I must preface my comments by stating that the Greenbrier is a national treasure. It is steeped in history and a visit, even for a day, should be on every person’s bucket list.
My family has made the Greenbrier part of our lives for many years. Our most recent visit continued to confirm my long-held position that the property truly is America’s Resort. Simply put, you get what you pay for. No visit to White Sulphur Springs will leave your wallet full, but the memories and experience will be well worth the cost. As a previous reviewer noted, careful planning with a telephone reservations agent can result in superb package savings.
The Greenbrier shines on service. I remember as a child hearing a Greenbrier marketing slogan “Ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.” That rings true today. It starts when you pull in front of the hotel. Expect to be greeted by bell and door staff in traditional uniforms. Your luggage will be handled, your vehicle parked and expect a personal escort to the check-in desk one level below.
Check-in is always a breeze as you can be assured that everything on the reservation will be right and all documents will be ready. You can also plan on space available upgrades as standard. There are no bad rooms at the Greenbrier, but through an upgrade you will enjoy extra space.
On our most recent visit we enjoyed a Baltimore Row cottage. Although the Greenbrier is home to many cottages and row houses, this specific two bedroom structure was the summer home to Robert E. Lee for three years following the Civil War. Pictures in the cottage showed Lee visiting with his subordinate confederate generals at White Sulphur in 1868. The history it holds is simply stunning.
The Lee Cottage has two bedrooms, two baths, large parlor with wood burning fireplace and a wet bar area. The front and back porches are spectacular having great views and providing the perfect spot to enjoy a West Virginia summer evening.
As seen elsewhere on the property you will find that cottage furnishings, bedding and amenities are all top shelf. Housekeeping is superb. Plan on receiving service twice each day while you enjoy spotless accommodations.
Food service at the Greenbrier is not to be missed. During your stay make a point to enjoy at least one meal in the main dining room. The excellent food and refined service is a must-do. Recent reviewers have commented on issues with food quality, I have not found that to be the case. I am confident that if any food taste or presentation concerns were brought to the server or maitre d’ that the issue would be addressed immediately. That is the Greenbrier way; customer satisfaction is the top priority.
Other than the main dining room food service in Draper’s Café is casual with sandwiches, soups and the like while Snead’s at the golf clubhouse features higher end fare with golf course views. Light lunches and drinks are available at both the indoor and outdoor pools.
The lower level of the main hotel is filled with shops of every variety. Don’t miss the candy shop or the Greenbrier Gourmet where daily cooking classes take place.
There are activities for every age and every budget. Pampering at the spa, hotel tours, afternoon tea, skeet shooting, equestrian challenges, golf, tennis, off road driving and even falconry are available. Beyond that, a casual stroll around the grounds is plenty for most people. The place is stunning.
The new owner of the resort, a local man who made his money in coal and agricultural pursuits, has undertaken a plan to build a Monte Carlo style casino underground on the property. Good for him! If this rejuvenates the resort financially – so be it. This is combined with plans for new dining venues and additional activities. His heart is in the right place and the staff feels it. The positive feelings about the future are very evident.
Check-out time is always a melancholy affair for me. Yes the bills are always correct and yes the staff is pleasant, but I don’t want to leave. No matter how many days I’ve been at White Sulphur Springs – I would always be happy with just one more.