Travel Blogs from Luray
I am writing this from the airport at an unusually early time due to the fact WiFi is hard to get when a couple thousand feet in the air! After a lay in we started the packing process where I somehow managed to fit in the many sweets as well as a casual box of cereal! After leaving the house we made it here in record time of ...
Today Caryn's friend Susan took us all on a driving tour of DC! We drove past famous monuments (including the Washington monument) and stopped at the cathedral and the Washington monument for pictures. We didn't have time to explore the Smithsonian however we did get a 3 ...
Today we woke up at the early time of 6:15 in order to go to Busch gardens with Josh and Tyler! After the drive which we spent playing a movie game we got to Busch gardens and found there were a lot of great rides. There were shows but we were simply to lazy to walk over and find them. After a day of riding some big roller coasters in the heat (including Apollo's Chariot 8 times) we drove home (stopping for fast food) whilst purposefully driving each other insane for the ride ...
Today we woke up later and after picking up Tyler we got breakfast/lunch at IHOP! After a quick visit to the orthodontist for Tyler we went bowling and played 2 games (Tyler won the first, Zac the second, I was the true winner though) as well as messing around in the arcade. To the end the day we had dinner before watching another ...
... back of loop B and started off on the Matthews Arm Trail, which initially is an old fire road. Following this trail a short ways, we passed intersections with Weddlewood Trail and Beecher Ridge Trail, then coming to the terminus at Overall Run Trail. To the right, the trail links to the Appalachian Trail. We turned left, however, following the trail as it headed down through a series ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Skyland Resort Luray
Hated the Skyland Resort
We booked into the Skyland Resort despite a recommendation from a friend in the USA that we shouldn't. We should have listened to his advice! The rooms were poorly equipped and well past their sell by date. The food was appalling and by far the worst we have ever experienced in the USA. People who like this hotel will undoubtedly say that it is in an area of outstanding beauty, surrounded by wildlife and that it's the type of place that represents the American pioneer spirit. Well I've stayed in lodges in Africa that are hundreds of miles from civilisation and surrounded by animals that most people see only in cages. If a developing country like Kenya can produce lodges of style and comfort coupled with excellent food then why can't the USA? We checked out early and unless you want to be severely disappointed suggest you avoid this hotel and find one in the surrounding valleys.
Nice quiet place to stay
Was very impressed with the Skyland resort. The rooms with a view were just as promised. Saw many deer just walking right out the back door numerous times over our 2 day stay. Had some concerns over how isolated the place was but with the bar and restaurant just a 5 minute walk up the hill to the lodge was a real treat. All meals were great and affordable. Very good breakfasts and dinner was nice too. They really try to seat everyone by the windows for the view and the staff hustles to keep things moving. Keep in mind it's not a 5 star resort but we were very impressed with how well the place is run and organized it was.
Great for families
We typically tent camp when we travel, so the family cabin was a comfortable and convenient way to enjoy the surroundings. Our cabin was just remodeled and exceeded our expectations, plus there was daily housekeeping (and they recycle!). We enjoyed having a comfortable King sized bed and they provided us with a crib for our toddler and linens with extra blankets and pillows. The bed was in the main room, along with a couch, two chairs and dining table with four chairs gas fireplace and ceiling fan. Plenty of lighting. The private room with two double beds was great for "Grandma." The bathroom was a good size with toiletries provided. The kitchenette had cupboards for storing food and utensils. They provided paper towels and paper products, cups, plastic utensils. There was an ice machine and vending available. No grill, but a coffee maker (4 cup with basket, and coffee packs), microwave and fridge. We were within walking distance of the lodge and went up for the evening entertainment and dessert. A nice picnic and playground was out the front door. The front porch had two chairs and a small table and the back porch had the same, along with a picnic table. It was under $250.00 for four nights, Sun-Thurs. A fair price for the location and amenities.
One of The Most Beautiful Places on Earth
I have been coming to Shenandoah and staying in Skyland Resort since I was 8 years old and I am now 21. I think it is so beautiful. Most people don't get to hear much about it because it isn't as famous and Yosemite National Park or the Grand Canyone, ect., so I think it is highly understated. The trails are absolutely beautiful and you have choices from easy to difficult. My favorites are Dark Hollow Falls, Stoney Man, and the short nature walk near the Bird Center at Big Meadows. There are a couple others but I can't remember all the names. lol. Oh one that is more difficult because it is a bit steep is called Upper Hawksbill Gap, the Lower Hawksbill Gap is even more difficult though and I have yet to try that one. I am very excited and happy to say too that I get to take my husband to Shenandoah with me in Oct. for the very first time. He is returning home from Kuwait and I cannot wait to show him the beauty and the serenity of Shenandoah. I have stayed in a place in Skyland called Hazel top quite a few times. That is the place I requested for my husband and I. It has one of the most beautiful scenes and there are no tv's in this place. I have stayed in Laurel, but it is mostly for the people who want to bring their kids who might not exactly appreciate the beauty of shenandoah yet. I am not saying Laurel isn't great, it is and has a very beautiful view, but it is where most of the people stay and it is the newest of the lodging in Skyland. I remember staying in Skyland Lodge in a place near Hazeltop that is called Bushy top and it is when the half albino deer was being spotted and we hadn't seen it yet. One morning we come walking back from eating at the dining room and right at the back of bushy top was the doe and her fawn (which happened to be the half albino deer). It was so beautiful. I love how you get to see new and interesting animals that can come right up to where you are staying. The very first time we went to Skyland Lodge I saw a bob cat laying near the deer. It was so cool and I even got a picture of it with my kids camera. lol. This is a place that I hope stays around forever. I want to take our children there and our grandchildren and I hope they take their kids and grandkids. It is one of those places that you want to share with your family for generations. I hope that whoever reads this will want to go and stay at Skyland lodge so that they too can share their memories with their husband or wife and their children and the many generations that follow.
Beautiful views and a decent room.
My wife and I recently stayed at the Skyland Resort in Shennandoah National Park. We are regular visitors to the park but had never stayed inside its boundaries before.
The hotel accomodations are scattered among several rustic-looking buildings, each with its own small parking area. Our "traditional" room had a high peaked ceiling with a small shared walk-out deck and a bathroom. The 2 double beds were reasonably comfortable, and the room had the feel of a rustic B&B. There was plenty of lighting available via lamps (a peeve of mine with many hotels, as an avid reader). The view off the deck was very nice, looking across the valley below, with many trees and soothing birdsong.
My only quibble with the bathroom was the small shelf area. The water pressure was good (especially the shower which had some of the best pressure I've encountered), the lighting decent. There was a separate small light over the bathroom mirror which I've often found missing in even mid-range hotels. In an effort to reduce waste, toiletries are dispensed from pumps, but the products stocked are decent Neutrogena ones: shampoo, conditioner, bath gel, soap, and lotion. The bath gel smelled like the Neutrogena "Rainbath" product.
The area is really quiet at night, in a wonderful way most people never encounter these days. You can see an immense number of stars in the sky, more than I've seen anywhere else I've been. All of that is reason to stay here.
As a nice touch, the hotel people will recycle things you leave out for them on the tabletop. I feel like I generate much more waste when I travel than otherwise, so it was nice to have this service.
There are occasional rate specials and weeknights are cheaper than weekends. Members of SNPA (the park's private advocacy group) get a 20% discount on weeknight stays so it's worth joining if you're going to stay for more than a night (as well as being a worthy cause).
There's no TV or phone in the room, but I got cell phone reception on Verizon Wireless. Anyway, you're staying in a park, who needs TV or landlines? If you get a horrible craving, there's a TV in the 24-hour 'lobby' building where the check-in is located, as well as an area to sit and read. Skyland has a restaurant that serves 3 meals a day, with a gift shop open late, and a tap room open later still.
The place has a lot of character, and if you're staying in the park, chances are you're there to be in the park, and staying at Skyland was an excellent way to do it. It was really nice waking up and already "being there" rather than having a long drive ahead. We'll definitely be back.
Setting makes up for shortfalls
Stayed with my son just before starting a backpack on the Appalachian Trail, the second time I have stayed at Skyland. We were in one of the newer units below and to the west of the office/restaurant. Views were spectacular, room was comfortable though nothing fancy. Television only got a couple of channels but, given the location, who cares? Service at front desk and in dining room was fine, again not spectacular. Food OK. This is not an upscale resort but a wonderful place to spend a night or two or three, especially if you love the mountains and a natural setting.
Great service, quiet environmet
Nice stay for a honeymoon. We came from Mexico to spend a 5-day stay at this hotel on mid-November, the room #29 had a nice rustic touch, 2 double beds, coffeemaker and a nice tub. The views from the room are not the best but the athmosphere is relaxing and thank God it had no TV in the room. The meals are really good at the restaurant, not expensive and a very nice service makes you feel welcome always. They had also country music played daily, we had the chance to watch Dan Herney, who really made us have a great time with his humour and his songs. Nice hotel that we'd definitely visit again.
Decent place, but little too expensive
Just spent two nights in one of the "heritage" cabins - 2 bedrooms (full beds in each), 2 full baths with shower only, open room with 2 couches, small kitchenette (mini fridge, sink, microwave) and table. No TV, no phone. (though our sprint PCS phones did work there). Our was Peak View #67. Pros: huge porch with chairs and a picnic table, which we couldn't use due to snow/cold weather, fairly clean, nice wood furniture inside. Heat worked ok, but little hard to regulate, in their defense, it is not designed as a winter place to stay, it was closing after next weekend. Location in the park is nice and convenient.
Despite the name, there were no views of the valley or peaks from the cabin.
Cons: At $288/night its a bit overpriced for what you get, though I realize prices are higher because it is a national park. Also, although they were recently remodeled, the quality is suspect - pergo floor, poor fit and finish on windows, doors, trim, sloping floors, handles on shower hard to operate.
All in all, on my next trip I'd probably look for a cabin outside the park that I can bring my dog along to.
Much better choice only 9 miles away
August 24, 2005. Room 3. Lodge room. Ground floor. In Shenandoah National Park. Nice scenery. Good views from window looking west over mountains. 2 double beds. Adequate bathroom with small tub/shower, sink, toilet. Free shampoo, conditioner, shower gel dispenser. Exhaust fan noisy and certainly wouldn't use that. Shower head pops off with little provocation, but can be re-inserted without difficulty. No phone, no TV. Small clock radio usless for time and alarm--digit segments burned out so couldn't set nor tell time. Walk in closet OK. Large room with beds. Walking distance to dining area with good food although some entrees pricey. Gift shop next to dining area. No convenience store. OK for short stay of night or two. Wouldn't want to stay here for extended times. $97.87 through Travelocity which turned out to be nearly $20 more than if we'd just shown up and gotten a room on the spot. Compared to similar lodgings at sister resort, Big Meadows, 9 miles away, not as good a value. Nothing kept up quite as well and service was slightly poorer at all locations (check-in, dining, grounds, room). Of the two, would definitely recommend Big Meadows.
Skyland: A Solid Value - Delivers what it says it will
Had a very nice 3 days/2 nights recently with a family of six in two spacious interconnecting rooms in Appledore block. Stunning valley views from private balcony, especially early morning and at dusk--and very quiet too. Rooms were reasonably comfy for the price ($86/night), clean, and everything worked fine. Bathrooms were rather dimly lit, but fully functional too. Decent institutional cuisine and super short stack of pancakes at breakfast. Excellent proprietary blackberry dishes: ice cream, sauce, cake... Dining service was fair overall, good at menu-giving and taking orders, but very slow follow-up for desserts and billing. Overall, however, I feel Skyland delivered what I hoped for and expected, and I will gladly return again (at any time of year) for another family stay or a romantic getaway with wife.