We were surprised by how much we liked this “new” version of Holiday Inn. Our room was large, clean, quiet, contemporary, digitally well-equipped, and remarkably comfortable. Even the hallways had a light and colorful feel about them – all of this in stark contrast to the dark and dreary days of the old Holiday Inn brand. We also liked the out-in-the-country location of this particular property. At first we worried it was going to take us too far off of I-66 in the opposite direction of Front Royal, but the extra drive was only about a mile and the hill-top site was a great place to see the mix of valleys and ridges in the distance. And we enjoyed seeing all the stars that night, something that is difficult to appreciate in other locations where light pollution makes it difficult to remember what a sea of stars can actually look like.
Unfortunately, few things are perfect and there was an item of notable annoyance – enough to reduce our rating to a 4-star experience. When we arrived, there were at least 6 different groups waiting in line for check-in and only one clerk at the desk. After 15 minutes of no movement, people were beginning to show the usual signs of irritation. Once the line did begin to move, it still took at least 5 minutes per customer before we got our turn at the desk. The clerk was obviously stressed and apologized for the “slow computer system” that handled reservations. We might not have mentioned this if this had been a one-time incident -- but -- we encountered the same exact problem at 3 different Holiday Inn locations this summer. The first occurred at a Holiday Inn in Williamsburg (which, after a 20 minute wait, turned out to be a different Holiday Inn from the one we had booked) and the most recent incident was in Austin Texas. In all 3 cases there was only one clerk handling customers and two of these clerks mentioned a “slow computer” for the long wait. We have done our share of travel and these repeated check-in waits were the longest we have experienced at any major hotel chain. Perhaps they were all coincidental but it has made us wonder if the chain might be growing a little too fast for its infrastructure. Hope the problem gets fixed because we really do like the look and feel of the new HI experience.
PS. As noted by other reviewers, the Houlihan’s restaurant next to the hotel is not affiliated with Holiday Inn and we won’t review it here. Nevertheless, our advice to hotel customers visiting the restaurant is to eat in the bar area if you can. We found the service to be 100% better.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to an award winning hotel. The Holiday Inn & Suites Front Royal Blue Ridge Shadows is the recipient of the 2014 IHG Quality Excellence Award and the 2013, 2012 and 2011 IHG Torchbearer Award (awarded to the Best Holiday Inn hotels) and 2010 IHG Newcomer Award (Best New Holiday Inn). Sophistication and natural beauty unite at this Front Royal, Virginia hotel. For sophisticated but affordable accommodations, look no further than the Holiday Inn & Suites Front Royal Blue Ridge Shadows. We're situated above the award-winning Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club and surrounded by the beautiful mountains of Front Royal, VA. Our hotel's location is ideal for travelers to immerse themselves in the outdoors. You can take a leisurely drive on Skyline Drive to experience breathtaking views, enjoy a canoe trip on the beautiful Shenandoah River or explore the caverns around Front Royal. Lodging here is also convenient for business travelers visiting the Virginia Inland Port, Ferguson Enterprises, Family Dollar, Toray, American Woodmark, Axalta and other businesses in Front Royal. Our 24-hour business center, free high-speed Internet access, heated indoor pool and 24-hour fitness center are available for your use. Overlooking the beautiful mountains around Front Royal, our hotel rooms and suites offer triple-sheeted bedding, 32-inch LCD flat screen TVs with HD and HBO and refrigerators. From Houlihan's Restaurant and Bar, serving made-from-scratch cuisine three meals a day, to our 4,500 square feet of meeting space for hosting your special event, this Front Royal hotel's amenities provide a relaxing environment for our Virginia guests. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn And Suites Front Royal Blue Ridge Shadows
- Holiday Inn & Suites Front Royal Blue Ridge Shadows Hotel Front Royal
- Holiday Inn Front Royal
- Front Royal Holiday Inn