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“Top 3 B&B's We've Ever Visited!”

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The Dinsmore House Bed & Breakfast
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 August 2006

My husband and I have been staying at inns all over the east coast (from Cape Cod to Cape May to Savannah) for about the last 10 years. We traveled through Charlottesville recently during our exploration of the Civil War south and were fortunate enough to pick The Dinsmore House out of the B&B association guide.

Whenever we stay at a B&B we always grade out what we liked and didn't like about the inn. After our 2 nights at the Dinsmore House, Richard and I agreed that it ranks as one of our favorites.

The main criteria we use for our ratings are:
- Innkeepers (VERY engaged and helpful)
- Cleanliness (we're sticklers about this)
- Food (the creme brulee french toast was to die for)
- "Intangibles" (Jeffersonian ties)

The Dinsmore House rated out great on all criteria, especially the helpfullness of the innkeepers (Ryan's the owner and Maxine is the hostess). The "intangibles" in this case is a beautifully restored historic home that could not be more convenient to restaurants and entertainment in Charlottesville. We walked out the door of the inn, hopped on the free trolley to the downtown mall and enjoyed a great meal at ZoCaLo (excellent recommendation!) followed by a Lyle Lovett concert at the downtown amphitheater (what a show!).

Ryan and Denise (husband and wife) have done a great job with the inn, and we can't wait to return in the future.

  • Stayed: August 2006, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank RPHammond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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182 - 188 of 201 reviews

Reviewed 14 August 2006

We were in Charlottesville as part of a 2 week trip around the East Coast, for an old college room-mate's wedding. Having lived in Williamsburg for a year I had been to Charlottesville before, but staying at the Dinsmore this time round made my trip truly memorable.
We had booked one of the cheaper rooms, but were upgraded on arrival to the Dinsmore room for no extra cost - which was a lovely surprise. The bed was the biggest I have ever seen, and very comfortable. The whole house was restored very well, and my friend was in the Library Room, which also oozed character.
Ryan and Denise were welcoming and helpful, particularly when it came to dinner recommendations, which were made as we all enjoyed a glass of (good) wine together in the early evening. The restaurant they recommended was exactly what we were looking for, which also added to our enjoyment of our stay - we wouldn't have found it without their recommendation.
The breakfast was delicious, and they were very accommodating to the food allergies of one of our party, making something special at no notice.
This was our first experience of B&Bs, and the experience we had here has definitely changed the way we look for accommodation in the States. I had stayed at a chain hotel for my previous visit to Charlottesville, but it was definitely worth the extra few dollars to stay at the Dinsmore - and it really was only a few dollars difference, for an experience that felt like it should have come with a much larger price tag!

  • Stayed: September 2005, travelled with friends
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4  Thank sarahes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2006

This B & B is in a great location to walk to the UVA campus (which is quite beautiful)! The innkeepers welcomed us with a glass of wine, some cheese, and suggestions of good restaurants and wineries to visit. Ryan made reservations for us at the Ivy Inn, a really excellent restaurant (watch out- the drinks were $10 a piece, though!!) Our room was comfortable, but as in many older homes, there weren't many outlets and trying to get fixed up in the tiny bathroom with a very small mirror, curling iron heating on the toilet seat, was a challenge (we were in the summer porch room). This room still needs some renovation in the bathroom and is small, but has all the basics. The bed was about as hard as we've ever encountered, although the sheets were expensive. The other rooms we peaked in looked very nice. It was a little hard to sleep because the air conditioner was right over the bed and had to be blasting all night due to the heat (but my husband used to sleep in that situation when he was a kid, so he found it comforting).

Ryan suggested the King Family Vineyard as a fun place to visit, and it was. It has beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains as you sit on the brick patio, sip your wine, and munch on some french bread. You can bring your picnic and bag chairs if you wish to eat heartier. We'd go back to this place, for sure.

For the money, I'd probably stay in the Marriott Courtyard next door rather than stay in this particular room again, but as I said, the other rooms looked much nicer (we were in the budget section, which was our choice). The more expensive rooms looked quite elegant and would certainly have more character than the Courtyard.

Stayed: July 2006
8  Thank Fishers_Folks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2006

We chanced upon the Dinsmore House last fall and what a find it was! So when we returned to Charlottesville this weekend, we knew we had to stay there again. For us, the way you feel about a place is how you are welcomed when you walk in the front door. Ryan, the innkeeper could not be more personable, and his wonderful mother is helping out and provides the most welcome welcome! Charming and comfortable - inside and out. Perfect location across from UVA, and right on free trolley line to downtown fabulous pedestrian area. Delicious breakfast, large and homey room. . Charming breakfast area. We will definitely return.

4  Thank Lorraine R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Alexandria, VA
17
Reviewed 3 May 2006

Dinsmore House is a beautiful B&B run by kind and truly helpful hosts. A group of us stayed there while on a business trip, but we all agreed we will return when we visit Charlottesville for any reason.
The rooms we stayed in: Dinsmore, Madison, Monroe, and Sleeping Porch were all well-appointed, meticulously clean, and very welcoming.

The beds were comfortable and the bathrooms had all the 'extras' we'd forgotten to pack.

Breakfasts were delicious, conveniently-timed, and catered to three different diet requirements.

And the hosts Ryan and Denise gave us excellent tips about the area and maintained a welcoming, but not intrusive atmosphere at the inn.

Dinsmore House made our work week feel like a vacation. We loved our visit!

  • Stayed: April 2006, travelled on business
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7  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2006

Recently stayed at Dinsmore.
The location was excellent, the staff very professional and helpful.

The only complaint is that we stayed in a suite upstairs that wasn't in the main building and it was very musty. The bathroom and rooms could use updating and cosmetic work. The mattress could use replacing.

We had to lock the door to the building from the outside everytime we entered or left.

Other than that, it was adequate.

Stayed: April 2006
5  Thank spiburns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2006

This was my first stay at a B&B and was set up by my girlfriend for Valentine's Day - The Deluxe Romantic Weekend package.

Who runs it: Ryan and Denise, two exceptionally nice people. They continually mentioned if there was anything we needed to just ask and were very helpful at pointing out destinations in the area. These are the people you want hosting your stay.

Where it is: "The Corner District," at the edge of the University of Virginia. This is a very convenient location since the university is just a couple of blocks away as well as quaint shops and restaurants.

Getting around: We found no need to use our car, which was conveniently parked in the next door hotel parking deck, right behind the Dinsmore House. (There are parking spots reserved solely for Dinsmore House customers, no charge.) Instead we used the free trolley to hit some areas that were a little farther away than we wanted to walk. It has a stop just one block away and arrives every 15 minutes, so no long waits.

The room: We stayed in the Monroe Room, very cozy, and was located in the adjoining building. The bed was King size and had wonderful sheets, feather pillows and a big down comforter. The room has radiator heat and kept up quite well with the 15 degree outside air - we were not cold at all. The bathroom was clean and bright and we did not run out of hot water showering. There is cable TV in the room, an alarm clock, chest of drawers and a closet.

The food: Breakfasts (8 to 9:30) were wonderful and what I liked was that you were served as soon as you sat down - no waiting. They started with coffee, juice and some diced mixed fruit, then quickly brought the main dish when they saw you were ready. You won't get food or service like this in a hotel! You can choose to eat in the wonderful "breakfast nook," as we called it (which was added to the house around 1914) or you can eat in the main dining room.

Dining out/coffee: We're coffee junkies so we immediately sized-up the local java places. A little farther down the street, around the 1400 block, is a Plan 9 CD store and in it was an espresso bar that was exceptionally good. They open earlier than the Plan 9 store and we went there after breakfast. There's also a Starbucks two blocks down from that, along with a bagel place. Going the other direction, back toward 5th street (where the Lewis & Clark statue is), is a place called Milano (I believe) and they had espresso there too, which we had. For dinner, we ate at L'etoile, just 4 blocks away, and everything was top-notch, from the wine selection to the main course (try the Alaskan King Salmon). For lunch, we had pizza at the Mellow Mushroom - we'll certainly go back there again, the pizza was so good.

We were very pleased with the service and accomodations provided by Ryan and Denise at the Dinsmore House and will absolutely return there should we need to stay again in Charlottesville. I hope they do not mind our posting their pictures but their helpful and cheerful dispositions added a lot to our experience and are the main reason our stay was so pleasant.

  • Stayed: February 2006
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17  Thank The_Devil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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 #9 of 16 B&Bs / Inns in Charlottesvill...
Price Range: £208 - £234 (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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