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“lovely stay, but some minor issues abound”
Review of Clifton Inn

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Clifton Inn
Ranked #23 of 35 Hotels in Charlottesvill...
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 15, 2014

My partner and I stayed at The Clifton Inn for one night while we were in Charlottesville, and we had a very lovely stay in a historic little inn.

I will say that my experience at The Clifton Inn is somewhat colored by the fact that we were upgraded to one of the nicest rooms. We stayed in the Martha Jefferson room in the main house, and being so close to the restaurant and bar was a much better experience than staying in one of the outline cottages. Or else, I can imagine so.

The room itself was very nice. There was a large sitting area and a large closet. We had a lot of hanging clothes, so that was very convenient. The bathroom definitely was nice: there was a strong rainfall shower as well as his and hers sinks, which is relatively rare in these historic properties.

One issue I didn't like about the room where that the television was very small and awkwardly placed in the room. If you're watching television from the bed, because the furniture in the sitting area is in its line of sight, so we ultimately had to change around the furniture of the room. Also, there are some housekeeping issues, because there were long women's hairs literally everywhere in this room, from the bed to the bathroom. I realize that happens sometimes, but we found a few. The bedside table next to me but also rather dirty, so it leads me to believe it is a housekeeping issue as supposed to just one isolated issue.

My partner and I enjoy the Relais & Chateaux association of hotels, and that is the main reason we stayed at The Clifton Inn. The teatime was very quaint, the little bit cramped in the study. I can imagine going here during the summer and having the tea out by the porch would make for a much more enjoyable experience when it wasn't so cold.

I didn't really enjoy the breakfast. They offer you a very measly "continental breakfast," but it's basically just bread and orange juice. They have five or six choices for breakfast you pay for, but none of them are inspired or something I could get out Waffle House, to be frank. And even when we did order breakfast options, they were very spartan and unadorned. I think breakfast was the weakest point of staying at The Clifton Inn.

Regardless of the issues, we had a very nice time at The Clifton Inn, and would not be opposed to staying there again. The price point is very low considering the service and property, so that is definitely a strong reason to stay again.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jg325
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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144 - 150 of 355 reviews

Reviewed January 13, 2014

What a wonderful find among many great wineries, excellent sightseeing and beautiful countryside. Niall and the other staff were so attentive and made our stay outstanding.
Afternoon tea delightful and can see why residents in the area come for dinner at the Clifton. The chef offers many great choices of delicious food.

Room Tip: We stayed in the cozy farmhouse. Would be an excellent gathering place for families wanting to enjo...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Rebecca B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2014

I never write reviews. This makes me feel guilty, because I rely on them often. But the Clifton is special and I will try to right my many wrongs by doing it some justice here (I will likely fall short; the place is just outstanding). My wife and I fell in love there, got engaged there, and count it as our most favorite place in the commonwealth. It's a beautiful place. The property is just right: the roaring Rivanna River, a placid private lake, rolling hills, tremendous Birch trees (lit just right at night), a truly special pool (the view), and genuine history in every direction. But it has something more than all this, too. The staff is awesome -- smart, funny, patient (we have been going for five + years and brought our one year old along last time). The house and the secondary buildings - our favorites - exude character and comfort. The food is tremendous. It's 10 pm right now and I just started thinking about the Clifton breakfast and became incredibly hungry. And eating said breakfast on the back veranda, with the best of views, makes one feel like time just needs to stop fast and let you hold on a little bit longer... before going off on an all day Charlottesville adventure and then returning for a drink at the bar, meal set next to the Chef's station and a final stroll through the grounds. We always meet interesting people at the Clifton. The conversation tends to be as clever as the grounds. The only hesitation I had in writing this review is that it may limit availability on our next escape to one of the very finest countryside properties.

Room Tip: Try a few; they're all unique and wonderful. We love the livery.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Shane E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2014

This is a beautiful place, but what really makes the experience is the staff. From helping plan hikes, to advising you on about a working cheese farm, to where to find the best Chardonnay, the staff went above and beyond. Thank you especially to Ann and Nile for making this a wonderful experience.

Room Tip: Ask questions about the rooms- some are off the parking lot or kitchen. Front of the house was quiet...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank lynnlabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2014

Clifton Inn is a Relais Chateau property in the countryside of Virginia. We stayed 2 nights, and will surely return. What makes this Inn outstanding in the staff, from receptionist to waitstaff to hotel manager. They knock themselves out to ensure their guests enjoy their stay. Also worthy of accolades is the dining experience. Dinner dishes without fail are superb, with quality ingredients and excellent preparation. The afternoon tea, accompanied by scones, is well worth sampling and offered at no extra charge. The setting is lovely and private. Still, Clifton is not perfect, ergo the 4 stars, not 5. Our room, actually a small suite, in an outbuilding away from the mansion, was cosy and the bed comfortable. We enjoyed the quiet. However, the suite was drafty and cold due to inadequate weather insulation. The bathroom, which is large, is without its own source of heat, making it cold particularly in the morning. The floor was always cold. No slippers were provided. (Our stay was in late December, so our complaints would not apply most of the year given Virginia’s temperate climate.) On our next visit, if in winter, we shall surely stay in the main building.

Room Tip: In winter, avoid “The Livery."
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank John G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
___027, General Manager at Clifton Inn, responded to this reviewResponded January 9, 2014

Thank you for raving about Clifton Inn. We agree with so much of what you said, we do have knock out staff, superb dishes in the restaurant all in a lovely setting.

We also listen carefully to all of our guests, the bathroom now has heat, and we are looking carefully at adding radiant heating and are currently getting samples of slippers to upgrade our guests experience.

We hope that you will return soon.

Niall Reid
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2013

My Father and I took my Mother to Clifton for her birthday to enjoy the afternoon tea service. I’m surprised that the tea isn’t advertised in a more aggressive manner. We only happened to find out by chance after trying to make reservations at Keswick a little too late and coming across a web article mentioning that Clifton served an afternoon tea.

Our experience was a good one. We were greeted at the door, and offered our choice of taking tea in the dining room or enclosed porch, as the living room had been set up for a gingerbread making workshop (her birthday is just a few days shy of Christmas). When reading other reviews I’ve heard complaints about the lack of tea selection, but I found that for someone who is not a regular tea drinker the selections weren’t overwhelming and seemed well thought out, and the three of us all enjoyed our choices. We ordered the optional sandwich platter to go along with the normal goodies regularly provided with the tea. The fruit was fresh and the scones were tasty, as were most of the sandwiches. The only complaint was the white bread on the turkey sandwiches was a bit dry.

The members of staff we encountered were all pleasant and courteous. They engaged us in conversation and took the time to explain the food items we ordered.

We took a little tour of the interior of the inn after tea (it was raining the day we went, so we didn’t explore outside) and found it very charming. The wine cellar was beautiful, and the restrooms were clean. It is true that the overall feel at the Clifton is “old charm” so someone who is used to hotels with a completely modernized décor may describe it as outdated. However, for someone who grew up in the rural Virginia countryside the beautiful and slightly creaky wood floors feel just like home. The only oddity was the aluminum and vinyl porch covering that is over the back veranda. It seems so out of place, and I would love to see a permanent roof erected that fits in better with the rest of the inn.

Overall we had a lovely visit, and I would absolutely come back for an overnight stay.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank J M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2013

While expensive the Clifton Inn has a lot of charm. We enjoyed our time there and stayed in the Farm House, the staff is very friendly and helpful and directed us to many nearby points of interest. Location good - but totally away from the hustle & bussel of town life. The
Farm House was a bit dated - it was like stepping back in time - which many would enjoy - lots of patina and comfy rooms to just relax.
Enjoyed the tasting menu but do believe we would have enjoyed the dinning service instead. One must be into experiencing the unusual and different tasting to truly enjoy all that is presented. Consider your options and ask questions to make your decision.

Room Tip: Farm house would be great for a group - check out bedding to determine if appropriate. Most rooms...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank mdcarr151
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Clifton Inn

Address: 1296 Clifton Inn Dr, Charlottesville, VA 22911-3627
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Virginia > Charlottesville
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Family Hotel in Charlottesvill...
#9 Romantic Hotel in Charlottesvill...
Price Range: $174 - $302 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Clifton Inn 3.5*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The internationally renowned Clifton Inn, named the "Best Hotel in Charlottesville," and one of USA Today''s "10 best Southern fine dining restaurants" boasts 17 stunning guest suites and five unique dining venues. Relax by the fireplace with a speciality cocktail, escape to the wine cellar for a private dining experience, or enjoy casual a la carte dining on the veranda. Situated on 100 acres of rolling hills just 7 miles east of downtown, the dramatic infinity edge pool, miles of walking trails, and lake front views make Clifton the most desired hotel, dining, and special event choice in Charlottesville. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Clifton Hotel Charlottesville
Country Inn Charlottesville
Charlottesville Country Inn

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