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“Customer Service like I have never seen it!”

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The Founders Inn and Spa
Ranked #15 of 109 Hotels in Virginia Beach
Reviewed August 7, 2012

First of all let me say that I am still staying at this hotel...I checked in on Saturday evening and I will be leaving Saturday morning (8/11).

I booked a hotel through Priceline and was given a reservation at the Founder's Inn and Spa. I was great with that, as I had already looked at the property and liked it. Plus, I got it for cheap! I called right after the reservation was made and told them that a couple days after arriving I would be getting married on the beach and the rest of my stay would be a honeymoon. I asked if there was any way they could upgrade my room and was told that they could make a note of it, but that it would be up to the discretion of the desk clerk at the time of arrival. I said that is fine. The lady I spoke to at the front desk was very nice on the phone.

My fiance and I arrived on Saturday evening around 9:00. I asked about the room upgrade and was told that they were booked solid for the night but that the next day, there would be rooms opening up and she said that she would put me in a king bed room with a fireplace the next day. So, we went up to our queen room that we had for the night and when we arrived, they had a bottle of champagne with two glasses and a plate of four large chocolate covered strawberries waiting for us! I called to see if that was something they somehow thought I requested and charged me for, but was amazed when they said that it was on the house as congratulations for our honeymoon! Awesome surprise!! The queen room was very nice and clean. We were on the top floor at the end of the hallway near steps, so it was VERY quiet. There was one window with a view of a tree, but that didn't matter since we were changing rooms soon. There was two water bottles in the room, but I don't know yet if these are complimentary or if they charge you for drinking them. There was a refrigerator and a large flat panel television that had an amazing picture. There was an in-room safe in the closet that you can keep your valuables in for free just with making up a four-digit code. That was handy since we had brought our wedding rings for the wedding ceremony scheduled for Monday evening.

The next day, right at the time we packed up our things with anticipation of getting our upgraded room, we got the call that all was ready and they sent up a bellhop to help us with our luggage. The new room is wonderful! There is no one above us and we are at the end of the hall by stairs, so it is SUPER quiet. We still have the refrigerator and safe. We have two windows with nice views of the outside and we get lots of sunlight in here. We have a nice television mounted on the wall above the fireplace. (Too hot to use it, but still a nice feature). We have a king bed and a sofa and another large chair. This room is about 1/3 the size of my house on the main floor! We have so much space to use.

So, at this point there are already two things that they did for us that they didn't have to do... ESPECIALLY for us being Priceline guests and not paying regular rate. Now, for the THIRD and most important thing they did for us -- We were supposed to be married on the beach on Monday evening at about 6:30. As luck would have it, it was POURING all afternoon. At 5:00 yesterday, I got back to the hotel and was frantically trying to figure out what we going to do for plan B. I went to the front desk and asked if I could have our ceremony in some location in the hotel lobby area. I didn't care where, but just needed a space. It was just going to be my fiance and myself...and the minister and photographer. No guests. Tina at the front desk got on the phone and started asking the powers that be if that would be possible. After 10 minutes or so of talking to people, I was told that Michelle (i think that was her name), would meet me in the Atrium to talk to us. My fiance and I spoke with her and explained the situation and she said that she would definitely allow us to be married in the Atrium. I coud not believe that I now had this beautiful space to be married in with only an hour to spare. After the ceremony, the photographer took pictures of my husband and I in and around the lobby and outside where we could take them without getting rained on. I personally think that it turned out better than if we would have gone to the beach. The architecture is amazing and we had so many more ideas and opportunities for beautiful pictures than we would have had at the beach.

SO, I have only been here for three days, paying way less than regular rate (and they know this) and they have gone so far above and beyond what I would have ever expected in order to accommodate us and make this week special for our wedding/honeymoon. Everyone has been 100% friendly and happy to do these things....I have never experienced any attitude or negative reaction from any personnel here - nothing but smiling faces and eagerness to be the best at what they do.

I will come back here the next time I visit Virginia Beach area and I will definitely recommend it to anyone I talk to who is thinking of coming here!

Room Tip: Ask for a high floor at the end of the hall by the stairs...very quiet rooms there. Corner king ro...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank KBebout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FoundersInn, General Manager at The Founders Inn and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 8, 2012

Wow! I am so flattered you would go to such length to describe how positive your experience has been with us thus far. Thank you very much for your kindness and might I add, Congratulations! I am extremely proud of the staff and how hard they work on a daily basis.

Our management company The Capella Hotel Group's Zeitgeist or "Spirit of the Moment" encapsulates the commitment we have to our guests. We strive to be reliable, loyal, worldly and memorable. This experience you have shared really highlights these four qualities we aim for on a daily basis. I am pleased and grateful you have shared such a memorable story.

Regards,
Sascha Hemmann, General Manager

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918 - 924 of 1,181 reviews

Reviewed August 6, 2012

It seemed like it was going to be a really nice stay. The buildings are very nice looking and historic, and from a distance the grounds looked pretty. Closer up though, the grounds were in need of much maintenance. We were not there in the summer so we did not use the pool, but it was a warm enough day for my kids to run around the courtyard, and it just looked like the groundskeeper quit 6 months prior.

The main issue I had with the place is the smell. I am very sensitive to smells, but every hallway, our room, the lobby all had a distinct smell that was very unpleasant. To me, when something smells funny or bad, it makes me think it is unclean.

The only other problem was the glares my family seemed to receive from some uptight old ladies hanging around the lobby and surrounding foyers. Since it is influenced greatly by Pat Robertson, I had the feeling we were an unwelcome mixed race couple.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank eastwestmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FoundersInn, General Manager at The Founders Inn and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 8, 2012

I am both disappointed and surprised to read your review of the hotel and property. Typically the grounds are one of the areas we receive the most praise for; however, I am truly sorry you felt differently. We take great pride in our appearance so that our guests enjoy the ambiance and environment. I apologize that your expectations were unmet.

In order to reach all of our guest's senses, we have enhanced areas of the hotel with fragrances For example, the lobby has a white tea and thyme scent, the spa has a white ginger and amber scent to create an ambient scent environment. I am truly sorry these enhancements were not to your liking as again, it is something we receive compliments for.

Finally, I am very sorry if you felt unwelcomed in any way, shape or form. I sincerely believe it was unintentional. I hope that you will give us another opportunity to earn your business and loyalty in the future.

Regards,
Sascha Hemmann, General Manager

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Reviewed August 5, 2012

Rooms, meeting place and grounds were very nice but meals were excellent! Monk fish delightful! Didn't see much else. Interesting to know that Gabby of Olympics Gold came from here. I even enjoyed my conversation with the shuttle driver! Wireless internet service in the rooms was slow; cable improved it a lot.

Room Tip: A little spread out if you have to get to meetings.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled on business
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2  Thank RonMelTpa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FoundersInn, General Manager at The Founders Inn and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 6, 2012

I am so pleased you enjoyed your time and meals during your stay. However, I would like to apologize for your slow internet. I will certainly pass along this information to our IT manager to see that it is improved as soon as possible. I will also pass along your compliments of the monk fish to our talented chefs. Thank you for your feedback!

Regards,
Sascha Hemmann, General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2012

Pros: The standard room was actually quite roomy, easy check in and check out, beautiful landscaping, nice pool, clean, good value and friendly staff. The cons: couldn't park very close to your room, hot tub only fit 3 people, decor rather dated, beds too soft and the noisiest Air conditioner I've ever experienced. All in all my experience was satisfactory.

Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
2  Thank 101pup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FoundersInn, General Manager at The Founders Inn and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 6, 2012

Thank you for providing us with specific items you enjoyed as well as areas of improvement. We take the feedback of our guests extremely seriously and we try to resolve any problems in a timely fashion without sacrificing quality. With that being said, we are working on the noise you heard coming from the a/c unit.

The rooms were renovated in late 2010; however, the decor you mention as being "old" is actually considered Colonial themed design and a large part of the furniture are antiques. I apologize if the Colonial charm did not suit you. I hope you will visit again the next time your travels bring you to Virginia Beach.

Regards,
Sascha Hemmann

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2012

just came back from a spa -mazing packege at the founder inn in vb.beautiful landscape.the atmosphire was so relaxing. the staff was very helpful,thank you and a special thank to tonia from the spa for a much needed relaxing lavender wrap.

Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
1  Thank mary d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FoundersInn, General Manager at The Founders Inn and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 6, 2012

Thank you for letting us know how much you enjoyed your Spa-mazing package. I am delighted to hear it was so relaxing for you. I will certainly pass along your praise to Ms. Tonia for your spa treatment. Thank you again and I hope you'll visit again soon!

Regards,
Sascha Hemmann, General Manager

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Reviewed July 31, 2012

We traveled 4 hours to come to this hotel so obviously we were very tired upon our arrival. We arrived at 445, mind you check-in time is 4, and were told by Bethany that our room was not available. When we inquired as to an estimate, she got rather rude and said she didn't know (um......aren't you at the front desk and should know some of these things). She didn't give an an answer as to why the room was not ready. We brushed that off and went looking around the hotel to see what they offered. Near the Hunt Room, an employee (didn't catch her name) was talking to us and I told her how long we traveled and we were still waiting for a room. When I told her I was really thirsty, she pleasantly escorted us to the Hunt Room (dining area) were she asked Jon to provide us with drinks which was very sweet. We then returned to the front desk around 530 where again, our room was not ready. When we asked what was the hold up on our room, the same rude employee Bethany said it wasn't their fault, it is the cleaning people. With that, I figured she must've been ready to get off work and didn't care what came out of her mouth at that point. This is no way to have your company represented and a first impression. Our room was not ready until close to 7pm........3 hours past check-in time. But there was nothing taken off the bill......but if you checkout past your time I am sure they would charge you. The hallways had a funny smell......can't quite describe it or put my fingers on it but they sure didn't smell like fresh roses. We went back down to the HUNT Room where Jon served us, and the entire HUNT ROOM by himself, and did an excellent job I must say. The food was tasty and midpriced for dinner. My friends had the burger and said it was just how they ordered it and was juicy. I had the chicken steak with fries and it was very good. The beds were very comfortable and the room was very nice. The TV was better than I thought it would be......they even have a mini fridge inside. One problem, and I thought it was me until I read other reviews, the room would get hot at night. We dined at the Swann Terrace for breakfast and it was awesome. The buffet consisted of juice, fresh fruit, oatmeal with a wide assortment of toppings, grits, bacon, pancakes, eggs, and an omelette station. A free breakfast was included with our living social deal. We had Travis as our server and he was very attentive. We all had spa appointments and I chose the Aromatherapy Massage. Tonia was my masseuse and she did an EXCELLENT job! I was very tight in my back and neck and worked her magic to untie those knots. Her pressure was just right and she often asked was it too much or how was I which I appreciated. The grounds, I must say, are very breathtaking. It is very serene and scenic. There is a playground area for kids, a pond for the geese (which are there often), a garden, as well as an indoor and outdoor pool. The pool area is nice in size and has plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas. The inside hot tub is rather small.......capacity of 3. We wrapped up our stay at the Swann Terrace and had Jonathan (a different one) as our server. We were all very pleased in our choices. The menu was rather pricey but the food was good. Three of us had crab cakes (which were made with lump crab) and my friend had the chicken. We topped that off with the Chocolate Bomb which lived up to the name. The dessert melted in your mouth and was absolutely divine. We were visited by David, I am assuming he's the manager, to see if everything was ok at the end of our meal. When we received our bill, there was a spa charge discrepancy. When I called the front desk, I was told I had to wait until the spa opened at 9. To make that long story short, I was overcharged because I received a special they were running and because the two departments don't communicate, it was not reflected in the system......this took about a half an hour to clear up. I liked the hotel but that one person gave me a different perspective .......as the saying goes, it takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Bunnytw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FoundersInn, General Manager at The Founders Inn and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 6, 2012

I am disappointed to hear about your experience with our hotel. Please allow me to apologize for the employee who treated you poorly. This is completely unacceptable and entirely not up to the standards we hold as a company. I know that does not change your experience but I hope that you can feel confident that we heard your concern and are definitely doing something about it.

I hope that you will accept my sincere apology for the challenges that have negatively affected your stay. Your patronage and loyalty is greatly appreciated and I hope that you will give us the opportunity to personally welcome you back upon your return to The Founders Inn & Spa. .

Regards,
Sascha Hemmann, General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2012

Just came back from a girl's weekend. Stayed at this hotel from 7/27/12-7/29/12. We had two rooms at the hotel. When we arrived at 4:45, neither room was ready. Bethany was the rep that was assisting me. She was very RUDE!! She displayed very poor communication and rude body language when asked why our room wasn't ready. She wouldn't give us a time when we could expect the room to be ready. She just kept saying that she has nothing to do with housekeeping or when the room would be ready. My friend checked in with a gentleman at the desk and he told her that her room would be ready in about 20 minutes and he would call her when the room was ready. One of the managers of the hotel offered us free beverages while we waited. Jon was our server. He was very nice. My friends were called and they were able to check into their room. Our room still wasn't ready. Bethany gave the same poor service when questioned about the status of the room. The four of us hung out in the available room. We called again around 6:00 and the room still wasn't ready. Finally close to 7:00, someone brought the keys to us and gave us vouchers for a free breakfast buffet.

Breakfast was great and our server, Travis, was as well. We ate at the Swann Terrace for dinner on Saturday and Jonathan was our server. He was excellent. The manager, David came to our table to greet us and to see how we enjoyed our meal. The food at the hotel was very good and the servers were very polite.

Overall, we had a really nice time. The grounds are beautiful. The massage was excellent. Julia was my masage therapist. The rooms were nice. My only complaint about the room was that it would get hot at night. I would definitely stay here again, with the exception of dealing with Bethany!!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Jamese M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FoundersInn, General Manager at The Founders Inn and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 8, 2012

Please allow me to apologize for the way your situation was handled by one of our employees. I appreciate your honesty and am sorry that you were not treated like a highly valued guest. This is not acceptable and has already been addressed to prevent any future occurrences. Your business and loyalty are extremely important to us.

I am pleased that the rest of your stay was enjoyable and that you intend to return. Thank you again for your candid feedback.

Regards,
Sascha Hemmann, General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Founders Inn and Spa

Address: 5641 Indian River Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23464-5247
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Virginia > Virginia Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Virginia Beach
#18 Business Hotel in Virginia Beach
#23 Family Hotel in Virginia Beach
#23 Romantic Hotel in Virginia Beach
Price Range: $95 - $175 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Founders Inn and Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 240
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The timeless Founders Inn and Spa is a Virginia Beach resort that pampers guests with the comforts of home, concierge attention and hi-tech conveniences. Select guest rooms with fireplaces and views of the serene lake and lovely Colonial garden are especially unforgettable. The Founders Inn and Spa features a wealth of excellent amenities and guest services including comfortable rooms and suite accommodations, in-house restaurants, a spa and fitness center, a shuttle service, pet-friendly rooms, complimentary wi-fi, a business center, special event spaces and meeting venues, to name a few. Whether it is a business stay, a family vacation, or a life event, we are looking forward to a chance to serve you at The Founders Inn and Spa near Norfolk, Virgnia. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Founders Hotel Virginia Beach
Founders Hotel Virginia Beach

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