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“Great in many ways, service and dining need help...”

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Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Whitefield
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 October 2007

We just returned this afternoon from our first stay at the MVG. Overall we really enjoyed it there. We plan on going back, as we were looking for a nice place we could go in the winter to snowmobile, snowshoe, etc, and they have plenty of separate trails for each. The views are fabulous and renovations impressive. Like someone said, nice without feeling like a museum. All the public rooms such as the parlor, library, movie theater, game and billiard rooms were cozy and welcoming, and they have a state of the art fitness area with plenty of equipment. Our room was a higher rate, but spacious, welcoming, and had it's own radiant heat so we could turn it on and warm up quickly on a cool fall morning. They have complimentary coffee in the morning, as well as hot cider and cookies in the afternoon.

Now for the not so good....
Service wasn't great. The young girl at the front desk had no personality, no enthusiasm, and no information about anything that might be useful for people who have never stayed there before, but I could overlook that. The major issue I had was going to their Tavern for dinner last night. First my husband was informed that it's 'standing room only' from 6p-7p. We go down there at about that time, and there are literally two other tables occupied. The young waitress never introduced herself, didn't really have a clue about answering any simple questions regarding the menu, etc, and was pretty much indifferent along with the rest of the staff. My husband and I both ordered the NY sirloin for $26. This piece of meat would have been sorely overpriced at $16 even for that cut...it was thin and half of mine was all fat. It was a $70 meal that was a major disappointment for what we paid, and there's really not a ton of other places around the area to go. Had it been a great meal we wouldn't have blinked an eye at the cost. I wanted to have a restaurant we could count on being good at the end of the day in winter without having to drive around and find something. Anyway, we realized complaining to this girl would have been pointless. My husband paid cash and needed change. She went to the bar, where she was sternly told "Not now, I'm busy", by the bartender, making my husband wait further, while she took it upon herself to walk to the front desk to try to get change there. Not good. I'd say of everything the restaurant needs better service, better quality of food, and just a different setup. I felt like the formal dining room was grossly overpriced and the Tavern a notch down at very overpriced, it would be a good idea to make the tavern a little more reasonable with more regular fare for people that didn't want a big formal sitdown at the end of the day. We also overheard a guest sitting down with a manager this morning and reviewing his dinner bill and what was eaten by whom, b/c apparently he was given the wrong bill last night, a bill much higher than it should have been, and he had to get it squared away (something that should have happened before they left the dinner table last night in my opinion). They should also offer something lighter for breakfast instead of having to sit down to another big meal. Offer muffins, or a bread basket, etc. It would go a long way with people wanting to grab something and get out on the trails or get going for the day.

The other little irritating things (and it's not a big deal) were what someone else said about the gift shop. Grossly overpriced with nothing good in it at all. Overpriced candles and $10 soap. I've stayed at nicer places with gift areas a lot more practical and reasonably priced...both Mt. Washington Hotel and the Balsams have better gift shops as well. The last little thing I will mention is our walk out to the stables this morning. The horses were turned out and we figured we'd take a look. There was a girl coming out to bring them in, and big surprise, no personality. I wouldn't call her snotty, but she certainly did NOT have time for small talk, or even a pleasant hello for that matter...she had work to do. The barn had a sign that said "Open, Come In"...we were in there and my husband was complimenting the structure of the barn while she was busying herself here and there. Naturally, she made no acknowledgment of it. When my husband asked her directly if she worked there/are these your horses she hoitily replied..."I OWN all this" and went back to her work in the other part of the barn. I was surprised since she was a younger girl, but come to find out she actually leases the property and barters the use of the horses etc...whatever.

Lastly I have to end this on a couple good notes. First off, many of the staff, including some of the young managers were great, you could tell they were busy trying to keep things going smooth and keep everyone happy. Not easy considering the staff they had to work with. The bellmen were wonderful, hardworking, personable, and very accomodating. Housekeeping staff very pleasant and accomodating. And the Club House staff was great. Management down there was friendly and well informed about the area. We went there for lunch the other day and we had a reasonably priced and delicious sandwich. Today we figured we'd try the brunch for $16/person. It was awesome. They had tons of great food, including a roast beef that was probably the best I've ever had, fried chicken that was not at all greasy, made to order omelets, pastries, fresh fruit, you name it. The best deal we had all weekend. Sad thing about it is they make the food up at the hotel, so why did we eat horsemeat last night for more than twice the money? They should offer the brunch up in the hotel for sure, as all you can get up there is a $15 omelet or something similar (the place was empty, they don't advertise it up in the hotel, we had heard about it when we had gone there for lunch previously). Also to boot, my husband in passing made mention of the unpleasant experience we had in the restaurant last night. While we were finishing brunch, the young girl took it upon herself to call the manager up at the hotel and we got our brunch on the house. We weren't expecting it and were super appreciative, it really meant the world to us that someone actually cared after some of the things we ran into this weekend.

Overall I really loved the MVG, service needs to improve and so does their dining situation. The quality was subpar for the price, and I'd like to see more informal/regular food offered in that section of the hotel.

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled as a couple
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Thank kdpezz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,992 - 1,998 of 2,091 reviews

Reviewed 5 October 2007

What a wonderful hotel. A grand looking hotel in a grand spot. Too bad the staff was so indifferent. I had read some other reviews and all I can say is that for the most part they are true. Other than a great bartender, who saw to it that we were able to get some food despite our late arrival, the rest of the staff needs to be taken by the scruff of theirs necks and shaken violently. They need to understand that without guests they would not have a job. For example, our second evening we arrived at the dining room to be seated for dinner. We were greeted by the hostess, I said "two for dinner please", and she replied "Oh really". Please understand it was early and there was no one else in the dining room. She escorted us to a table directly by the doors to the kitchen. The worst table in the place. Whereupon my wife asked if we might be seated a little farther away from the kitchen she replied in a huff "Well I guess so". If there had been anywhere else to eat I would have been gone in a moment. Too bad to,it really is a nice facility. We had really wanted to stay at the Mount Washington Hotel but it is undergoing renovations. Next time I will stay there or anywhere else except the Mountainview Grand.

  • Stayed: September 2007, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank hbladman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2007

Just returned from this beautiful old hotel. They have done a great job with the renovations - gardens are beautiful. The view from the porch is magnificant. Sitting on the porch is so relaxing.
The rooms were fine, not quite what I expected for a hotel of this caliber. The bathroom was very small - no vanity - very little space to put toiletries, etc. There weren't any towel racks to hang towels up after you had used them. The hook on the back of the door fell out when I tried to put some lightweight clothes on it. When my husband tried to fix it, he realized it was a very cheap hollow door.

The maid service left much to be desired. Bedding was just pulled up, wrinkles in the bedspread - hanging long on one side. No dusting occured -it was obvious from the crumbs left on the night stand.

Luckily we were there to relax - for a family wedding. Every dining room we were in, the service was deplorable. I guess they are having trouble getting help - they must have one chef in the kitchen.....it took over an hour to get our dinner the first night. Breakfast was unbelievable. There were ten of us and they brought out the dishes two at a time - we told our party to start eating, we didn't want it to get cold. By the time the last two of us got our breakfast it was about 40 minutes after the first two got theres!!!!!

It is a lovely place, and they have spent a lot of money in renovations. I hope they can get the service problem solved or they will be out of business!

Most staff was very friendly and polite - just not organized or enough of them I guess.

Stayed: September 2007
3  Thank gldnpear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 September 2007

We chose this hotel despite the mixed reviews because we had a hard time finding a luxurious accommodation in the area that would welcome children. Our dates were inflexible and the weather unclear (rain/sun), so we wanted a place that would allow us to stay indoors in case of bad weather. We were planning on celebrating an important event while using the spa services and the fine restaurant but after realizing how arbitrary the level of service was and how bad though pricey the dinning is, we went casual (see below recommendation for food and activities with children in the White Mountains).
Our B&B package included: 3 nights for a two double bed room with a Balcony, at a cost of 800$ (after a 10% triple A reduction) for a couple with a toddler. Not worth the price and would not be back.

To summarize the experience: a gorgeous hotel, beautiful amenities, genuinely friendly, hard working but clueless staff. I have traveled extensively and stayed at high-end resorts internationally and this one gave me the feeling that I am back at the Far East where all service would depend on our abilities to open up our wallets. Appalling request for paying gratuities at breakfast for B&B package (especially when buffet breakfast).


The good: wonderful indoor and outdoor pools, great play ground, beautiful and well taken care of surrounding, very elegant cozy library, brand new fitness room and a highlight movie theater. Nice and mostly clean room, giving onto a small pond, not big though well designed. Not at all disturbed by a wedding that took place that weekend. The most helpful were the bellboys, truly went over their way to give advice (chapeau to the hard working and kind Jonathan).


The bad: Too much pressure on gratuities or to quote another guest « even to breath here you have to pay ». The breakfast – very average food, not good, not bad, repetitive. Better to take the B&B deal otherwise the price is 40$ per couple.
A very arbitrary service: horse showing up at irregular times or not at all (though my son loved the ride so thank you), bath robes only upon request, room not well cleaned on second day, no popcorn at cinema hour (though we did not ask for it either), terrible service during breakfast depending on the waiter and the gratuities she would get, no table set for a toddler (only last day) and suggesting to use our forks for him. To give an example – on the first day, there were guests sitting at four tables only but the other waitress kept on offering coffee to HER three designated tables while ignoring us. The next day she probably learnt about our tip, so she did not skip us this time.

The phrase we heard the most over the weekend was “I do not know”: concierges not being able to give traveling advice/two days to figure out where are the switches for the lights in the balcony (there are none). Asked to speak to a manager on Saturday morning but there was none at site.

AS LONG AS YOU AVOID THE SERVICE, THE PLACE IS PERFECT

Recommendations for traveling with toddler/children in the White Mountains –

On the way to Whitefield: visited the Shaker’s village and took the tour (15 $ per adult). An absolute must, fascinating history told by a man who lived in the village as a child. Wonderful gift shop.


Second day: the Basin, the Flume (10 $ per adult)., heavenly Echo lake Beach for a swim in the open air. All walks are very easy.

Third day: Great hike in Crawford Notch Arethusa Falls and Bemis Brook Falls. 2-3 hour hike depending on child’s pace. Concluded with Kancamangus Highway drive.


Casual Restaurants – following the recommendation of the « local » Californians, we happily ate at –

ALBURRITOS Mexican restaurant at Littleton (on the way to the Hotel, just the town before Whitefield). Very simple decor but wow (!) what tasty fresh food. 35$ total for a hungry family.

(603) 444-3338 | 189 Union St, Littleton NH 03561

ROSA FLAMINGO’s – Italian style good food with excellent ambiance. Very suitable with kids. We sat outside and had a lovely relaxing evening. You would recognize the place by the Christmas light looking house glowing in the dark.

Main Street Bethlehem, NH, 603 869 3111

Do not laugh, but your better treat yourselves to the divine chocolate chip cookies at Whitefield’s supermarket, in a bakery bag.

  • Stayed: September 2007, travelled with family
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7  Thank abscd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2007

We stayed 3 nights at the Mountain View Grand Resort and loved it. We have 2 small children and have to say the resort is very child friendly. My kids loved riding the old fashioned crank elevator,, the game room and movie theatre were also big hits, but the best was the outdoor pool and of course the indoor pool. Both pools were very clean. In fact the entire hotel was immaculate, including our rooms. We had a historic room which faced the back of the property and the mountains. We could also see the beautiful garden and waterfall in the back. The entire staff is hospitable and friendly and made you feel at home. The front porch is amazing for relaxing and the kids had fun using the telescope at night. We ate dinner one night at the country club on the property, this is where the outdoor pool is located. The food was very good and reasonable priced, and the view sitting on the outdoor deck for dinner was amazing!
The kids were also able to have a pony ride! They loved it.
If you are traveling to the area for attractions like Santa's Village this hotel is very close. There are many good restaurants close by as well.
Overall this experience was excellent and we would return to the Mountain View Grand Resort.

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank beachy22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2007

Previous reviews hit the nail on the head – great, historic, well maintained facility with huge gaps in service consistency. Overall, I can recommend the place, but with a few reservations. My wife and I drove three hours for a weekend getaway with our seven month old infant.

First, the good:

Hotel itself and grounds – beautifully landscaped and extremely well maintained hotel. Old and historic, but does not feel like a museum. The hotel is a very comfortable place. They must have invested a lot in renovations in recent years and it shows. Special mention for the front patio – if I didn’t have to go back to work I would still be sitting there with a drink enjoying the view and people watching. We didn’t golf or use the spa this trip, but the course looked well maintained and the spa menu had some interesting offerings beyond basic massages and pedicures.

Unique activities – though there isn’t a ton to do, what they have is interesting. There is a stable on site, offering horse and goat meet and greets (cool for kids and city dwellers), horseback trail riding, and carriage rides. There is a movie theater with a borrowing library, nice game room (chess, checkers, etc) and pool table. The outdoor pool is adequate. There is an interesting daily calendar of events, but the events didn’t seem to always happen (ex: the concierge “didn’t know” why the pony didn’t show up at 9:30 in the morning to a group of waiting kids and wasn’t interested in fixing it).

The price – other reviewers have commented on the prices, but I found most things reasonable for a relatively high-end place. Not cheap, but not offensive as at so many places and they don’t nickel and dime you too badly (no resort fee, free wi-fi, etc). Restaurant entrees were $15-$35, appetizers and drinks very reasonable. I thought the food was pretty good, not the disaster that some others have commented on. (The breakfast buffet was fantastic, well worth $18.) Even room service was priced fairly. In my opinion, no price gouging here, and they certainly could given the lack of anything else in the area. Room price was very fair.

The bad:

The service – getting to know your fellow guests is easy because we all have the poor service in common to talk about. The terrible service is mainly limited to the restaurants, bar, and patio service. At the “country club” the waitress tossed our menus to us and then left during the middle of our meal (nobody else took her place, we had to seek out a replacement), waitstaff on the patio was inconsistent but dependably surly when present, and our tavern waitress seemed angry about something. Management seemed ready and willing to fix problems (I observed them getting lots of practice), but wholly incapable of proactively preventing them. Poor service seems to be a common thread running through prior reviews, and I can tell you that problems persists.

Facility layout – there are no ramps and only one extremely old-school elevator that can only be operated by hotel staff. This was oddly charming to us, but If you have strollers, a wheelchair, or have a hard time with stairs, this place can be rough. Also, to access the pool, one must go up stairs, pass through an outdoor dining area, and down another set of stairs. The gate leading directly to the pool was chained closed. Huh?

The gift shop – lots of $75 logo polos and spa stuff, but nothing practical. We forgot toothpaste and had to travel into town. For a place this remote, would it kill them to stock replacement toiletries, either complimentary or for sale in the shop? Strange.

The eager girl behind the desk asked how our visit was when we checked out. I sensed a just barely perceptible wince on her part, expecting yet another guest to unload. I replied “fine”, not knowing even where to begin.

  • Stayed: August 2007
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    • Check-in / front desk
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2  Thank wltr_louis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 August 2007

We arrived to find the hotel up on a beautiful mountain. When we went to check in we were given no instruction and were told we could wait for the bell man if we wanted. I decided to take my car around to the parking lot (which is a long walk back to the front. ) Once we tugged our luggage up a flight of stairs the bellman appears just before we got to our room. We were given no map and no explanation of where things were located. We thought that the first floor was all that was available. We ate supper in the dining room - a bit stuffy. Make sure you bring a suit and tie guys or the waitstaff will look at you oddly. Kids I hope your not hungry the meals are suited for 1 year olds. Supper was small if not tiny and very expensive. I would definetly go in town next time. There was no entertainment and nothing going on for the kids after 5pm. We tried to book a spa treatment and it was full.
In the morning as I was having coffee in the lobby I heard someone check in who got instructions. I overheard the receptionist tell the new people that there is a theater and a game room down stairs. It was not marked and no signs to alert anyone that it was even there. We proceeded to have breakfast in the dining room. We sat there for a while before a waiter came up to ask if we were having the buffet. Ok, I said but my first thought was to aks the price. We ate a great breakfast. There was me, and my 2 kids - yes, 3 people for $65. The kids drank water. Not what I was expecting.
Upon checkout - no bell boy. I went to get the car and pulled up in front. I had the kids waiting in the lobby with our luggage that we brought down ourselves. As we were coming down the front step the bell boy appears out of nowhere. When he asked if he could help I said no thank you. It wasn't worth it to ever go back there. The place is lacking service and entertainment in a serious way.

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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2  Thank MelCool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa

Address: 101 Mountain View Rd, Whitefield, NH 03598-3149
Phone Number:
Region: United States > New Hampshire > White Mountains > Whitefield
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Whitefield
Price Range: £137 - £315 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 141
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Founded in 1865 and set on 1,700 acres with sweeping views of the White Mountains, Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa is New England's premier historic mountain resort. It was the only resort or hotel in the state to earn AAA Four Diamond awards in both Lodging and Dining for since 2008. With stellar dining choices from the gourmet selections in the wine cellar to casual meals in the Tavern or spectacular views at the seasonal Club House and Veranda, guests find a style and price to fit their mood. With a full-time Activities Department and complimentary children's programs, guests enjoy hiking, kayaking, biking, indoor and outdoor pools, a health and wellness center, golf on the resort's historic course, and four Classic Clay tennis courts. In winter, it's time for cross country skiing, snowshoeing, snow tubing, ice skating, snowmobiling, and dog sled adventures. Mountain View also provides the opportunity to choose from over 500 movie selections in the in-house movie theater. Mountain View Farm features friendly animals at the Big Red Barn. Evening activities include marshmallow toasting over an open campfire. Conde Nast Traveler named Mountain View one of North America's top five resort spas for 2008. There are great views high in the landmark Tower Spa, with an infinity-edge Sok tub and side-by-side massages a specialty. The Presidential Suite has spectacular vistas, a private wet bar, fireplace, flat-screen TVs, hand-painted furniture, and a lovely dining area with French doors. The elegant master bedroom has a king-size bed and cozy window nook while the master bath features a luxury whirlpool. Business meetings are served in 20,000 square feet of flexible conference space with built-in AV equipment and reliable internet and cell phone service. Mountain View specializes in storybook weddings in the domed Crystal Ballroom with its famed hand-painted ceiling or the century-old gazebo on Grand Fountain Terrace. Mountain View Grand is 100% wind-powered and has been recognized as an Environmental Champion by the NH Lodging & Restaurant Association. The resort is a proud member of Historic Hotels of America. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mountain View Grand Resort And Spa
Mountain View Grand Hotel Whitefield
Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa Whitefield, White Mountains, New Hampshire

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