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“Great Location, Good All Around”

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The Dinsmore House Bed & Breakfast
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 July 2013

The history and architecture of this house were really fascinating. The location was (arguably) the best in Charlottesville. However, the property is being run as something between a small hotel on a very tight budget and a B&B. There are a few minor items that would be of minimal cost to update that would be major improvements (B&B quality towels [they have the low budget motel white type], extension cords so that tv/lamp/AC could all be used at the same time, bed side lamps with a place to plug them in, shower head cleaning) but overall, we enjoyed our stay and would return. The staff was friendly, the breakfasts good and in general our visit as we explore America’s Road to Independence was one we would recommend. (Note it is difficult to give the Dinsmore House a rating. Thus I've compared it on a scale of B&B in a similar price range. I'd like to give it a very good but it just doesn't quite make that.

Room Tip: There is construction across the street thus I would not recommend the sleeping porch. They do have...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with friends
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3  Thank MsOrdeal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DINSMOREHOUSE, Owner at The Dinsmore House Bed & Breakfast, responded to this reviewResponded 18 March 2014

Thanks for the kind words about our staff, location and breakfast. I will pass them along to our staff for encouragement.

Thanks also for pointing out areas where we can improve. We are looking for ways to enhance to the rooms, and guest feedback like yours is very helpful to that end.

One response regarding comment about the towels: We do provide high quality towels, not the cheap hotel towels as indicated. They are, and always will be white, but they are not of low quality. We launder them and iron them on site daily.

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Reviews (195)
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78 - 84 of 195 reviews

Reviewed 23 July 2013

The condition of this property was surprising when compared to the internet photographs. We were very disappointed. We did enjoy the breakfasts. The owner, dog and sister were very pleasant. The location was convenient. If the building had been in top condition the experience would have been much better.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank jim k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DINSMOREHOUSE, Owner at The Dinsmore House Bed & Breakfast, responded to this reviewResponded 18 March 2014

Thanks for the kind words about the breakfast, staff and location.

We are committed to the improving and maintaining this 200 year old house to meet our guests’ expectations. Many of our guests kindly let us know when something in their room is in disrepair or needs attention, so that we can address it. When we fall short in the upkeep department it is unacceptable. To that end, we have reinvested more than $40,000 on improvements to the inn just in the last three months. Improvements include two remodeled bathrooms, new furniture in the common areas and 3 guest rooms, new carpeting and flooring in two rooms and the installation of a $13,000 heating and cooling system. Guests can follow our improvements on the Dinsmore House website blog and on Facebook.

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Reviewed 19 June 2013

Wow, I was totally unimpressed by how run down this B&B was. I felt like I was in an old fraternity house. Peeling paint beat up doors, cob webs, weeds along the landscape, run down but it's clear they remain full due to their close proximity to UVA-they are right across the street from UVA hospital. They are also IN the same parking lot as the Marriott courtyard and steps away. These logistics would not cause me to stay away but the poor shape of this inn would. This place has potential but is in serious need of repair, renovation and some regular maintenance. Here's the plus: super nice thoughtful, helpful staff and a tasty breakfast and good DVD selection. Too bad they aren't reinvesting some of their profits into keeping this old home in good working order. I stayed in the veranda room.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled on business
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3  Thank Chaska16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DINSMOREHOUSE, Owner at The Dinsmore House Bed & Breakfast, responded to this reviewResponded 18 March 2014

Over the last decade this old building has seen a lot of wear and tear. We did not provide proper and timely upkeep to building and we are working diligently to address that. It is a 200 year old building, so all the changes won't happen overnight, but we have used this off-season daily improve the condition and quality of the inn.

When we fall short in the upkeep department it is unacceptable. To that end, we have as the reviewer suggests reinvested more than $40,000 on improvements to the inn just in the last three months. Improvements include two remodeled bathrooms, new furniture in the common areas and 3 guest rooms, new carpeting and flooring in two rooms and the installation of a $13,000 heating and cooling system. Guests can follow our improvements on the Dinsmore House website blog and on Facebook.

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Reviewed 7 June 2013

We spent 2 nights at this facility and could not have been more satisfied. The owners and staff were very gracious and helpful. The room (the Virginia room) had an outside entrance which was not a problem and it was very comfortable with all of the amenities we needed. Parking was provided in the Marriott lot about a block away and was very convenient. Also, the breakfast was terrific, even the morning was the electricity was out in the a large area. I'd go back again if we visit Charlottesville.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Virginia room which is in an attached addition, but has a separate entrance. It wa...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Cookiebob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DINSMOREHOUSE, Owner at The Dinsmore House Bed & Breakfast, responded to this reviewResponded 18 March 2014

Thank you! Most of our staff have been with us for several years, and so they understand how important it is to be friendly and helpful with our guests. Whenever a guest goes out of her way to compliment our staff, we make sure to pass that along. The best part of innkeeping is interacting with guests.

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Reviewed 24 May 2013

We were fortunate to get three rooms at the Dinsmore House for graduation weekend, and the owners worked with us via email to plan a sit down dinner for twelve the night of graduation. The location could not have been improved upon: we walked everywhere we needed to go. Parking was covered and accessible. The ambience of the period house, and the outdoor seating on porch and in the garden, was incredible. Our extended family, ranging in age from teen to elderly, was in and out visiting, and the staff was welcoming and flexible. They helped us with earlier than scheduled breakfast on Saturday so we could make it to an army commissioning event at UVA. Our last evening the staff served a memorable dinner of Virginia comfort food family-style in the dining room complete with Virginia wines and champagne to toast our graduate. My husband, who has traveled all over the world, decided it was one of the most enjoyable weekends he's ever had. Despite reviews from others about noise, our rooms were quiet and very comfortable. The Dinsmore House really completed our Charlottesville experience.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled solo
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Thank NLMac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DINSMOREHOUSE, Owner at The Dinsmore House Bed & Breakfast, responded to this reviewResponded 18 March 2014

Thank you for taking the time to write a detailed review of your family's stay, and also for your gracious words. Thanks also for the kind words about our location and amenitites. Many guests seek us out for a unique lodging experience in a prime city location, walking distance to UVA, the Downtown Mall and dozens of local restaurants.

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Reviewed 9 May 2013

This is our second time at the Dinsmore House and we were disappointed with the service this time.. The internet was iffy and because I couldn't find the key we were 10 minutes late from checking out. They were in our room waiting for us to leave because this was the last room the service had to clean.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Tswetts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DINSMOREHOUSE, Owner at The Dinsmore House Bed & Breakfast, responded to this reviewResponded 18 March 2014

The Dinsmore House Inn opened in 2003 with a very simple mission: Comfortable beds, delicious breakfast and exceptional service. For the last 11-years we have endeavored to provide those three things consistently. When we learn from a guest that we have come up short in any of those three areas, particularly service, it is something we address. I’m sorry this experience did not meet your expectations.

Regarding the specific issues this reviewer noted:
1.) We have upgraded our Internet access since this review, with two Apple hotspots to provide better coverage in this historic house with very thick walls.

2.) Our staff would never enter a guest room when guests are in the room without being allowed in by the guests. Even past check-in time, we respect the privacy of our guests, and always knock and wait outside. I have confirmed with our housekeeping staff that they have not entered a guest room without permission from the guests.

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Reviewed 16 April 2013

I had a great stay at the Dinsmore House Inn. My room was enormous, and I had a peek into some of the other rooms which were lovely too. My bed was a huge four poster and the rooms are very stylishly decorated with an old-world charm.

Other reviewers have commented on the noise. I was staying in a room directly opposite the construction site. There was no noise at all on the Sunday morning, however on the Monday and Tuesday there was a regular beeping sound that came from some of the machinery (similar to the noise of a lorry when it reverses). It started at around 7am and it was a bit annoying, but I really don't think you'd hear it in the rooms at the back of the house. Anyway, I always travel with earplugs just in case, and once I put those in I went back to sleep again easily.

Breakfast was different every day and was really tasty and wholesome. I loved eating in the porch area - I felt like I could spend all morning there reading the Sunday papers. In the afternoon they put out lemonade and nibbles in the lounge area, which was a really nice touch.

For me the location was perfect, a really short walk into UVA (which is beautiful) and maybe a 10-15 walk to the downtown area, which is great for dinner and a bit of shopping.

I even extended my stay so I could spend an extra night. Highly recommend.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Zeffer_Relli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DINSMOREHOUSE, Owner at The Dinsmore House Bed & Breakfast, responded to this reviewResponded 18 March 2014

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with other travelers.

When the children's hospital construction was most impactful (2012 and the first half of 2013) there was not a consistent schedule for the construction work, nor were all guest impacted by the noise the same. This made it difficult to set guest expectations. We took measures to reduce the impact of the construction on our guests, installing black-out shades in the rooms and purchasing white noise machines for each room as well, but some external factors are out of our control. I'm glad the impact was minimal for you and you enjoyed your stay.

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Additional Information about The Dinsmore House Bed & Breakfast

Address: 1211 W Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22903-2823
Region: United States > Virginia > Charlottesville
Amenities:
Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 16 B&Bs / Inns in Charlottesvill...
Price Range: £211 - £224 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Dinsmore House Bed & Breakfast 4*
Number of rooms: 8
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Also Known As:
The Dinsmore House Hotel Charlottesville
The Dinsmore House Bed And Breakfast

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