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Review of The Homestead

The Homestead
Ranked #1 of 10 things to do in Hot Springs
Certificate of Excellence
Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
Reviewed July 24, 2013

Food sucks. Golf was not worth spending money. Pool was SMALL. You pretty much have to pay every amenities they have to be able to use it.

Visited July 2013
Thank B S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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188 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Beautiful location, but needs updating”
Reviewed July 5, 2013

My husband booked a 25th anniversary vacation for us at The Homestead for June 17th-20th. The drive to it was beautiful with some winding roads and mountain views that were spectacular.
About the building: The Great Hall has lots of seating, however if your a non-smoker the smoke drifts out of the bar into the area near the bar, which is unpleasant. Some of the furniture in the Great Hall and other rooms needed to be cleaned. The front porch had plenty of seating. The hallway that we had to go down to get to our suite had paint peeling, there was a stain in our tub, and the light in our closet didn't work when we arrived. I would definitely recommend the historic tour that is given each morning. It was good. If possible I'd take the tour early in your stay so you find out about the different places to go and unwind.

About the food: We dined at almost every one of the Homestead's options. We liked every one of them. I think the view from Rubino's was fabulous, and the food was good as well. My husband did select a meal plan for us for dinner and for breakfast. We feel like it was worth it, especially for the formal dining in the evening. It was also nice not to have to worry about the cost as we ordered each meal.

About the staff: Everyone, I mean everyone that we dealt with was very nice, polite and did what the needed to make sure we were comfortable or got what we wanted or needed. Kudos to the staff!
About the activities: We took the 30 minute carriage ride, where the conversation with our driver was as enjoyable as the ride itself. We also took the two mile, 12 waterfall hike. We did the day after it had rained and it was a tad bit muddy in places, but not bad. The waterfalls are so worth the hike. Our guide was personable and knowledgeable. But our favorite thing by far was the falconry! We loved this! Our only problem was wishing we had pre-booked the level two in advance because it was booked and we couldn't get in on the next class. The lady who did the falconry class was very friendly and made it a lot of fun. I would recommend sunscreen for the class. We didn't get in the pools as we had rain one day we were there and activities on other days. I would definitely recommend booking your activities in advance when you make your reservations.

I would have rated this higher if it hadn't been for the resort needed to be updated.For the amount of money that we spent, (this is not a cheap place to stay), it should be spotless and gleaming in every nook and corner. I do understand that this is older than our nation, but it can still have clean furniture and paint that isn't peeling. Would I recommend going? Over all, yes. I'd go back simply due to the location and the staff.

Visited June 2013
1 Thank DandTLee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Tired resort; most of the staff rude or disinterested”
Reviewed April 25, 2013

This used to be a grand old place. My parents took me there often as a child and this is where I learned to ski. Today, it is tired and much is in need of repair. The gutters leak and are coming off the main building - so much water pours off the roof as snow melts that the front stairs must be roped off at the sides. During tea time, a waiter almost ran me over with a tea cart and did not even bother to say excuse me. Most of the staff did not even acknowledge us when we would smile or say hello in the hall. The room had badly stained carpet, peeling wallpaper and was not well cleaned. Large rust rings from old floor lamps were among many stains in the dark, dingy room. Dirty plastic plants and stained window seat cushions line the hallways. Management took the time to listen to our concerns but did not do anything about them. We were planning to return for a conference for which we received the notice late. I called to reserve, advising them that the notice was late in getting to us. They would not honor the conference rate for the May event as it was 10 days past the cutoff date, despite us advising them of our late notice. Due to recent experiences there being incredibly poor, we decided against staying at the full rack rate for the upcoming event next month. Honestly for those prices, they can let the rooms sit empty. There are plenty of great B&Bs where you can stay in the area and still attend a conference held at the resort. It is truly their loss. Two managers have failed to respond to emails expressing our concerns. In addition, prior to the installation of the water park, I advised them that this was a terrible idea. It is turning an elegant old hotel into Dollywood. It is visable from the main drive and it is hideous. I understand that the resort needs revenue but it is extremely low class to place such a park on the main grounds of a historic hotel.
Staff exceptions are Larry and Jamie on the bell staff, who are kind, personable and friendly - model employees. Perhaps if either of these gentlemen were in management, the resort would be able to make a come back.

Visited March 2013
2 Thank srbelle24014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Meriden, NH
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“So sad times have changed”
Reviewed April 12, 2013

I have been going to the Homestead for decades, and it is a melancholy feeling to watch it slip further and further into sub-mediocrity. It is hard to come to terms with diner-like service in the grand domed dining room. For example tea used to be served in a teapot and accompanied with a pot of hot water. This week we couldn't even get something as simple as English Breakfast tea at breakfast.
Personally I rather like the somewhat creaky halls and cracked trim, but I draw the line when no one will come fix my room phone.
Generally the staff is marvelous, and there are still those gems there, like Betty in room service. But over time it has definitely slipped, and I think it comes from management, not staff. No longer can you lay your hands on a sewing kit, cotton balls or Q-tips in the room. No longer can you count on being notified about closures of the dining room and tough luck if you didn't want to trek to Sam Snead's for a reservation hours later than you wanted to eat.
It seems to want to be a mini Disney now, by adding water parks and Canyon Ranch based spa.
Personally I think it is a shame the Homestead is attempting to replace with glitz what they used to shine at: elegant service in an elegant environment. As much as I hate to day this, it is in no way worth the money to stay. It is such a landmark I sincerely hope that someone in management gets their act together.

Visited April 2013
2 Thank Dinnaah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia, United States
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Breakfast Buffet Not to Be Missied”
Reviewed February 28, 2013

We always budget for the breakfast plan when our family visits the Homestead. Our kids love the omelet bar and waffle bar. More food than you can imagine and the service staff is very nice.

Visited February 2013
5 Thank Leighann B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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