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Historical Traveler Reviews Keswick Hall
Not quite 5 points
Spent 1 night at Keswick Hall in March 2005. Beautiful hotel with the best restaurant (Fosset's) I have come across in the US. Afternoon tea a welcome extra and good quality. Forgive a Brit for saying this but the best cup of tea on our trip!
The only reason I have not given 5 'stars' is the poor reception. As another reviewer has reported, don't expect any asistance with your bags on arrival. We carried several heavy cases from the car without an offer of assistance. Eventually, the receptionist woke from her boredom to ask if we needed a hand. Not good enough at these prices.
Brunch at Fossett's
I recently had the pleasure of dining at your fine establishment on Sunday, 12-26-04 for your brunch with my son and his family. It was absolutely the finest place I've ever dined and the food and service were excellent. I'd love to come back in the spring when the grounds and trees are at their best. Thanks again for treating us like royalty.
I took my husband here this past weekend (Nov.12-14) for his 35th bday and was so disappointed considering what I was charged for the room. We used to live in Cville and had always heard great things about Keswick. Based on website pictures and reviews I read, I was expecting a luxurious, well-maintained room (I picked a mid-level room - the state room), and instead felt like I was staying in grandma's attic. I knew this hotel was once owned by Sir Ashley and I'm not opposed to floral fabrics, but the room decor was just a little on the shabby side. There were three dormer windows and literally probably was the attic so I can understand the decorating challenges due to wall space, but it still was a little odd to have the bed in the middle of the room and not against the wall. The t.v. was also set on a drape table in the corner and looked pretty lame. We appreciated the music motif the room had with antique musical instruments on the wall, but the fabrics and bedding really were not luxury hotel quality. The carpet and certain upholstered pieces were stained as well. The slipcovers on some chairs didn't even look like they fit. Our bathroom was big but not as great as I hoped. We had trouble with the shower/tub draining during the shower - you would stand in 2 inches of water during a shower. It drained after you got out so I know we had the drain open. We told the front desk the first night, but it never got better.
On the positive side, the turndown service at night was nice and the staff polite. We also had a nice massage at the spa.
If I had been paying less for this room, these complaints wouldn't have been so major considering we were not in our room very much. But I paid what I consider a luxury hotel rate (by my estimate almost triple what this room should've gone for, bucolic country setting aside) - it was the same per night rate as a room at the Four Seasons in NYC. I don't know if they raise the prices during UVA home game weekends, but the room rate was outrageous for what we had eventhough it might be considered a spacious room. This was a weekend getaway for us, and we were really looking forward to staying in a fine hotel. I should've complained as soon as we checked in, but knew ahead of time they were booked so thought it would be no use to ask to be moved. This hotel needs a major refurbishment/update. We will stay at the Omni in downtown Cville next time we visit - it's not fancy, but very nice overall and you get what you expect for the money.
It is always our intention to ensure all our guests leave with only favorable memories of Keswick Hall and I do hope you will give us the opportunity to welcome you back at a future date. Please do contact myself personally so that we can make your experience here nothing less than extraordinary.
A Lovely Evening
Just a short review to express our total enjoyment with an outstanding meal we had at Keswick. The ambiance, presentation, service, wine and of course the multi-course meal itself, were all wonderful and made for an evening that we will long remember.
I surprised my Mom with a one night stay at Keswick for her 61st birthday. I was very excited that they were a pet-friendly hotel since we were traveling with my yorkie. (They did treat him like royalty) We had such great expectations, and when we drove up, it was breathtaking-the grounds and house were gorgeous. Our amazement stopped there! The reception confused us with someone else, and offered us a room with a "view" (which was a patio walled in by lattice) that had an awful musty smell. I refused the room, and after my persistence they showed us 2 other small rooms on the 2nd floor. I chose one with a very nice view of the golf course. I happen to be in the interior design business and was very excited to see the home where Laura Ashley lived, but our room was so run down we were shocked! Chipped paint on walls, stains on the carpet, broken terrace doors, unclean bathroom...yuck! The air conditioning was not cooling, and we went to sleep sweating, right after seeing a ROACH crawl across our floor!!!! Needless to say I had a chat with management in the morning, and as expected they were very accomodating. I was impressed with how well the management handled the situation, and they said they were going up to inspect our room and put it "out of order" until repairs were made. I felt so sorry for my Mom, who did not get the birthday surprise she deserved, and we would not return unless we discovered MAJOR changes had been made. It is a shame to see such a beautiful place not given the attention it deserves.
Sincere apologies from both myself and all the Keswick Team for the room disappointments you experienced on your recent stay with us. I was made aware of your issues with your guestroom and I personally inspected and dealt with all points you raised immediately. The room is now in top-class condition and I am sorry to have disappointed you on this visit. We do hope that you will consider a return visit in the future and can assusre you we will ake your visit memorable for all the right reasons.
Thank you for allowing me to respond.
A very nice place in a gorgeous setting
My husband and I stayed at Keswick Hall in April, 2004, and had a lovely time. The staff was helpful and polite. We first were put in a beautifully decorated room, but it overlooked the parking lot. We requested a room overlooking the golf course and mountains, and they cleaned a room and graciously moved us. It was too cold to swim but the infinity pool is beautiful and we plan to come back in warmer weather.
We were there less than 24 hours so we did not take part in any of the spa, fitness, or golf activities. We did dine in the restaurant and the food was very good. The restaurant has a superb wine list, and since the room and dinner were covered by a gift certificate, we splurged on a great bottle of Bordeaux. For people staying more than 1 day, I would recommend a vist to Barboursville Vineyard and its restaurant, Palladio. We were there the next day and the food was outstanding (even better than Keswick Hall), and served if you wish with a flight of wines from the vineyard.
Disagree with all the other reviews......
My husband and I travel throughout the world a great deal and spent Valentine's Day at the Keswick. I have to disagree with all the other reviews on a number of issues. One said that the hotel may be the best in the US and the world....that is ridiculous. The other said that it is terrible....also ridiculous. We are very particular and have been to many 5 star hotels around the world....the Keswick is by no means in this class but it was very nice and the service was excellent. Both the front desk and the valet were always very pleasant and could not do enough for us....Our dinner was superb with excellent service. Our room was very nice, very clean with exceptional views of the Virginia countryside and the infinity pool......Everyone has their own tastes and opinions and not everyone has stayed at 5 star hotels so cannot compare. But this is a lovely getaway within the US and not many in Virginia can compare. It can by no means compare to the luxury hotels in Europe or NY.
A Storied Hotel
My wife and I have been to Keswick Hall many times. We use to go about every month for a quick romantic get-a-way before Orient Express Hotels purchased the property from Sir. Ashley. On our first return since Orient Express bought the property we had the following problems:
1) There was no Concierge at the hotel. The lady who checked us in told me wife that there was not a concierge at the property but she would try to help us. It had been a while since we visited the Charlottesville area and we wanted to know about local restaurants in the area. The front desk person told me that I should look the information up in the yellow pages!!
2) A Bellman was not on duty when we arrived and the lady at the front desk just pointed to where the carts were being kept and told us we could use them. No assistance was ever offered. There were other staff available.
3) We had made our reservations several months in advance and requested the room that we would always get in the past. The reservationist insisted that we had that room. We were given another room at check-in.
After talking to the lady at the front desk she did say that the room was available but she couldn't make any changes without her managers approval. I asked to speak with her manager and was told that she was not available.
4) We called for room service one night, around 11am and was told that room service was not available. I told the man that it says that there is 24 hour room service with a limited late night menu and the man told me that he was sorry but room service was closed. So, at 11am my wife and I had to drive into Charlottesville to get something to eat. We found a Wendy's.
5) In the morning my wife and woke up to a jack hammer. Apparently the hotel was doing some remodeling. I was very upset that we were not told that the hotel was under renovations. We were not given any discount.
TripAdvisor Reviews Keswick Hall
Travel Blogs from Keswick
... and wine cellars, storage areas, and the indoor privy. Whenever I get the chance, I photograph the toilets in the homes of celebrities and historical figures because they serve as reminders that these people are mere humans, just like the rest of us. That being the case, I grabbed a picture of Jefferson's privy, so I now have a photograph of where president number three went number one and number two.
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... the Shenandoah National Park. Into the distance were tree-covered hill after tree-covered hill and the views were unbelievable. We had previously picked up some rolls from a deli at the petrol station and the man that served us was one of the nicest, funniest people we have met. He kept giving us samples of his homemade food to try and entice us. We stopped for lunch at a campsite and stopping ...
... the products that get made here. So many yummy things! Zach and I then went out in the garden to cut off some clover purple flowers and then before lunch I helped Kelly prepare the baby leeks for the markets. We cut their roots and took all the dirt off them! Lunch was so nice out on the front porch... Perfect day for it too! Weather was nice but just a touch too warm! After lunch Lindsey, Kelly, Zach and I went to clean the cottage and then ...
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