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Reviewed February 9, 2013

I believe this is now our 5th time staying at Lied Lodge for a long weekend. The only reason I did not give it 5 stars is that the rooms are getting to point that they could use some updating. Our room was very clean, but in need of an upgrade

I must say this has been the best visit so far regarding customer service. We received a confirmation email (nice touch) a couple of days before our visit. i emailed back with a couple of questions, and had a response almost right away even though it was after normal business hours.

Our checkin was smooth, and the lady who helped us was awesome. I wish I had caught her name because she was warm, friendly and answered a couple of questions for us. After our first night, we met the gal cleaning up our room. She was also very friendly!

We love to come stay here because it gives us a couple of days of rest and relaxation. The lobby oozes of comfort and serenity. We typically like to sit behind the fireplace in the gliders, but they are on need of repair or replacement. Rather squeaky and don't glide as well as they did years ago. The weather has not been our typical cold weather, so that may be why, but the fireplaces weren't being stoked up as much, as we have experienced before.

No matter what, we will return again and again. We love the opportunity to lounge and relax. There is also plenty to keep you occupied around the area.

Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
1  Thank lynnp636
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LiedLodgeMgr, Guest Relations Manager at Lied Lodge & Conference Center, responded to this reviewResponded February 12, 2013

Thank you! We love hearing from our guests -- especially those who've come back time and time again to enjoy the lodge. Thank you for sharing your feedback, and we'll make sure Maintenance takes a look at the gliders. We look forward to seeing you at Lied Lodge again soon. Thank you.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

We made a swift drive to Omaha for my husband's 93 year old Grandmother's final hours. I know, personal, but it does have something to do with this review. We live just a few hours from Omaha and visit family often. On our way back home we decided we needed another night away from home. Our web search led us to this lodging facility in Nebraska City. It is beautiful with a lodging look. It is centered around trees and the Arbor Day Foundation, which is who handled Grandma's cremation. A tree will be planted in her memory. We plan to come back to visit lots of the neat touristy places in the area. The food in the restaurant could use some improvement to match the price. Pricey! A nice surprise in Nebraska City!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Cindy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LiedLodgeMgr, Guest Relations Manager at Lied Lodge & Conference Center, responded to this reviewResponded January 28, 2013

We're very sorry for your loss, but glad you could find some respite at Lied Lodge and Arbor Day Farm. We appreciate your feedback and look forward to welcoming you again soon. Thank you!

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Reviewed December 17, 2012

We spent 5 nights at the Lied Lodge for a job interview trip in the area. While my fiance was on his daily round of interviews, I had plenty of time to become acquainted with just about every facet of the Lied Lodge. First, I compliment them on their environmental focus. They are connected to the Arbor Day Foundation and their focus on conservation ranges from in-room recycling to the use of "green" building materials. The lodge is adjacent to Arbor Day Farm, famous for its large variety of apples, apple cider and pies (and sadly closed during our stay) and a national park where the home of J. Sterling Morton (founder of Arbor Day; his son is the family member who founded the Morton Salt Company) stands majestically amidst the trees.

The lodge's rooms are comfortable-the king rooms on the fourth floor have a partially vaulted ceiling. Each staff member we encountered was friendly and helpful. Service was prompt-if we lacked for anything, it was attended to immediately. The room lighting at night is dim, making bedtime reading a bit of a challenge, so bring your own booklight! This is admittedly a minor issue.

I encourage you to walk the area. I took the wooded path from the Lodge to Arbor Day Farm. Although closed, the walk was lovely and I enjoyed chatting with the staff at the Tree Top Adventures gift shop (and bought some mittens as this Louisiana girl was unprepared for the Nebraska weather!). There would have been a fee to walk the trails at the farm (I felt this was a bit stingy in the winter off season-it wasn't like I was going to sneak into the Tree Top children's experience during my walk), so I opted to cross the driveway and walk for free along the paved grounds of the national park. In addition to Morton's home, there is a wooded area featuring a statue of him and the goddess of the woods, Diana. Visting from Baton Rouge, where it is still in the 70s in December, I found the crisp air, smell of various pine/fir trees and the clear blue sky invigorating and serene.

Okay, now that I've convinced you of the area's charms, on to the lukewarm. I booked a Himalayan Salt stone massage with an added face and scalp massage. The massage therapist was extremely soothing and I know I dosed off more than once during my 90 minute massage. That said, I asked her to increase her pressure and we never achieved the right amount. Secondly, I had noted on my information sheet I would like her to address muscle stiffness in my neck, shoulders and back related to general tension. I am accustomed to massage therapists concentrating more time on the targeted areas, but she focused on these areas to the exclusion of my extremities without consulting me. I was disappointed, as who doesn't relish the wrist/hand massage to relieve computer keyboard abuse and in my opinion, you can never have too many foot massages! For the price, I would have appreciated more communication so we were in agreement about how the time would be allocated.

The bad...the lodge's restaurant. I wanted to love it, truly I did. The sweeeping vistas, the friendly staff, the local food offerings. But, there were too many limitations and missteps to overlook. For a lodge of this caliber, meaning, it is touting itself as THE upscale lodge and conference center in the area, I had a few expectations based on previous stays at equally remote, yet refined establishments.

Food: the menu did not change the five nights we were there. I was without transportation and it was too far to walk to town, so I ate almost every meal there. Breakfast offered the standard fare: pancakes, omelettes, a Belgian waffle, oatmeal. The apples in the oatmeal tempted me into ordering it, but the apples were the consistency and sweetness of apple pie filling and too much for me. The other breakfast food was fine, just not great. Note, some items do not come with sides, such as breakfast potatoes and have to be ordered a la carte.

My comments regarding dinner-they had some unique options like Wagu beef, but we found it to have alot of fat. Some evenings, they told us about specials that were items already listed on the menu-um, how are those speicals? If you are an oenophile, expect to be disappointed. I stuck to wines by the glass, but knowing what Louis Martini cab costs by the bottle, I'd say the upcharge on the wines is steep. Two nights the wine was clearly flat or corked and I had to request they open a new bottle. The offerings are very limited, and definitely C tier wines. C'mon guys, you offer 12 year old Macallan scotch, don't leave out the wine lovers-give us some decent options....

On to the service-where to begin? This is unquestionably the Achilles heel of the establishment and the restaurant management needs to invest time and money into training the staff in some of the elements of refined dining if they are going to tout themselves as an epicurean delight. Overall, while amiable, the staff is slooowww and you often need to make multiple requests to obtain what you want. Additionally, the staff tended not to economize trips. For example, instead of bringing the sought after black napkin (see below) with bread, they would be gone for a period of time while we sat with only water, then return with just the napkin. No one brought bread or asked if we needed anything in the gap.

Suggestions:
1) If the guest is finished with a course, clear the dishes. Every meal, our table was laden with dirty dishes as we finished each course. I typically had to ask them to remove the dirty dishes when it was clear we were finished (e.g. we had moved the plates to the other side of the table). Please bring me clean utensils with each course-in a restaurant charging $15-20 for entrees, I don't want to "recycle" my dirty knife and fork-it's just gross.
2) Offer guests black napkins-this is a common practice and no one wants "snow" on their clothing from the lint of the white napkins. The staff seemed absolutely baffled in response to my request, and when I did receive a dark napkin, they ranged in hue from red to taupe.
3) If you are continually running out of something, people must like it and you should order more.
For 4/5 days the restaurant was out of English Breakfast tea. They kept offering me Chamomile as an alternative-really, you are enouragaing me to sleep instead of wake up at 7 a.m.? This led to the suspicion the staff knew next to nothing about tea varietals. One server eventually materialized with some E.B. one morning, after sharing it took so long because she had to go to the basement and rummage around. Memo: I don't want to know this. Hint to food supply manager-ORDER MORE ENGLISH BREAKFAST, PEOPLE CLEARLY WANT IT IN THE A.M.
4) Tea drinkers usually drink more than one cup so bring more than one bag at a time and check on their hot water because the tiny tea pots the restaurant uses are only enough for one cup.
5) Here's a curve ball I threw them daily-I asked for hot milk with my tea. Okay, it's more common "on the continent" and yes, I was in Nebraska City. But after the first day or two, you'd think they would catch on to my quirk since I ordered it EVERY morning. The response to this request ranged from: actually getting the hot milk (thumbs up!), getting literally a tumbler of hot milk thoughtfully wrapped with a cardboard sleeve, cold milk, and non-dairy creamer in plastic containers.
6) Enough on the tea. Here is one I could not figure out. Why weren't we consistently offered bread at dinner? When we looked around, every table had bread and most nights, we were brought bread automatically so this was clearly de rigeur. Again, I think this was lack of training more than anything.
7) Here was another request that really seemed to cause confusion-water with NO ICE. Again, I ordered it at least 10 meals, the serving staff isn't that large. I cannot tolerate cold water due to sensitive teeth (yes,helpful fellow Trip Advisors, I've tried all the tricks and the bottom line is I do not want cold water or ice). I had to ask for no ice repeatedly during each meal. If the staff can't remember, maybe I should have made a sign as a gentle reminder so I didn't feel like a nag parroting the same thing over and over. I really didn't want to come across as rude, but I sincerely can't tolerate the ice and ended up feeling like a pest, ultimately detracting from the "relaxing meal" ambiance.
8) Dessert-in summary, underwhelming. We tried cobbler that was okay, but lukewarm. Frankly, it's a let down when you are visualizing steam rising from the cobbler and the vanilla ice cream melting it's way into the crevices of the topping. So, we moved on the next night to the chocolate fourless cake. Mistake, big mistake. This is not a hot "lava" cake encountered at many restaurants. This is a cold hockey puck that we literally shattered trying to cut into it. We spoke the the manager, who acknowledged it is not supposed to be warm, but I am pretty sure you are supposed to be able to cut it with a fork. Nicole (the manager) was very gracious and did address our concerns promptly, but it was a bit of a disappointment-chocolate lovers out there, you know how it is when you are in the mood for a warm, gooey, chocolate dessert. Let's just say, it's one of those rare times, Snicker's is NOT going to satisfy you...

Would I return? Yes-it's the only game in town in terms of offerings and price. The overall appeal of the hotel is charming and stately, there are just some areas in need of fine tuning. In terms of the dining room, I will say they aren't number 1 in town on any of the travel review sites and the reasons are clear. The potential is there, if managment is willing to invest in stepping up the restaurant's game a bit in terms of quality of service, diversity of offerings, and a nicer wine selection.

Room Tip: Although king rooms on the fourth floor are advertised as having "vaulted" ceilings, note that only one side is vaulted and it is low-we hit our heads more than once! But, the effect is nice.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank wendy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LiedLodgeMgr, Guest Relations Manager at Lied Lodge & Conference Center, responded to this reviewResponded December 21, 2012

Thank you for your very thorough review. We always appreciate the feedback from our guests to make us the best we can be, so your food & beverage and spa-related comments have been shared specifically with those staff members. We look forward to welcoming you again to Lied Lodge. Thank you!

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Reviewed November 19, 2012

Please see my review of the Lied Lodge Timber Dining Room. Same title. I thought that I was reviewing the overall Lodge experience but it ended up under the dining room. My mistake. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
Thank lv2trvl351
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LiedLodgeMgr, Guest Relations Manager at Lied Lodge & Conference Center, responded to this reviewResponded November 21, 2012

Thank you! We are glad you posted replies in both places -- we appreciate your feedback and look forward to hosting you again.

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Reviewed November 15, 2012

Rooms are the best in the area, hands down. The restaurant's quality used to be the best, but the food was not so great on my last two stays. Chicken on the salad was very dry and overlooked. Seems like they need a visit from restaurant impossible.

  • Stayed: November 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Epigonus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LiedLodgeMgr, Guest Relations Manager at Lied Lodge & Conference Center, responded to this reviewResponded November 19, 2012

Thanks for taking a moment to share your feedback. We want all aspects of your Lied Lodge experience to be positive, and your input helps us know the areas that need improvement. Your comments have been shared with our Food & Beverage team, and we thank you for posting.

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