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“A Trip Back in Time!”

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Rittenhouse Motor Lodge
Ranked #6 of 7 Hotels in Cape Charles
Reviewed 9 September 2013

Okay... I'm biased. I recently made my fourth trip to this motel/motor lodge at the southern end of Virginia's Eastern Shore. I love the motel and it's owner, Mr. Robert Rittenhouse. You feel like a friend visiting him, instead of a guest in his motor lodge.

WARNING! IF you require the latest in hotel/motel furnishings and accomnodations, please avoid this establishment. It is quite 'retro' - but very clean and comfortable. It is an older (50's or early 60's) business, but has been updated in some areas.

The rooms are spacious. The beds are comfortable. The host is very friendly and knowledgeable about the area. Mr. Rittenhouse makes great coffee in the morning, and is around for conversation.

The grounds are huge, and it is well off the busy road, surrounded by tall pine trees, so in summer, it is well-shaded.

I highly recommend it for those who don't need - or really don't want - the new, cookie-cutter hotel/motel room.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank tdoranaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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31 - 37 of 52 reviews

Reviewed 9 August 2013 via mobile

After traveling extensively thru east coast we came upon the Rittenhouae Lodge tucked away in St Charles VA on Route 13 in a beautiful wooded setting. The lodge is just that. An older lodge that, a lodge that steps u back I time complete w the most delightful owner Bob Rittenhouse. The room was large, clean and somewhat dated. Ask the owner to see his personal accommodations there as it is one of the added benefits. The tall trees, stream and quiet setting lends itself to a peaceful stay. If u want modern and new stop by a Holiday Inn but u will be missing out on a memorable evening at Rittenhouse!!! We are glad we spent an evening there. The little town has lots to offer w nice places to eat including Kelly's an old bank that Bob Rittenhouse recommended. Bob is the best!

  • Stayed: August 2013
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1  Thank IllinoisTravelgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2013

Driving into the property the motel was well hidden from the road. Once down the driveway we could have been in New England for all we knew! The air was wonderfully scented from the fireplace. There are huge oak's and lob lolly pines.. camellias, azaleas and gardenia's. Our room on the corner was huge with a picture window looking out on to the woods. There is a covered walkway around the property that makes for a nice sitting area to have coffee or just relax. Mr Rittenhouse carefully built this property years ago and is the wonderful curator/historian. The beds are comfortable, all the linens were crisp and white and furnishings updated retro... never mind a few scratches here and there. The bathroom was straight out of the 50's which we loved... and the water is hot! Most of all the ambiance. I suspect the same as it was years ago before the "Holiday Inn" concept took over. Americana at its finest and to be treasured, offering comfort to the weary traveler... and a great cup of coffee in the morning. We will be back!

Room Tip: Love the corner room.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Kathleen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2013

This motor lodge will not appeal to everyone, if the motels I usually stay at have their finger on the pulse of the travelling public, then today's traveler wants two queen sized beds, a bowed out shower curtain, a hot breakfast in the Lobby, plus 200 stations on the TV. You won't find that stuff here--well they do have free wifi. But if you're content to have a large comfortable room and really good coffee in the lobby, plus you can appreciate the Lob Lolly Pines and the aroma of magnolias in the vast gardens, plus personal service from the owner/manager, then pay attention. Instead of a fitness room there are walking paths and little bridges that dot the back 40. And don't look for the pool, this is a motor lodge, not a spa.
The Rittenhouse has been the dream and lifelong project of Bob Rittenhouse. It's pretty darn modern for a 1960's kind of place, and very comfortable and well located if Cape Charles is your destination. I'll admit it's old and even a little tired, but it's a great place and worth a stay. If you need a quick breakfast or dinner, a McDonald's has recently opened just across the street.
This was our second stay here, and just to let you know how much we liked it, we called from Georgia to see if there was a vacancy--and when we heard there was, we then drove the 800 miles to get there.

Room Tip: Talk to Mr Rittenhouse, he'll give you the best room he has. We like the rear corner room with a...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank EnglewoodDane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2013

During a recent overnight trip to Cape Charles, Virginia, we came across three old timers from the area who recommended that we stay at this cute, no frills motel. It is very charming, as is its host, Bob Rittenhouse, nestles in a wooded patch right off the main road to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank tfig218
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2013

We did not intentionally set out to find the Rittenhouse Motor Lodge, but can tell you we were glad we did. After traveling a full day from Charleston (headed toward Chincoteague), we were trying to pinpoint a spot to spend the night. Looking at Tripadvisor, we noticed a number of reviews about this interesting motor lodge. Setting our gps as a new destination, we were soon in the office of Bob Rittenhouse, an 85 your old incredible host. This place is right out of the 50's and 60's- and I say that affectionately! Bob gladly showed us the grounds and room options and invited us to stay. As it was a cool evening, Bob had a fire blazing in his home on the grounds, which added to the ambiance of the wooded fauna and flora.

The town of Cape Charles is a short 2+ miles away, and offers some dining options such as the Shanty and Kelly's Gingernut Pub. Kelly's was a great spot for a cold drink (in an old bank building) and then we moved on to the Shanty for a waterfront dinner. Fresh drum fish fish and chips was a key find.

Don't miss the opportunity to stay at the Rittenhouse Motor Lodge while you still can. Bob has family, although they are not interested in continuing the legend- so get there now and enjoy the hospitality that has been shared for over 60 years.

Room Tip: Ask for the "new section"
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank seezmeoil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2013

I've stayed at this establishment twice in the past year - once in July 2012, and again December. Both stays were marvelously wonderful. While the Lodge is definitely 'old school' and some of the 'bad' things you may read about it are true (bathrooms being 'dated', etc.), it is still a wonderful place to stay.

The Lodge is convenient to everything in the area. The rooms are clean and very spacious. The bathrooms are dated, but work well. Coffee is obtained in whatever quantities you desire at the office. (The second trip, I took a carafe and filled it.)

The owner, Robert Rittenhouse, is a wonderful person and is very knowledgeable about the area - and graciously shares information. He is a joy to be around.

In short, staying here is like stepping back in time. You'll love it - or never return. If you are in the 'never return' camp... well, I feel sorry for you.

Room Tip: I don't think there is a bad one!
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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6  Thank zoniediver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rittenhouse Motor Lodge

Address: 23054 Lankford Hwy, Cape Charles, VA 23310-2112
Region: United States > Virginia > Cape Charles
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 7 Hotels in Cape Charles
Number of rooms: 13

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