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“Incredibly Overpriced” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Inn at Little Washington

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The Inn at Little Washington
Ranked #3 of 8 Washington B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Northern Virginia, Virginia
Level Contributor
458 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 228 helpful votes
“Incredibly Overpriced”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2011

After a memorable experience three years ago, we decided to come back for another anniversary celebration...we also decided to upgrade to a larger room with a small sitting area. With taxes, the room was over $800, and ridiculously overpriced. We've stayed in lovely hotels all over the country, and this one, although the staff and service are impeccable, simply doesn't match the cost being charged. The room is nicely appointed. period. Our room did have a small balcony and we walked out to view our surroundings--the parking lot in front of the hotel! I've stayed at 5 star hotels all over the country for half the price here --with views of ocean, rolling hills, mountains, major monuments-- a parking lot view for $800?
Finally, a good night's sleep is top on my list of what's important-- The whirling of a vacuum cleaner going full blast at 6 AM on Sunday morning just beneath our room was quite a wake up call.
We'll definitely be back for dinner but not the lodging.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank M H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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484 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    390
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (112)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Irvine, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 June 2011

Having thought about dining at The Inn for several decades, my wife and I finally were seated at a lovely table on a recent Saturday night. We did not lodge at The Inn and therefore offer comments on the restaurant.

Upon arrival we were greeted professionally by a parking attendant and escorted to the hostess desk where our reservation was promptly acknowledged. A few minutes later we were escorted to a banquette table. Initial impression--the decor is beautiful, an eclectic mix of English country, French country, with what I will call a touch of local elegance..

The usual questions about water preference, etc, settled, our waiter welcomed us and provided a few general comments on the menu. We quickly came to understand that the tasting menu is "strongly" encouraged and noticed that many of the patrons at surrounding tables had in fact selected the tasting menu. Nevertheless, upon reviewing the menu overall, we decided to choose a la carte as the plates looked to be more flavorful and more basic--more basic meaning not composed with foams, mousse, or other fanciful touches such as animal shapes. In the end, I am sure we made the right choice for our tastes. Kir for both of us as the aperitif, overly sweet with an excessive amount of casis (probably liqueur and not syrup)--disappointing.

Overall the table service was polite but significantly below that found in the better European inns. Timing was poor, several plate mix-ups occurred, and the wait between the 2nd and 3rd course was excessive. An exception was the wine service--we asked for suggestions from two wine regions we are not familiar with and were offered several possibilities. Our choice was very good, well matched to our food choices, and priced reasonably considering where we were dining.

The food courses were good or maybe very good, yet I cannot say the any course left a lasting impression with either of us. This is not meant as a negative comment per se, but rather to note that (for example) the level food here is similar to that found in the better DC restaurants but below that found in the better New York restaurants. The use of local fruit did add a very nice touch to several plates (e.g., pickled cherries). We did expect to be impressed with the food--given the reputation and the reviews--but in the end we were not.

Dessert or cheese? We opted for cheese and came to the "oddest" part of the meal. First, the selection of cheeses was exceptional and the server's knowledge was noteworthy. Odd part--the cheese cart is in the shape of a cow and the server uses a device that makes a moo-sound as he approaches with the cart. As the cheeses are plated, the server offers verbal cheese puns/jokes. I leave it to each reader to place this in their perspective--we wound up laughing quietly and appreciating the moment--at least a little bit. Back to the cheeses--excellent and aged properly. House glass of port offered--nice touch.

Two expresso after the cheese course and we were on our way. Certainly an enjoyable evening with some good food and very good wine. A return visit?--not for us.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Rochfoucauld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pittsburgh
Level Contributor
40 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 June 2011

OK. This place was on the "bucket-list" for years due to the write-ups. Have stayed at numerous Relais & Chateaux properties in Europe and America and had pretty high expectations. We're not afraid to pay for exceptional quality, which is what we were expecting to experience here.

The room was $800+ and was a shoebox. It was smaller than most rooms we have had in Europe. Was very difficult to adjust the AC as it was akwardly located behind a french door. One small chair crowded into a corner. Second person had to sit on bed. Reading in room not comfortable as the lighting was not great. Public rooms also on the dark side with heavy fabrics. If the weather is fine, there is a small garden in the back with a fountain, goldfish pond and some small tables, which I did not find terribly comfortable. High tea is served and was nice. No pool ( which we knew ahead of time.)

Bathroom very small with shower/bathtub combination with shower curtain. No separate shower. High end amenities, however.

Meal also $800+ and only one of us was drinking! Truffle popcorn was fun. Tasting menu provided plenty of food but the a la carte items ordered by the diners around us looked better. In fairness, the service was excellent but, in my view, the food was not French Laundry quality. Wine pairings just OK. Continental breakfast included in the room rate. If you want hot food, however, it's another $25 per head. Felt like being nickle and dimed after what we shelled out for the room and the dinner. The people who worked there were all very nice, however.

I would recommend that, if you must go, don't stay at the Inn. Go there to dine only and order a la carte. That would make it almost worth it. In fairness to the property, we knew the prices ahead of time but expected so much more. We basically left there feeling foolish for spending so much for what we received.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank JMBPittsburgh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 June 2011

It started with OMG!!!

Basics: Located in the lovely town of Washington, Virginia that is surrounded by wineries. Great shopping for antiques and unusual items too!

First Class service, stunning attention to detail at every turn. I was meet at the entrance of the Inn by a white glove doorman. Gorgeous community. The Inn is already rated 5 stars, 5 Diamond and is also a member of the prestigious french luxury association " Relais et Châteaux group " But I give it 6 stars & 6 diamonds!

I spent two hours walking the small town. Many other smaller inns dotted around this town, I will get to those on another visit.

Would I recommend or return to this venue: Yes.
Likes: The scenery, the location, the surprises you find in the middle of the country side, the cuisine, the wine list!
Handicap accessible: Yes
Groups or large functions: No
Price: VERY Expensive, but worth every penny!
Other: The Lamb Carpaccio, The Souffle, the surprise courses that come out in between what you order were fun, delicious and interesting.

My last words leaving the Inn at Little Washington were - WOW!

VINO VIXEN

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank vinovixenbabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CT
Level Contributor
62 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 May 2011

The Inn at Little Washington is the finest dining and lodging experience we have ever had. From the welcome at the moment of arrival, to the impeccalbe grounds and koi pond, to a most wonderful meal.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Krish095
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
35 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 May 2011

We absolutely loved this place and would journey again from Australia to the Inn at Little Washington. The sense of genuine hospitality, comfort and beauty makes this a world-class destination.

We spent four nights in the Gamekeepers Cottage - a perfect honeymoon fantasy. The Inn is decorated by a set designer and it truly feels as if you are starring in your own 1940s Hollywood romance. The lounge area was luxuriously cosy with a fantastic stone fireplace. The light-filled main bathroom includes a deep soaking tub and a shower designed for two people as well as toiletries that you actually enjoy using. The large attached gazebo is perfect for lunch or just a glass of wine with a restful unobstructed vista across a sheep meadow to the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Delicious little snacks or gifts appear regularly: on arrival, perfectly ripe sweet strawberries to be dipped in a delicious lemon curd. After one breakfast we returned to a clean room and snacks of chocolate blueberries, red currants and almonds. Bottles of good quality, still mineral water are replenished frequently. Surprisingly, there is no wet bar or associated glassware.

We dined in the restaurant twice, and found each meal exciting and delicious. The sommelier was wonderfully helpful in matching wines with each of our courses. Restaurant and hotel staff were consistently kind and attentive. One morning we were offered complimentary mimosas, another evening the opportunity to visit the famous kitchen.

Housekeeping was a little erratic, ranging from extraordinarily thoughtful to the opposite. Example 1: when turning down our bed, housekeeping noticed a bottle of wine sitting on the desk, and offered to come back with wine glasses. When she returned with the glasses, she specifically checked that we had a corkscrew (we realized that we didn’t) and then ran back to get that for us. The next day, we noticed we’d also been provided with a wine stop. Example 2: late afternoon we placed the ‘Go Away’ cushion on our door: astonishingly housekeeping walked in the middle of an intimate moment. When we yelled down that we’d asked not to be disturbed, the response was “yes, but I need to drop off your dry-cleaning”.

Although the Inn is expensive, it is good value, that is, the cost is proportionate to or less than the value of this stunning experience. If you are stretching your budget to stay here, allow more than you think you will need: one night we ordered a light room service dinner: the small but perfect Pasta Bolognese cost $39 + gratuity + tax (about $55?).

The Inn is well-positioned for hiking in Shenandoah National Park, visiting Jefferson’s Monticello and generally enjoying Spring in rural Virginia.

There were strange electrics in the bedroom: turning off the bedroom lights resulted in almost all bedroom power points shutting down. Because we were on an extended US trip, we were kitted out with extension cords etc for a work around. To say that the WiFi is temperamental is an understatement: whether using a laptop or iPad we were regularly booted out of the internet or unable to connect one or other device, without rhyme or reason. But these problems were trivialities compared to the beauty and hospitality we experienced at the Inn at Little Washington.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RulyTruly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
127 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 May 2011

When we got there, a valet asked our name. When we told him, he said, “Ah, you’re in the Gamekeeper’s Cottage” without even checking a list. He took our car and we went inside to check in. When we went to our room later, our car was parked, our luggage had been placed inside, and the room was ready for us.

The cottage is wonderful. It has a good sized living room with a fireplace, chairs, couches, TV, and a door that lets out onto a covered patio with a table and chairs. The scene outside the patio was awesome: there was a corral with sheep, and a llama (apparently the llama protects the sheep), and behind that stands the mountains. Very nice view. Also on the first floor was a huge bathroom, with a very large shower, his/hers sinks, a large tub, and plenty of amenities. There was complimentary bottled water throughout the cottage, which is a nice touch, and upon arrival we found that the ice buckets were filled with fresh ice. Each floor had a nice TV, and the Inn has free wireless internet which was very fast.

Upstairs is the bedroom and a half bath. The bedroom also has a patio looking out over the corral and mountains. We took a walk around the corral, and visited the chicken coop that sits next to the chef’s house; the chickens were inside sleeping, and we didn’t see the chef either, but both residences looked great.

We got ready for dinner and walked the 50 feet from our cottage, across the street to the restaurant. When we were done, we went back to the cottage. There was a roaring fire in the fireplace, so we stayed downstairs for a while. We slept peacefully through the night, undisturbed by city noises or even the sheep out back. We went back to the restaurant for breakfast, and when we returned, the room had already be straightened away by the maids.

Overall, this was a spectacular experience. The cottage was amazing, comfortable, and worth the price. The service at the Inn was unlike any place we've been. We're not sure how many times we can stay at the Inn itself, due to its cost, but we are very happy we went.

Room Tip: Get one of the cottages.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ZuzuTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Inn at Little Washington

Property: The Inn at Little Washington
Address: Middle and Main Sts, Washington, VA 22747
Region: United States > Virginia > Rappahannock County > Washington
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Washington
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — The Inn at Little Washington 5*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the small town of Washington, Virginia, The Inn at Little Washington is the only Double Forbes Five Star, Double AAA Five Diamond property in the Washington metro area. The Inn's eighteen bedrooms and suites are sumptuous hideaways created by Joyce Evans, a London stage and set designer, for whom The Inn has become a life's work. Many of the furnishings were purchased in England, numbered and shipped to Virginia to be assembled on site like a giant jigsaw puzzle. The Inn offers a range of accommodations from well-appointed rooms to luxurious, two story suites many with balconies and garden views. The Inn's dining rooms are pure fantasy - a wondrous cocoon of luxury. Rose-colored, silk lampshades float above each table creating a private, romantic world below. Chef/Proprietor Patrick O'Connell's creations arrive as if served by invisible hands, course after course more dazzling than the last. From the award-winning 14,000 bottle wine cellar, which includes the finest offerings from Bordeaux, Burgundy, California and Virginia, the Sommelier plays matchmaker between you, your dinner and the wine. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Inn At Little Washington Hotel Washington

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