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Reviewed 6 January 2012

This was our 16th time visiting Keswick. I must say the first 12 were wonderful, and our favorite place to go but the past 4 visits have gradually become more and more frustrating and I am sad to say, the last time was our last time. Good bye Keswick, good bye rude ladies at concierge, good bye manager. good bye not having our room ready even at 4 pm as promised. Good bye room service that is screwed up and awful. Good bye wrong check out bills that need to be corrected more than once. The dinner at Fossetts is wonderful, though and the one redeeming quality. I am so sad but I have to say Good Bye.

Date of stay: December 2011
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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7  Thank A M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2012

First, Keswick Hall in Charlottesville deserves many superlatives, many of which have already been mentioned here. Their "High Tea" over New Year's, however, needs substantial improvement. While service at this boutique 48-room hotel is generally outstanding, service and value at their afternoon "High Tea" was quite poor. With only a half dozen or so tables served our family group of six first waited 20 minutes before a waiter came. Prices as expected were high...$20-$28/person depending on whether you wanted "bubbly wine or cider" with your tea and scones. Half of us ordered the regular fare at $20 while half popped $28 for the additional beverage (which never came). Problem was only one compote of sandwiches and scones is provided per table--regardless of the number of people. Yes, maybe they add a few more pieces on to the compote for large groups, but when asked for additions we were provided with a firm "no." No refills thank you. This is way out of the spirit of an Orient Express facility...especially at $28\person. True, we all enjoyed the ambiance of the location, but service was rude and sparse at best. Following a complaint, a manager ("Jeanette") came out, having few people skills, and begrudgingly offered to reduce all six of us to the $22 fare and skip the beverages. What the heck kind of a compromise was that! She did bring out a few more sandwiches at one point. We've been to "high teas" the world over and this was the least enjoyable. True...they may have also been training a new waitress. Complaining to the day manager, Matthew promptly sent up a dish of chocolate covered strawberries as an apology--very nice touch, Matthew! Keswick Hall was a superb escape, but they really need to get their "tea" together. Four stars anyway.

Room tip: Choose connecting rooms 27 and 29 or room 9.
Date of stay: January 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
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2  Thank prestonrich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MatthiasSmith, General Manager at Keswick Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 9 January 2012

Dear "prestonrich":

Thank you for taking the time to review us. It is both gratifying and humbling to read your statement, "Keswick deserves many superlatives [...]." Gratifying because you awarded us four stars... humbling because there is more to the story... and you're absolutely right. We made a mess of your family's High Tea. It was, as you said, way out of the spirit of an Orient-Express facility. While I'm glad that we did make efforts toward an apology and partial recovery, by reducing the charge and also sending an amenity, you should not have endured such disappointment at Keswick Hall. Please feel free to contact me directly now, or during a future visit, so that I may have the opportunity regain your favor. Thank you again.

Very best wishes for a Happy New Year.

Matthias

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 December 2011

The Keswick Hall in VA is a unique and beautiful property. Part of my family visits the Keswick every year around Christmastime and my boyfriend and I had the opportunity to join them this year. My 5 y/o nephew dubbed it "the Christmas Hotel" It is the most comfortable place I have ever stayed.......anywhere. It feels like your visiting a dear friend who lives in an old English Treasure House. The accommodations, food, amenities and staff are all wonderful. I can't wait to return.
Faye.

Room tip: ask for a balcony.
Date of stay: December 2011
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
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1  Thank Faye P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MatthiasSmith, General Manager at Keswick Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 5 January 2012

Dear "Faye P":

It's always terrific when the last line of a review reads, "I can't wait to return." Thank you, not only for taking the time to post your own comments following your recent stay at Keswick Hall, but also for including your nephew's new name for us... "the Christmas hotel." We look forward to welcoming you all again -- at holiday time, or any time! Meanwhile, very best wishes for a happy new year.

Matthias

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Reviewed 26 December 2011

My girlfriend and I spent Christmas Eve Night at Keswick Hall this year. I proposed to her beside the horizon pool looking out over the stunning views. She said yes, and we proceeded to eat the most amazing dinner at Fossett's (the hotel restaurant). Our server gave us complimentary champagne for our engagement toast, and when she brought desert, the kitchen staff had written "Congratulations!" on the plate in chocolate. It was awesome. Our room was wonderful. The service was top notch. And the hotel and grounds were gorgeous. It could not have been a better experience. I predict many anniversaries at Keswick Hall in our future.

Date of stay: December 2011
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Thank plindsey88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MatthiasSmith, General Manager at Keswick Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 31 December 2011

Dear "plindsey88:"

Especially at this busy time of year, we greatly appreciate your Keswick Hall review! Congratulations on your engagement -- we are honored to have been the venue of choice for such a grand occasion, and so glad to read your assessment that "it could not have been a better experience." We look forward to assisting with your prediction of many anniversaries at Keswick!

Happy New Year,

Matthias

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 December 2011

As a part of a road trip to North Carolina, this fine inn was recommended by our travel agent, Kathi Sheridan at Altour. This is a fine old place in a perfect location for Virginia touring, and we had the best meals of our trip here, even though we stayed at places of greater renown for foodies.

The staff was continually kind and friendly. We had a suite on the second floor with some outside space, but I think we would have been pleased with any room here. A sense of history pervades the entire establishment.

At our request, the inn put us in touch with Shirley Midyette, a most knowledgeable guide who took us on in-depth tours of Monticello and the UVA campus. In her company we definitely felt in with the in crowd.

Keswick Hall operates as an inn and country club. We felt this might mean a certain "clubby" tone and we were completely wrong. There is a beautiful golf course, and my wife took tennis lessons from the pro, but the overall feeling was more like that of a fine B&B.

Even if you choose not to stay here, come here to eat. The main dining hall may feel a bit empty if you're not there for a wedding reception, but becomes cozy as soon as dinner service begins. The chef here knows how to celebrate the flavors of every menu item, and nothing was served without careful attention to bringing forth its best. On our second evening, we had dinner in the elegant bar/cafe, where the menu is similar, and everything just as fine, but more casual. We also enjoyed the buffet lunch which offered something for everyone, and had our breakfasts in the room, all perfectly done and presented. As a fairly serious home chef and critical restaurant-goer, I stand impressed. My compliments to this kitchen for its elegant and honest American cuisine.

Unfortunately, we had to cut short our stay and our road trip, owing to warnings of a freak early October blizzard. The management was very understanding and allowed us to cancel our last night on very short notice. A lesser establishment might have held us to the booking and made us pay for our caution. Hours after we got home, snow came, trees fell, and the power was out for five days.

We would not hesitate to stay and dine here again. Maybe in Heaven?

Room tip: Suite was lovely and a good value.
Date of stay: October 2011
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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Thank Ted M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MatthiasSmith, General Manager at Keswick Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 24 December 2011

Dear "Ted M":

Thank you for the TripAdvisor review... and for your great description of our property -- "a fine old place in a perfect location for Virginia touring" -- and of our staff -- "continually kind and friendly." Chef Dean will be pleased by your top ratings of his cuisine as well, coming from a fellow critical restaurant-goer. So glad you got home in time to brace for the storm, and trust that all is well now. We look forward to seeing you again whenever your schedules and inclinations allow.

Happy holidays,

Matthias

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