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Reviewed April 4, 2012

This hotel is in a lovely setting and area. However, it is poorly run and way overpriced for what is offered. Food is AWFUL. we ate in the Main Dining Room-I asked for food without sauce, I wanted it served plain. It shows up, there is sauce, and waiter starts arguing with me that it is a glaze, not a sauce. We had to ask 3x for water refills and then had to wait for wine, so we were without drinks for close to 45 minutes, yet there was a sommelier plus 2 waiters covering our table, plus a dining room that was half-full (half-empty?). We ordered the cheese plate for dessert, which showed up with Ritz crackers and Kraft singles...I am not exaggerating. We complained-the cheese plate was free. Our breakfast showed up with raw eggs, after 45 minutes of waiting. I ended up calling the food and beverage manager who was shocked that anything like this would happen. He said they were getting a new chef, which is part of the problem, but their food operations are terrible. He should be fired. Their tennis program is poor-to play, they take you over to the local elementary courts, weeds growing through the floor. I know it is mainly a golf resort, but this was really below par. The tennis pro was good though, it was just the setting that was terrible. The hotel room had some things lacking-we were missing light bulbs in several lamps in the room, and there were pigeons nesting near our windows (lots of pigeon poop). Plus the hair dryer didn't work. We had to call 3 times for someone to bring us a functional one-bring your own. We had good massages at the spa. The Jefferson pools are rustic but relaxing. The setting is lovely, but it is just overpriced, not a lot of return on the investment. We have traveled all over the world, but we will not return here. Seriously, save your money.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank pickytravelernyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 4, 2012

Upon arrival I see families are everywhere. We took our 5 and 7 year old girls for a short spring break trip. There was plenty to keep them entertained. Horseback riding, swimming, bowling, movies and simply sitting in one of the beautiful libraries playing checkers.
Both girls received manicures at the kids spa and the ladies were fantastic with them. The restaurants are very kid friendly. We did dine in the main dining hall which is semi formal attire. My kids loved dressing up and dancing to the band after dinner.
The grounds are beautiful and they are renovating this summer to add an outdoor water park and mini golf facility.
All in all , we will definitely return to the Homestead!

Room Tip: We stayed in the Tower which was nice and gave great views of the resort.
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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Thank my2girlsN_Virginia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 3, 2012

We made a first time visit to The Homestead under a promotion from Livingsocial for a weekend, which turned out to be a beautiful weekend in this unique and picturesque part of the country. Bath County is peppered with various hot springs--the warmest of the ones we encountered locally was 98 degrees and moderate minerality (including sulfur) [Jefferson Pools]. The environment alone makes a trip worthwhile as there is beauty in all directions with plentiful outdoor activities, including a golf course (Cascades) in a stunning setting. We didn't partake in golf, however, that is a particularly popular and storied activity here.

Overall, the property is attractive, and the rooms are clean, spacious, and well-appointed. The property is a hodge-podge of connected wings and makes for a convoluted path from the main part of the hotel to the historic spa area. The indoor pool, heated by the hot spring and with light minerality, was large, warm, and particularly relaxing. Overall, the property does show wear and tear, which I think is simply the result of a historic property gracefully aging (for the most part, the hotel wings date back to the early 1900's while the spa and "Casino" are older). The hotel is planning a large, multi-phase renovation effort already underway and continuing well into next year, although I am not sure what exactly is planned for the hotel wings.

We found the food to be quite satisfying. We had an excellent dinner at 1766 Grille which features several items prepared tableside, including Caesar salad, Chateaubriand steak, and bananas foster dessert (all highly recommendable). The buffet breakfast in the main dining room is extensive, fresh, and well-stocked. We also visited San Snead's Tavern for dinner another night and had another good meal, which features a number of meat options as well. However, Sam Snead's is more downscale from the primary hotel options (the hotel runs the Tavern as well), and the interior is a bit dank. We dined under a breakfast+dinner meal plan (i.e. fixed-price per person per day) which seemed to be a good deal if one is not a dainty eater and were going to indulge in multiple courses for a meal. Otherwise, the a la carte prices are a bit high. In addition to the meat feature, we were pleased to see the rest of the plate filled with a nice variety of vegetable accompaniment as well. One minor strike on the menu is that the wine choices by the glass were somewhat limited and middling, and bottle prices were rather high (e.g. $45 for Blackstone Merlot!) [NB: no issue with Merlot here!]. However, the Malbec and Pinot Noir by the glass were fine and consisted of a generous pour.

The resort certainly provides one-stop shopping for food, even clothing, and for scads of activities, which is good since there really isn't a town to speak of for quite some distance around the hotel. We did an hour of horseback riding with a guide in the lead around some trails in the surrounding woods, and finished the weekend with a guided hike tracing a vigorous stream/river that sources to the main hot spring for the hotel. The hike was particularly picturesque, featuring at this time of year many wildflowers, and led by Billy, a sage and entertaining naturalist. The resort provides generous shuttle service to all points in the surrounding area.

One criticism I do have for The Homestead is that there are several service charges added in various places, which can leave an impression of some nickel-and-diming, but the activity prices seemed fair. I think they need to be more transparent as to what these service charges are paying for and what proportion is going to staff as gratuity. It seems almost deliberately unclear on that point. If there is an automatic gratuity, then simply label it as such on the bill. The website could use an update to easily provide such information on the various charges, tipping policy, and a better description and pricing of the meal plan, for example.

Overall, a visit to The Homestead makes a perfect weekend, and the resort readily facilitates filling your agenda with many activities such that you can fully partake in what The Homestead and Bath County, VA has to offer.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank chazzdc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 2, 2012

Just stopped by for lunch on the way to the Jefferson Pools. The property is in the process of renovation and has a beautiful setting, but is too preppy and stodgy for my taste. I prefer a more modern, casual feel.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Karen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 2, 2012

My husband and I went on the living social package - this definitely helped in the money department!
Check in- quick and the receptionist was very knowledgable- so easy! And gave me an itinerary ( I had already made dinner reservations prior to coming- definitely suggest doing this)
Room- I requested a tower room one bedroom suite- gorgeous and tons of room with great view and fireplace! Great!
Bars- each bar has it's own vibe- president's lounge is upscale and romantic, players pub is a great place to watch the game and play pool, casino is relaxed and laid back - each bar has signature drinks and amazing
Restaurants- all food was great! We did casino resturaunt and main dining room- huge portions - just great!
Jefferson pools - must go to this!
Horseback riding- relaxing and fun- please do!
Service- the whole staff was great- so friendly! Infact one server bought us dessert! The bartenders are friendly - we had no problem with any staff member!
I know this has no really baring on the resort but the guests are so friendly too! I guess people just are so relaxed it is easy top be friendly!

I will be back! I have been to the Greenbrier and feel this place was just as good!
You won't regret coming!

Room Tip: Go to Jefferson pools
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank DoctorHendricks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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