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“I Enjoyed the Clifton Inn”
Review of Clifton Inn

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Clifton Inn
Ranked #23 of 35 Hotels in Charlottesvill...
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 25, 2009

My friend and I stayed there last weekend. I didn't expect anything beyond a B&B - hell, the place is old. The service was excellent and the food was memorable - in fact, I don't think I've ever had a better meal when we had dinner in their dining room. Breakfast was free and very good.

Drinks and food are very expensive, e.g. Two four course meals and four coctails for dinner ran about $260, with the gratuity, for the two of us. I'm not griping about the prices though. We got a deal on the room for two nights for much less than their standard rate; I think it was about $130 a night not including taxes and such.

We stayed in the Honeymoon Cottage after being upgraded from one of the less expensive rooms. The shower area didn't offer much privacy as far as the room was concerned, but I didn't really care , hell, I shared a bed with the woman. However, I was glad that the WC had a separate door.

I was in Charlottesville last year, and I stayed at the Boar's Head Inn for two nights. I suppose it's a matter of taste, but I liked Clifton better. The food & service was superior to BH. And since Clifton is smaller than the Boar's Head, they have a smaller staff. I enjoyed developing rapport with the staff and seeing the same faces for consecutive days/meals where they know you by name.

On the other hand, there's no way I'd pay their standard room rates to stay there. $400+ a night? It's not THAT nice!

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Ialreadyhaveone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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304 - 310 of 348 reviews

Reviewed February 17, 2009

After calling the inn directly inquiring about about reservations, I booked a room and package for a romantic weekend with my boyfriend. Because the package included additional amenities I think we ended up getting a good rate for all the things we got. The staff was pleasant and polite and although we're not demanding guests, they eagerly helped with our few requests.

While the Clifton had the same charm and personality of a B&B we were glad they offer additional separate rooms from the main house because it gave us more privacy from the other guests. Full breakfasts and afternoon tea included in the rates are a great touch.

I was surprised by all the negative reviews this place got since we had such an amazing stay. There were no bugs in our room, which was also pristinely clean and promptly tidied whenever we returned from being out. We enjoyed the claw foot soaking tub almost every night and also took advantage of room service when we didn't want to make the short walk to the main house. We had dinner during our stay twice and both times were beyond impressed with both the food and the service. The food was simply outstanding and we tried pretty much everything since they use a short tasting menu. We were seated quickly for both dinners, although we did call ahead for reservations.

The weekend was exactly what we were looking for; relaxing and low maintenance, with the luxuries of great food and good service. We were truly taken care of during our stay and can't wait until we can go back!!

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank cwelsh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2009

My wife and I stayed at the Clifton Inn for a local concert and to enjoy the Charlottesville area. We stayed 2 nights at the Clifton Inn to get away from the college scene and thoroughly enjoyed our stay but felt that the prices were a bit high compared to other Relais & Chateaux properties we've visited. Free Port Wine in the room is a nice touch when first arriving.

While the Clifton Inn offers a very unique B&B experience some of the rooms have a bit of an awkward shower and bathroom situation which do not provide much privacy at all. This was a bit disappointing given the price which the Clifton Inn commands.

The service at the Clifton Inn was very helpful but a bit on the arrogant side. While we didn't have any negative run-ins with the staff, perhaps too many positive trip advisor reviews are starting to get to their heads? The Clifton Inn also claims it gets the occasional visit from Dave Matthews (musician) and other Charlottesville native celebrities which most likely contribute to the steep prices.

While staying at the Clifton Inn be sure to do so at a time when you can enjoy their calming outdoor pool and be sure to reserve your room several months in advance as this local favorite fills up quick!

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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Thank novatravelreview
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2008

We booked the fall promotion on the website of the hotel after recommendations from friends. The setting of the hotel is beautiful: large grounds with private lake, magnificent views and beautiful pool area. Downside: the service. When we arrived, the rooms weren't ready. When we were having our afternoon tea (included in the price and a treat), one of the waitresses told us there was a problem with one of the rollaway beds (the leg broke) and asked if we would mind if one of the children stayed on an inflatable matrass. As we didn't accept that, the manager came over and offered us an upgrade. So it turned out ok, but it was one of many incidents of bad service at the Clifton Inn. We ordered hot chocolate for one of the children and the servant told is that wasn't possible. Strange because the next morning at breakfast it was available. The garden rooms were we stayed at our nice but if you're not a fan of bugs, don't stay there because they enter through all the cracks in the cottages. Overall we had a pleasant stay and since we booked the fall promotion we got a good rate but at the standard rate, the Clifton Inn is overpriced for the weak service they offer.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank bZita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2008

First the good bits - staff are fine and the setting is wonderful; we were even phoned a few days beforehand to see if we would like anything special ordering - a boquet of flowers was duly placed in the room on arrival - sadly, having lugged our bags to the room, that's where the positives end.

Shabby chic may be fashionable but our suite: frayed, forlorn and littered with dead insects - was unkept. The wardrobe, whilst in keeping with the room, was difficult to open and there was insufficient space to properly hang clothes. By Relais & Chateaux standards the suite was also extremely small, though the Bose sound system was a nice touch (sadly before the evening meal the music from the restaurant/bar below - clashed with the CD), the walk-in shower powerful and bed comfortable.

The real disappointment came with the meal. Despite having made a reservation (confirmed on arrival) we were not expected. A table was hastly laid, in the middle of a souless dining room. The food was distinctly bland, rushed, cold and well below R & C standards; a large fish bone in my wife's fish cake was the final straw - staff had noted this but no apology or offer to reimburse was forthcoming.

At a standard rate of $595 per night - including breakfast and afternoon tea but excluding taxes and service charges this place is not cheap. Fortunately we checked out early - the dirty room and acknowledged poor meal - the get-out clauses. We mentioned the lack of atmosphere - by 9pm restaurant and bar were deserted - we were told by the receptionist that this was typical of a B&B. (We hadn't realised it was a B&B - the R&C brochure refers to it as having 'the charm of country inn with the comfort and amenities of a small luxury Country hotel' - sadly B&B fits the description perfectly).

The sting in the tail was the resort charge. When it's too cold to use the swiming pool, the tennis court is closed and the gardens look wintery, what is this charge for? I hesitate to use the words "rip-off", but it's not far off.

We may have caught the Clifton Inn on a bad day but this is not a typical Relais & Chateaux. A fairly average B&B at 4 star (+) hotel prices maybe, but a luxury small hotel - certainly not. If you get a deal for $100 or less consider it, otherwise we recommend a wide-berth.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled with family
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6  Thank ECAH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2008

We stayed here in Sept 2008 - ovberall the service and standard of the accomodation was dreadful. We spent 3 weeks travelling through the US staying in a combination of 4 and 5 star hotels such as Sofitels, R Carltons etc. We had some wonderful experiences but this was the poorest experience we had. The senior staff were rude and unhelpful - overall the quality of the accomodation was poor for the price. Examples of things that annoyed me (1) a senior member of staff was rude to a more junior member of staff who was just trying to do her job (2) loo flooded + no apology from the manager when this was reported; (3) food orders were forgotten and delayed; (4) Serious food allergies were ignored in the restaurant; (5) towels + furnishings were badly worn . . .I'm getting upset remembering my experience there! In case you think that I am one of those people that is always finding fault .. I'm not ...in fact I never complain .. but this experience was so bad I felt I had to share it.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank DeirdreK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2008

My sisters and I stayed at Clifton Inn for five nights in late June, 2008. We actually were in three separate rooms at Collina Farm, which is adjacent to the main property. If you stay in the farmhouse, be aware that it is best to have a car to go back and forth to the Inn. You can also walk through a wooded path - but a car would be best - particularly in inclement weather. There are stairs at the farmhouse - so If you don't want to carry your own luggage up stairs, ask at the desk for assistance - I'm certain that they would send someone to help you.

The Inn and Collina Farm are both lovely. Collina is actually a separate farmhouse - complete with kitchen, dining room, living room, two downstairs accommodations and two upstairs. The downstairs rooms have private decks for enjoying the lovely view. Cleanliness is a priority for me and they totally meet the highest standards here. The rooms are large with all amenities and there is lots of water pressure in the showers. There is coffee and tea in the kitchen, sherry and port in your room, and always a sweet at turndown.

The farmhouse sits on a large parcel - with lots of outdoor space surrounding it. It is quiet and private - and you can sit outside at night and be entertained by fireflies! (Be aware - if you do not book all the rooms in the farmhouse, other people could be sharing the common space with you.)

The restaurant at Clifton is good and probably the best in the area (although we did not get to Keswick Hall to compare) - however, the menu is limited and I would not rate it as highly as others on this site. The service at Clifton is exceptional - they definitely live up to the standards set by Relais et Chateaux.

After visiting downtown Charlottesville, in my opinion you would not want to stay there unless you were in town for business. The area is somewhat depressed and we did not feel comfortable or safe walking after dark at the downtown "Historic Mall" after dinner at one of the restaurants.

Clifton is in a wonderful area - surrounded by vineyards and close to all the historic sites you'll want to visit. Be sure to take a drive on Skyline Drive - we saw two black bears and hiked to a beautiful waterfall along the way. Clifton Inn is definitely a lovely way to enhance your travels.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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Thank cynthisize
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: $227 - $391 (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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