This place opened 10 years ago this month, but the lodge's guest rooms are already showing signs of aging. Our King lake view room, while spacious, had multiple stains on the carpeting (not sure why they picked a lighter green color for the carpeting) and a SERIOUS fly problem. So much so that after killing more than a dozen flies buzzing around the window, I called the front desk. They sent an "engineer" up to the room while we were out. I'm not sure what he/she did, but it didn't solve anything. I'm not sure how these flies are getting in, but suspect it's due to cheaply built windows with gaps, holes in the ventilation, or both. Just because a resort is surrounded by wilderness, it doesn't mean that somehow having flies in the room is OK.
Flies notwithstanding, the view was beautiful, although it's a shame that none of the rooms have an outdoor balcony. The grounds are beautiful and the wow factor of the surrounding nature is undeniable. The bed was comfortable and the presence of a mini-fridge in the room was a welcome surprise. Bathroom was adequate, though the tile grout and bathtub were dirtier than would be expected for a 10-year old resort. It seems there is ongoing construction on the grounds, but it would be wise to update the lodge first (fix the windows, steam clean the carpet) before putting more money into construction.
Food was good. We had the Sunday brunch buffet at Stillwaters, and the selection was good for $19.95 per person. Beware that beverages are extra. Dinner at TJ muskie's was also solid (burgers seem to be the best bet here) but as others have mentioned, service was quite slow due to understaffing issues. We got the s'mores pack ($9.95 gets you about 10 graham crackers, 2 bars of Hershey chocolate, 10 or so marshmallows, and a wooden stick for the roasting) to prepare outside by the nightly fire pit, and that was fun. Didn't get a chance to try Lightburn's because it was closed during the days of our stay.
This is a resort in the wilderness, so outdoor activities abound. For a mandatory daily $15 resort fee, you can rent bikes, canoes, paddle oats, and kayaks to explore the grounds and lake. A daily hourlong cruise of the grounds is also included. BEWARE, however, that Segway tours are charged separately, and the hotel goes out of its way to not inform patrons upfront of the steep $40 per person fee for the tour. The website doesn't say anything about a separate charge and neither did the 2 people we spoke to about booking a tour. After a 1-hour session that included 2 petulant teenagers who did everything dangerous with a Segway that you're supposed to NOT do, we were informed we owed $40 each. The tour was not an actual tour of the grounds as we had hoped, but rather time wasted in an "obstacle" course in a parking lot and how to go up and down terrain changes. Segway tour was a real disappointment.
Finally, there was the service. No one was flat out rude, but the place seems to be run mostly by teenage newbies who don't know much about resort hospitality. And this takes me back to the title: the place tries so hard to be a resort, but just doesn't cross the finish line. Go for the natural beauty, but don't expect resort luxury.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Stonewall Resort combines the pristine surroundings of Stonewall Jackson Lake with all the comforts of home. Here, in the midst of lush, rolling hills and tranquil lake waters, the beautiful Adirondack-style lodge offers a refreshing perspective, state-of-the-art conference facilities and a luxury resort experience. From the resort's own Mtn. Laurel Spa, 374-slip boat marina and award-winning Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course, guests can enjoy a wide range of recreational activities. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Stonewall Hotel Roanoke
- Stonewall Resort Roanoke