Callaway Gardens Resort
Travel Blogs from Pine Mountain
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Historical Traveler Reviews Callaway Gardens Resort Pine Mountain
We have stayed at Callaway numerous times as we live in nearby Atlanta.
Sadly, the service seems to be going downhill. During our stay in early September we arrived to find our cabin smelling strongly of cigarettes. The management agreed to move us to another cabin which, unfortunately, was already filled with guests. A third cabin was found and it was filthy. There was trash around the front (plastic soda bottles, candy wrappers) and the bathroom had not been properly cleaned (lipstick and food on the bathroom cabinets). The screened porch was littered with a child's lunch - cut up hot dogs, smashed grapes and juice boxes. The champagne and strawberries that were supposed to be part of our package did not arrive. After the problems finding a cabin the managment gave us a free brunch for four at the restaurant. This was generous but did not really make up for the bigger concerns we have about the property - there are real issues with housekeeping and this is not the first time that we have noticed them.
During a visit in April we attempted to dine at the Gardens Restaurant and had to wait over an hour for our food (whilst others around us came, ordered, ate and departed). The manager stated this was because one of us had ordered a pork tenderloin and it took an hour to cook. The three of us who are cooks laughed out loud at that explanation. The manager was not remotely sorry for the delay and did nothing to make us feel that we ought to return.
Wish we stayed longer
We had visted Callaway before, but never stayed overnight. After reading the reviews, I was a little nervous about spending the money for something that is only a few hours from my home.
My husband & I were very pleasantly surprised, to say the least. We stayed in one of the cabins and can't wait to go back! The cottage we stayed in had a screened in porch, full kitchenette, two tv's...all the comforts of home. The place was spotless, quiet, and very very relaxing.
We will be going back.
The only downside was the restaurant that is in the building for cabin check-in. Service was very very slow. There weren't many people there, but breakfast took about 1/2 hour to get our food. Otherwise, no complaints!
Wonderful Family Vacation Spot
Callaway Gardens is an excellent place for a family vacation. We stayed in the Cabins/Cottages and they are wonderful. They are fully stocked with dishes and silverware, every room has a tv, and there are many windows providing for a peaceful wonderful view. The gardens are just lovely. You couldn't find more beautiful flowers. The beach is great, the sand makes you feel like you're at the ocean. My husband, father and brother-in-law played golf and love it! They had a wonderful time. The food is also excellent. The Gardens Restaurant makes for a lovely dining experience with very tasty appetizers, entrees and desserts! There are plenty of fun things to do with children also. It's a great place for all ages, and a great get away from the hectic outside world.
Great Family Time at Callaway Gardens!
My family just returned from a Thursday-Sunday stay at Callaway Gardens, Georgia, and wish we could've stayed much longer. Our party included my husband and I along with our two daughters and their husbands. We stayed in a two bedroom cottage and thoroughly loved it! The cottage was fully furnished, and the kitchen fully equipped with Range, microwave oven, Fridge, coffeemakers, toaster, and all dishes, pans, etc. We really enjoyed the screened-in porch with ceiling fan...we played cards and games there each evening. Each bedroom as well as living area had a nice TV with cable, and all rooms had ceiling fans. We requested extra towels, and received twice as many as we had asked for. The cottage staff was more than accomodating to our every request. All staff we encountered were very friendly and helpful... you could tell they wanted you to enjoy yourself. The beach was very nice and large with great activities for everyone. We also really enjoyed the Birds of Prey program and the butterfly exhibit, along with the victory garden south...we bought some tomatoes and they were dellicious! We ate at six of the different restaurants there, and found all food and beverages to be very good. We had a special anniversary dinner at the Gardens Restaurant which was absolutely wonderful. We also enjoyed the Friday night seafood buffet at the Inn as well as a lovely dinner in the restaurant in the conference-cottage check in area. This is a very relaxing place, with activity (or lack of activity) to please everyone. Lots of offerings for children as well as adults. I had read some bad reviews of Callaway before we went, but I suggest you disregard those. We found the rooms, food, service, attractions and activities, staff and grounds very, very nice. We would not hesitate to recommend Callaway and look forward to going back sometime for a longer stay.
Needs Managment Attention
My wife and I purchase a real-deal package where one meal, room and a gardens pass was included. The room was very sub-standard and run down, but it was quiet.
We ended up eating two meals in the restarant and the evening meal was very costly and I felt like I was at a local fast food joint. The dining room had food all over the floor and the buffet table had food all down the side of the plates and very little on the table for selection. The service was lowsey and I felt rushed all through dinner. With a little creative management this could be a decent facility. I will not return and pay the price that I did until the place is fixed. Management needs to take charge and fix a few things.
We visited Callaway Gardens on May 15, 2005. We paid 41.73 for three of us to get it. The only thing open was the Butterfly Exhibit which in itself was disappointing. Pretty plants, but very few butterflies. Nothing else in the park was open.
If there is nothing open in the park this time of year, then the entrance price should be reduced.
We will not return!
Bad from start to Finish
I had been to Callaway two times in the past and the service was wonderful before. Last time in 2001. I had saved for years to take my daughter on this trip for a retreat that we both desperatly needed. They overbooked (as usual) and sent us to a cottage. Actually it was the two bedrooms with bath separated from the larger cottage by a single bedroom door. Yes, it locked but you could hear every word said in the main room. Smelled bad with spiders crawling. Very clean inside but just shut up for a long time. All outside was in very bad shape. No ice available. Had to call to have it delivered by housekeeping. Long wait. Food very overpriced and selection was pitful. Nothing to write home about. Grounds were in terrible shape. This was the weekend of the year for azelas. They were beautiful of course but not worth the resort price we paid. What really got me was the "donation" boxes at all the displays. With these prices they should not need donations to buy a butterfly. Maybe some of the guest could pull weeds for a donation. So terribly disappointed. Drove 6 and 1/2 hours one way to get there. Only had one weekend. Wish I had found your website before.
What a Beautiful Place facilities a little run down facilities
Beautiful location nice getaway....for privacy. Unfortunately, staff not friendly and lodge facilities need repair....not hugh dollars either paint wallpaper....faucet leaking in kitchen. Maybe a smile from the staff would help. This has 4-5 star potential if a few customer service and facility issues are addressed.
Great condo...Loved the butterfiles..other problems....
We stayed in the Mountain Villas which were beautifully furnished and maintained. We loved the bike trails, the golf and many exhibits. The food at the restaurants was medicocre and their is no real grocery store within 30 miles to buy food.
The part I hated was that for consecutive days when we went to the lake(Beach), they had inner city kids bused in from some youth camp in Atlanta. I would not have minded as much if they had more beach opened up or the kids were properly supervised. They had few supervisors and were literally pushing around my kids. I do not pay that much for a resort to get treated like that.
Dishonest Management, beautiful place
We were scheduled to stay at the garden Saturday and Sunday night. We arrived at 1:30am on Saturday night only to be told that our cabin was unavailable. We were told that the person staying in the room REFUSED to leave and according to Georgia law, they couldnt force the person out. So they sent us to a hotel in Columbus (30 miles away!) This was infuriating. This was our anniversary trip and we had two sleeping children in the car. I had made these reservations a month ago and knew that staying 30 miles away would ruin our Sunday activities since we would not get to the festival at the gardens before 2pm (it was 4am by now). The night desk clerk was so upset by our situation that she told us the *real* story. Management had overbooked the cabins by 30, yes 30, reservations. By the time we arrived, all the rooms were full. They had made up this story that guests did not want to leave. We spoke to other guests who were also relocated and were fed the same story. A little odd that there were multiple guests in the hotel who were squatting in their rooms on the same weekend!! It upset me greatly that the management treats their guests with such little respect. That they overbooked the hotel may be common practice in the hotel industry, although it is abhorrent to me that they would ruin someone's vacation with no remorse and amazing to me that they did overbooked by so many on a holiday weekend. If they engage in this obnoxious overbooking practice, fine, but be honest about it. Don't make up some fake story to cover up your error. And accept responsibility for having such a detrimental effect on another person's vacation. In the end, after lots of energy was expended and anger vented, we settled into a cabin for the second night. We participated in the festival for the remainder of Sunday afternoon and had a relaxing day on Monday, but I don't think the anxiety was worth it. They did not charge us for the cabin and covered our hotel bill in Columbus, so financially they made right (although it was not because they were forthcoming with this resolution -- it was our rage and outspoken-ness that forced their hand), but I would have gladly paid the full price of the cabin to be treated with respect and to be able enjoy a relaxing vacation.What I'll always remember about the trip: The dishonesty of the management. The cost cutting attitude of the management. The lack of organization of the events. Waiting on line for three hours to take a tethered hot air balloon ride because they was no communication about whether the balloons would go up or not. They kept making announcements that the balloon rides were starting and to go over to the balloon launch area but when we got there the ballooning teams hadn't even arrived yet! A walkie talkie was all they needed to organize the events!We left with the feeling that this entire festival was a money making exercise. Corners were cut everywhere. On a holiday weekend with a beach teeming with swimmers (mostly kids!) they had only one lifeguard on duty! That's just a cheap and unsafe way to save money. Again a management decision to show no respect for their guests. Most of the activities at the balloon festival were cheaply done. They advertised arts and crafts for the kids, they had little cheap coloring stuff to do; they advertised bubbles and sidewalk chalk - they didn't have any real bubble making toys/tools, just some yarn loops with drinking straws and plastic six pack holders. They had no sidewalk chalk artists, just a bunch of chalk to occupy a kids time; they advertised sand castle building -- I still do not know where this was -- maybe they figured since there was a beach kids can build their own castles -there was no organized castle building going on and no castle builders with any expertise. They advertised kite making and they had cut kite shaped pieces of letter size paper, colored them with crayons, attached a sting and called it a kite. Come on, provide real kite making kits! I guess my expectations were out of whack with the reality. For such an expensive place, I thought the festival would be first class. It ended up being a money pit where you pay 4.50 for a cup of lemonade and participate in chintzy activities designed to save money. I'd expect such activities from a church fundraising carnival run by kids, not from a supposedly first class resort like Callaway Gardens.It really is a beautiful place, but set your expectations low regarding any festivals and management interactions. If you will do this you may be pleasantly surprised. Be sure to check in early to avoid them giving your room away. Try checking in by phone first thing in the morning while you're still on the road!