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.
- Also Known As:
- Rustic Cabins Hotel Luray