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“A nightmare in the mountains”
Review of Firmstone Manor

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Firmstone Manor
Reviewed 31 March 2014

My husband and I have stayed at many bed and breakfasts over the years, usually for our anniversary. This year, I purchased a weekend stay at this establishment through Living Social. When we arrived, I felt like I was going in to the Bates Motel from the movie Psycho. This was the most dilapidated excuse for a B & B that I have ever seen. We at first thought we were at the wrong place because the home is in such terrible shape that we thought it was abandoned. The exterior wood was rotted and filthy. When we approached the front door, the curtains hanging inside the door are so old that they are hanging in shreds. We tried to ring the bell but it did not work. Knocked on the door but got no answer. Reluctantly opened the door and stepped in to the foyer which was filthy and knocked on the second set of doors. Still no answer. We opened the door and stepped inside and called out many times. Finally had to call the owner on the cell phone to let her know we were there. When the "owner" came out from the "kitchen" we were not impressed. We were not even sure she was the owner as her appearance was disheveled and very unprofessional. She did not introduce herself or show us around at all. She took us to our room which was also very untidy. The home also reeked of dogs and cigarettes as it is "pet and smoking friendly". The important things like the bathroom and the bedding were clean but that is about all I can say positive about this place. The breakfasts both morning were barely edible and I really was a little concerned if the kitchen might have been as dirty as the rest of the place. The pictures she has posted on her website are very misleading and must have been taken years ago, She also mentions "cottages" for rent. I certainly hope she is not referring to the nasty looking building beside the parking lot that looks like an old abandoned motel. Most of the doors are boarded up and I couldn't imagine anyone staying in there. However, two of the doors opened at various times and I did see people coming from there as well. All I can say is that this business does not need to be in operation. The house is not fit to be lived in and certainly should not be allowed to have anyone staying there. If this had been my first B & B experience, I would never try it again. Thank goodness, that is not the case because I have had many lovely experiences at others in the past.

Room Tip: Stay away from this one!
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank twoprecise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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9 - 15 of 31 reviews

Reviewed 17 March 2014

This B&B reminded me of being in a small town any where in Europe. The owner refurbished the house herself and it's a no frills no polish European style house. It has all original wood work and some original furnishing and art work. It has 2 floors with many different sitting rooms, a breakfast room and a nice porch downstairs. Up stairs has the rooms, all with private baths and a common t.v room.

The owner was very gracious with recommendations of how we should spend our days with maps and schedules of events. She also had a made to order breakfast for us when we decided to mosey downstairs.

The rooms are large and have tons of personality plus there is wifi through out the house. The B&B is also dog friendly

Would definitely recommend and I we will return.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank DeniseReaves
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2014

I bought a 2 night stay from living social and this is a terrible B&B
Filthy, smells like cigarette smoke, run down, rooms doors do not have keys, and there is nothing for 20 miles either way of the B&B.

I had to clean the floors and countertops myself.

Do NOT recommend !!!!!

  • Stayed: March 2014
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1  Thank 511sroberts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 March 2014

My husband and I spent 3 nights in Barbara's lovely home and truly loved it! This home is a fabulous work in progress, a gorgeous recreation of the style and decor of the late 1800's. Make no mistake, though; this is not a fancy grand hotel. This is a 140 year old home that is coming back to life, so it is not for those who want updated and perfect. But it is perfect for those of us who love the era of the house. Barbara has decorated with beautiful furnishings that, like the house, make you feel at home. Take time to really look at the collections displayed all over the first floor. We stayed in the Tuscan room with our two Shih Tzus. Oh yes, this home is very dog friendly, with three very sweet and friendly dogs in residence. The room was extremely comfortable! The whole house is very solid, so we never heard anything from any other room. And the breakfasts were delicious!! We take several 2-3 day vacations throughout the year and have always stayed at beautiful places; but Firmstone Manor is the one we want to return to. For antique shopping Clifton Forge has Moody Carpenter's Antiques, where you can find some really quality furniture and more. Lexington is not far away and is always worth the trip for antiquing and for enjoying the town. The same can be said for Lewisburg, WV. Check out wineries in the area, too; there are some good ones! Put this place on your list of "must stay" for sure.

Room Tip: Every room has it's own personality, and each is beautiful in it's own way. You can't r...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Stephen D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2013

Firmstone Manor was a wonderful surprise on 1-64, near the VA-WVA border. The owner Barbara, an amazing lady deserving of a biography, was very welcoming and helpful. The manor, a throwback to late 19th Century luxury, is immaculate, clean and very comfortable.

For those used to being forced to accept dull, identical, forgettable motel rooms as a place to sleep, Firmstone Manor offers a completely different- but delightful- experience, from its hammock, old-fashioned porch, huge rooms and old paintings, 4 poster beds, huge staircase & peace and quiet. The Manor offers a chance to live how the rich lived 100 years ago and to enjoy luxury. I look forward to staying here again and again.

Doug R

Room Tip: Firmstone Manor is special and a fascinating experience, which you'll remember happily for a lon...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled on business
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2  Thank Doug R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2013

After my wedding last weekend, my wife and I wanted a place to go for a few days to just get away from everything and relax before re-entering the real world; I had always wanted to go to Clifton Forge, so was looking for off the beaten paths to stay nearby, and stumbled upon the Firmstone Manor.

The building is an old Victorian mansion with lots of history that Barbara, the owner, bought about 11 years ago she told us she has been renovating since. While the place does show some age and the grounds were a bit unkempt, the inn was overall clean and tidy. Barbara does own dogs, which she made clearly available on her website, and those surprised my wife at first (as I had booked this trip as a surprise for her and hadn't told her where we were going), but there were all quite friendly. When we arrived, she was out of the building and there was no note or sign for how to reach her, which was a bit disconcerting, however when I called, she was prompt in responding and coming in to take care of getting us checked in.

The decor and furnishings are all period style pieces, with rich colors and heavy fabric; we stayed in the Firmstone Room which was significantly larger than a standard hotel room you would get at a chain, with it's own neat character.

Barbara was a very gracious and inviting host; her breakfasts were quite good and hearty, and she was always willing to answer or provide for any request. When we had food we needed to store and dishes to wash, she invited us to use her refrigerator and kitchen, and let us make ourselves at home. She has a pretty laid back style regarding things, which shows in her demeanor and casual dress, but it was nice given that we were looking for a stress-free several days.

A couple of downsides of the inn were that whenever we would enter the building after being away for the day, you could faintly smell cigarette smoke; not sure if she or someone else there was a smoker, as our room never had that odor, but it was just something we noticed. Also, the water pressure in our room for the shower was quite low; Barbara had commented about the plumbing being an issue before, but that's something that I think detracted a bit from the experience.

Overall, the Firmstone Manor was an interesting, unique off the beaten path to stay with a delightful history around it. While not completely clean and sterile like a chain hotel, for my wife and I that was part of the experience and charm of the place. Barbara is a welcoming host, and her down to earth, easygoing attitude (she has no set check-in or check-out times) was a welcome respite from more traditional, structured places to stay.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Commodore_Raymond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 September 2012

I do not like to give negative reviews based on emotion or "one bad moment." This review has been well considered and details/ supporting images provided. >>>Arrival was after sunset. If it was at daylight and was able to see the atrocious conditions of the exterior I would have forfeited my reservation monies to say somewhere else. The entry foyer was beyond filthy. A humid evening and no air conditioning in the home, her 3 dogs greeted us. As a owner of 3 indoor pets, I am qualified to say that the ground floor stench of wet dog was beyond minor tolerance and was such a distraction that it was almost impossible to carry on a conversation with the owner. The property is not a spacious as the site advertises. Outside of your room/bath, the only areas accessible are the main living room, a sun room, and the dining room. All totalling MAYBE 2,000 sq ft. Although she has attempted to decorate with era furnishings, they are terribly worn and desperate for reupholstery. Even the carpeting is faded and covered in foot tracks and "mysterious stains" in the corners of the rooms. The outside gazebo space was unfit for use as noted in the photographs and the grounds were no different than a hay field that had just been baled. The owner advised us the property is a work in progress, however she also noted that she had owned it for 11 years. Although our room was nice, I have to unfortunately opine that she is in over her head in maintaining this property or ever having an opportunity to restore it to a presentable condition. Breakfast -- nice, but because of the smells, cobwebs, undusted areas, and stains, it was difficult to enjoy because one could not discern the tidyness of the cooking space.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank MtnDiva07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Firmstone Manor

Address: 6209 Longdale Furnace Rd, Clifton Forge, VA 24422-3618
Region: United States > Virginia > Clifton Forge
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Clifton Forge
Price Range: £67 - £105 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6

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