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“Welcoming, Relaxing, and Comfortable - the Perfect Baby Moon!”
Review of Ambrae House

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Ambrae House
Reviewed February 22, 2011

After a bit of searching for the perfect place to surprise my husband with some R&R before our first baby arrives, I found and booked a newly renovated B&B in Berkeley Springs, WV, the Ambrae House and it was absolutely wonderful! There are only three rooms, and I reserved the Champagne Room on the top floor. It is beautifully decorated with a King-sized bed, sitting area, large bathroom with Jacuzzi tub.

Lisa and Gary, the innkeepers, are extremely friendly and go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and welcomed! They went as far as to give us a card for our “Baby Moon” as well as 10% off our total stay, which was extremely kind. Oh, and did I mention that they also give you 10% off your bar and food bill when you stay and dine there?! Oh yes they do!

The first night we chose to dine in as the menu looked delicious and the place had been hopping for happy hour. When we came down from our room, the dining room was nearly full! We heard the NY Strip Steak was one of their signature items (and we saw A LOT of them being served), so my husband got that and I got the Fish Tacos (since it wasn’t a huge portion – I can’t seem to eat a lot these days!). Both were delicious! The steak was perfectly cooked and the fish tacos were made with flaky mahi-mahi and just enough of the Chipotle marinate/sauce to give that extra spice and zing!

Sunday we woke up to the smell of bacon and coffee – we couldn’t wait to see what awaited us at breakfast. Of course everything sounded good, so we opted for one of everything! Scrambled eggs, the best home fries I’ve had (lots of rosemary and pepper), perfectly cooked bacon, and best of all – Lisa’s famous Upside Down French Toast. As full as we were, we pretty much licked our plates clean. We couldn’t bear to leave anything behind it was so good! We didn’t eat again until late that afternoon!

That afternoon and ready to eat again, we went down to the bar to enjoy some happy hour apps – Fried Pickles and Bhang Bhang Shrimp – both were every bit as good as we thought they would be!! Both were perfectly cooked, crispy, and well seasoned. Unfortunately I was unable to taste-test any of the wines, but my husband seemed quite pleased with his selections over the couple days we were there.

On our final morning we got up to another filling and delicious breakfast – this time it included Creamed Chipped Beef. I’ve never had the desire to try this dish in the past, but thought I’d have to give it a whirl since the rest of their menu was so tasty. It did not disappoint! The rest of our breakfast included more yummy home fries, bacon and I had a tomato/goat cheese omelet, while my husband opted for scrambled eggs. Yup…full again!!

Berkeley Springs is less than 2 hours away from the DC metro area and definitely worth the trip if you’re looking for some place close to get away for the weekend. Located in the mountains, with inexpensive prices (in comparison to DC), and extremely friendly people (and those who actually stop if you’re in the cross-walk!), it was the perfect getaway!! I highly recommend staying at the Ambrae House – you will NOT be disappointed. You can tell that this is Lisa’s passion and she enjoys all who visits, whether it be for happy hour, dinner, to stay overnight, or any combo of the three. She and Gary will welcome you and bend over backwards to ensure you’re completely accommodated! Thank you to you both – we will be back!!

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank CristiJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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45 - 51 of 59 reviews

Reviewed January 23, 2011

My husband and I visited Ambrae House as a one-night getaway before the birth of our second child. Berkeley Springs is not at its best in mid-Jan (what is?) but we were just looking for a relaxing and romantic night away...a chance to read, relax, reconnect somewhere peaceful.

First, the hosts are extremely nice, and the room was spotless.well painted, nice modern furniture, gorgeous linens. The bathroom is also very nice with a large soaking tub. It just all felt a little...staged, and like they'd put a lot of thought into what it would look like when you walked in but had not tried spending a night in the room to see what worked and what didn't. I think most of these are easy fixes that would make the stay much better.

For example:

* there was only one night table, so my husband's glasses/water/etc were on the floor and not easily in reach. I had a night table but it was low so hard to reach my things, esp in the dark. There's room for a second night table if they want to add one. This also means if you need to use their alarm clock, it is on the dresser and you have to get out of bed to turn it off.

* There are no reading lights or bedside lamps, and all light switches are by the door, so it was either have a very bright room that's too stark for reading or romance (and then get out of bed to turn off the lights) or have pitch darkness. We tried a ton of permutations (even unscrewed one of the bulbs in the sconces over the bed to get softer lighting) and never got one that worked. We finally downloaded a "mood lighting" app to our iPhone, which also didn't quite work, but amused us.

* There is a couch and two chairs to create a seating area (which uninspiringly faces the door, rather than a conversation partner) but no side or coffee tables where you could set a glass of wine or a book or game.

* There's a nice flat-screen TV mounted to the wall, but it's a 4-poster bed and so if you want to watch from bed, one of the posts is in your way.

* The furniture in the room is mostly nice, but there's no closet. Instead there's a portable coat rack, which is just, well, tacky looking, and detracts from the otherwise sleek look. There's plenty of room to add a chifforobe.

* Breakfast: again, nothing wrong, just not quite usual B&B charm. EXCELLENT made to order omlettes, interesting pancakes, bacon, potatoes. All good and generous, just nothing unusual. Pancake syrup instead of maple syrup, OJ from the carton.

I guess I usually like B&Bs over hotels because they are more interesting, and more personal, and I am forgiving of their inevitable quirks b/c that's part of the experience. But this one felt like it had the sterility of a corporate hotel, without the expertise of understanding how people use a hotel room, and didn't have any particularly memorable touches. However, my husband did mention some of these issues to one of the owners, and he seemed receptive and appreciative of the feedback, so I'm hopeful these issues will be fixed. The bar and restaurant downstairs seemed nice and popular.

I really hate saying I wouldn't recommend this place; it's more that I wouldn't recommend it for the kind of getaway we wanted, but it's not a place to avoid. We were looking for a B&B within 90 min of DC and the Berkeley Springs location was kind of random, but if you were definitively coming to Berkeley Springs I think it would be a good choice.

If the owners can make a few of these changes, which I think wouldn't be that hard, it will make a huge difference in the experience. I hope they do as I would like to see them succeed.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank RambleOnRose74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2010

My wife Natasha and I came up for a little time away for us, and found a place that we will be back to stay at whenever we need to get away for some pure relaxtion. Lisa and Gary greeted us and made our stay extremely comfortable. Anything we needed was provided, and the rooms were exactly what we were looking for; modern, spacious, and well finished. The food was exceptional! Thanks for the great breakfasts Lisa!! We so enjoyed talking to Lisa, Gary and the staff while sampling some of their well stocked wines. We slept like babies in our room. The Inn is convinient to anything downtown, so we didn't have to drive anywhere in town, and they had off street parking behind the inn.
Thanks so much once more for making our stay so memorable!
See you soon!
Kevin and Natasha Evans

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank KNEvans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2010

Amazing stay. Beautiful hotel. Lovely food and drinks. The owner and staff are extremely nice people. Had no problems with noise - slept like a baby both at day and night. The quality of everything out-stands any expectations. Will be back soon. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank clubsters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2010

My husband and I stayed in Burgundy room of Ambrae House for one night only but I wish we stayed for a few more days! I found a place online and after reading each and every review on all B&Bs and hotels in town decided that this is the best choice. And guess what? The place not only met our expectations --- it was just perfect. Modern, stylish, clean, I would even say upscale! But at the same time everyone - from Lisa (the Inn keeper) to Mark (bartender/waiter) were extremely friendly. Lisa told us that the place was completely renovated a year ago, so no wonder that everything is new! They have flat screen on the wall in each room in case you get bored. Bathroom is equipped with pretty spacious whirlpool. Loved it! By the way, small shampoo, conditioner, bath salt, and soap were there already, and innkeeper specifically asked me if we need anything else while she showed us our room.
There is a nice restaurant downstairs. Prices are very fair as it is but you also getting 10% discount if you stay in the same B&B. That day they had special half pound of beer-steamed shrimp for $5, then we tried crab cake sandwich, some version of coconut shrimp, fried pickles (special! definitely worth trying if you are foodies like we are!)... Everything was fresh and very tasty.
In the morning chef served breakfast around 9 am. Eggs, pancakes, coffee, even fresh cream for coffee - delicious! I am telling you, you would not want to leave the place :)
Probably the only flaw which the place has is that in the room you can hear voices from the bar/restaurant. But they take the last order at 8 p.m. (at least in week days) and they close it around 9 pm, so unless you want to go to sleep before that it should not bother you (and if you so tired that you want to sleep at 7 pm you probably would not care if it is a little noisy).
The bottom line I guess is that the place is awesome, one of the very few B&Bs I truly fell in love with. I would love to come back to Berkley Springs for some spa treatments, and beautiful nature of WV mountains, and stay in Ambrae House soon!

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank nutick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2010

We found the Ambrae House while staying at the Country Inn and going for a walk. We stopped for happy hour and had dozen huge steemed shrimp that only cost $5.00 and were outstanding. Their selection of local beers and wines was great. We ended up returning for lunch today and ordered sandwich platters that came with chips, a pickle and a beverage for $5.99. Food was excellent again. Service was great and the restaurant was very nice inside. Overall, outstanding dining experience that I would recommend to anyone.

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Thank mbhutzel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2010

My husband and I spent a weekend in Berkeley Springs and stayed at Ambrae House. The inn was clean and nicely decorated and the bar and restaurant seemed to be very popular with the locals. However, the room did lack the little things, such as soap for the shower, kleenex, extra toilet paper and towells, etc., and the managers--Lisa and Gary-- seemed tired and scattered. The owners live off site and we had trouble finding someone to give us suggestions about where to eat and sights to see in town. In addition, we were never told that the kitchen closed around 8 p.m., so we had to eat across the street at a pizzeria. I woke up before my husband around 7 a.m. and went downstairs in the morning to find out when breakfast was served and couldn't find anyone around for at least an hour until a cook wandered out of the kitchen. I also had trouble finding someone to check us out, and one of the managers didn't even remember meeting us the previous morning or walking us up to our room--even though there are only three rooms! That said, Ambrae House seems to be one of the nicer places to stay in Berkeley Springs, and I would recommend this B&B to my friends and family.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank averygraham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ambrae House

Address: 98 N Washington St, Berkeley Springs, WV
Location: United States > West Virginia > Berkeley Springs
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 11 B&Bs / Inns in Berkeley Springs
Number of rooms: 3

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