Big Meadows Lodge
Big Meadows Lodge harkens back to many guests' memories of the National Park visits of their youth. Situated on ten forested acres in the beautiful Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, this rock-and-timber lodge is a family-friendly retreat for all ages. It was built in 1939 with native chestnut wood paneling and stones from Massanutten Mountain. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this rustic lodge offers a getaway from the fast-paced life in the city and is open seasonally.
The accommodations at Big Meadows Lodge are simple yet cozy, with no phones and TVs only provided in select rooms. Guests can reserve one of five cabins, each of which has two rooms with a private entrance for each. Some pet-friendly rooms are available as well. In the main lodge, guests can grab a drink at the New Market Taproom or shop for souvenirs and goodies at the craft shop. The Spottswood Dining Room, meanwhile, provides classic comfort foods and American fare. Free, family-friendly entertainment is presented every night in the main lodge.
With its location in the heart of Shenandoah National Park, there's no shortage of activities to explore near this rustic lodge. Hiking trails for all skill levels are available nearby. Located just one mile down Skyline Drive is a beautiful grassy meadow, which is the ideal place for nightly stargazing. Wildlife abounds in this area, and many guests have excitedly reported their sightings of deer, foxes, and other forest creatures. Visitors to this park also enjoy rock climbing, rappelling, and horseback riding, all of which can be enjoyed near Big Meadows Lodge.
For a laid-back, pastoral getaway with rustic lodging, Big Meadows is difficult to top. The simple accommodations and quiet surroundings are consistently noted as top attractions at this destination. Additionally, the warm, friendly, and helpful staff make it easy to enjoy this location and access all of Shenandoah's wonderful charms.
How has this lodge rated in the past?
- Meeting rooms/conference facilities
- Room service
- Non-smoking rooms
- Wireless internet connection in room (free)
- Non-smoking hotel
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TravelPod Member ReviewsBig Meadows Lodge Shenandoah National Park
Rustic lodge with great views. Food is okay. Wildlife is the attraction, lots of deer roaming the area. Stars are a site to behold. Well worth the stay.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Big Meadows Lodge Shenandoah National Park
Best choice in this location
August 25, 2005. Room 97. Lodge room. Ground floor. In Shenandoah National Park. Nice scenery. Good views from window looking west, although this particular room's view is blocked a little by a tree. Room to either side, or up one floor, would likely give a better view. Two doors--entrance from front, rear door to patio area with table and chairs. 2 double beds. Adequate bathroom with tub/shower, sink toilet. Usual free bathroom amenities. No phone, no TV. Clock radio also has built-in CD player and worked well--sleep function, alarm choice can be music instead of buzz, dual alarm times possible. Large main room. Walk in closet and hangers at entrance. Walking distance to dining area with good food although some entries pricey. Unadvertised, in the main lodge area is a room with a public desktop and Internet access, albeit dial-up. One mile distance (walk or car) to visitor's center. Gift shop next to dining area. Nearly identical lodgings at sister resort, Skyland, 9 miles away. However, Big Meadows definitely a better value, better maintained and better service. Would happily stay here multiple nights if in-park base of operations desired. $89.57 through Travelocity was also about $10 less than Skyland with better accomodations.
Dark, old, dingy, and expensive
We were expecting a nice mountaintop resort on a great skyline location. Boy, were we wrong.
The rooms were very dark. Small windows, combined with trees, dark decor, and weak light bulbs = dark, dark, and more dark. The room smelled of dampness. There was no ventilation/fan in the room, just heating. We were wary about leaving windows open for the night, as the window screen did not fit well in the window.
Bathroom was tiny. The sheets were too short for the bed, and I woke up very two hours to find myself directly on the mattress!!
Also, we found two bugs within walking into the room, one a huge black ant.
The restaurant had friendly staff, but poor cooking. We payed $40 for a meal that tasted more like out of a can.
The main lodge building itself (where the reastaurant is), is the only reedeming quality of this place. It has a very nice large reading/play room, with view of the valley, and lots of rocking chairs. There is apparently nightly entertainment as well, but we did not have the opportunity to sample it.
We cancelled our second night in the "resort" since we really did not want to stay there another night. They gave us no problems, and we are expecting a refund.
Overall, the place was like a bad motel. Maybe I wouldn't complain if it cost $40/night, but not for the prices ($100+) that they charge! The place needs a _major_ restoration. I will definitely not go back.
Just what I expected
We have stayed in several park lodges and this one was like all the rest, in a good way!!! Its nice just to get away from things sometimes and still sleep in a comfortable bed. Remember no tv's or ac here. The lounge was nice, rather expensive though, breakfast was great, and the view was outstanding. Don't spend too much time inside anyway, plenty of nice hikes to make, for any level hiker.
Perfect NPS Lodge!
Big Meadows Lodge is everything you would expect a NPS lodge to be. The rooms/cabins are rustic - a log cabin type effect and simply furnished. Having said that, they are perfectly comfortable. We are a family of 4 (2 adults/2 teens) and we stayed in early August during a very hot spell. We'd booked a family room and I asked for a view - which we got. There were two double beds - no TV, no A/C (fan). I had worried about the a/c but it wasn't needed - at least at night. During the day when we were hardly in the room anyway, we opened the doors and got the breeze. It must be better still in winter when the cabins would come into their own as they have fireplaces. The restaurant was very pleasant - great view - and the food entirely acceptable while not exciting exactly. It was more than adequate. In the evening we went to the lounge and enjoyed some moonshiner cocktails and a local musician. The great room was excellent for relaxing and there were lots of games and books to use.
There's loads to do in the area and hikes of every type. We would also thoroughly recommend a trip to Luray Caverns which were outstanding.
So, don't expect luxury. Expect oldfashioned rustic family style comfort. Somewhere the kids will love and you won't have to worry about them jumping on the furniture.
It's a park - it is supposed to be rustic!
The location and the staff make this above average. Although it was the middle of August, it was just cool enough. We stayed in the Rapidan building and saw no mice or other critters in our room. Friendly staff brought a cott and extra pillows promptly. The 4 year old loved the playground and the hiking. Sunset views are tremendous. Food is good, especially breakfast.
Yes, the building is old and the "ameneties" are limited, but that's what a park should be - something different than the generic marriot. No TV in the room was ok - spent the evening the lodge and then I admit the 3 kids watched 30 minutes of portable dvd to wind down before going to sleep. Everyone uses their cell phone anyway, no one uses a land line on trips.
This is a great place.
Be ready for mice
Big meadows lodge is situated in beautiful Shenandoah national park which provides lots of hiking,however if you have small children there is very little for them to do,If by chance it happing's to be raining there is no game room no pool outdoor or indoor and the majority of rooms do not have TVs. If you are looking for true family fun and not just hiking for the bit older ones I recommend you find an alterative that would allow you access to the park from a nearby location that has some ammonites that the whole family cans enjoy especially on those rainy days. Also keep in mind when booking a room that the propriety is situated over several acres with numerous buildings some built in the 1930 with few updates. Be prepared for mice also especially in the cabins since they supposedly are not allowed to kill them so I would not recommend putting the children near the floor where a bite could occur. The menu also leaves a lot to be desired unless you like fried food. In short you can do a lot better for the money when I spend $100 or more for a room I at least would like air conditioning which no rooms have not even the dining room. I hope you find this useful and don't waste your money to find the same things that I have the .Good luck
Blast from the past
Thirty years ago I worked at Big Meadows Lodge when I was 17 years old. All thru the years the memories have stayed with me, such as the beautiful scenery, quiet and peaceful surroundings and the taste of the Lodge's wonderful BBQ Chicken recipe. The employees had their own softball team and we played against Skyline Lodge employees. As an employee every day that I woke up in that beautiful place was unforgetable.
For the first time in all those years I drove back just for a day visit. It was like walking thru a time warp, I felt 17 again and it was still just as beautiful and majestic as I remembered. Thank you for not dramatically changing this wonderful place and I will come again.
Beautiful Big Meadows Lodge
Easter 2003. On a road trip we stopped off just before entering the Shenandoah Park at tourist information place. The Virginian guy behind the desk was wonderful, so helpful, friendly and funny. He recommended the Lodge and he rang and booked us a room. It was a bit more than we budgeted for (we'd been staying a cheap motels up til then - I had the Motel 6 & HoJo books with me) but it was worthy every penny. What a lovely place. Sadly the mountains were shrouded in fog the whole time we were there (just two nights) and it was raining very hard when we arrived but the accomodation was excellent. The food at the restaurant is superb. The best feature is the large common room with roaring log fire, comfy chairs and newspapers to read. I sat and chatted with some lovely friendly Americans we met and that night was one I'll remember for a long time. In the morning we walked along the local trails and took pictures of the deer and what scenery poked through the mist. Fantastic place, would definitely go back. Would imagine it gets very busy during the summer so maybe not as nice.
Just spent the weekend at Big Meadows Lodge.
My husband and I have just spent the weekend at Big Meadows Lodge and we had a wonderful time. Our room was attached to the main building. It was small and rustic which we enjoyed, and it was cozy and clean. No TV and no telephone, which in this fast pace of life is just fine and another plus in our book (there are separate cabins but I don't know what they are like). They have a large dining room where we ordered the prime rib and it was excellent. Just off the foyer there is a great room that can easily accommodate 50-60 people. We especially liked the rocking chairs that looked out upon a beautiful view of the Shenandoah Valley. When we were walking through at two oclock on Saturday, they had a magic show. The room was filled with enraptured children watching an elderly gentleman perform. The kids couldnt have been sweeter and it was a joy watching a man in his later years entertain children (and their parents). The tap room downstairs comes complete with live country music and great margaritas! The staff were among the nicest we have met. If you want fancy best not to go here as you would be disappointed. However, if you want to step back in time a little and slow your pace of life down, I can definitely recommend Big Meadows Lodge. Our experience was a wonderful one and we will be going back.
Great Scenic Retreat
Beautiful views, plenty of wildlife, good meals (but somewhat institutional), good bar. Hiking is great with Appalachian Trail passing thru the grounds and plentiful trails in the area. We like to visit Big Meadows or it's sister lodge, Skyland, at least once a year.
TripAdvisor Reviews Big Meadows Lodge Shenandoah National Park
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