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“excellent experience, fun little weekend getaway”

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Natural Bridge Historic Hotel & Conference Center
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Natural Bridge
Reviewed 22 June 2008

We booked our hotel, wanting to see some of the local sites which we had discovered via the internet.

But I became apprehensive after reading reviews here, as many people had a very bad experience with the hotel. One reviewer said that they believed the hotel was up for sale and staff morale and performance was poor due to that.

I have to say we had the opposite experience. The hotel is impressive, nestled in the foothills with a great view of the local mountains. An expansive balcony added to the experience.

Our room was clean and well-appointed. The two double beds were comfortable, providing a good night's sleep. Hi-speed internet, mini-fridge, desk, full bath, everything was what I would expect out of a good hotel.

Our package included breakfast in bed, which was expansive and tasty.

It proved to be an excellent stay and provided a good base of operations to visit the local landmarks. There were quite a few small attractions nearby, perfect for a family with small children that wanted an enjoyable and reasonably priced getaway.

Our time was filled with two zoos, one of which was a safari where you drive through 180 acres of wildlife and let the animals come right up (and sometimes in!) your car. The other was small, but had several impressive predators, and the opportunity to take a picture with a young tiger cub!

After that it was off to some 50s americana, visiting the Pink Cadillac Diner (good food cheap, surrounded by hollywood memorabilia) and the Hull Drive-In in nearby Lexington. The Hull is great fun, a community owned and operated landmark, with remarkably inexpensive pricing - $5 a head, children under 10 free, and the refreshments stand with a selection of decent food and a reminder you don't have to pay $20 for a popcorn and two large cokes!

We also visited the Natural Bridge itself, an impressive natural wonder, the Toy Museum, and the campy but fun Haunted House, Dark Maze, and Escape from Dinosaur Land.

There's also tons of history nearby in Lexington, which we plan to explore on a later visit.

The people of Natural Bridge and Lexington really made us feel at home.

I'd recommend it for any family weekend getaway. It's not Disney Land or Vegas, but that's one of its charms.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank demiurgex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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785 - 791 of 817 reviews

Reviewed 2 June 2008

Guess we must have just had some good luck for a change! Our experience at this hotel was quite good. Friendly staff but very slow - apparently the hotel is up for sale by the owners so maybe this was the reason. Large room with balcony for a reasonable price - clean and comfortable except for noisy extractor fan. The dinner was good and quick (we didnt want to get in the car again and travel any further). The 3 egg omlet in the morning was great too! Seeing the Natural Bridge itself made it all worthwhile!

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank silvertonsiren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 May 2008

From the outside I thought it was going to be great but when i opened the door its was like WOW. You have to flip a switch to turn everything on and the room service menu was awful. I suggest you go to the pink cadillac diner around 15 minutes away. Food was GREAT !!! Now the room only has like 20 channels (no movie mostly sports) The bathroom was small and the shower was like a swimming pool shower..no tub. The only good thing was that it was very close to the bridge so we walked over to it. The view is OK if you had the right room.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank showtyme1012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2008

Check in time is 4pm and that is way to late, after driving all I wanted was a quick rest. Sorry, no rooms ready.
Then check was one poor woman and very slow, The room was dated and musty and the room looked like it had only been dusted, not wiped down. The bathroom towels were threadbare, and the bath was dirty.
Then the smoke alarm went off at 1am due to a low battery beep beep beep every minute.
The buffet for breakfast was limited and the wait staff harried and disinterested.
View was ok but nothing to write home about

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Terry23233
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2008

This hotel is in a great location. It is in walking distance to the bridge. They is even a little path. However, the heater made a boiling water/storm noise all night, and the bathtub was too dirty to bathe in. The Friday night seafood buffet is good, not foodie good, but good. Get reservations for the food.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank buzzy1021
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 January 2008

I had planned a trip with two my aunts, leaving from GA, stopping in NC and VA, I did think stopping at the Natural Bridge and staying in the Hotel would be a good thing on our way to Washington, DC.
Never more I will spend my time and money with this hotel, the people at the reception was very rude, I had to yell a big HELLO when I got at the reception to somebody to show up and check us in.
The mattresses are old and uncomfortable, the red carpet already had better days too, and the television cable just had a few poor channels.
The dinner was very expensive and bad, we asked for the special, chicken pot pie, it was tasteless, and I can make a better one at home for much less, we spend about 100 dollars in dinner that we couldn’t finish eating.
The next day checking out was a big confusion, they told me that my reservation was for the day before not for the day I checked in and they were charging me 88 more dollars because I did not call in advance to cancel my reservation, plus 88 for the night we stayed. I asked to see a manager and the lady told me she was running late, to make the story short, I left without singing the bill, I asked to the lady at the reception to tell the manager give me a call to straight the things up. She did, and refunded me 88 dollars and a big sorry for the confusion….
The breakfast also was very expensive, and after so many confusion and misunderstanding my aunts and I end up at IHOP, for less, and I guarantee that the food was much better.

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank pastaprimavera
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2008

I have to agree with the previous reviewer. We did not have the unfortunate experience of having our room changed arbitrarily, but there was not much on which to comment positively.

The check-in people were very nice and provided us with a 2nd key only when we asked. Our room was very stuffy and the fan or whatever it was, was so noisy, we elected not to use it. I don't think it moved any air around anyway. We finally opened a window - yes they did work, but since it was 30 degrees outside, we soon had to close it.

The bathroom corners were 'hairy' and I did not want to take off my shoes. The pillows were ok, as were the mattresses, but the towels were thin (although, except for a few hairs, they appeared to have been washed at sometime in the recent past). Water pressure was good and there was plenty of hot water for us. Not so for collegues of ours staying in the 'cottages'. They said that their water never got above likewarm, and that was only for a few minutes.

Speaking of cold. I couldn't get warm the whole time we were there, other than trying to sleep in the stuffy room (see comment above). The conference rooms were cold. The lobby was cold (this is where we had to wait in line for the buffet, that is when, we weren't actually waiting OUTSIDE). The dining room was cold. I didn't take my coat off for most of the time.

I think the sales people bit off more than the service staff could handle and made promises to our conference organizer that could not be delivered. There were about 300 of us and although the kitchen staff was very polite and helpful, they seemed quite overwhelmed and therefore, waits for meals were very long.

The food? Well, ok for cafeteria-type stuff. The eggs were very wet and runny, but the bacon made up for that. It was very dry. There seemed to be a lot of food left over. The salad greens were very good, though - not just iceberg lettuce.

I would NEVER return to this hotel again. If you do go to the Natural Bridge, don't stay there long enough to have need for a hotel.

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled on business
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4  Thank JuneBJones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Natural Bridge Historic Hotel & Conference Center

Address: 15 Appledore Ln, Natural Bridge, VA 24578-3602
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Virginia > Natural Bridge
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Natural Bridge
Price Range: £50 - £93 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Natural Bridge Historic Hotel & Conference Center 3*
Number of rooms: 120
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stay on-site of The Natural Bridge of Virginia. Visit the monumental National Historic Landmark & discover why photos don't do it justice, nor words describe it, and why the awe-struck Thomas Jefferson bought it. Packages starting at $129 for 2 people, $169 for a family of 4, offer a great value on attractions, overnight accommodation & breakfast. Just 15 minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway; off I-81, exits 175 & 180. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Natural Bridge Hotel And Conference Center
Natural Bridge Hotel Natural Bridge

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