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“Disgraceful experience, Dogwood Mountain Retreat”
2 of 5 bubbles Review of Rustic Cabins

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Rustic Cabins
Ranked #9 of 15 Specialty Lodging in Luray
Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Disgraceful experience, Dogwood Mountain Retreat”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2012

Where to begin. I had a similar experience to a lot of other visitors, although I haven't
noticed that anyone else has stayed at this particular cabin. My husband and I left a day
early (wasting our money for the last night) just to get home to somewhere clean, comfy, and
homey. We did not find any of those characteristics at the cabin. And it takes a lot to displease me...

The good: there is a hot tub on the deck of the cabin that is apparently new. It doesn't seem brand new, so maybe new to the cabin, but at least it appeared clean and felt nice on a cold evening (three of the four latches on the cover were missing). The deck is visible to the road out front of the cabin (2 other homes have access from that road past this cabin), so privacy was a concern. Some of the jets didn't seem to work, but it's entirely possible that we didn't hit the right combination of buttons. The heat worked fine. Water (hot and cold) was fine. The drive out there was beautiful and the bed (we only used 1 of the 2) was comfortable. All this to me is worth 2 stars so far, but that's where the good stops.

My husband immediately emailed the owner the evening we returned home (Sunday) with feedback of all we found, excluding a few details. It is now 3 days later (Wednesday) and we have not received a response. I expect we will not receive one. I emailed the owner prior to our trip with a quick question and he immediately responded from his iPhone. I think the lack of response to the last feedback email is intentional.

My issues with the advertising of the cabin: Part of the advertising for the cabin mentions
that it would be great for honeymoons - I would have been LIVID if I'd paid to spend my
honeymoon here. See details later. The picture of the front of the cabin is taken in a way to
hide the very large house at the top of the hill behind it. They have sheep, which is
interesting, although this was the ONLY wildlife we saw on our visit. The downstairs of the
house in the picture is a basement, but there is plenty of space on the 2nd floor so this was
not an issue. The backyard looks roomy but there are metal fenceposts stuck in the ground
with 2 wires running around the area (to prevent you from wandering? I don't know) not far
from the house. The most yard we felt available to us was in the front, which is pretty sloped so I wouldn't recommend children to play roughly on it. The view from the front deck is of tall trees. You can scarcely see a bit of mountains in one area where the trees aren't as tall.

While the seclusion and quietness of the retreat was ideal, there were many items which we
found to be surprising, disappointing, and unhealthy. The gas fireplace produced little flame
and filled the room with a gassy-type odor (different from the smell of leaking gas; rather,
this was the smell of burning propane - perhaps this could have been avoided with a glass
enclosure?) - there were no instructions (with the fireplace operating instructions) to open a window or flue so we weren't sure what to do exactly. The smell was nauseating so we kept it off. A majority of the power switches were inactive and several power outlets were sunken into the wall behind the outlet cover, making it difficult to keep an item 'plugged in', or even plug things in at all. The porch light (porch = small cement slab slightly wider than the doorway) was burnt out, as well as the front hall light. I fell off the porch going out the door one evening and scraped my knee and hand.

The indoor jacuzzi tub had strange blue-colored stains in the bottom (soap that sat too long
I guess?), took 40 minutes to fill and had no warming mechanism. The water cooled rapidly
(almost by the time it was filled enough!) and we were not able to enjoy it as we had hoped.
The kitchen dishes and utensils had a sticky/greasy film on them which went away after we
washed them - we were expecting clean dishes and utensils and left them as such on our
departure. When attempting to warm a can of soup on the stove, my husband was disturbed to find a dead bug on its back in the first pan he pulled out from the cabinet. The ceiling light in the kitchen was littered with a plethora of dead bugs and we saw a cockroach run across the kitchen floor before leaving. Kitchen cabinets were dirty and dusty. Some of the drawer knobs in the kitchen were falling off too, and the paint around the knobs was very, very worn (wood showing, splinters a possibility).

The bathroom was alright... I mean the water was hot and the toilets flushed. There were 2
rolls of toilet paper (thank goodness there weren't 5 ladies staying!) - more would be needed if you planned come stay for awhile. The window in the shower was covered by a folded towel hanging from a rod. The walls were sections of some sort of shower wall liner (laminate or vinyl?) joined together by plastic t-moulding-like connectors wherever the 4 (or 8?) foot pieces ended. No quality...

The satellite tv received only a portion of the channels available to it. None of the local channels worked (including Fox). The furniture and pillows in the living room, while comfortable, contained several rips and tears.

Some miscellaneous stuff... from the moment we walked in, there were bugs everywhere. Mostly lady bugs (I counted 3 within a 1 foot radius of me at one point) and stink bugs, some flying into you as they roam about the house. Several of the curtain rods were severely bent. There was a curtain (bent rod) hanging over the front of the entertainment center, but the curtain is about 6 inches too long and gathers sloppily on the floor. Had a nice high quality DVD player but I couldn't find the remote (so couldn't choose menu items except the default). There was another DVD player/VCR with remote, but it appeared not to be connected to the TV, only giving stereo sound. As advertised on the website for the cabin and in conversation on the phone with my husband, we were told we would be charged half the price at the time of reservation, and the remaining half on check-in. Instead, I was charged the full amount up front. Fortunately for me this was on a credit card and not an issue, but this is not good business practice. The email sent to me with directions to the cabin and instructions was copied and pasted out of an email that had apparently been forwarded several times. It was full of lots of 1 word lines (some 7-8 word lines too, though) and every single line was preceded by the forwarding markers "> >". There were still some price tags on some of the "decorations" in the cabin. A majority of the windows had no screens, so to open the windows for cool mountain air meant risking the possibility of MORE bugs. We were able to find at least one window with a screen to open. It's also a good thing it was not warm outside while we were there... both controller knobs for the AC unit in the wall of the bedroom were gone. There was no way to turn it on if necessary. I didn't check the other AC units in the house.

Overall, we were very disappointed in the quality of this "getaway." Instead of staying for
the final night of our 3-night reservation, we packed up and "got away" back to our own home after vacuuming, doing the dishes, and wiping things down as asked of us. The unsanitary findings in the kitchen were the last straw. We didn't expect much, but seriously? I'm sure these folks are nice people, but the care needed for the cabin combined with its high cost and failure to take care of some simple things (charge me half at a time as promised, send an email that looks like it was crafted specifically to me.... not copied from an email you've already sent other people 2-3 times, remove price tags, bend curtain rods back, sew up torn pillows) make this experience highly NOT worthwhile.

Another reviewer (rickz713) put this in a great way, so I am copying from him (I do not
take credit for this statement): "There is much more to renting a cabin than building it and
putting a fireplace, tv, hot tub and some cookware in it. It's about making people feel like
they are home...feel pampered and feel special. Taking a positive attitude and doing all they
can to make a guest's stay a pleasant one. This was not the case here."

We won't even consider staying at another of their cabins. I've had enough.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Anon y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
logcabinlovers, Owner at Rustic Cabins, responded to this review, September 6, 2013
We are sorry for those problems dogwood has just went thru a remodel It now has new bathroom with granite vanity new kitchen new bedrooms new beds we feel it now is a 4- 4.5 star cabin
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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64 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 22, 2011

My husband and I stay at Crimson Star about three times a year. I am surprised at the previous negative reviews. Our cabin experience has always been great. The cabin is clean, and David is always "on call" if we have any questions or need help with something. Plus, it's pet-friendly!! There is nothing better! It's our favorite getaway from DC.

  • Stayed March 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank EmilyGeorge75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Riding, VA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 21, 2011

I originally booked the Sunset Chalet for a romantic trip for my husbands birthday, but needed to reschedule for personal reason. Mr. Foster was very accomodating in moving our weekend, but that is the the extent of this review as being anything positive in our experience.

We arrived on a Thursday night, and the weekend that we were to go, the weather was to be warm, March 16-19. The cabin was advertised as Clean, Private and Rustic, this cabin was anything but! When we walked in thru the back door, our eyes first caught the bed in the kitchen, which is completely out of place. I guess you can stick a bed anywhere to say that you can sleep 6-8 people. Anyway, we looked past that, but the smell of must, was overwhelming. When my kids went upstairs to claim there room, they were inindated with Stink Bugs, yes Stink Bugs! We must have killed over 50 that night, with an additional 50-100 the following night, which if the cabin would have been cleaned prior to our arrival, we wouldn't have had to experience this and the owner David Foster would have taken care of this. Lack of care, is my guess. The bathroom, just disgusting. Toilet was gross, shower, ummm no thanks, we opted to not bathe for 3 days, being we were cleaner in our own skin vs. stepping into that shower nor using the mildew smelling towells. The Hot Tub, Disgusting. Got in for the sake of my daughter, only to be slipping on slime at the bottom. I have a water sample from the hot tub, which I have sent to a lab, results to be posted on a follow up. My guess, he is using bleach in the water, and never changing the water, and the filter system is broke. I am guessing my sample will prove to be full of bacteria! The View, False Advertisement, if I wanted to stay in a community I wouldn't have left my neighborhood. No privacy, No Privacy, No Privacy even when speaking to him myself, he stated in his words "thru the woods down the hill a ways you could see the tops of the other cabin but nothing less of 2 football fields, so yes the cabin is very private", quote on quote. TOTAL BS! The house was so unkept, and just no care of how his guests perceive the house nor our feeling of comfort while staying there. There were dead bugs, flies, lady bugs EVERYHWERE behind the couches, under the table, just disgusting. I think that this house could seriously be condemmed with how dirty it is. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY, DO NOT GIVE THIS MAN ANY MONEY FOR ANY OF THE CABINS HE RENTS. FYI, WHEN RENTING ALL OTHER CABINS BESIDES 207, YOU WILL SEE YOUR NEIGHBORS AND THEY WILL SEE YOU TOO! THERE IS NO PRIVACY, AND THIS CABIN SUCKS. INTENTIONAL FALSE ADVERTISEMENT! STAY AWAY FROM RUSTIC CABINS ALL TOGETHER. WASTE OF YOUR MONEY AND MOST OF ALL.....JUST REPULSIVELY DISGUSTING!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank HeidiluvsBilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gloucester, Virginia
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 30, 2011

We spent a long weekend at the Starlit Cabin and loved it. If you are looking for a place to enjoy a quiet weekend away from the hustle and bustle of every day life this is the place.

Our cabin was perfect and as advertised, no surprises there! We enjoyed a clean cabin and a relaxing weekend! We even found a couple of geocaches in the area (www.geocaching.com). We enjoyed the hot tub, grilling in the evenings, and sitting by the fireplace. Would definitely recommend this cabin to everyone. Remember this is a cabin, a step above camping, be prepared and enjoy!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Shep1978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 9, 2010

For Pete's Sake!!!! Where do we begin????? We both work very hard, have a teenager and a 10yr old. All we wanted was ....PEACE, QUIET and........PRIVACY!!!! This place robbed us of ALL three!!! Heading to the cabin was peaceful (nice drive, scenic) but what a disappointment. If you are in the habit of throwing your money away....this has you written all over it!!!! We stayed at the Sunset Cabin and we were disappointed when we approached our cabin to see the other cabin (Crimson Star) at the foot of our driveway!!! We were told that the cabin was remote. The owner discribed the Crimson Star as being down the hill and not viewable. SAY WHAT???? That puppy (Crimson Star) was at the base of our driveway. Not viewable?? Had we released the emergency brake on our truck it would have rolled only 25ft before ending up in the Crimson's kitchen!!!! The jacuzzi was a dull, funky brown. Realization: It's the dirt off the total strangers (really? YES, REALLY) who stayed prior to us! And, the strangers before them! -- It didnt stay hot. The temperature control is clearly busted. As we sat on the front deck we realized the people from two cabins over (not including the Crimsom Star) were able to see our every move. Then the couple from the end cabin walked by and stared at us. It could have started a fight. HER HUSBAND WAS ENJOYING THE VIEW OF ME IN A BIKINI!!! YUCK!!! Not well received by my other half. He spent all this money for "privacy" and could have hurt this dirty, old man. Not good!! Not private!! The bathroom was beyond belief. We both stared at the white, crusty stuff on the curtains. NOOOOOO, could it be????? Have mercy!!!!!! We danced around those curtains the entire time. Wearing our flip-flops (like I did in college) into the shower and using our own towels. Phew!! We brought our own towels and sheets. We never got in the bed. The curtain observation ruined that. We gently covered the bed with our own linen and slept on top. I insisted!!! I could go on and on but the bottom line is this: DONT DO IT!!!!! The house behind us was practicing. Yes, practicing-- can you say,......live rock band?? Can you say, ..jam session?? Not to mention the cowssssssssssss (I suspect hundreds) that "moaned" ALL NIGHT!!! I think I couldnt appreciate the cowssssssssssssssssss because everything prior was a bust. I was actually mad at the cowsssssssssssss!! A true sign of things going poorly. Ive traveled the world and stayed in the best hotels and not so great hotels. The main idea is cleanliness and customer service. --Doesnt exist here!!! Please, dont confuse "cabin living" with just plain old ....nasty!!!! The view is beautiful but I can get that for free by driving on Skyline Drive!!! People......Plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!!!!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank jacobsmick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, VA
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 21, 2010

My husband, two daughters and myself stayed the weekend at Crimson Star. What a FABULOUS cabin! Gorgeous from every angle! The view of the valley is one of the best in the area! We truly felt relaxed and at home while there. We grilled, enjoyed the hot tub and appreciated the beauty of the all wood cabin. The floors are beautiful! Granite tops in the kitchen, high end appliances, comfy and clean furniture....the list goes on. We are returning in February 2011 and can not wait! Strongly recommend this cabin for a getaway! ENJOY!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank teamobx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairfax, VA
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2010

We booked all 3 Top-of-all-Views cabins for 6 couples. The location is very secluded and private yet not too far from the towns of Luray or Front Royal. All 3 cabins are identical and very luxurious with all the modern amenities! The decks are large with brand new jacuzzis offering a breathtaking view of the valley from top of the mountain.

AT&T, Verizon and Sprint all worked very well. T-Mobile coverage was bad.

We've all stayed at many cabin locations but everyone in the group fell in love with these!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kahmedsid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rustic Cabins

Property: Rustic Cabins
Address: 903 E Main St, Luray, VA 22835-1619
Location: United States > Virginia > Luray
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 15 Specialty Lodging in Luray
Number of rooms: 3
Also Known As:
Rustic Cabins Hotel Luray

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