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Historical Traveler Reviews The Greenbrier White Sulphur Springs
Greenbrier - You must do it at least once in life!
Upon arriving at the Greenbrier and throughout your entire stay, you will be impressed with the courtesy and professionalism of the staff. As we pulled up, the bellhop told me my parking options: either valet for $15 a day or a free, tree-shaded, self-park lot just a 3 minute stroll from the lobby. So many hotels "hide the ball" with respect to where the free parking is, but forthrightness reigns supreme at the Greenbrier. The building itself is immense. Some have complained that the Dorothy Draper's décor is too loud, but because the common areas are so large, they almost require a bold color scheme. Individual rooms are also quite large; a welcome relief from cramped hotel rooms everywhere. Our standard room even had a walk-in closet, racks to rest your suitcases on (instead of having to use a chair or desk as in many hotels), as well as four large windows and just lots of space. Hallways getting to your rooms are also large; you'll never have to squeeze by anything/anyone. Rooms have an iron, ironing board and hairdryer for your convenience.
Trip advisor users have commented that the food is "consistently stellar" or even "bordering on miraculous." These evaluations are relative, of course, and dependent upon where these people have eaten in the past. Indeed the food at the Greenbrier is consistently good, however I would describe it as hotel-haute - good tasting food presented with care, but institutional nonetheless. Antoine Careme would run out screaming. One of the giveaways regarding the caliber of food is the small dish of radishes, picked peppers and jicama sticks that arrives at your table every night in lieu of an amuse bouche. Another indicator is an apparent dogged commitment to dated, Draper inspired, institutional pink and green plates which detract from any attempt toward an artistic presentation. These are not really criticisms as much as observations - I enjoyed everything just the way they did it and wouldn't expect or want an amuse bouche at the Greenbrier; it simply wouldn't make sense. The place is an institution and the whole gestalt of the Greenbrier is to be a throwback to an era when American resorts focused on quality, courtesy and guest enjoyment, not superficial amenities. Come to terms with this quickly in order to enjoy your stay. Breakfast (which is fantastic) and dinner (also very good) are included with the room rate so you must understand these meals in terms of the great feat in feeding as many as 1600 people (and doing it as well as they do).
The tour of the bunker is worthwhile and informative. Unfortunately on our tour, some riff-raff delayed our departure for the bunker tour by 20 minutes. Once on the bus, these five guys proceeded to speak loudly in Spanish as the rest of us strained our ears to hear what the guide was saying. These pony-tailed people also ignored the Greenbrier's dress code with their tank tops and cut-off shorts. Thinking to myself that perhaps the Greenbrier's high prices were insufficient to filter out 100% of trashy people, I later realized that this motley crew was in fact being PAID by the Greenbrier to be there. They played hispanic music on the lawn as roughly 500 guests of the Greenbrier ate watermelon and ice cream on the 4th of July. A perturbed scowl predominated on most people's faces as this Guatemalan version of KISS performed songs wholly incongruent with a 4th of July afternoon. The management partially redeemed itself later that evening by having a military band play all time favorites like "Stars and Stripes forever" etc. right before and during the fireworks. The Greenbrier would be well advised to choose entertainment more wisely next time.
One trip advisor user commented that "you WILL PAY dearly for extras." Although the beverage prices he referred to are not the epitome of overcharging, I did happen to witness sticker shock on one man's face as he went to the Greenbrier's magazine/gift shop for some over-the-counter canker sore medication for his little daughter. A whopping $27.50 for what is no more than $4.00 in a drug store. He questioned the cashier twice about the price as she sympathetically nodded. I myself caved in and paid $9 for a roll of film worth perhaps $2. Finally, here are some more examples: a hotdog at the pool: $9; mountain bike use $42 for two hours. Moral of the story: do a little planning and pack items you think you might need (Advil, film, and yes, maybe even a bottle of wine you can keep cool in your mini-bar). It's one way to add value to your vacation here. The Greenbrier is a little like Disney in that once you're within its gates, the prices sky rocket and no longer resemble prices in the real world. Luckily, the town of White Sulfur Springs is just a two minute ride north, so if stores are still open, head into town and see that a little too, and save some money as well.
Complimentary iced tea, hot tea, and petifours are served at 4 p.m. in the main lobby. At 5 p.m., the Old White Lounge opens up with complimentary (and delicious) hors d'oeuvres. Don't feel obligated to have a drink - you've already paid a lot as it is (as one trip advisor user noted)! Pace yourself though, lest you ruin your appetite for a great dinner.
Get to the pool early as guests far outnumber seats and the staff doesn't seem to enforce the rule against people who stake out territory with a towel and then leave the pool yard for hours on end leaving you sitting on the ground. Before and during dinner every night, a photographer is set up to take your picture (free) in one of the rooms off the ballroom. View proofs downstairs the next day and order copies/purchase the proofs if you like.
All in all, the Greenbrier is a wonderful place and a great getaway. A must see/do experience at least once in life. West Virginia is just pristine and beautiful. Everyone at the Greenbrier you meet is pleasant and you couldn't ask for nicer staff. No forced or phony smiles or greetings - just genuinely cordial people. That alone will set the Greenbrier apart from most other places you've ever visited. Moreover, the hotel, grounds, dining experience - everything, will draw your mind back to a different era. I recommend it highly and I'll definitely go back.
What an extraordinary place! My husband and 2 children stayed at the Greenbrier for 4 nights in mid-JUne. We expected somethign great....but the Greenbrier exceeded all of our expectations! The grounds and buildings are gorgeous, the room itself huge and extravagant in every way. The food though, was bordering on miraculous......Never have we felt more relaxed, more taken care of and more pampered on a trip.....we will go back!
Don't go there!
Over-priced and awful service. Rooms were way over-priced for the service and amenities. Every activity was a charge extra beyond the $500/night. Wireless access is $15 for the first day: business center is $25 per hour for computer. The dinner (included) in the dining room was terrible--it took 3 hours to get our food. All food was mediocre and service was haphazard and indifferent. You'll pay $27 per person for service at the resort, too. We complained and were comped the wine but we went through 2 bottles waiting for the salad! Breakfast buffet at coffee shop (Draper's) was excellent and the bar was wonderful, although they served a clearly drunk customer. The bunker tour was good and ends July 28th. This place caters to people that don't know what quality is like. Stay away.
Stately and refined but full of activity is the Greenbrier. The staff are attentive to your every need. The activites are diverse. Beautiful location and easy to get to by car. We have stayed at four and five star hotels the world over and the Greenbrier rates at the very top. It is especially family friendly and kid safe, important considerations in today's world.
The Greenbrier; Heaven on Earth
My stay at The Greenbrier left me speechless! I had heard how wonderful this resort was, but until I arrived there myself I found it hard to believe (I am very discerning). My fiance and I visited in November 2003 and enjoyed ourselves so much that we considered returning for our honeymoon. The staff and service is fantastic, the food was delicious and beautifully presented, the wine list was extensive, the atmosphere was refined but not "stuffy," and the grounds were immaculate. We did not see many families, so this was a great choice for couples looking to get away from the sometimes loud, crowded, "touristy" hotels and resorts. The rooms were very spacious and VERY clean and anything you could ever need or want was either in your room or could be retrieved for you. We also had a lot of fun partaking in the carriage ride around the grounds and the off-roading in the Range Rover. With the off-roading we received outstanding one-on-one instruction. While The Greenbrier was expensive, and the additional activities will cost you extra (unless you do a package), it is well worth the price! It has made future travel difficult for us because now we expect perfection! I highly recommend visiting...you will not be disappointed.
The Greenbrier-Luxury in West Virginia
The Greenbrier is truly magnificent. I spent three days over the Fourth of July weekend and then two days in early November. Needless to say, our stay was absolutely wonderful each time. Words cannot express the work ethic of the staff. They are unbelieveably astute to any wish a guest might have. The Dorothy Draper decor has been painstakingly preserved by her successor, Carleton Varney. Room after room is purely "eye candy" for the guests. My hat is off to Mr. Ted Kleisner, the President of The Greenbrier and his wonderfully loyal, and exceedingly gracious staff. I plan on visiting again in February and must say that each time I visit the enjoyment seems to be more grand. The most wonderful resort. Go and enjoy true luxury in West Virginia.
The Grand Dame of Resorts
The Greenbrier is an (The?) American establishment, perhaps the grandest of them all. Everyone has great Southern charm, and it's very attentive for such a large place (communications is highly seasoned). It's chock full o' activities for everyone in the family. If you're concerned about paying for the little things, it's not the kind of place to be. Breakfast and dinner are included. Dinner in te Dining Room can be a little hurried and the cuisine is always good, but not inventive. Dinner as (excellent) room service can be had in lieu. Staying in a cottage gets you the same service as the main buidling: quick rm. srvc, 2 x maid service, restacking of the fireplace with newspapers and kindling after every use! There's a really complicated package structure, but they have one for every situation and it's best to go with that, otherwise you'll pay a la carte for everything. Definitely have someone knowledgeable walk you through it and get the right kind of room. This place charges by the head, so cottages and suites can cost the same as separate rooms if you have enough people to fill the beds. They still manage to garner top ratings, though they're having to compete now with Frette linens and L'Occitane bath accs., and the decor is a little garish for the new millenium. For spa afficianados, it's old school flair has no equal and the treatments remain sophisticated. Go during warm weather and flowers or foliage and you'll be all set for a great experience.
You will never forget the greenbrier
The Greenbrier takes everything to a new level of luxory. We stayed in a Spring Row Cabin with a working fireplace that made romantic weekends of the past feel like a weekend eating Burger King. The place is the lap of luxory. It is a step back at times and a wonderful step forward. The food at the greenbrier is to die for. Breakfast and Dinner served in the Main Dining Room with a dress code makes elegance truly the phrase of the day. The Spa is wonderful and the Super Secret Code Word Only Bunker Tour is well worth the price. My recommendation to anyone is as follows: Go there, you will not be disappointed and likely will leave as my fiance and I did saying it was simply the greatest weekend of our lives.
Best Weekend of My Life
I wasn't sure what to expect when I went for a weekend to The Greenbrier - but I can tell you I didn't want to leave! I stayed in a cottage with a fireplace - which was lovely in the February rain and snow. It had by far the most comfortable hotel bed I have ever slept in, and the rooms were huge. The decor was beautiful, both the grounds and the amazing Dorothy Draper designs. The staff I found attentive, friendly and gracious. The food was outstanding - as was the wine list - and the spa was absolutely on a level all it's own. The weather was awful the entire trip, but there were so many activities I never had a dull moment. Granted this is by no means an inexpensive weekend, but if you go prepared for the price, you come away with the most unforgettable experience! I am going back as soon as I can!
OverBlown Luxury, but Memorable
While Dorothy Draper's frothy interior decorating is enough to make you turn around and run out of the place, the Greenbrier boasts historical elements -- the sulphur springs, the hotel, and the fascinating underground bunker-- not to be missed. The food is consistently stellar. However, you WILL PAY dearly for extras not included in the already expensive daily rate. A diet coke could cost you nearly $2.50; a glass of wine, $8.00. So, next time, I'd take some extra beverages to enjoy without the extra tab. The bedding is luxurious. The VIEW from the Gold Club, not to be missed. And while not a golfer, I could see that the course was exquisite. Enjoy, but take LOTS of cash.
TripAdvisor Reviews The Greenbrier White Sulphur Springs
Travel Blogs from White Sulphur Springs
We left Harrisonburg and made our way through all the small towns in the valley. Avoiding highways has really given us the chance to see the land of all the states we cross. It takes us through the forests, along the train tracks and through all the small, old towns. Some of these towns look a little abandoned and others are adorable mini ecosystems of their own with thriving main streets and delicious local restaurants just asking us to go in and eat everything. It's been so much ...
... have slaves but the circumstances of the time made it hard for him to free the slaves. If they were made free, under Virginian state law they would have to leave the state after 12 months. This would make them homeless. Also, he was the father of several children with one of the slaves, Sally Hemming, although he did not admit to it during his lifetime but it has been proven through DNA. He did give 5 slaves freedom on his death. It took some time ...
... and Greenbrier Railroad. They don't have any trains running tonight or tomorrow, so tomorrow we're going to drive about 10 miles to Cass, WV, and check out the Cass Railroad. They have several steam engines and a couple of different rides we could take. Haven't decided whether to ride or just take photos. That may depend on whether or not the train goes close enough to roads to be able to get ahead of the trains at several points and ...
... funny. I told them to go talk to the donkey, because it was lonely. ..so they headed down to the donkey. Tuesday Woke up and had to face the huge climb....it sucked! At the top of the hill, I took a bathroom break, as I squated there, my butt wipes slide down the large rock and I had to retrieve them with a large stick! After retrieving the butt wipes, I finished up and then broke a large stick to "X" the area - so that no one else would go there - as I broke the ...
... industrialist donated to the local college. When the college closed in the 70s, the townfolk got together and raised several million dollars to buy and renovate the hall, and it remains a popular community meeting and concert hall. Children's art work was on display outside, made from household items. The original college is now a community college.