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“The Great Secret of Keswick & Blenheim”
Review of Keswick Hall

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Keswick Hall
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Keswick
Certificate of Excellence
North Bergen, NJ
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“The Great Secret of Keswick & Blenheim”
Reviewed 28 January 2008

My fiance and I are wine lovers, bordering on the ‘geekish’ varietal, and are always looking for new experiences for our palates. Unfortunately for us, living on the east coast can present an issue in traveling to the more renowned west coast locales like Paso Robles, Willamette Valley for the Pinot, or Washington State for their remarkable Cabs. We love to travel, but reality as it is tends to dictate our traveling terms to us more than allowing us to hop from Rhone to Tuscany.

We’re not “extraordinarily rich”, if you get my drift. Being a wine lover, you would think this would stymie many an adventure, but this past January (of all months), Beth and I took a trip to Virginia wine Country, and stumbled upon what may be one of the best kept little secrets on the East Coast of the U.S. or anywhere else: Virginia Wines- particularly the whites- are getting quite good. The experience that secured that sentiment to my taste buds was a visit to Keswick Hall of Monticello to taste some of the wines from “up & comer” Blenheim Vineyards.

While Blenheim is in the midst of some remodeling they decided to host the tasting of their wines at Keswick Hall of Monticello- a massive and gorgeous property not far down the road from the Vineyard itself. That’s what led Beth & I to Keswick’s door, and upon sharing this with the manager (a friendly young chap named Jarrod) we were guided to a cozy little table near the dining area of the Estate. An “official” tasting wasn’t even going on at the time, but Jarrod leapt clearly out of his way to get us comfortable. Upon seating us and pouring us a glass of the first wine (the ’05 Viognier- crisp and delicious) we looked around and began to realize just how beautiful our surroundings were.

After trying five of the Blenheim wines it was clear to both of us that the Viognier was in another league, and comparable to the kinds of wines one can get from Sancere in France. The reds, while not in the typical “blast thee upon thy mouth” style of other new world reds, very much held their own and were delightful. The Petit Verdot offered up hints of the Right Bank’s velvety smoothness, and the ruby-red Meritage reflected a character more in tune with the left bank wines of Bordeaux in its attack with ripe, forward fruit and a well-rounded finish that lingered pleasantly and surprisingly.

Now keep in mind, these wines are not near the level of Bordeaux’s “First growths”, and neither should be your expectations, but I found them delightfully composed and lovingly inspired. One could almost feel that, while young, how “at home” the vines felt in the soils. It is a lighter-bodied, more European style than the blockbusters from the west coast- but it’s got its own place upon the American palate for certain, and that style is going to continue to grow and gain attention in the years to come and as the vines take deeper root.

Upon chatting with Jarrod, we were invited into the Keswick Cellar to have a quick look at their extensive inventory- the perfect way to end such an event. We strolled briefly among the selection of Super-Tuscans, California Cults, and even some remarkably well-aged Madeira available at Fossett’s Restaurant, located at the Estate.

From there, another gentleman greeted us and continued our impromptu tour and showed us several absolutely remarkable banquet halls, meeting rooms, and a number of other areas with views that continued to stop us in our tracks, giving us time only to gather our gaping mouths at the simple beauty and classic design of the place.

After big pours of five different wines, an ample helping of bread, cheeses, even a quiet sampling from their delicious daily buffet, a tour of their impressive (and well controlled might I add) wine cellar, and an impromptu tour of the estate the total bill came to: $16.00. With tax. I’ll spell it out: SIXTEEN BUCKS, for a day of casual tasting, noshing, and touring-about a truly remarkable place, for two people. The welcome we got was so warm there, even their outdoor ‘Infini pool’ was a toasty 80 degrees, and damn tempting, in the heart of January.

It’s a ridiculously good deal and a fantastic secret for both the wine as well as the service. It’s one I think your readers would love to experience for themselves. Particularly the wine lovers in the midst who may not be “extraordinarily wealthy”.

Stayed January 2008
Helpful?
6 Thank ChipDWood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (108)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
Lewistown, PA
Level 6 Contributor
158 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 January 2008

This is an exceptionally fine hotel, with superb food and an astonishing wine list. Our room was large, well-decorated, and comfortable, with a fine view over the golf course. The staff are uniformly excellent - always attentive, friendly, and helpful. (Every one of them addressed us by name, soon after we arrived.)

The small touches that added to our enjoyment are too numerous to mention, but overall, this is as fine a hotel as we have ever stayed in in North America. It is a great credit to the Orient-Express company, and, based on this experience, I would gladly stay at any of their hotels, worldwide.

  • Liked — Quality of the service - extraordinary.
  • Disliked — No complaints
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Jack37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2007

This was my thrid trip to Keswick and it only gets better! This place is a little slice of heaven! My husband and I feel like we are in the south of France whenever we visit! Perfectly located in the hills of Virginia - with all the things you need..peace, quiet, great food, impeccable service and an atmosphere of relaxation. From the moment you enter Keswick the staff is on hand to help with ANYTHING - they are attentive but not intrusive. We feel like royality upon entering this castle like hotel!
The spa is unbelievable - truly the best massage I have ever gotten...and the restrauant is a gem! The menu is constantly changing but the service remains top notch.
We have a 3 yr old - so a get-a-way that is close but a million miles away is a dream come true for us! I tell everyone I know that this is the best place we have ever stayed! We can't wait for our next visit. I highly recommend this hotel !

Stayed December 2007
Helpful?
3 Thank izzyjacksmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 6 Contributor
270 reviews
265 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 559 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 October 2007

Very pleased with this hotel and felt there was good value here on all fronts. Not many kids stay here but they were very accommodating to us with our two infants and we found the staff to be quite friendly, attentive and genuinely interested in our well-being as hotel guests. Better than average on this count. For instance, at breakfast I had to take a phone call and my waffle went cold; I asked them to heat it up and they came back with a new waffle. We asked them to prepare fried fish and mashed potatos for our kids' dinner which they did in 15 minutes and made it clear they were happy to do something just because we wanted it done (it's obviously not on the menu). On our second night at their signature restaurant we wanted a hot vegeterian starter that was different from what we had the night before and there was only one such item on the menu; the chef came up with something special for us. They did not nickel and dime us with our room service requests for our children and were very reasonable. Food and beverage was excellent in all restaurants -- everything we had was great. Breakfast menu is above average and they are strong on fresh fish selection and portions are hearty. View from the main building over the golf course is really pretty and we enjoyed our mansion suite with its terrace overlook, poster bed and spacious and pleasant decor. Easy property to stay at and enjoy because it is not far to walk from anywhere to anywhere. Easy to get around with strollers and our kids loved the golf course where guests often were walking around the paths. We found housekeeping to be perfectly attentive; we reported several problems in the room when we arrived and all were promptly fixed. We flew in via Richmond Jet Blue to avoid the higher fares in Charlottesville; it takes 80 minutes to transfer. Monticello and downtown Charlottesville and a visit to Univ Va makes a nice 4 hour daytrip.

Our problems were at check-in when we requested dining room and spa reservations to be told of unavailability; I complained and managers stepped in and arranged everything according to what we wanted. We also felt that the hotel was not according to industry standard in terms of sending us on our own to a third party agency to arrange baby-sitting; we expect good hotels to have a handle on this and to help arrange it. In any event, the agency they referred us to sent over a fine sitter and the hotel seemed responsive to our feelings about the matter.

Overall, this was one of the better 5-stars I've been to in the US and the setting is a very nice one for a family weekend. It is not a place of many activities but it is a very tranquil retreat with nice views and pretty places to walk with excellent food and surprisingly good with small children. We'll hope to return.

  • Liked — Good value overall with pretty views
  • Disliked — Initial problems getting reservations for dining room and spa services
  • Stayed October 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank 649ic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambria, California
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 September 2007

This was an amazing treat! We did not know much about the hotel when we made reservations and what a pleasant surprise. As soon as we walked in the door they offered us a glass of fresh squeezed lemon aid. They welcomed our dog with a goodie bag and the chef cooked dinner for him. The room was spacious and very comfortable. This is very unique and luxurious experience. We sat by the pool with our dog and snacked on a cheese board in the afternoon, took walks around the grounds and played a round of golf. It is everything you want in a vacation if you are looking to have top service and peace.

  • Liked — Very accommodating
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank EffigyRanch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2007

My husband and I just returned from a nonconsecutive two night stay at Keswick Hall on our way to Maryland. We were warmly greeted by the front desk and offered a glass of lemonade - a nice touch to weary travelers like us. We were checked into one of the prettiest and most uniquely decorated hotel rooms we have ever stayed in. There was the perfect Antebellum feel to the room and to the hotel. We had a terrace that overlooked the estate and golf course. We enjoyed the room so much that we asked the front desk if we could have the same room again when we returned to the hotel a few days later. To our great delight, the room was available!
Next door to the hotel was the Keswick Club with one of the hotel’s pools, a hot tub, and spa. While we didn’t have time for a spa treatment, we did enjoy the pool and hot tub. We also enjoyed a delicious room service breakfast one morning on our terrace.
Unfortunately our stay at Keswick Hall was short, so we hope to return soon!

Stayed August 2007
Helpful?
5 Thank allonge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richmond, VA
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2007

Twice recently we stayed at Keswick, and both times, the staff was extremely gracious and helpful. In particular, Chef Hartman and his team of folks were extraordinarily attentive and generous with their time, even though they must unbelievably busy. The housekeeping staff was exceptionally accommodating, and everything we asked for or about was quickly seen to. To prove my point, our car sustained a nail to the tire while we were on the way to a balloon ascension. We didn't realize it until checking out, when the tire was flat. The porter quickly called the Maintenance Shop, and Stu and Tom arrived with a patch kit and air compressor, fixed the tire and sent us on our way back home. Try getting that service anywhere else!

  • Liked — The staff was terrific, the location absolutely beautiful
  • Disliked — Needed wireless Internet access for some business we had to take care of, but didn't have it in one room.
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank MizzB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Keswick Hall

Property: Keswick Hall
Address: 701 Club Dr, Keswick, VA 22947-2615
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Virginia > Keswick
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Keswick
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Keswick Hall 5*
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
History and spectacular landscapes come together at Charlottesville, where Thomas Jefferson country meets Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. Celebrated landmarks, including Jefferson's Monticello and the University of Virginia, are clustered here among swathes of the East Coast's most beautiful scenery, home to renowned horse races, hunts and vineyards. This is the setting for Keswick Hall & Golf Club, an impressive resort with 48 newly refreshed guest rooms, a luxurious spa and the award winning Pete Dye golf course, Full Cry. Enjoy tennis, archery, award-winning dining, croquet, children's activities and more. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Keswick Hall Hotel Keswick
Hall At Monticello Charlottesville Keswick

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