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“Pretty disappointed!” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Riverside Hot Springs Inn & Spa

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Riverside Hot Springs Inn & Spa
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Pretty disappointed!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2014

I'm not one to write my reviews based on emotion, I try to be fair and accurate in all aspects of the review I write. However, with that being said, this was a very terrible experience and you may find some frustration and emotional undertones throughout my review of this "bed and breakfast".

I booked this trip on a whim....my boyfriend and I normally celebrate Valentines Day the weekend before or after the actual holiday. So Wednesday (02.05.14), I called the Riverside to see if they had any rooms available. The owner (Gail) advised me that she had just had a cancellation of one of her nicest rooms. She proceeded to tell me how great it was....we would have a TV, our own walk out veranda and the only draw back was that we would have to share a bathroom with one other room. This isn't uncommon with Bed & Breakfasts. So I booked the room. Immediately after taking my credit card, she told me that we wouldn't be able to cancel the room because we were outside the 72 hour window. (I thought this was strange at the time, but later understood why she told me this) So we pack up and hit the road.
The hotel itself, upon first impressions, looked very historic and quaint. We unloaded and went in to register and get settled in. The main area was craziness....they were doing a wine tasting event and it was loud and crazy. So it took a good 15 minutes for anyone to even realize we were standing there waiting to check in. Once we were noticed, the lady started the process and was initially very nice and pleasant. We checked in, she pointed the room out to us and we headed that way. We were a little leary because the room was on the main floor and right next to all of the wine tasting chaos, but we knew the event would be over in the next 15 minutes or so, so we figured it'd be fine. As we approached the room, we realized that this was not at all the room that had been described to us. This room was literally 7' x 7' (that's being generous), it was barely large enough to hold the 250 year old queen bed that was in it. There was no TV, no veranda and we had two other doors in our room leading into the rooms on both sides of us. We seriously thought this was a joke.
We went back up to the front desk and Gail proceeded to tell us that this was the room and that she was in fact the person I had booked the room with a couple of days before. I asked her about the TV, veranda and the bed. She said, you do have a veranda, out of the french doors in the common area, and she then told me that she never mentioned a TV or a King Bed.
I called EVERY other place in Lava Hot Springs and everyone was booked solid.
After being told over and over again by Gail that she was not going to give us our money back, she upgraded our room (at no additional cost) for the one night to a "SUITE" she had on the second floor. And she again reminded us, that she will be charging us for the second night regardless of whether or not we stayed. (Oh, there were no other rooms available for the second night)
The suite was a decent enough room, there was an old box style TV, a private bathroom and a king size bed. But everything in this hotel was so outdated and old, we were afraid to sleep there. The next morning we woke up for breakfast and our "vouchers" had been slipped under our door during the night. So we went down to the restaurant where our $7 per person voucher, would only buy us Granola or a simple breakfast of 1 egg, 1 bacon and toast. So to actually eat a meal, we HAD to spend more money to eat. So our breakfast, even with the vouchers, was still $21, plus tip.
The only thing about this hotel that was actually nice and worth the hassle, were there three private hot springs in the basement.

Not all was lost.....we ended up talking to Vicki, a local there that runs the Grey Stone Inn, and she SAVED our romantic getaway. She offered us a place to stay at a different property and even went as far as to call all of the other B&B's in the area and found us an amazing room at The Lionsgate Inn. (which I will also write a review on) THANK YOU VICKI for saving our trip!!

Room Tip: Make sure you understand what room you are in. If it's on the main floor, do not take it!
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sommerfun12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HistoricRiversideInn, Owner at Riverside Hot Springs Inn & Spa, responded to this review, 25 February 2014
Dear Sommer,

We always appreciate guest comments and make every effort to make improvements from their recommendations as we will with yours. Thank you for providing us with your feedback.

We certainly remember you and the circumstances of your reservation and your stay with us. We do want our guests to enjoy their stay and very carefully describe the guest room and facilities. I would like to clarify a few of the issues that you pointed out and the circumstances based around your comments.

Although you referred directly to me, the owner, I was not in town when you booked your guest room, however the staff member who did make your reservation and who also checked you in has been on staff for four years and is very careful in describing our guest rooms and amenities.

The guest room that you reserved was a Standard Queen Guest Room. The Inn only has four Standard Queen Guest Rooms remaining (two on each floor). Two Standard Queens do share a bathroom, and we are very clear to state that they are our smallest rooms (approximately 100 square feet) and do not have television nor a veranda off of the guest room. My honest belief is that you misunderstood her and she told you that the room was “not” one of our nicest. We do send out email confirmations immediately restating the accommodations, amenities and cancellation policies.

Your reservation was made on the same weekend as Lava Hot Springs Fire & Ice Winter Carnival. In the weekend of that event, there are virtually no rooms available city-wide. We did have a guest room become available after your check in, and we were more than happy to upgrade you to a King Guest Room. We had your name on a priority list to offer you any other guest rooms that might become available on Saturday night. Unfortunately, another room did not become available; hence you made the decision to find other lodging options.

As you mentioned, guests received a voucher on the weekend for $7 toward dining in our restaurant for breakfast. The voucher provides coffee or tea, and an option of a French toast with bacon, oatmeal Traditional Breakfast, which includes 2 eggs, bacon or sausage, hash browns and toast.

Yes, at the time that you checked in, I apologize is very busy and buzzing with lots of activity. The wine tasting that you referred to is one that we host once a year as a fund raiser for the Chamber of Commerce, which was held the night of your arrival from the time of 5-7pm. We are very carefully to end the event in a timely manner and reset the main lobby as soon after the end of the event. We apologize that the wine tasting event offended you in any manner.

Although we are sorry that that your stay at the Riverside did not meet your expectations, we are glad that the remainder of your stay was positive and hope that you return to Lava Hot Springs in the future.

Sincerely,

Gail Palen
Owner
Riverside Hot Springs Inn
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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171 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    68
    53
    19
    19
    12
See reviews for
28
80
15
7
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (60)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Livingston, Montana, United States
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 February 2014

This hotel impressed me with its charm of a historic hotel, cute antiques, a cool, creaking wooden stairway, large room, beautiful bathroom with white tiles, comfortable bed, super-friendly staff, excellent breakfast AND my dog could stay with me!! it doesn't get much better! A stairway in back leads to the river where my dog and I had a lovely walk in the evening. Lava Hot Springs is a quaint little town with a walking trail to a waterfall. The whole experience was very relaxing. I cannot confirm the reviewers notes that there were "ripped quilts or electrical problems". Maybe I was lucky but I loved it there.

Room Tip: Choose one of the larger rooms.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Susi S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 December 2013

I am certain 100 years ago this place was wonderful. Today though, it is not. The smell, the ripped carpets, the dirty ripped quilts, the electrical problems all combine to make it pretty terrible. The staff is wonderful though, and I would love to see the place restored and cleaned. The original door and transom windows were beautiful, if dirty, same with all of the original wood work. Sad to see it left to rot.

Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank 2manycritters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 November 2013

The Riverside Hot Springs Inn is a historic hotel with lots of charm. Our room was clean and comfortable, dinner and breakfast were excellent and the customer service was impeccable. Lava Hot Springs is a small community surrounded by breathtaking country. Suggest taking a side trip to Chesterfield.

Room Tip: Request a room with windows that open. The hotel is heated with hot water and may be a little warm f...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jorjia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HistoricRiversideInn, Owner at Riverside Hot Springs Inn & Spa, responded to this review, 4 December 2013
We are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay and meals at the Riverside Hot Springs Inn. It is our sincere goal that your entire stay is terrific each and every time your visit us! Thank you!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jackson, Wyoming, United States
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 November 2013

RHSI is the best for the price and what is offered, including a nice hot breakfast in the morning and full use of hot springs 6am - 11pm. This hotel offers rooms with shared bathrooms but I usually upgrade to the bigger corner rooms with a large soaking tub and flat screen tv. This location is also the only site with private outdoor pools, all of varying degrees located on the river and near the parking lot.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Anna R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HistoricRiversideInn, Owner at Riverside Hot Springs Inn & Spa, responded to this review, 4 December 2013
Thank you Anna for your great review and comments. We look forward to your return!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cottonwood Heights, Utah
Level Contributor
33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 November 2013

Next time you are in Lava, treat yourself to a fabulous dinner at the Riverside Hot Springs Inn. James and the staff always provide outstanding service and a meal that is always one of the best. The steamed clams are amazing. We also enjoyed the ahi tuna. The fillet Mignon melted in my mouth. And of course, Lava Cake for dessert.

This was probably my tenth visit to the Riverside in as many years. I can't wait to return. Thank you, Riverside Inn for another memorable and wonderful dinner in your delightful hotel.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank HotSpringsLover58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HistoricRiversideInn, Owner at Riverside Hot Springs Inn & Spa, responded to this review, 4 December 2013
Our thanks for dining with us from the whole team at the Riverside Hot Springs Inn and the Portneuf Grille & Lounge!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Herriman, Utah
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 November 2013

This historic hotel tells a story of its own, very interesting, the pictures alone are fascinating. We enjoyed our stay here. They allowed our dog to stay and that was very important to us. Yes this hotel is old, but we found it clean, we found the staff extremely friendly, helpful and the food and serving staff was as good as it gets. This was our first stay at Lava Hot Springs. It was a gift from my husband’s employer. We will most definitely come back and stay again. Sometimes you had to wait for hot water, but hey sometimes I do that at home! The Riverside is right in the middle of town so either direction you can walk somewhere and do something fun. So give this quaint hotel a try. We know you will be pleasantly surprised.

Room Tip: Second Floor has rooms with big bathrooms.
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank 840Deborah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HistoricRiversideInn, General Manager at Riverside Hot Springs Inn & Spa, responded to this review, 11 November 2013
Thank you Deborah for your comments! Your review was insightful and thoughtful! On behalf of the entire staff, we look forward to your return and hope the Riverside Inn is even better!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Riverside Hot Springs Inn & Spa

Property: Riverside Hot Springs Inn & Spa
Address: 255 East Portneuf, Lava Hot Springs, ID 83246
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Idaho > Lava Hot Springs
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 6 Hotels in Lava Hot Springs
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Riverside Hot Springs Inn & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Riverside Hot Springs Inn & Spa is a historic, full service, boutique hotel, spa, restaurant & lounge located in downtown Lava Hot Springs. Featuring 18 guest rooms, onsite hot mineral springs & massage therapy, the acclaimed Portneuf Grille & Lounge which is open nightly for dinner, meeting facilities, free wifi & complimentary Continental breakfast. The Riverside features 24 hour staffing and service. The hotel is located within 2 blocks of the Foundation hot mineral soaking facilities. ... more   less 
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