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“Must like Camping....”
Review of Rustic Cabins

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Rustic Cabins
Ranked #9 of 15 Specialty Lodging in Luray
Chesapeake VA
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Must like Camping....”
Reviewed October 16, 2012

We stayed at the Dogwood Mt Cabin. I didn't see many reviews for it on here (well one..which pretty much fits my review) so I thought I would offer some details to anyone considering renting the property. First and foremost, take a little from all the reviews here because they all have some significance to your total rental experience. If you are looking for luxury cabins with wine, fuzzy bathrobes and towels, and a roaring fire as you enter...exit now..well at least this cabin. However, if you are looking for a step above a camping experience and far better than renting a camper on any day in my opinion then this just might be for you! We originally wanted one of the newer cabins but the owner offered up this one as the only one available. After looking at the pictures it looked warm and inviting and it had a hot tub and a newer kitchen, scenic deck, not the best I've experienced in the Shenandoah but for last minute I figured it would work. Keep in mind that this was just my husband, me and my daughter who thankfully is s Girl Scout, otherwise this could have been a disaster! I must admit that looking back on the rental experience it was I who had to initiate further contact with the owner after the first e-mail....totally understandable now with hindsight why he didn't seem in too big of a hurry to rent it!!
Ok, the drive to the cabin as always in this area was breathtaking. We originally passed by the cabin because it remotely resembled the picture on the website! As we drove up first thing we noticed was the cabin had a lower portion with a door and a patio covered with various construction debris. The cabin sits on a slope with scarce any view of the mountain. The front deck faces the gravel road but fortunately there are only 2 other houses beyond the rental. When we parked we immediately noticed the house directly above us and their various goats who seem to be kept a secure distance from the cabin via either a wire fence or electrical fence wasn't sure but we stayed away from it either way. We were excited to build a fire and noticed that up the hill about 2-3 yards there was a makeshift fire pit encroached by steep grass and 2 bent and non useable cafe style chairs....hmmm..really?? We also noticed what used to be a tire swing on the tree that now looked like some strange contraption and even that got a little to close to that wirey fence thing. Before entering we noticed that there were plenty of weeds around the back slab door and trees/weeds growing out of the gutters...nice. The back porch light was broke so thank God we arrived by daylight. The cabin has knotty pine walls, antiques and beds throughout and while this definitely enhances the rustic feel there were also some creepy factors to point out as well.
First, I don't know any parent in this world who would not feel a security factor with as many unlocked windows, entry points there were in this cabin. Call me overprotective, but that was one of the first things we did was make sure all these were locked including the door downstairs. There was a creepy stairwell that led to a creepy, musty downstairs basement area...closed that door immediately...and it didn't have a lock so I made my husband venture around the weeds out front to make sure it was locked. There is an antique saw mounted on one of the walls in the living room, I think I could have handled a deer head better than that...just thought it was a strange thing to put up as decor..how about a nice barn star??
Ok so the kitchen is new and clean, we felt there was enough there for our needs, although the fridge sits crooked it worked so who cares right? There was a patio door that led to the deck which had a wrought iron table and chairs, the hot tub and 2 grills..both of which have seen better days. The deck could use some serious staining, it obviously has seen better days as the pictures advertised on the website make it look new...not the case. Regarding the grills, we didn't attempt to use them so I can't comment on if they worked or not. The hot tub was running and was clean and enjoyable, no issues there. Inside the living room, the couches were older and torn in some places but there was a nice older rocking chair. The gas fireplace, (no instructions but we are handy and figured it out) we used it for all of 5 minutes as the gas smell it emitted was questionable. So no fire or potbelly stove ambience as we had experienced with other cabin rentals, the nights were chilly so this would have been an added benefit, not necessary but just nice considering this was an advertised "rustic" mountain get away. We had a hell of a time figuring out the archaic heating system. Once we did the cabin warmed up nicely. The bedrooms had knotty pine queen beds--nice touch, and they were comfy. They were clean and the sheets were clean. Each bedroom had one lamp and an antique dresser. Nice touches but some of the lamps were plugged in to the wall with no light bulbs...and the curtains...ugghhh! The curtains were dirty and hung up with those cheap rods you buy in Wal Mart for your first apartment..you know those kind?? So that when you opened or closed the curtains the whole thing fell down if not secured again. The extra jacuzzi off the living room looked about 40 years old and had a big blue bleach stain or soap ring in it, not sure if it matters but I think the only other review I read said the same thing..odd. We didn't even bother with it, just looked to much trouble, what a shame.
The bathroom while newly renovated had no wash clothes and musty smelling towels. The toilet didn't seem properly bolted into the wall as it moved whenever you got up from your business. We opted not to take a shower for the 2 days we were there....my husband has been around the world and we are campers..when he opted for no shower..it made a statement to me as well. As for bugs, we did not see any in the cabin with the exception of one lady bug and a stink bug...although this time of year in Virginia that is common anywhere you go.
In a nutshell, I gave it a 3 because we enjoyed our weekend and just decided to make the best of a not so great situation. The cabin was not that bad, what made it bad was the price we paid to rent it and the somewhat false advertising of the product we were sold. This is definitely not worth $195 a night! I probably wouldn't be writing this review had I paid less for the cabin or paid what I feel it was worth to rent. I just know having visited the area several times and renting in the same price range we have had a FAR better experience. I don't think this cabin is all that ideal for families or a romantic getaway. It is more in line for hunters, fisherman, kayak adventurers or people looking to avoid sleeping in a tent (although having done this and experienced more scenery and seclusion..you might be better off and save some $$ at the same time!) I think the owner needs to lower the rental price of this cabin, market it differently or pull it off the rental scene all together..it just leaves too much to be desired and obviously is unparalleled to the other cabins he offers..to some degree it seems. We did not call him or complain or ask for a refund, we just decided to enjoy it and make peace with Mother Nature....would I rent from him again.. unless he adjusts the price to meet the product sold.......probably not.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank smittyandco
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
Sorry for those problems, Oct is our busiest month and when your husband booked this cabin it was our last cabin open All of our 4-5 star cabins were already booked We have recently finished a remodel on this cabin so now it has complete new bathroom with granite vanity new kitchen new appliances, new bedrooms with new beds We feel now it is a solid 4 to 4.5 star cabin
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Colonial Heights
2 reviews
Reviewed April 16, 2012

Wonderful place for the whole family or a romantic getaway. We thoroughly enjoyed walking through the trails with our two dogs. The pictures do not say enough about this cabin nor it's surroundings. We enjoyed a beautiful sunny day on the deck when we weren't taking a walk through the scenic trails. The night sky was amazing on the deck. Watching the magnificint beaty of the moon peaking over the mountain or gazing at the twinkling stars was something we looked forward to. The biggest decision was whether to sit in the wooden rocker/glider chairs, or watch while relaxing in the hot tub. This cabin is beautiful both inside and out, and very inviting to your family pets. The cabin was equipped with everything you need and as long as you bring enough food and beverage....there is no need to leave the mountain. The roomy kitchen is very well equipped with beautiful appliances... fixing meals doesn't even seem like work. The whole family is looking forward to our next getaway at Crimson Star that has already been booked.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Stephanie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Centreville, Virginia
1 review
Reviewed March 19, 2012

We recently spent the weekend at Crimson Star where we were married overlooking the breathtaking views from our deck. The cabin is absolutely beautiful... equipped with everything you need. Neither of us wanted to leave and have already reserved our next weekend getaway.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JBrown0316
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, VA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 16, 2012

My husband and I traveled to Autumn View for my birthday for a weekend getaway. The owner was fantastic in working with us. Although the driveway was a bit rough it was well worth it when we got to the cabin. I was in awe!! The view was spectacular, the cabin was awesome. It is set back away from the other cabins and was very secluded. We spent our nights sitting in the wonderful hot tub enjoying the awesome views and stargazing, watching the sun set and in the morning watching the sun come up. It has an awesome deck which also gave us great views of the mountains. The cabin was clean and had everything that we needed to make our stay wonderful. The kitchen was modern and well equipped. We got directions to take some trails over to 2 waterfalls which were well worth the hike. The trails were right at the end of the driveway so not hard to find them. I was very impressed and would recommend this cabin to anyone looking for a romantic getaway or just a peaceful weekend or week getaway. The other cabins had visitors in them but we never saw them. This cabin has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, the jacuzzi tub in the bedroom worked great and allowed for a very relaxing experience. We had plenty of towels, the furniture was very comfortable as we relaxed in front of the fireplace. The cabin was very clean. I know that we will be coming back to spend more time at this wonderful cabin.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank shari8799
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville, South Carolina
2 reviews
Reviewed February 27, 2012

What a wonderful escape for us and our 6 year old Lab. The cabin has the best views and every detail is perfect. We enjoyed stargazing from the hot tub and cooking in the modern, well equipped kitchen. The dog loved the fireplace, hiking and visiting local wineries. This is a piece of heaven!

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank thompsonthree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
Reviewed February 20, 2012

My wife and I stayed in the Sunset View cabin for a great weekend away from the city. The drive up to the cabin is up a steep hill, and then the view is simply fantastic. The hot tub worked great, and it was a great experience to sit in the hot water and watch the sun set over the mountains. The bathroom has been completely re-done very recently, the kitchen was great, and the rest of the place was very nice.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank artrod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
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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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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