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“Wonderful hotel”
Review of The Rhinecliff

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The Rhinecliff
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Rhinecliff
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 19, 2013

My husband and I took a little vacation to Rhinebeck and stayed at the Rhinecliff, and I've never enjoyed a hotel experience more. The staff were friendly and helpful, the room was beautiful and comfortable, the view was fantastic, and our time was extremely relaxing. The trains didn't bother us at all (I imagine some people are more sensitive to the noise than others- but the hotel goes out of their way to explain that there will be train noise, they provide ear plugs, and they make it very clear that if you think the noise will be too much, the hotel might not be right for you- but I barely noticed the trains). The hotel is a short drive to town, there is a little park on the water across from the hotel, the free breakfast is tasty, and I will happily recommend the hotel to anyone headed to that area!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Becky W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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177 - 183 of 252 reviews

Reviewed July 17, 2013

Everything about the Rhinecliff was amazing! Our room was extremely clean, spacious and luxurious but still charming! The large jetted bathtub was the best! Our daughters wedding was perfect from start to finish and the wedding planner Amy was there for the entire day and night making sure we had all that we needed. The food and service during the wedding was the best! The bartender Lee during the reception gets kudos from every guest! I miss the place and the only thing wrong is that the weekend ended way too quickly! We have received so many comments from all,our friends that they had a blast!

Room Tip: Not a bad room in the place they all look over the Hudson River
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Darlene I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2013

Beautiful views but the train comes by constantly...no one tells you about that when booking...Train track outside your balcony window 100 feet away! No sound insulation! Only one person to help hotel guests at the front desk during the day and no one during the nite...very cheap with staffing therefore service levels are diminished! Air conditioning is very poor through out the facility...Almost broke my leg getting out of the bathroom tub almost 3 feet high! Wasn't sure who designed their bathrooms...Killed 6 spiders during the nite that were up in the celling! Had my wife up all nite scared to death! Was a common sentiment from other guest during morning breakfast! Food pretty good overall but the hotel experience could not make me recommend anyone having a major function at this venue!

Room Tip: WOULD AVOID THIS HOTEL...they take poor posts down...and don't let the public see how unsatisfie...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Bigdog11_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jameschapm, Owner at The Rhinecliff, responded to this reviewResponded August 14, 2013

I’m sure most hotel owners must monitor their reviews on Tripadvisor; it’s a joy to receive a good review and it stands as a much welcome reward for the effort which goes in to creating the guest experience we are all aiming for. Equally it can be hard to read the bad ones, but of course it’s entirely necessary and allows us to hopefully continue the quest for improvement. Just sometimes though, a review can come across as in some ways unjustified and I believe it’s fair for an owner to be able to offer a reasoned response. Also, I believe there is a certain entertainment value in the casual observer being able to witness the poor owner just for once standing up, perhaps akin to Evander Holyfield crying foul after Mad Mike bit a chunk out of his ear…and thus for the enjoyment of the Tripadvisor public I shall commence…

I can only apologize for the traumatizing stay you enjoyed with us sir which has generated such vehemence of prose, I wish only you had raised these points to us in person that we might have been able to address them with you directly. Those who were in charge back in the mid 1800s made the decision to let the Hudson River Railroad hug the river all the way up the Hudson Valley, the net result being should you wish to enjoy the Hudson River close up, you will indeed need to enjoy the trains also! It’s unfair to say though that we do not pre-warn our guests. The trains are mentioned clearly on our website, our room reservation e-mail boldly reinforces that we are a railway hotel with trains, and at check-in we have all guests initial what we jokingly call “the train waiver” whereby for the third time we make it very clear that there are indeed….trains. By this stage most guests are laughing heartily about the train story, usual comments being of the like “hey we live in New York City, bring ‘em on!!” To further reinforce the point, we (almost for fun at this stage) provide complimentary bedside earplugs with a cute picture of a choo-choo train. The constant trains average around one per hour, ceasing around 12.30am. The rooms and windows are as insulated as they realistically can be, when the Amtrak diesel roars by, you will hear it and we make no bones about that, ALL ABOARD!!

Our Front Desk staffing ratio is actually rather substantial given we have only nine rooms. Were our staffing ratio of one Desk Receptionist to nine rooms to be extrapolated to a regular 200 room hotel, you would be greeted by a host of 22 receptionists to check you in to your Holiday Inn or W Lexington Ave stay!

Again, hotels with small room numbers do not ordinarily offer overnight concierge service as it is basically unrealistic, uneconomic and generally not necessary.

Our air conditioning is modern and every room has individual controls. I’m sorry if you enjoyed anything less than pure air conditioned heaven, but by way of explanation, the weekend of your visit was a blistering 4th July weekend and The Hudson Valley was buzzing with air conditioners screaming at maximum capacity. Our riverside walls are awash with glass French doors to allow maximum enjoyment of our stunning river views. Of course the down side of this is that on a very hot day the sun beats down on the glass, and also there is a steady stream of guests opening and closing the doors to go outside and enjoy those views, so the air conditioners do indeed battle to keep the temperatures down. We could have not put in all those fully opening clear French doors, but our feeling was that the view was king, and I stand by this.

Our luxurious double whirlpool tubs were deliberately designed and installed to allow our guests to be able to relax (together even!) in a bubbling bath whilst looking out through the adjacent window on to the river. Truly most of our guests do seem to enjoy the tubs and appear to be equally willing to take that big step over the lip of the tub in order to enjoy the warm bubbles, I can only apologize if you chose to view the tubs from more of a risk control point of view. We do carry very thorough commercial liability, but sometimes isn’t a little pleasure worth a little risk?!

The bathrooms were designed by our super talented (and rather cool) architect David Borenstein and myself. We could have gone with off-the-shelf hotel vanity units, standard hotel shower/bath combos and cheap ceramic tiles, when I look at our cash flow I sometimes wish we would have, but instead we chose to install magnificent 18” square travertine tiles, Kohler toilets, rain-showers we invented and built directly into the ceiling (which took three months to install!), hand carved vanity units made from reclaimed maple trees from the hotel’s own garden, ultra-modern European faucets and raised china vessel sinks. So to answer the question, guilty as charged, we were the designers.

Spiders, oh yes! This time of year is prime bug time in the Hudson Valley and accordingly the spiders organize shuttle buses in from their usual abodes to celebrate the feast. Our housekeepers fight daily to keep them at bay, we have checklists detailing where and when to counter attack these monsters, and I will confess, it’s a battle! So I am sorry if some spiders did get in, we fight them very hard, but sometimes they do get in, especially when the French doors are left open, I can only apologize, we do our best, I hope they were not flesh-eating and that they took their beer cans and discarded New York Posts with them as they departed or were ejected.

In regard to the food, we do try our very best. We feature local and seasonal produce, our breakfast is the only cooked hotel breakfast in the area, our Sunday jazz brunch is popular with the locals, our restaurant is gently priced and unpretentious, and our event cuisine is of very high quality, is highly personalized and generally enjoys rave reviews, so thank you for at least that!

Clearly we don’t take down unfavorable reviews, I’m sure Tripadvisor quite rightly doesn’t allow that and if we did, the public would surely not be enjoying this entertaining exchange right now! “Be Forewarned” of October 2008 still makes me wince when I read it, that would’ve been the first on my secret take-down list but hey, we keep on trying…!

I do have to take issue though with the suggestion that our room experience counters the notion of enjoying an event at our hotel. Our events enjoy a very high guest enjoyment quotient (I just made that expression up!), and the rooms are regularly quoted as an important part of that. Our rooms are modern, fun, stylish, well-kept and enjoy the best river views in the Hudson Valley. They are also very reasonably priced given our riverside location and the general pricing of Rhinebeck area rooms. Our complimentary cooked breakfast is generally excellent and our Desk staff are helpful and friendly. I wish I could say we were perfect, of course we are not. We listen to and act on our weaknesses and we are very quick to say sorry.

To all who took the time to read this, thank you for your time, I hope you enjoyed the ride! To BD of Old Mystic, I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy your visit, I hope you can take my responses in the fair-exchange-of-opinions mode they were intended, nothing more. I’m British born and a good old verbal joust should be considered a thing of joy, no more no less! Do please feel free to visit another time as our guest and I hope you may enjoy a better time!

Kindest regards
James

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2013

If you love the sound of trains like I do, this hotel is for you. You can sit in a truly fantastic tub in your large bathroom (which also has a shower) and with candles strategically placed in cubbies in the walls, relax as if you just got of the train after a long, long journey. The rooms are also large with balconies to have coffee in the morning overlooking the mighty Hudson river - or a glass of wine at sunset, before your bath.

Skip the restaurant - there are better places to eat in Rhinebeck, but don't miss the experience of this very unique hotel.

Room Tip: We stayed in room 302 which I highly recommend.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Margaret H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2013

I have been a guest at this hotel twice. I could see evidence of some upgrades and some decline on the second visit. Wisely, they replaced the white slipcovered chairs with a more durable material. The fantastic tub had a couple of issues: the drain stop didn't work and a rubber disk was used to stop the drain and the lever to switch the hand shower to tub faucet stuck. The trains add to the charm and were a non- issue as far as sleeping. The balconies and view of the Hudson are the biggest attraction. The hotel is also conveniently located for exploration of the Hudson River valley. The staff is friendly and accommodating.

Room Tip: No elevator
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Sally L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2013

This is a hotel that should definitely be on your bucket list...overlooking the Hudson River, this beautifully renovated hotel is purely luxurious and the perfect getaway! The rooms are simply elegant yet comfortable and the owner, James Chapman is hands on and delightful! Enjoy stunning views of the Hudson and all that the area has to offer. The restaurant at The Rhinecliff has excellent food and a beautiful patio. Eat and drink while enjoying the sights on the river.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled solo
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Thank NewYorkCityPrincess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2013

This hotel has many lovely features, such as the view, very pleasant and helpful staff and nicely updated rooms. We had a beautiful large bathroom with a spa tube and separate shower but the floor was like ice. My main complaint was the draftiness of the rooms, including common rooms and guest rooms. You could see the space between the terrace doors and the walls.

Room Tip: No elevator so if stairs are an issue stay on the second floor. There is an outside entrance to this...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank scarletd0g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Rhinecliff

Address: 4 Grinnell Street, PO Box 292, Rhinecliff, NY 12574
Location: United States > New York > Rhinecliff
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Rhinecliff
Price Range: $179 - $379 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Re-birthed after a painstaking five-year renovation, The Rhinecliff is a boutique country hotel, nestled on the banks of the mighty Hudson River and enjoys unparalleled river and mountain views. Featuring beautiful antique floors and woodwork, and world-class cuisine, The Rhinecliff (National Register of Historic Places) is two minutes drive from Rhinebeck. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Rhinecliff Hotel Rhinecliff
The Hotel Rhinecliff

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