My husband and I stayed at the Inn for two nights over Valentine's Day Weekend 2013. We stayed in the Winter Cottage which I truly believe has one of the best views on the property and definitely the best view of the four cottage suites. We are in our mid-thirties and absolutely love going to B&Bs. I tend to select the next B&B we visit by going through the Select Registry Guidebook that we received back in 2007 at our first B&B visit. While this is a Select Registry property that is not the way we found this B&B. My husband purchased a living social special in April 2012 for a one night stay in the Inn. We decided to upgrade the room to one of the cottage suites and add on an extra night.
The Room (5 stars): Absolutely beautiful! The Winter Cottage has a king size bed; spa tub and shower; gas fireplace; TV; and the best views in my opinion. When we entered the room the fireplace was on; the TV was playing beautiful music (we never switched the TV channel and let the music play in the background both days while in the room); and a bottle of champagne and cookies awaited us (part of the special). The bathroom was large and the spa tub with Jacuzzi was wonderful. I took long baths both nights and the hot water never ran out (something you always worry about with large oversized tubs). We tend to like our room warm so we adjusted the thermometer up to high 70s and were warm and toasty the entire weekend. One thing I will definitely give the inn 5 stars for is the mattress in the Winter Cottage! Oh my goodness! I have never slept better! I have asked two people at the Inn for the make and model of the mattress and one of them promised to get me the information as this was not the first time they had received this request. I'm eagerly awaiting their response :-).
The Food (4 stars): Both mornings they served us a two course meal for breakfast. The first morning we had a lovely fruit mixture (mango; kiwi; and something else) and sausage and pancakes (2). The second morning we had oatmeal with spiced apples and maybe pears(?) and sausage; broccoli and cheese frittata (egg); and a muffin. Both meals were wonderfully prepared and very tasty, however the first meal was a bit light. I feel bad for writing this as our waiter came around and asked everyone how they felt about the portion size the first day and we said fine because it would have been rude to say otherwise. However I definitely felt that had we asked for more or something else they would have happily obliged. A number of B&Bs we have visited serve three course breakfasts' so that is also affecting my rating.
We had the 5-course dinner on our second night which was fantastic - the main course (filet mignon) and desert deserve five stars. My husband could have done without the third course (bowtie pasta with parmesan cheese - which he felt was kind of pointless and a filler) - but he is a guy and so I attribute it to that. I mentioned the whole thing about cleansing one's palette but he was not buying that :-).
The location (3.75-4 stars): Surprisingly who would have thought an Inn in West Virginia would garner almost four stars but I must say, after having gone to Inns in Wilkes Barre, PA; the Eastern Shore (Easton and Chestertown); Newport, RI; Nantucket, MA; and White Post, VA - Charlestown wasn't so bad (not much can compete with Newport and Nantucket). The first day/night we went to the casino and had dinner at the 9-Dragon (Chinese restaurant in the casino which was great!). I then proceeded to lose $50 on the roulette table (bah!). The second day we visited Harpers Ferry which was so enlightening. I had no idea the significance of the area in the civil war and it was great getting a refresher on the civil war time period. The Inn itself sits on many beautiful acres - however it was a bit cold to go on long romantic walks. My husband did bring his small toy helicopter (boys and their toys) and so we went on the grounds and he had a chance to test it out in the wide open spaces of the Inn (and proceeded to get it stuck in a tree on one occasion).
The Inn has a wonderful spa. I had a 1 hour massage there which was simply divine. I didn't know what to expect as far as the spa goes, but it was a fully functioning; beautifully decorated spa housed in its own building/cottage-like structure. Very impressive.
Hospitality (3.75 stars): All of the staff we met were very nice. The chef was very pleasant and came by each guest's table after the dinner. I think however because we stayed in the cottage perhaps we missed out on our typical experience at great B&Bs where we get to meet the Inn Keeper and really get a warm welcome and feeling/interaction throughout our stay. Usually by the end of a visit we know the inn keepers by name and we've learned a little about them and vice-versa. Typical discussions centering on how one spent the previous day and suggestions for places to visit didn't occur. They were fully booked this weekend and so perhaps the sheer number of people didn't allow for this. We also usually get to know a few of the fellow guests at our favorite inns (usually through conversations at adjacent tables over breakfast and with the inn keeper staying to chat long after breakfast is over). One tiny thing I remember is the second day the general manager came by each table at breakfast to say hello. He stopped at our table and greeted us, and I started to say what a wonderful time we were having and he was already off to the next table saying hello to the next guest, leaving me mid-sentence (clearly he didn't hear me).
Overall (4 stars): This place is not cheap by any means. We've been to a few others in this price class and well all I will say is that it definitely holds its own in comparison to others in this price-point. We will definitely be back at some time in the future. It didn't make the list of our favorite inns (price and hospitality does factor in on that one) - but it did make the list of our top inns. They've done very well with their inn and it is well worth the visit.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover an unforgettable West Virginia Inn and Restaurant in lovely Charles Town. Our fantastic Select Registry property is an historic country estate with beautiful gardens on 17 wooded acres. Relax in a romantic suite with comfy beds, whirlpool tubs & fireplaces. Experience the gracious service and award winning dining at our secluded inn that makes us stand apart from any property in Harper's Ferry. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hillbrook Hotel Charles Town