We used a Groupon Coupon to try out Highland Springs, mainly because we had just read a food critic's review claiming their steak house was the best restaurant in the region, specializing in local organic produce. The deal was $99 for one night that included a $20 voucher for lunch and a $50 voucher for dinner. We arrived around lunch time, expecting to check in, enjoy lunch and then explore the extensive grounds. We were told that even if our room was ready, we couldn't check in until 4pm unless we wanted to pay a $20 early check-in fee. We stretched out lunch (just average, with several mix-ups due to a staffing shortage) and then set out on a leisurely walk around the property. We were provided with a small map that indicated the general layout, but we weren't given any suggestions and found that the map didn't title many of the more interesting spots, such as ponds or sitting areas. In fact, we were hard-pressed to find a sitting area, although we would have loved to stop and enjoy the water birds and other numerous birds inhabiting the grounds. We eventually found some over-turned abandoned chairs in a deserted area and killed a couple of hours reading.
We again tried in vain to check in around 3pm. At 4pm exactly we were allowed to check in. Our next unpleasant surprise was when we inquired about breakfast. We just assumed that it would be on the grounds and were quite surprised when we were told that we would have to leave and find our own breakfast in the morning. IHOP and Denny's were suggested. What a terrible way to ruin a "nature" stay! We would have been happy with coffee and a muffin, and it wouldn't have taken much effort on their part.
Unpleasant surprise #3--dinner! It's rather unusal to find that a $34 filet mignon comes only with fries and spinach. And then they burned my medium-rare filet! Taste-wise, the replacement filet was no better than the overdone version. My husband's New York steak (also over-cooked) came with a small pile of veggie chips although he had been told it also came with fries. Our server tried to be helpful, but there's only so much he can do to correct the kitchen's mistakes.
We retired to our room, which was clean and quite charming. Too bad we were awakened at 7:30am by the gardener's leaf blower. He had the whole extensive grounds to do but he chose our particular small cluster of guest rooms! After 27 minutes (literally!) of blowing around our front door, our windows, our back door, and the nearby rooms, we gave up the idea of sleeping in. And since there was no coffee to be found on the grounds, we packed up and left!
This place could be so great with a little effort! But our interaction with the people at the desk left us with the impression that they really didn't want our feedback, and there are no evaluation forms. In fact, there was no information at all in the rooms or in the lobby regarding available activities, meals, rules, etc. We are still confused about what they are trying to be. As much as we would love to support them, there were too many failings and we cannot recommend this place to our friends or family. Even with the Groupon Coupon we felt we overpaid!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC