I love a spur of the moment trip! A few weeks ago, Josh and I decided to pack up the car, the dogs, and just GO. He had a few days off work, and one morning we were watching TV and thought: lets go somewhere. We researched pet-friendly resorts within a few hours from New York, and soon settled on the Omni Bedford Springs Resort in Bedford, Pennsylvania.
If the night before you told me I was going away tomorrow, I’d have laughed in your face. I’m a planner and NOT a last minute packer. Nevertheless, I threw together a bag in record time.
The drive was SUPPOSED to be just under 5 hours from New York, but, thanks to construction traffic, it took us SEVEN HOURS. The dogs were great in the car. I’m pretty sure Davinci could travel cross country. This dog LOVES being in the car. Oliver on the other hand… well, we may have slipped him a small dose of Benadryl. I’m going to be a great mom one day.
The Omni Bedford Springs Resort & Spa is packed with history. From its famed mineral springs to hosting presidents, there’s a lot to learn about, and despite having mixed feelings about the staff here, the hotel is simply gorgeous.
While mostly everyone we encountered was friendly, we had major issues with the front desk, and, well, the front desk is the heart of the hotel – it needs to be fabulous.
My first word of warning to those wanting to stay here is be sure to call ahead and find out if the room you booked is the one you will actually be receiving. We booked a king bed, and it’s not what we got. This came as a shock considering this isn’t one of those hotels in which you request a bed type. Your reservation says what’s booked – a guarantee.
The hotel is large and made up of two wings – the spa wing and the historic wing. We were given a room in Swiss Cottage, part of the historic wing, so our elevator was located just off the front desk area.
The walk to our room was long, as we expected it to be. This historic hotel has many buildings built over long periods of time, all which connect.
Imagine our surprise after we walked all the way to our room (after we booked a king room) to find we were given two DOUBLE beds. It would have been less of a let down had it been mentioned at check in. Instead, we weren’t notified of the change. There was no, “I’m sorry, but the room you booked is no longer available.” We heard nothing. Nada. It wasn’t until we got to the room when we saw it wasn’t what we booked.
I called the front desk immediately, to which they said they’re sold out of king rooms until tomorrow. Why I was allowed to book one, I’m not sure. They said we could switch rooms tomorrow. On a two night stay. With the hassle of having our dogs with us as well. No thanks. Honestly, I wouldn’t have made the trip if I knew we were going to be squished in a double. I would rather have stayed home and been more comfortable. Now it was the four of us, all squished in a double. How romantic.
The front desk left us with no other option. It was late, and we just drove an insanely long way with the traffic, so we weren’t going back. I let them know how unhappy I was, and they comped one night, which, I suppose was the right thing to do, except, you know, not sell rooms you don’t have. I would have rather paid in full and received what I booked. A free night didn’t solve two small beds.
The room itself could use some updating, and the bathroom was very nice. We faced the front of the property, which offers a stunning view of the Allegheny Mountains.
Our room also had a porch. I LOVED the porch, and even though it was shared, it was large and had enough rockers for everyone. We loved sitting out there, dogs included.
We should’ve known from the start not to deal with the front desk anymore. However, stupid me called them the next morning to let them know we’d be taking the dogs for an extended walk, and to please make up the room during this time. I should’ve called housekeeping directly, but, I don’t know, I felt like after last night the front desk would push to have our room done immediately. They said it’s no problem, and it would be done within the hour.
We took the dogs on an extended walk around the property, which was fabulous. We ran into other dogs, and it’s truly a pet friendly hotel in a gorgeous setting, complete with pet relief areas and bags! Even though we brought our own because we weren’t sure, it was a nice touch. There are hiking trails to the famous mineral springs, and I loved how pet friendly everything is. The dogs loved going for walks, except once their paws got too dirty on the trails they didn’t want to walk anymore. It’s my fault for spoiling them.
An hour or so later, we returned to the room to find it untouched. I called the front desk, and they said they’d send housekeeping right up. Too late now. The dogs were already tired from their long walk and didn’t want to go back out. Defeated, I told them to just bring towels. Housekeeping quickly dropped off the towels and I wished they removed the old ones before rushing off. It’s the little things, right? Josh and I went on with our day, and came back later to find a housekeeping card underneath the door. It seemed as though they came normal time, which leads me to believe the front desk never even attempted to contact them to begin with.
We had a fabulous time walking around the resort. I’m only sad we didn’t get t utilize the spa. Unfortunately, we planned the trip so spur of the moment, there were no spa appointments available. Instead, we spent our day at the outdoor pool, which overlooks the golf course.
Major props to the pool staff. They were amazing and attentive. From bringing us our food and drinks, to a cool towelette, we felt pampered.
We spent one evening in the large indoor pool, which is not only historic, but gorgeous. It was too cold to go in, but the setting made for a relaxing time.
The hotel has four onsite restaurants, and I’m eager to go back to try them all. We ate at the tavern one night, and did room service the other. I only wish we had more time to test out the steakhouse.
For $10 per person the resort offers historic tours to hotel guests. Even though it’s such a small amount of money, I can’t get over what a waste it was!
There’s nothing on the tour that you can’t learn yourself by walking around seeing the items, reading the captions on pictures, etc. Heck, just turn on the TV and watch the hotel channel. The tour guide simply takes guests around to the restaurants to talk, and then walks around to some public areas to point out a few specific pictures hanging on the walls. There’s apparently a bunker of some sort in the basement of the Swiss Cottage (where we stayed) that I asked our guide about. She said no one is allowed down there. It would have been neat to be taken to an off limit area on the tour, even if they charge more. Even for the inexpensive cost, the tour is lacking and not worth it.
We encountered even more front desk issues at check out. While we didn’t have a lot of luggage, we asked for assistance since we had the dogs too.
Twenty minutes later, we were still waiting for someone, and the dogs were getting antsy. We decided to take them and leave our bags. On our way out, we told the front desk no one had come. They said they are busy, and it’s taking about 30 minutes for bell services. We already waited twenty, and figured we’d get the car in the meantime. The valet got our car, I took the dogs for one last walk, and by now ANOTHER 20 minutes passed – still no luggage.
We were all getting antsy at this point, especially if the ride home was going to take as long as it did on the way here. After another ten minutes, Josh ended up going inside to see what was taking so long while I waited in the car with the dogs. Josh said the line at the front desk was insane, so he went back up to the room himself to see where our bags were. They were still there. In the room. Again, just like housekeeping the day before, I don’t think the front desk even contacted bell services.
As if the front desk wasn’t enough of a disaster, it took over a week for them to release the hold on our credit card, which was for FOUR TIMES THE AMOUNT OF OUR ACTUAL BILL (we paid in cash at check out, mind you)! After Amex said it looks like the pending charge was going to go through, I had to call the hotel and ask them to release it. Hot mess.
Obviously, the Omni Bedford Springs Resorts front desk gets a massive thumbs down. However, with that said, there were plenty of great staff around the resort, such as the pool, and even the gentlemen who delivered our room service – so friendly! Most of the staff we passed always said hello and were amazing. But that front desk!
Overall, the hotel is gorgeous, but seriously people, work on that front desk!