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The Lodge at Glendorn
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Reviews (206)
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182 - 187 of 206 reviews
Reviewed 16 December 2008

I came to Glendorn for a fun time with my family and it was great! Everyone there was so plesant and helpful. We did a lot of their fun activities and they were very enjoyable. The food was always superb. I would recommend Glendorn to all my friends!

  • Stayed: December 2007
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Thank Joeatthestore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2008

We had originally planned a weekend getaway -- looking for something romantic for both of us, but also catering to our individual tastes - high end food and the outdoors for me, and charm and pampering for my wife. Glendorn delivered this and much more. The property itself would be magnificent if all you got was a sleeping bag and a bench, but this place, in spite of its remote location, provides amenities on par with many other relais and chateaux. Over the years we have stayed at all the Relais properties in the US, UK, and many in France and Europe. (Kinloch house in Scotland being our favorite -- if that can provide a baseline for other Relais travellers).

We found that Glendorn delivers the very high level of service and ammenitites (elegant fireside dining, an extensive winelist, charming personal service, and something we both are very picky about -- absolutely impeccable housekeeping). Glendorn has been getting a lot of buzz in the Pittsburgh area, so we decided to make the 4 hour drive to north western PA. The property has an absolutely splendid, and long, private approach drive guarded by vintage operating gates. The road meanders through a primordeal hollow lush with ferns, rhododenron and towering hemlocks. There is just enough taming of the wild landscape to hint of the elegance that awaits as the road unfolds onto the main lodge. The hotel is constituted of a cluster of absolutely elegant depression era cottages, decorated with what my wife and I both feel, is taste that has almost perfect pitch.

Alghouth they are called cabins, they are elaborately architected and constructed stone and brick cottages with original fireplaces, hardwood and slate floors, stone roofs and all kinds of nooks and crannies. Although this resort was built in the 1920s and 1930s, the original builders spared no expense when it came to details. The main lodge has a giant fireplace that was crackling with four foot long logs upon our arrival. The aroma of wood smoke and fresh lilies was welcoming and memorable , we noticed that the lilies arrangements were duplicated on a small scale in our cabins.

I work in the building industry, and anybody who has an even passing interest in either landscape architecture, architecture or decorating will find a treasure trove of ideas here. Not only is the main lodge impeccably landscaped to fit into the surrounding forest, but the cabins also seem to blend perfectly into the pristine backdrops. Pachasyandra, indigenous myrtle, natural stone walkways and elegant construction materials and styles make each cabin individual, charming, and yet with its sense of beloning to the whole. The decorating is traditional, the linens are monogrammed and lush, and the cabins are maintained 2x per day by a staff that seems invisible -- there must be close cooperation between the restaurant and the housekeeping staff, because whenever we returend from a meal, the cabin had already been put in order. Firewood is replenished magically, as are the cookie jars, towels, ice etc. The charm of the main lodge is reproduced in the cabins (we stayed in Miller but met two other couples, one staying at the Roost, and another at Dale's -- each cabin utterly charming).

We had read reviews of the property prior to booking, and were somewhat trepidatious about the bathrooms that "need updating". that we thought we should address this point in our review as it had caused us concern. This is of course a matter of style and taste, but my wife and I felt that the original bathrooms are so charming and elegant (fully tiled, period fixtures, leaded glass windows, hand made cabinetry and closets) , and so easily evoked the mode and mood of days gone by that it would be a SIN to change them in anyway. People coming in from the city who are looking for a chic-ultra modern bathroom a la Ritz Carlton, will probably appreciate the vintage fixtures less than we do, but the charm and mystic of this luxury getaway lost in the middle of a forest would be destroyed by any "updating".

My wife had a lovely massage firseside in one room of the cabin, while I browsed the diverse library at the cabin in another -- in front of yet another fireplace. We were here in the fall, and it seems the perfect time to come to a place such as Glendorn, but the winters must be absolutely enchanting with the snow capped hemlocks, and roaring fireplaces. There was a lovely swimming poll and large lawn behind the main lodge that hinted of summertime relaxation while floating under majestic hemlocks. The food was an exquisite 7 course tasting menu (our only complaint in this regard was the length of the process -- I get antsy but my wife likes to drag out the dining experience so she was not as bothered). This is a small, elaborate property offering such a wide range of appeals that we fell in love with it after one day and decided to extend our weekend by two more days.

We whiled the time away in front of the fireplaces in our cabin, strolling the property, browsing the libraries and art (an amazing collection of high quality art, as well as interesting vignettes of the family life of the owners -- a very large family that began the traditions 80 years ago), skeet shooting (Damon and Brian were excellent instructors and set up a very difficult sequence of five stand as well as some elimination trap rounds that were exhilirating). The property evidently has three ponds/lakes, we found but two, and there is a long hike that goes to the very top of the property where there is an exquisite wood cutters cottage that seems to have stepped out of the pages of Hansel and Grettle from our childhood imaginations.

Anybody looking for charm, romance and a rendez vous with a luxurious lifestyle of days gone by will not be disappointed by this property. The experience builds upon itself and we can not wait to come back.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank GetAwayHunter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2008

The Glendorn is a unique place set in the woods and has alot of potential to be a really great place. However, it is terribly outdated and in need of alot of work. While the meals are the highlight of the stay, your money could be better spent elsewhere. It is pricey for what you get and the level of detail is simply not apparent. You could have a wonderful weekend in NYC and stay at a top rated hotel for the price you pay here.

Wines are ridiculously overpriced...a $20 bottle of Chateau St. Michelle goes for a whopping $88! For that type of money you could be dining at Per Se or Daniel and have a meal of a lifetime. This place is not worth the money. At best a "diamond in the rough!"

  • Stayed: November 2008
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2  Thank WellTraveledMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 October 2008

I am hesitant to write but Glendorn's best days are behind. I tend to agree with the previous post that although the product isn't updated and there is some charm with that, what truly lacks is the service. We were there three years ago and the service was impeccable. The cuisine, outstanding. The friendliness of the staff, over-whelming. This past summer, we were treated with indifferent service, no special welcome, all the nice touches were gone. We did not meet the GM once during our stay. It is an amazing physical property but until there is change in managment and service attitude, we will not return or could recommend. If the service was at the level it used to be, then the outdated accommodations would be charming.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank VisitPA8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2008

We just spent a night at Glendorn for our 10th wedding anniversary.
Overall we had a pleasant time but Glendorn in my opinion does not deserve the price tag it is asking.
We have stayed at previous Relais and Chateau hotels and had booked Glendorn expecting the same quality of furnishings and service. Both fell way short of our previous experiences.
On a positive note, the setting is truly beautiful and away from it all, the food was of a very high standard and most of the staff were very friendly. We had a beginners skeet shooting lesson with Damon which was fun for a new experience.
On the downside... the featured accommodations on the website do look lovely and the room decor is co-ordinated. I am not sure that is the same for the other accommodations. We stayed in the Hutch which with a regular price tag of $973 (including 3 meals) I was expecting something really quite luxurious. The cabin is very spacious and was certainly comfortable, nice bed linens (though the headboard made of an old bench may be intersting it certainly didn't give a nice romantic feel that any regular board would), robes and towels but the damp mildewy smell of the place was overwhelming. I know this is a country retreat but small things that would make it appear that some care had gone into the place were missing. Simple things like cobwebs around the front door, sweep the door step, lots of paint chips, cracked tiles in the bathroom, renew some upholstery etc are small things that would not take much to fix and raise the quality. I know that some of the Dorn family still use this cabin but I found having personal family photos and even an old manicure set and personal memorabilia not what I was looking for in a hotel experience. The bathroom fixutures I am sure are all original but again with the kind of price being asked I think these need updating - yes it may take away from the original look of the place but nobody keeps their home the same forever so I am not sure why running it as a hotel they think it is OK to. There is alot of wear and tear and this should be dealt with.
We had nearly booked the John cottage which was also available but after looking through the window this room was in serious need of updating.
Dinner service and lunch service were not high quality - simple things like reaching in front of you to clear a plate, serving and clearing from any side, having 3 people walk by us at lunchtime before anyone even asked if we want to be seated. At dinner we had brought our own wine for the special occassion (It was priced at $410 on the list so I'm glad we did) When we asked if we could have one of the glasses from the tasting menu to pair with the cod dish I was told that they had 8 people signed up for the wine pairing so they would not open another bottle. Only on much insistence did she snatch away the other glasses of wine and provide us the chefs recommendation. if she had merely said that you cannot have a glass without signing on to the whole menu I would have understood it but her response was not appropriate. The situation was corrected when she then offered us a complimentary glass of wine with the next course (which we really did not need) but even so it tainted our dining experience.
All wine served by the glass at lunch and dinner is by wine type only e.g would you like a chardonnay, reisling etc. I would imagine the majority of clients coming to a fine dining experience would have a little knowledge of wines so to offer some more information on country of origin and vineyard is really expected. A menu of by the glass wines is not difficult to produce. To be offered by variety only is the kind of service I would expect at my local chain restauarant. The wine by the glass was good however but including tax came to $40 for 2 glasses. That is a very steep price anywhere especially when you have absolutley no idea what you ae drinking!
After dinner we thought we might play pool - on locating the table that was tucked away in the playhouse I have never seen a more depressing place to hang out. Ancient paint peeling metal chairs that look like they came from an old icecream parlour and that mildewy smell again and no bar service in sight. Again not what I was expecting in a luxury hotel.
Breakfast was good and no particular complaints.
At lunch we were for some reason seated in the covered patio area. I was very disappointed in this. The tables had bubbling wood veneer on them and a cheap table mat and looking through a screen with cobwebs around it and a fixed tear I felt like we were being ripped off. The main dining room had the expected table cloths and ambience. (When we did eventually get someone to seat us they first said to us "I will have to see where you are allowed to sit" - strange attitude when you are trying to claim world class service.)
On check-out I expressed my dissatisfaction to Scott at the front desk. He at our first welcoming and on departure is a truly charming and courteous person and the calibre of empolyee a hotel like this should have. After expressing my opinions without hesitation he offered me a discount off my room rate. I wasn't actually even looking for that and was very impressed by this response. Even so for our one night away, with one shooting lesson($100) and 4 glasses of wine the overnight experince came to just over $900.
In my opinion Glendorn could be an absolutely amazing place but attention to detail in service, attention to detail in fixing up places that are wearing out, making sure all accommodations look as good as the featured ones on the website etc are required. I would go back if rooms were offered at half the listed price but otherwise think this experience is grossly overpriced until some updating and maintenance adn attantion to service is done.
(p.s My husband and I are well travelled people and I have never writtin a reveiw before though I read them frequently. It is only my great disppointment that inspired me to do so. A precious night away from our young children could have been so much better for the price we paid.)

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank mhyOntario_Canada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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