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Mountain Lake Lodge
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Reviews (413)
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Reviewed 12 May 2014

Mother's Day brunch was an average experience. My issues were small but need attention at least for the upcoming 2014. The server staff needs better training, the main reason for this comment. We were greeted nicely by the host staff but after that our server service was all downhill. For some unknown reason we were not offered refills on tea, even water refills. Carnation were being handed out to all the Mother's, some how my wife was missed, although she said she didn't feel slighted at all. Waited forever for our check, finally had to ask one of many servers in our seating area to bring our check and then forever to bring change. Aside from this the food was good, lots of variety. The crab legs and shrimp were being served in one heated pan, so you had to move around the crabs legs to find the shrimp, slowing the line down for those that wanted shrimp only. Slow on refills on some of the green salad dishes and the dessert area could have had a little more variety.

We live nearby, we'll be back, we did see Heidi moving around checking on how all was going in the different areas and outside as well. She really tries hard to give everyone a good experience and our comments are just positive comments to help with the new busy season approaching.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank Fred460
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Heidi S, General Manager at Mountain Lake Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 20 May 2014

Dear Fred460,

Thank you for spending your Mother's Day with us at Mountain Lake Lodge. It is one of our biggest days of the year in Harvest! I am very disappointed to hear that your personal experience in Harvest did not exceed your expectations. We are committed to training our staff. We understand that one-of-a-kind experiences start with a well trained staff. Thank you for your comments-- I have personally reviewed them with our Restaurant Manager and Executive Chef.

We look forward to seeing you again this summer and exceeding your expectations in Harvest!

Warm regards, Heidi

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2014

Beautiful location; Clean and comfortable rooms; website is a bit misleading as to the status of the lake (almost empty); staff needs to be better trained as to what the resort offers--no one could tell us where the disc golf course was and there definitely needs to be more signage to find it; Staff does not seem to be trained on the various recreational activities offered but are very friendly. Great breakfast buffet!

  • Stayed: May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank SparkyWNC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Heidi S, General Manager at Mountain Lake Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 13 May 2014

SparkyWNC,

Thank you for spending some of your time enjoying Mountain Lake Lodge. I'm pleased to hear that you enjoyed the natural beauty that surrounds the property and that your accommodations were clean and comfortable.

I personally thank you for your candid comments about some of our newer staff. Despite our best efforts to deliver the highest possible quality and hospitality following a dramatic revitalization and improvement of our property, things don't always go as we would like. Thank you for alerting us that some of our staff have a lack of activities/recreation knowledge. We are working with our newer staff everyday on the many facets of Mountain Lake!

I don't know how much you know about the history about Mountain Lake, but back in 2005 the lake started to recede. As a part of the revitalization process in early 2013, we undertook a minimally invasive approach to reduce leakage from the bottom of the lake. Naturally occurring, native sediment residing in the northern part of the basin was mobilized into the four primary drains in the northern part of the lake. The objective was for the mixed-size sediment to settle into the drains and reduce the water flow out of the lake basin by "choking" the flow paths. We observed an initial increase in water level, but that has not sustained in to this spring. We have a "do not harm" approach all while trying to accelerate the "natural" process to restore the lake. Bottom line is that Mountain Lake Is a special and complicated natural system and we are working closely with scientists, engineers, and regulatory agencies to restore the lake in an environmentally responsible manner. Currently, the lake is 1/3 full at 45 ft (at the deepest end).

Thank you again for your comments! We look forward to exceeding your expectations next time!

Best, Heidi Stone
General Manager

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Reviewed 9 May 2014

We stayed four nights. The food was amazing farm to table, elegantly served and consistently good. Beautiful vegetables cooked well, delicious fish and filet, wonderful hearty breakfast and lunch.
The lodge itself is decorated beautifully. I especially liked the handsome upholstery fabrics in the lobby, bar, and porch.
Our bed was very comfortable and the duvet perfect for cool nights. We loved sleeping with the windows open. So peaceful!
The staff is warm, friendly and knowledgable. Can't wait to go back. This was a Road Scholar trip.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
1  Thank Lenfant222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2014

Having lived in Virginia my entire life, there are few places in our beautiful state that I have not visited. Mountain Lake was one of those few, so my husband and I decided to go up for a night during spring break. Overall, we had a wonderful time, and the hotel (Stone Lodge) is beautiful, but there are a few things the average visitor should be aware of before booking. The rooms are tiny! Not really a problem for us, but a couple with a child or two would be very crowded. Our room was hot! This was not a summer visit, but a late April one in which the outside temperature hovered in the 40's. Even after adjusting the thermostat, the room never cooled down enough for comfortable sleeping. We tried to open the interior shutters for some light, but the whole frame pulled out of the wall when we tried (very scary!) No TV in the room was a bit of a disappointment as we would have liked to watch some news at least, but we were pleasantly surprised to find wireless internet available. The biggest disappointment was the Harvest restaurant. While the our dinner was delicious, it cost as much as we paid for one night's lodging, and was a bit too fancy and unusual for our tastes. (Who in the world puts onions in sweet potatoes?) The dinners were pre-selected - you did not have any choices of sides and the menu did not explain well what was included. We were informed on Thursday night that Friday's breakfast would be served until 10 AM, so we arrived around 9:20 only to discover that they actually stop serving breakfast on Fridays at 9 AM. The lake is sad, but certainly not the fault of the staff, as I understand that geologic fluctuations are part of nature. Still, I would love to go back when the lake is actually full. I have read on other reviews that they are expecting it to reach 2/3 capacity by summer 2014, but I don't see that happening as it is just a puddle in April 2014. I don't regret going - it was an interesting couple of days.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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6  Thank retchemteach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Heidi S, General Manager at Mountain Lake Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 24 April 2014

Smulkearns,


Thank you for taking the time to visit historic Mountain Lake Lodge! I am very glad to hear that overall you did have a wonderful time. I am guessing from your comment about having a "tiny" room that perhaps you had accommodations in a Southside room of the Main Lodge. Those rooms are considerably smaller than the rest of the hotel and other lodging on property. My apologies that it was not made clear at the time you made your reservations. I am disappointed to hear that you did not enjoy the menu in Harvest. The hotel's main dining is meant to be a very relaxed atmosphere with culinary offerings that are the "farm to table". In the height of the summer, about 80% of the Chef Michael's menu is coming from local farms. The food in Harvest is to be fresh, simply prepared food that delights our guests!

We are still monitoring the Lake and are pleased that it is holding - it did not go dry this past fall like it has in so many years prior! We are starting off the summer with more water in the lake than we have had in years! We are still very hopeful that we will one day have the full lake back! We must let nature take its course. We still have millions of gallons of water going into the lake daily!

Please let me know when you have a chance to come back and visit us! I would love to meet you. Best of luck with all of your travels!

Kind Regards,

Heidi Stone

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Reviewed 18 April 2014

We only had an overnight at the lodge the Thursday before Easter. We arrived around 4 pm and checked into our room in the main lodge. Room was nice with poster beds. The property is beautiful and will be even more beautiful when the trees become more green. We explored the property with the kids. They a have a game room that the kids enjoyed, although could probably be updated a bit and reorganized. A bit cramped when several families arrived. No enough room to play pool etc.

They also had outdoor activities, bocce, giant chess, playground so plenty of activities for kids.

This was apparently to be their first big weekend of the season so Friday evening a little chaotic in terms of service between the tavern and restaurant. It seemed they didn't have enough staff on between the restaurant and bar so there was a lot of running around and rushing around. All that said, we hung out in the tavern and enjoyed some local beer and ordered some appetizers fro dinner which were fairly good. kids entertained themselves with a game of checkers.

They lit a bonfire but was left unattended so we had to get it going again. They offered s'mores packets. A nice gentleman ran to the kitchen to get us a packet but neglected to realized that the marshmallows were hard as rocks. I went back. and they gladly gave us fresh ones.

We would definitely go back for a long weekend with the kids they really enjoyed it...even though no TV in our room ( we were happy!).

I think the staff have to work out a few things in terms of staffing as they season begins.

We didn't have time to go on a hike but the overviews looked great.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
2  Thank Kfpainemilla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Heidi S, General Manager at Mountain Lake Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 24 April 2014

Kfpainemilla,

Thank you for visiting Mountain Lake Lodge! We sincerely appreciate your feedback about the game room and restaurant/tavern. Our Friday night seafood buffet has gained popularity through the winter months and on the evening you with us we had a significant increase of those that decided to dine with us! Many did not make reservations that evening and I do apologize that the environment seemed chaotic. The seafood buffet on Friday night is just a winter offering and will begin again late in the Fall. I'm glad that overall you enjoyed your stay. Please come back and visit us again this summer. The entire property is beautiful all year, but the summer season is simply gorgeous! I look forward to meeting you!

Best, Heidi Stone

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