Two years ago, for Labor Day weekend, our family (actually 3 families) stayed here when it was the Historic Strasburg Inn. At the rate of $77 a night, there was little to complain about. We knew ownership had changed and it was now a "spa". But, we werenot prepared to be quoted rates of $259/night for the same weekend this year. Even with breakfast included (that doesn't come to a $200 difference) we decided not to stay here.
However, we were very curious to inspect the grounds and have lunch at the restaurant. Upon pulling in, we all thought little had changed to warrant the huge price increase. Outside of a coat of paint, the majority of the grounds are unchanged and even teh rennovated rooms are very nondescript for the rates they quoted us. In addition, for a spa to not have at least heated the pool and upgraded the seemingly 40 year old hot tub is a disgrace.
What was once the Washington Pub (I think that was the name) is now the Bistro restaurant. While the menu was very similar, the dining experience was not. The space lost all its charm in the most noticeable rennovation. It is now too bright with no character and the service was spotty, at best.
We ended up staying at the Willow Valley Resort, which in itself was nothing terribly impressive. But, we at least were pleased we didn't pay nearly 4 times the rates for the same grounds/amenities at the Netherlands that we had paid/received at Strasburg Inn 2 years prior.
My family had its first annual reunion in Strasburg. At the suggestion of my niece who lives in Strasburg we all booked rooms at the Netherlands. Each time we attempted to give our credit card to hold the room we were told it wasn't necessary. They gave us a good rate, $99, no matter what size room you had. That was the good part. When my son arrived with his family on Friday the 24th of June, he was told that he was supposed to be there on Thursday and, because he had not given them his credit card, sold his room. He had booked for Fri, Sat and Sun and had tried to give his credit card but they said it wasn't necessary as I stated above. He called me to say they had put him in a B&B at an additional cost of $30/day. They did not pay the difference. I called to confirm my reservations and was told that I had one but my other son, who was bringing me, and for whom I had made the reservation, did not. Every person with whom I spoke was unwilling to say that it was possible they had made a mistake. Each said it was our fault, not theirs. After a lot of conversation I was told they would try to find a room for the son who was bringing me. Lo and behold, after saying there was absolutely nothing they could do, they found an empty room. But son #1 had to remain at the B&B. It was bad enough that he was the only member not on campus at the Netherlands, but they were all so rude.........unwilling to accept responsibility. He was told at the B&B that this is something The Netherlands does constantly. Reason is that they have a contract with many sightseeing bus lines and if one arrives, and they haven't reserved rooms, they just give away rooms and send those uprooted folks to the B&B. They refuse to reimburse my son for his additional $30 a day spent. The bottom line here is that the front desk people are nasty and dictatorial. I wrote a letter in July and received no response. Oh, they did, because my niece intervened, send him a $50 gift certificate. For what you say, why for a room at the inn of course. But when he arrives, will there be a room for him? What nonsense. I finally emailed the front desk yesterday and got a response saying that she had to research the problem and that's why it took so long for an answer. But, I had to email them to get a response or I still would not have heard from them. And, once again, she said that it was our fault, not theirs, in so many words.
I have to say that the hotel itself is wonderful. The included breakfast is excellent, the servers there are happy and very, very nice and respectful. The dining room people were all wonderful. The food was excellent. My room was clean and neat and fine. But, the first people you meet are at the front desk and they need to be given lessons on how to deal with customers. They are all unsmiling and apparently unhappy. Is it the fault of corporate and the rules they must follow? Who knows. I know that at our next reunion we will not recommend The Netherlands. Arriving from distant locations and being told there was "no room in the Inn" is horrible. And it didn't only happen to my sons, it happened to many others arriving for the reunion.