The Inn at Little Washington
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Historical Traveler Reviews The Inn at Little Washington
Took a friend for her 50th birthday and snagged both a room and a dinner reservation. We arrived early but were greeted warmly, and offered a private tea while they finished preparing our room. It was not overly elaborate, but instead perfect in every small detail.
Amazing. When we got to our room, both of us stopped in the doorway just to take in all the details -- again, it was more than just a lovely (and unique) room. It was all the special details that made the room seem utterly personal. And the bed! Oh, wow. Because of the Inn at Little Washington I now own a down featherbed, and it still isn't as good as theirs! If you go, stop upstairs in the small alcove and page through the scrapbooks -- you'll find fan letters from some of the world's most famous folks. We were already impressed by the Inn, but dinner managed to impress us even more. The food was incredible. but the service is what really blew us away. I don't drink, so when I asked what non-alcoholic beverages they had, the reply was, "what would you like?" They meant it. Whatever I could imagine, they'd do their best to create. The staff was attentive without being intrusive, informative without being arrogant, friendly without being silly and above all else, hospitable. As we ate we noticed one waiter putting a diner at ease about choosing wine, while another handled a diner who wished to smoke with incredible grace. We were never rushed in any way, and the people seated at the table next to us even went for a short walk outside between courses, just to make sure they had room for dessert. A wise decision, because the desserts were terrific. The Seven Deadly Sins (a sampler) will take a lifetime of penance to work off! After one of the best dinners of our lives, we retired to our rooms, only to find one more surpirse -- a lovely note from the owners' dog, wishing us a restful sleep -- alongside a small decanter of liquer and two dog biscuits made of a melt-in-your-mouth rosemary shortbread. We've both stayed at some of the great hotels, but The Inn at Little Washington was something special. If God is in the details, then The Inn must be heaven.
Much Ado About Nothing - Oh so rude!
We were excited about our room and dinner reservations to celebrate our wedding anniversary. To our great disappointment, the reservation staff was total chaos, we had to call and follow-up our reservations. The Manager, Beverly was extremely curt and rude and refused to explain the mess up. She offered to refund our deposit for the room and stay elsewhere instead of solving the problem. No apologies were extended to us for their lack of follow-up and she blamed us for wanting certain things. "It's a small inn and we don't have TV, but maybe next year..." For the price of a room 575 USD plus tax in the low season with only continental breakfast and teacookies served as extras, one would expect the service and staff concern to be impeccable. Besides the property and the location are only adequate. Other relais hotels were more up to par. The dinner reservations were kept, but after all the arguments, we were left with a bitter taste in our mouths and an unmemorable anniversary. Not international in its standard. Other hotels, Four Seasons and the Ritz deserve their high prices and the hype. Would't go out of the way, in the middle of nowhere to get bad service and have to pay 5 star prices for it.
What's the big deal?
Anticipated a wonderful anniversary celebration here. What we experienced was a nice room...mediocre food...good service, but not great...and a very "stuffy" atmosphere. I would define the weekend as "death by boredom!" A very costly death!!!! ;0)
The Gold Standard
We stopped in on a chance cancellation at the last minute. I expected a lot for our money and we certainly got all that and more. I cannot wait to visit this magical place again. The personalized service, the FOOD, with so much flavor we were almost overwhelmed with it, was SO far above my jaded expectations. The comfort level in our suite was sublime....the personnel, all without fail the very best I have encountered. I truly feel this place fully deserves the accolades it has received. Having stayed at many of the "best" hotels and inns in the US the Inn at Little Washington is at the top of the heap.
Do it and stay overnight if you're able to get over the price
This is the ultimate special ocassion destination. The only reason NOT to go is if your personality can't stop thinking about how expensive it is. It's expensive, and staying overnight is unconscionably expensive!
But after 2 visits this reviewer has no regrets and can't wait to find his next excuse to go back. The first time I was worried it wouldn't live up to the hype. What blew me away was how they achieved something I'd never experienced before -- the highest possible level of service without even the slightest hint of pretention. It's so hard to communicate this feeling in writing, but I felt unusually at ease and completely comfortable asking questions about the menu, or about the wines, and the staff communicated a sense of pure pleasure at being able to help us enjoy ourselves. There's a little bit of whimsy mixed in with the formal french service that signals it's ok to be at ease.
The second time we visited I was worried it wouldn't be as wonderful or as novel as the first time. Instead when I walked in I got that rush you get when you remember why something was so great in the first place. I do recommend staying there at least once. The rooms are wonderful, and come with several fringe benefits: you get to enjoy a world class high tea upon on the patio when you check in; you get served an uncanny breakfast the next morning (possibly better than the dinner!); and you get to book the late seating for dinner, drink whatever you want, and not worry about having to get anywhere afterwards (the Inn is not close to anything). Another tip: be sure to ask the waiter for a tour of the one-of-a-kind-kitchen after dinner.
Chef Patrick O'Connell is always happy to give a quick tour and hello to his guests between seatings.
Although the ambiance is outstanding, we were disappointed with the service. The waiters were confused about white wine only to be served with appetizer, were not conversant on the subtleties of items on the menu, and overall rushed us through our meal.
Since we were staying overnight at the inn, there should have been no hint of rushing.
The food was exceptional. but not world-class. The white meat on my braised rabbit was dry, and the sauce tepid.
Afternoon tea was also a disappointment, with only a few choice goodies. It could not be accruately called "high tea".
In all, a transporting two day adventure, but will be remembered more for the decor and hotel service than the restaurant service or food.
Not the best !!
Nice place , but I have had better tasting food for less money !! Two couples for dinner with two bottles of wine $860 / tip not included.
The service was great -- the food looked great - but lacked in taste !
Good thing it wasn't very filling -- we could go home and eat!!
Wildly over-rated. Neither the price nor the trip turned me off trekking out to Washington, VA. But, upon arrival, I found myself shocked at the cramped and prettily but unimaginatively decorated rooms. Still, no one goes there for the inn, depsite the romantic moniker attached to any quaint location. It's the food. The service was impeccable; attentive, polite and friendly. As for the food, it was wonderful to look at, but food is to be tasted and savored. I at LW has focused too much on the "presentation" and not enough on the purpose of serving it. Do yourelf a favor, eat in DC and enjot it more.
I'd go back in a heart beat!!! This place is the best!
The Inn at Little Washington lived up to every expectation. The employees were very respectful and smooth. Nothing was a surprise to them. The room was wonderful. We loved the balcony. It was a great place to read and relax. The food was fabulous. We plan to return this year.
World class meal in the united states
The Inn at Little Washington is not for the faint of heart, neither with regard to the menu nor the bill that follows. But if you can afford it, it is simply the best in cuisine that the United States has to offer in competition with Bocouse, Vergere, or Ducasse. Original, inspired dishes emerge, one better than the last, for the prix fixe menu. I recommend you let them run the show and indulge in the sommelier's tasting choices as well, with a different glass of wine with each course hand chosen to perfectly combine with the food, delivering the most pleasing results. From appetizer through dessert and cheeses, this kitchen rules! Not only is the food unbelievable, but the decor, service, wine list and ambience add up to an experience of a lifetime. While you don't have to be a "wine spectator" type or a culinary critic, it helps to have some background to appreciate the efforts of master chefs Patrick O'Connell and Reinhardt Lynch. A true Inn, you can stay in one of their sumptously appointed rooms for a king's ransom, or toddle off to lick your wallet wounds in a less expensive B&B nearby. Anyone who loves the experience of a world class restaurant should definitely not miss out on the Inn at Little Washington. Well worth the expense.
TripAdvisor Reviews The Inn at Little Washington
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