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“Not the best, just okay”

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The Dinsmore House Bed & Breakfast
Certificate of Excellence
Hampon
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Not the best, just okay”
Reviewed October 17, 2012

This was to be our 15th Wedding anniversary celebration. A trip to see the leaves changing and see some local attractions. This weekend was homecoming for the college so it added even more to the celebration. The bed and breakfast was easy to find ( only blocks away from the campus commons area). Parking is at a premium and streets that go from 2 way to one way right in the middle of the block made navigation a little difficult. The B&B is quaint in the middle of a bustling metro. We used the Monroe suite. Very clean and comfortable, but not of high standards as compared to other establishments. Breakfast on both days was good, but not hardy, though you could ask for more to supplement the offerings. If you are disabled please try somewhere else. Lots of stairs and large steps and climbing. Don't expect the usual as in chain hotels. We adjusted our expectations and found we could be pleasantly comfortable.

Room Tip: Use the free trolley don,t expect early check-in
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank slaughterhousecouple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DINSMOREHOUSE, Owner at The Dinsmore House Bed & Breakfast, responded to this review, March 18, 2014
Thank you for the kind words in your review, and thanks also for pointing out to potential guests that our inn is not wheelchair accessible. A 200-year old house has some stairs to navigate, and even though we have two first floor rooms, we want to make sure guests are not expecting ADA compliance in this historical building. Nobody know this better than I, having owned the building 11 years, and had a mobility issue since birth.

Our breakfast is made daily in house, using fresh ingredients and local vendors when possible. Over the years we have consistently received overwhelmingly positive feedback on our breakfast. I’m sorry it did not meet your expectations, and I have raised your issues with our staff, so that we can improve our level of consistency.
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187 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 8, 2012

No need to set an alarm to make the 8 AM breakfast; Loud construction noise at 7 was all we needed. If you love the sound of trucks beep beep backup sound or jack hammers than stay here. The rooms are nice and the staff was top notch as was the begging dog at breakfast, seriously the dog was fine and the breakfast was lovely but I had to pass because I would have consumed all my calories for the day.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank aimbraguglio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DINSMOREHOUSE, Owner at The Dinsmore House Bed & Breakfast, responded to this review, March 18, 2014
With the new UVA Children’s Hospital preparing to open, we truly appreciate the 9,000+ guests who have stayed with us over the last several years despite the construction across the street. It has been a trying experience at times, both for our guests and the innkeepers. We took measures to reduce the impact of the construction on our guests, installing black-out shades in the rooms and purchasing white noise machines for each room as well, but some external factors are out of our control. The new hospital will be a great service to the community, and we are happy to have the construction behind us. For more information on the new hospital, search “Battle Building UVA”.

Thank you for the kind words about the rooms and staff.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aldie, Va
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2012

The Dinsmore B&B is simply nothing but a series of rooms (8) offer nothing in the way of charm, charactor, ambiance, and quality. The rooms were formerly offices that they converted but they should have remained offices. The location is horrible - right next to Main St with all the traffic and noise that goes with that location. Worse still is the fact that that UVA is building a childrens' hospital (a great thing!!) right across the street and this construction has been going on for over a year and I don't see when it will end. But the wok is perfomed 7 days a week and all you hear is the pleasant sounds of cranes, workers, jackhammers, etc. The Inn boasts of of a "pool and fitness cneter being available" and that's true - next door at the Courtyard Marriott. There is no view whatsover except for overgrown shrubbery and a garage for your parking at the Marriott. The breakfast was worth about $7 and essentially was basic at best. The "happy hour" was comprised of a paper plate that had wilted chedder cheese and some crackers on it and some lemonade. When we got 2 glasses of wine (which we needed to ask for), it tasted like vinegar. The inside walls were cracked and/or peeling and the room didn't even have an ice bucket (which would not have mattered since the ice in the main area of the B&B was composed of 2 plastic cups that had been placed in the freezer portion of the small refrigerator. While I understand that B&B's are supposed to be unique and charming and quaint, they are not supposed to be run down rooms that cost $250/night. The place looks like it belongs in some tenement housing location. AVOID, AVOID, AVOID!!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank Lou D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DINSMOREHOUSE, Owner at The Dinsmore House Bed & Breakfast, responded to this review, March 18, 2014
While many of the TripAdvisor reviews are helpful and constructive, this one appears to be particularly ill-natured and misleading. As the owner, I feel compelled to address a few of the reviewers statements.

1.) This inn was NEVER used as offices as stated. It is a Federal-style townhouse and former private residence, built in 1817 by Thomas Jefferson's master builder. While "charm, character, ambiance and quality" are subjective terms, most of our 25,000 guests since 2003 would disagree with this reviewer's description.

2.) Most guests would disagree with the description of our location as "horrible". Many seek us out for a unique lodging experience in a prime city location, walking distance to UVA, the Downtown Mall and dozens of local restaurants...with the understanding that we are a city inn, and do not try to hide that fact.

3.) The description of our afternoon social (not "happy hour") is hyperbolic in its description. We serve the food on glass platters (not paper plates), we serve California and Virginia wines (not vinegar) and we provide ice in ice buckets (not plastic cups).

We understand that the great majority of TripAdvisor users are able to read positive and negative reviews and weight them appropriately when making their travel plans. As an owner it can be frustrating when an individual chooses to label a home on the Virginia Historic Register as "tenement housing". It causes one to question what other motives are in play.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 26, 2012

The Dinsmore House Bed and Breakfast was an overall pleasant location for us to stay a couple of nights. If I could, I would rate each night separately, because we switched rooms on the second night. The first night we stayed in the annex in the Monroe room. I do not advise booking this room! The window unit struggled to keep the room temperature at 80 degrees. Not a comfortable level for July! The bathroom was stifling because it had no ventilation. The fixtures in the bathroom were cheap at best. The towel bar kept falling off and it was very hard to flush the toilet! The king-sized bed was comfortable and the room furnishings were pretty nice. We were told the first day that the inn was full that night, so we could not switch rooms. The young woman who was on duty told us that there were also no refunds under any circumstances, even though we had not requested one. She also told us that no one else had complained about the temperature in the room, which I find hard to believe! For the first night, I would rate the inn a 3.

The second night, the innkeeper offered to move us to the Madison room, in the main part of the inn. This room had way more charm and the room temperature, while still not cool, was comfortable. The Madison room is on the back of the inn on the second floor, so you do not hear the construction and street noise some of the other travelers alluded to. The innkeeper thoughtfully provides white noise machines as well. The layout of the room was pleasing and I loved the decor. The bathroom was, like the other, not outfitted with nice fixtures, but it was servicable. I liked being close to the porch room and main sitting room, where the afternoon wine and cheese was held. The inn also has an extensive collection of dvds. The main floor common areas were comfortable and tastefully furnished. Breakfast both mornings was tasty.

The inn is located across from UVa's medical center. The Corner and the University are only a couple of blocks away. We also walked to the Downtown Mall both nights. There are lots of restaurants to choose from within walking distance. For those reasons, I loved the location of the inn, despite the construction noise and busy street.

My only other issue with this inn was that the innkeeper was hardly there. We were staying mid-week, and while I understand that is not the busiest time, I felt like we were on our own most of the time. He did have people on duty in the afternoons around check-in time. One of the things I enjoy about staying in B & Bs is getting to know the innkeepers, and most of them take so much pride in their business/homes. With this innkeeper, it felt more like just a business.

I would consider staying at the Dinsmore again, especially because of the location, and because it is reasonably priced compared to other inns in the Charlottesville area.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank EBB88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
Level Contributor
26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed July 23, 2012

Dinsmore is a charming B&B located in the heart of Charlottesville. It is in a great location and you can walk to restaurants and shopping easily. The building itself is over 200 years old so given that it really is in great shape. The breakfast they provide was wonderful and the staff are very friendly.

The room overall was nice. We had a private bath and a king size bed that was comfy. The only big complaint I would have about our stay was the room temperature. They only have window air conditioning units and it was warmer than my liking.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Susan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
colorado
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2012

There are things I really like about this place: The charm, the top-notch service, the eggs benedict breakfast on the sun porch, the location...did I say the staff? The not so good: this a really old building. It squeaks, it rattles. It's really cool. It was renovated to add plumbing somewhere along the line. I would guess that the most recent bathroom renovation was about 15 years ago in the Library Room. It's time to do it again...and put a little talcum power between the floorboards to quieten them.
So you just need to adjust your expectations. I really did enjoy my stay. Maybe you could call it a four star for service and charm, but i've got to knock it down a bit for the bathroom.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Greyquill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Barbara
Level Contributor
147 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2012

The staff was friendly, but the place could use some touching up. Beware that construction goes on ALL night long some nights. It was just OK, nothing special.

Room Tip: Ask for a room toward the back or the noise will keep you up all night.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kbinsb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Dinsmore House Bed & Breakfast

Property: The Dinsmore House Bed & Breakfast
Address: 1211 W Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22903-2823
Location: United States > Virginia > Charlottesville
Amenities:
Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 16 B&Bs / Inns in Charlottesvill...
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 8
Also Known As:
The Dinsmore House Bed And Breakfast
The Dinsmore House Hotel Charlottesville

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