The Omni Homestead Resort
How has this resort rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews The Omni Homestead Resort Hot Springs
Elliot's restaurant might be your key to enjoying the Homestead
I was alarmed at the negative reviews, particularly the vomit story but our experience last weekend was very different. I do congratulate tripadvisor on publishing such blunt reviews and it's become my new favorite travel website.
We have fond memories of the Homestead from 20 yrs ago when we arrived there with a baby in tow, having fled the crummy Mountain Lake Hotel at Smith Mtn Lake in Va. We were treated like royalty from the moment we arrived. Our son was given a full crib in an adjoining room so that an employee could sit quietly in our room while he slept as we dined. His dinner was delivered by room service with great flourish- linens and silver.
How it's changed in the past 20 yrs: the setting and location are still magnificent- much more beautiful than the Greenbrier in W Va. According to the local newspaper, the current mgr is retiring after 10?yrs at the helm. He's employed by a corporation- Club Resorts? which purchased the Homestead from a family in 1991 or 1993. The corp has obviously spent vast sums. The grounds were spectacular. The indoor pool is now lovely surrounded by windows- it was depressing 20 yrs ago. The new outdoor pool is gorgeous- setting and poolside service could not have been better. At 5pm one day it was not at all crowded but on our last day around 2p most of the chaise lounges were full.
The breakfast buffet was enormous and extensive but I would only give it a "B" because of the mediocre breads and pastries. The hashbrowns also weren't good. Fish both days was dreadful- old and strong and dried out. My husband loved all the meats and sausages which I don't eat. Servers pouring OJ and coffee were plentiful and attentive.
Great expense has been spent on the public areas which have a wonderful old fashioned feel.
Our room with tax and service charge was around $300. The room was small, mattress OK, linens just OK- I don't think sheets were all cotton. Icky floral poly bedspread. Bathroom: very nice and roomy, updated with spotless tiles. We asked for a room with a porch beforehand and were given one- this was a special, redeeming feature- the porch was huge- could easily have accommodated two full beds. It had 2 chaise lounges, 2 chairs and 2 tables. The porch was a little dusty and the plaster walls seemed like they could have used a good scrubbing. Maid service was excellent but I do agree with the criticisms about lack of nightly turn down service. If I had kids in my room I would demand fresh towels and a clean up in the evening.
Because of the consistently negative reviews of the dining, we made reservations at a local restaurant, Elliott's, which is right next to Snead's Tavern in "downtown" Warm Springs- 1/2 block from the hotel. We had a fantastic meal that I would rank an "A+" - this is a place that I would eat at often if it were in my hometown. I discovered it by reading the Washingtonian Magazine- it garnered high praise in an issue a few yrs ago which I had saved. If we were going back, I would plan my stay around the days Elliott's is open. One drawback to Elliott's was the tight seating. Our party of 4 had to eat at a bar table and on bar stools but angled so that we sat across from each other. Tables of 2 or 6 were available but not 4. Sunday night we dined in Warm Springs at the Inn at Gristmill Square 10 miles away. The ambiance was lovely- Early American decor and candlelight. Food was just OK but perhaps better than the Homestead.
One of the highlights of our stay was taking the waters at the wonderfully funky and decrepit Jefferson Hot Springs bathhouse 5 mi away also owned by the Homestead. There's a separate bathhouse for men and women and most people swim in the nude. The attendant at the women's bath house instructed us as we entered not to speak. It was a delightfully meditative experience with floating "noodles", looking up at the sky and floating clouds. The men's bathhouse allowed talking!
We would definitely go back to the Homestead although the location is remote and it takes a long time to get there. The Greenbrier has better food but is a lot more expensive and even their fish isn't fresh enough to suit me.
Staff at the Homestead were very friendly and warm. According to the local paper, they lost all their Jamaican workers after visa restrictions following 9/11. Alot of the staff was very young- college aged. The dignified but friendly middle aged employees we remember from 20 yrs ago are mostly gone. Guests were friendly- the Homestead now hosts lots of conventions. Overall, a beautiful place with unintimidating guests and staff but needing an overhaul of their restaurants (although lunches at the Casino and Cottage Cafe were pretty good). Providing nightly turn down service should also be a priority.
Not up to par
My husband and I spent two nights at the resort thinking we would be pampered. We were wrong. We were told by the front desk upon check-in that the ridiculously high service charge (my words, not his) did not include bellman tips. After settling into our room and reading the hotel information, bellman tips were included.
The room was very small, and the bed was as comfortable as one in a Holiday Inn. Clearly, the resort is an old establishment, but the room was a little rough around the edges showing the age in a not so charming light.
The bellman did not fill our ice pale and we were at a loss as to where the ice was located--no maps, etc... We had a difficult time finding anyone on the phone who could tell us where the ice machine was.
We wanted to order room service and were informed by the staff on the phone that we could order from the main dining room menu. That menu was not provided in the literature found in the room. No one answered the hotline for information when I attempted to request a menu. I finally found someone to speak to by dialing the operator and she connected me to the restaurant to request the menu. The restaurant worker was bordering on rude and told me I could come down and pick one up. She would not bring one to me.
Overall, the hotel was lovely with many activities, but with the high prices, they should provide better service.
A wonderful mountain retreat.
We have made many trips to the Homestead and we have loved each one. We just returned today from a visit and loved it. The Homestead's staff is always friendly and accommodating. When I booked our room, I made no special requests. When we arrived, my wife asked if there were any rooms with a porch available. Without hesitation, the young lady checking us in serched the rooms to find us one with a porch. She gave us the room, an upgrade, without changing our rate. The facilities are beautiful and are reminiscent of a time gone by. The great hall, with its large pillars, is impressive. We took advantage of many activities while there. My daughter loves horses so we naturally spent a lot of time at the Equestrian Center. The meals at the main dining room were wonderful as always this visit.
Bad service, high prices, average food
After winding throught the mountain roads, upon pulling into the Homestead my 13 year old son opened his door and vomited on the driveway. This was an apt commentary on our stay at the resort. At over $600/night we expected a first rate resort, I wouldn't even classify it as third rate. Although the suite was large it was not at all as represented. There was no balcony or access to the outside and there wasn't a sofa bed. Turn down service was not provided unless you called and asked for it. We quickly found that the resort failed to hire enough help for the summer. Those who they hired had no business working in the service industry. The few who were good were over worked. Maids worked as waitresses in the evening. Servers worked all three meals. Servers continually failed to serve drinks, forgot orders and generally gave poor service. The outdoor pool was small and over crowded. The indoor pool was very relaxing and fed by the hot springs. Unfortunately no staff was there to police kids whiping balls off of the walls and and smacking kickboards off of the water creating firecracker like sounds which echoed off of the walls and ceiling. My wife had a spa service. She said it was overpriced and not that great. The workout facility was slightly better than a budget motel. Food in the dining rooms was average at best. Our best meal was at Sneads. By the last night I was thinking of escaping the grounds and eating at the Subways in Hot Springs.
Positives: the setting is beautiful and the hiking guide was very good. Also the meeting room facilities were fine. The hotel staff did a nice job with the conference events other than the the July 4th cookout (which turned into a cook-in). Afternoon Tea was nice. The grounds are beautiful and well maintained. I also heard positive comments about the golf courses.
Overall, the negatives far outweigh the positives. The rates are absurdly high. These rates are much higher than outstanding resorts, with absolutely no justification. If you want to visit this beautiful part of the country opt for a B&B in the neigboring towns.
Loved it, but book your restaurants carefully
My husband and I and our 14-year old son stayed at The Homestead in June, 2004. We loved our room and the hotel, overall. We'd go back again, but two things to watch for: 1) Avoid Sam Sneads. We found the service to be slow, and the restaurant was a MESS--literally every table had dirty dishes that were waiting to be picked up. The "filet mignon" as billed on the menu was no such thing--more like a skirt steak. 2) My son was looking forward to paintball more than anything, and the event was cancelled with just 2 hours notice because no one else signed up. Then, the spa gave me a lot of trouble about cancelling out of an appointment I'd booked. I didn't want to go since it was my son's birthday and with paintball cancelled, he wanted to do something else with his dad and me.
Late Spring at The Homestead
05/11/04 My wife and I just returned from a three day trip to The Homestead that included a business meeting. If you are into golf, this place is absolutely FABULOUS ! The Spa and pools are well worth it as well. The hotel staff is most accomidating and friendly. The room that we stayed in was located on the North Wing of the hotel. It felt like staying at Grandmas house when I was a child. King bed, large balcony with two cushioned wicker chaise lounges, a loveseat, ceiling fan and french doors opening into our rather smallish room. Nice bath (although some wallpaper was peeling and a bit of peeling paint), mini bar, and nicely decorated, this hotel has been "restored", not renovated to maintain the original feel of a hundred plus year old builting. Decent sized closet with safe. If you can get a balcony room or a patio room, grab it ! It makes the place ! Gorgeous spring nights falling asleep to the candle lit background of the cool Virginia mountains is one of the most relaxing experiences you will ever have. The public areas are beautiful. The grounds perfect ! We were not so impressed with the food however. Breakfast was absolutely wonderful though. Fresh and sweet berries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, mangos, sugar sweet pineapple, melons that melt in your mouth. Freshly squeezed orange juice, and lots of my favorite, grits, prepared just perfectly. Lunch at the Casino was acceptabable but predictable. Sandwiches, and bar food. The wait staff was most attentative. Dinner, however, could use a little help. The staff is great, but the food is very "hotelish", not what I expected from this resort. Although there were less than 25 people in the dining room on Sunday night, our food arrived cold. I had an appetizer of mussels that was luke warm and very fishy tasting. We both ordered tenderloin of beef. Mine was ordered medium rare and arrived medium well. My wifes was ordered medium and came out well done. Both cold. The vegatables were also cold. Salads were very good, crisp and delicious dressings. My dessert was nondescript although it sounded excellent on the menu. A frozen strawberry, bannana's foster cake. It tasted like it just came out of a box in the freezer, which I am certain it did. The ice cream with chocolate "crust" that my wife had was much better. On Monday night, the menu had an asain infulence. We both had shrimp cocktail which was quite fresh and tasty. The salad was again very good with a ginger or lemon dressing. Both excellent. Again, the main course arrived cold and rather nondescript, with rather strong sauces masking the flavor of the meats. A bright orange (looked like sweet and sour sauce) sauce was overpowering the chicken breast that was nesting in the sauce. I ordered the prime sirloin steak (medium rare) which arrived cold, medium, and in a very rich dark reduction sauce that again overpowered the flavor of the meat. The vegatables were baby green beans, baby carrots, and pastry bagged whipped potatos, all of which were cold and bland. The zuccini was also cold, but quite tasty. I skipped dessert Monday night and just had coffee, which was served with plenty of cream and piping hot. The wine list is quite good, and offers many excellent selections by the glass if you do not want an entire bottle. Overall, the experience was superb, but the dinner left a bit to be desired. Afternoon tea on the front porch and great hall is a welcome and refreshing treat. Even though The Homestead went through a major renovation just several years ago, I feel that attention to small details such as peeling paint and wallpaper detract somewhat from my expectations of a world class resort. I would certainly return to the Homestead, but hope they improve their evening dining venue
Quite a place!
The Homestead is a famous resort in western Virginia. It is expensive in one way of looking at it, but if you factor in the value of the meals and if you take advantage of some of their special rates (such as package deals, seasonal rates, etc.) plus the included amenities it becomes at least a little more realistic. The Homestead uses the Modified American Plan, meaning that breakfast AND dinner is included in the price. This includes room service, and room service can be from any open dining room menu as well as the regular room service menu.
And meals at The Homestead are **MEALS** I mean cuisine as good as anywhere and tons of choices. You probably will not have eaten like that over several days before in your life, so just leave your Weight Watchers stuff behind.
The setting is pretty, the amenities plentiful and the staff incredibly courteous and professional. This is a world-class operation.
Homestead Perfect Place to Elope
This is the perfect place to elope and get married. My husband and I were married on 12/1/03 in a little white church in Hot Springs and we stayed at the Homestead for our marriage celebration. The Romance Package was wonderful. We arrived at the resort, changed into our wedding attire, went to the church for our ceremony, then returned to the resort for a photography session. The entire resort was decorated with Christmas trees and beautiful flower arrangements. The Great Hall fireplaces were warm and inviting. Our wedding dinner was the best we ever ate, and we even danced in our wedding attire on the dance floor.
There was champagne and flowers waiting in our room. The room was beautiful and we felt right at home staying there. The staff waited on us as though we were royalty. We each received a swedish massage. We loved the natural hot spring pool. We especially loved the carriage ride and the wonderful carriage driver who entertained us with his stories and humor. The only part we did not like was leaving. I highly recommend this resort for any getaway.
A splurge, but good value. Our anniversary package included breakfast, dinner carriage ride, photo, wine, flowers, and more. The price was high but the accommodations and service were superb. We were upgraded to a one-bedroom suite with a beautiful view and lovely furnishings. The golf was excellent, the spa treatments divine. We even took dance lessons! We'll be back.
The Homestead is a Superb Resort
On a four day visit to the Homestead in January/February of 2003, I had a fabulous long weekend - an elegant hotel with beautiful furniture, lovely and comfortable rooms, a wonderfully gracious afternoon tea in the main foyer, great spa facilities, riding, ice skating, skeet shooting, great library with card tables, hot spring baths and pool, bowling, and much more. One of the most beautiful dining rooms I have ever seen in a hotel with truly great food. Breakfast and dinner are included in the room price. Shuttle vans from the Roanoke Airport.
TripAdvisor Reviews The Omni Homestead Resort Hot Springs
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