

We were looking forward to this historic hotel in Berea but were disappointed in the very small rooms and accomodations. The shower just trinkled out; however, the bath was great. My husband and I prefer showers. Hotel staff were very nice. We had booked 3 rooms and requested queens but when we arrived we had 2 queens and a double. My husband and I took the double. The ceiling fan was so noisy that we could not use it and, yes, we needed it. And, yes, we let the hotel staff know upon our checkout. So we did not get a good night's sleep due to waking up sweating on and off. The walls of the hotel are very thin. If someone has a tv on (even at a low volume) you can hear it in the hallway. When we checked out the next morning, the front dest was unable to separate our 3 rooms on to 3 charges so one couple paid for all the rooms and the other 2 had to reimburse. Seems like a simple thing to charge each guest separately but not for the Boone Tavern. If you do visit, we highly recommend Papaleno's for dinner; just a short distance down the block.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled with friends
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5  Thank Lynne5477
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2009

Many changes have occurred with Boone Tavern's recent redo: now, the big emphasis is on green technology and materials, which is commendable. The front desk and dining room staffs are friendly and welcoming, as always, and the dining room offers excellent food in an attractive setting, with pale blue walls, crystal chandeliers, large oil landscapes, and nice antique reproduction chairs. However, the free breakfasts are no more, unless, like friends of mine, you find cards for a free continental breakfast in your room. My room lacked this nice extra.

My room's decor was quite different from the cozy, warm-atmosphered rooms I remember from my annual stays here. Now it's all navy and white, not bad, but chilly in appearance, especially without any artwork on the cold white plaster walls. The beautiful Berea College student industries handcrafted wooden furniture remains and some has been refinished, no doubt necessitated by hard use over the years. New rugs in the lobby and hallways are also dark blue, with a gold figure, though the carpet in my room was a generic taupe. The heat/cooling control in my room was not user-friendly, as the directions were not clear. I tried to bring the heat up from the chilly 66 degrees which greeted me, thought I had reset it to 70, but it kept kicking back to the lower temp. At least I could open the window for warmer fresh air! The mattress was extremely comfortable, with ample pillows of various degrees of softness, and I slept well.

The bathroom reflected the new green emphasis, with taupe cotton towels, and soaps, shampoo, and lotions with natural materials. However, the water is now "enhanced" by softeners (Berea's natural water is quite hard in this limestone area), making it difficult to get all the shampoo out of my hair and leaving my hair limp and hard to style. Additionally, the lack of a grab bar combined with the excessively soft water make getting out of the slippery tub potentially dangerous, with my post-surgery knee issues.

I do not know if the cold water in the bathroom basin was also softened, but this could be a potential problem if it was consumed by someone who needs to watch their sodium intake. However, a good supply of bottled water (in specially decorated Boone Tavern plastic bottles) was included in the room - but oddly enough, it was imported from California, despite the ready availability of well-known, extremely good, reasonably priced, commercially bottled water from a spring in an old quarry near the close-at-hand Kentucky River (less than 35 miles away). With all the emphasis on being "green", I was surprised to see that the bottled water offered wasn't local. The fancy bottle is one upscale touch I could happily do without, considering the probable cost (no doubt passed on to hotel guests) plus the obvious disregard of the "buying local" green mantra.

A burlap-wrapped package of corn meal with a recipe for Boone Tavern's delicious signature spoonbread was a nice surprise to find in my room.

Then there's the lobby, former site of many pleasant gatherings of friends. Friendly clusterings of sofas and upholstered chairs used to be softly lit by table lamps, and the grand piano was appreciated by the many musicians who habitually stayed in the Tavern during Berea College's Christmas Country Dance School. Daniel Boone's portrait was prominently displayed, an antique grandfather clock added another homey touch, and a display of Early American Pattern Glass pitchers once used in the dining room added to the interest and sense of honored heritage.

Now, it's hard to locate Daniel Boone's oil portrait. Instead, giant round mirrors on either side of the passageway leading to the front desk add to the glare of the excessive ceiling lighting, which cast a lurid glow over the flashy dark blue decor when I returned to the Tavern late Saturday evening after a gathering with friends.

Not a soul other than the desk staff was to be seen, nor was anyone enjoying the lobby the next morning when I went to breakfast in the dining room. No wonder - the former warmth is gone. The arrangement of the furniture was not welcoming, and the comfortable upholstered chairs and sofas are gone. Dark blue fabrics are used, without a touch of warmth other than the gold figure in the wall-to-wall carpet hiding the hardwood floors, and those god-awful gigantic round mirrors and glossy dark woods are everywhere. It's designed to impress - but I felt oppressed instead.

It's not the same - and I miss it.

I don't know who Boone Tavern's new decorator was, but it seems to me that a historic building's heritage needs to be respected and honored by its furnishings. This is no longer the case in the flashy Boone Tavern lobby.

Prices have increased, but value hasn't, at least for those of us who cherish traditionand warmth in our surroundings. But since styles change, the current excessively trendy version of Boone Tavern may prove short-lived, if other long-time guests share my views.

It would be easy to turn off that water-softener, add grab bars to the tubs, add a note to explain the heating controls, get rid of those humongous round mirrors, soften the lighting in the lobby and rearrange the furniture into friendlier groupings, hang pictures in the guest rooms, warm up the lobby with flowers or a few touches of color other than dark blue...in other words, restore some of the lost warmth and tradition to this much-loved, historic hotel.

And replace that Cali. water with good Kentucky limestone spring water. Forget the designer bottles: save transportation money, and buy locally.

It's the green thing to do.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled on business
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5  Thank CraigCreek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2009

We stopped at the Boone Tavern recently since we had last stayed there on our honeymoon in 1986. Then it was a rather rustic yet charming old building with radiators in the rooms and good food in a weathered dining room. Imagine our surprise when a banner outside announced "Now Open." We went inside to find a stunning $13 million renovation that has created a tasteful yet grand haven of southern hospitality. The once dated dining room is resplendent with traditional furniture, polished chandeliers and a soothing gray-blue paint scheme that is absolutely beautiful.

The guest rooms have been gutted and completely restored in a "green friendly" manner. Each room is beautifully furnished with handmade wood furniture and quilts woven by students and local artisans. The bathrooms are equipped with Jacuzzi tubs, ceramic tile and fixtures appropriate for the era. Don't miss an opportunity to spend a luxurious night while savoring the beauty of Berea and the college.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Curt909
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2008

My daughter is attending Berea College this term (Fall 2008), so we stayed at the Boone Tavern Hotel the 2 nights before she was allowed to move into her dorm room.

First of all, if you need to do ANYTHING concerning the college in Berea, this is the best place to stay based on location. The other "named brand" hotels are down along the interstate, and this one is located in the center of the college, with everything in walking distance.

The staff was SUPER friendly! The room was nice and clean. No complaints. I spoke with William (cleaning staff supervisor?), who told me that-after the remodel that is currently going on- every room will have a flat screen tv mounted, along with an IPod alarm that doubles as a charger. I thought the room was GREAT as it was, but these improvements will make it super nice.

We ate at the hotel...excellent prime rib! A bit costly, but well worth it.

And the interesting guests who stay at this hotel. We met Patrick (from Australia), Val (from England) and her son Steven (from California) and had a wonderful time visiting out on the large open air front porch of the hotel.

I cannot imagine staying anywhere other than the Boone Tavern Hotel on any future trips to Berea College. With any luck, my daughter will attend school there for the next 4 years, and I will be able to stay there again and again!

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank 94chevyastro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 26, 2007

This place is a dump. There, I said it. I really, really wanted to like this historic hotel, especially considering the wonderfully attentive staff. The young people who work here are great, but this hotel was the first major disappointment I've come across from Tripadvisor. My room was smelly, musty, and an allergic nightmare. I stayed here last night and got not one wink of sleep. Between itching, sneezing, coughing from the mountains of dust and mold in the air, not to mention the sandpaper sheets on the rock hard mattress, sleep was an impossibility. Oh, and the constant noise from the street as cars drive by on what appears to be the main drag in Berea. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone under 80, which seems to be the average age of their guests. Come take a tour of the hotel, have lunch or dinner and then get back in your car and go to a one of the many newer hotels in Richmond. Not only can you get a meal after 8:00 PM, you might also get a good night's sleep. Never again! And by the way, if my husband brought me here on a romantic getaway I'd wonder what he was trying to tell me.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled on business
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10  Thank TrayLee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2007

We really enjoyed our one night stay at the Boone Tavern Hotel. The Berea College students who were working there were lovely, kind and helpful. We especially enjoyed having dinner in the restaurant. Our room was quite large, clean and very comfortable. The amenities were comparable to what you would find at a much more expensive hotel. I loved the bath soap and shampoo. The building was beautiful but not at all stuffy--very friendly and very relaxing. We only regret that we had just the one night there.

  • Stayed: October 2006, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank viajero5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Boone Tavern Hotel

Address: 100 Main St N, Berea, KY 40403
Location: United States > Kentucky > Berea
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Berea
Price Range: $89 - $151 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Boone Tavern Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 63
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Best reason to visit Berea ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Boone Tavern Berea
Hotel Boone Tavern

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