A Night Away

A few weeks ago, a friend won an overnight stay for two to Airlie and, without time to be able to use it, gave the certificate to me. After contacting the front desk and making reservations, I was only able to get a room with a full size bed with the promise that I would be prioritized for a queen or king size bed in case someone cancelled. The week before going, I received just the email for which I was hoping: “You have been upgraded to a King room”.

So, we arrive and check in fully expecting a room with a King size bed. However, when we entered the room, it was a full-size bed, with a room size to match it. The room had a small desk with a couple chairs, a small closet, a dresser, and an HDTV. The bathroom was kind of small with a shower that was about a 2 foot by 2 foot stone-tiled stall, and the door to the bathroom didn’t close fully. Needless to say, after expecting a king room and entering that room, there was disappointment.

I contacted the front desk and was informed that we had been upgraded, but someone downgraded us again when they weren’t supposed to, and they apologized profusely. We also returned to our room after dinner to find an apology card, a bottle of wine, and some English toffee (which was delicious, btw). There were also two weddings, a conference, and a training going on, and other than the wedding that was being held across the way from our room, we didn’t feel crowded. We walked around the Airlie property that evening and were happy to see many geese, some of which had goslings around, and learned there were several other nests with mother geese waiting for eggs to hatch. It was a good evening.

The bed, though it was only a full size bed, was actually large enough for two tall people to sleep fairly comfortably. It was comfortable and not hard like many hotel/resort beds can be. We had complementary breakfast comprising of a buffet style with eggs, bacon, sausage (omg, the sausage…so delicious), French Toast, Eggs, Country-style hash browns, sausage gravy and biscuits, along with the typical dry cereals, yogurt, and pastries. Having sampled some of everything, it was all good, and all-you-can-eat. I am unsure if this is typical for Airlie, but it was a much better complementary breakfast than many places have.

After breakfast, we decided to participate in an activity, as the morning was beautiful. It was chilly, having rained the previous day, but the sun was out. We had wanted to go bike riding, so we asked about it and learned the bicycles were free, and they had several out front of most of the buildings. We rode around the property to places we hadn’t walked the night before, and even learned that the property went further out than we had thought. It was a fantastic morning, but we were running short on time. So we checked out and walked around the butterfly garden before departing.

As we left, we decided that it was a nice place and we would love to return some day to partake of other activities (like s’mores and archery) meaning a stay for longer than one evening. The room was actually not bad and we determined our initial problem with the room was that we had been expecting a larger bed, and once that shock was over, we enjoyed it. Also, without the mix-up, we wouldn’t have received free wine and English toffee, so our feelings were assuaged.

We also did get the opportunity during our stay to visit downtown Warrenton, though it was later in the evening, and much like some other cities in Virginia we’ve visited, almost everything but restaurants were closed at 5pm, or closing up by the time we arrived. However, we did drive around and see some very nice Victorian houses, the cemetery, and it seems to be a quaint little town that could be fun to visit again. We also ate at a fantastic restaurant Claire’s at the Depot. The service was great, the drinks were great, and the food was probably the best food we’ve had for the price range (20-30 bucks a plate) with larger than most portion sizes (again, for the price range).

I don’t make recommendations for hotels, but I do recommend restaurants, so, if you’re ever in Warrenton, VA looking for a place to eat, I highly recommend Claire’s. I know I’ll be back.

Until next time,

JB

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