We stayed in the Colonial Houses June, 2007, because it seemed the best way to immerse ourselves in the period. My 7 year old is history obsessed, and her love of the American Girl Felicity makes her a sucker for all things colonial. The best thing about the Colonial House (we stayed in Orlando Jones' kitchen) was the location. We were able to walk out our door and be literally in the middle of the historic section/attraction. We were able to park our car right there (they have a little place right near where you stay where you park your car but it is hidden from onlookers so that it doesn't mar the experience for those looking for historical accuracy). This was perfect because at the time our kids were <1, 4, and 6 1/2. Another plus about the Colonial Houses is that staying in them gives the kids yet another tangible link to history. (This went for the adults, too, as Orlando Jones was a real person that we read about in the room, and, although the space we were in was no longer a kitchen, it was kind of neat to be staying in a piece of history. Also, the loft upstairs where the kids stayed was likely inhabited by the cooks back in the day, I think.) Yet another plus is that staying in the Colonial Williamsburg hotels gives you access to the historical sights for your entire stay. If you stay for one night, you get access to the historical area for the day you check in as well as the day you check out. This made the whole thing relatively affordable (we used our budget to stay at the Colonial Houses for one night instead of another hotel for two nights. We still got two days to see the Colonial Williamsburg attractions, and we didn't have to pay for tickets).
My three biggest complaints about the room were that 1) since there was either no a/c or no working a/c and it was summer, the staff or we opened the windows for air and the screen was so badly damaged that mosquitos got in the room and bit us all over while we slept 2) the room reeked of these really strong, cheap smelling air freshener things, the smell of which was nauseating 3) the bathroom was in bad need of repair which might have been okay if it looked like old-timey bathroom fixtures that were worn with age but was not okay as they were disgusting, dirty falling apart seventies fixtures. I know it sounds picky, but it was the most odd, out of place renovation, and the rooms were really expensive. To fit, it should either be new, neutral, or period.
I took my daughter to tea in the main inn, which had a harpist playing. They made my daughter feel special, and that was nice for her (and me).
We really enjoyed the attraction, particularly how they gave the kids specific tasks (a specific to-do list /letter thing, which might have come with the rental costume). The kids really enjoyed dressing up in the period rental costumes. You have to buy the hats with the rental, but you get a discount and they make great souvenirs.
The bottomless rootbeer cup was nice. We also liked lunch at the cafe (don't remember which one it was, but it was a nice, sitdown place with reasonably good food) when the character came and talked to us and the crowd. We also liked how the actors engaged the children and how there was something special at each spot for the kids to see or do. The kids enjoyed the carriage ride. We did not do any of the night activities not only because of the baby but also because the trip wore out our older ones.
All in all, this was probably the best place we could have stayed for our purpose of seeing the historic three block or so section of Colonial Williamsburg. It was super easy to rest in our room and go right back out and see the rooms. This worked out for us since this section of CW was all that we wanted to see on this weekend vaction.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Authentic reproductions of colonial houses with 18th century antique furnishings, set in historic area. Authentic period reproductions such as a canopy bed and a crackling fire in the hearth. Stay in the heart of the Revolutionary City with all the comforts of home. Enjoy access to dining, recreation, and spa amenities in addition to admission ticket discounts and exclusive guest-only offerings. ... more less
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