Submitted on 25-09-2016
We booked the Historic Powhatan Resort through a timeshare exchange using RCI. RCI told us about the daily activity fee of $10 a day before we booked, so we weren't surprised at check in. We had a 3 bedroom unit and by luck were placed in unit 15-4, which was an easy walk to everything on the resort. There were five of us on this vacation: my parents (in their 60s), myself, my husband, and our 2 year old son. Although the resort isn't perfect, it's still very nice and we would recommend it to ot...
We booked the Historic Powhatan Resort through a timeshare exchange using RCI. RCI told us about the daily activity fee of $10 a day before we booked, so we weren't surprised at check in. We had a 3 bedroom unit and by luck were placed in unit 15-4, which was an easy walk to everything on the resort. There were five of us on this vacation: my parents (in their 60s), myself, my husband, and our 2 year old son. Although the resort isn't perfect, it's still very nice and we would recommend it to others and plan to come back to it when we visit the area again.
The staff were friendly. We arrived right at 4 and had about a 10 minute wait to check in. When we got into the unit, found housekeeping had forgotten to put bath towels in 1st floor bathroom. We called the number for housekeeping. They were friendly and towels were very quickly delivered to our unit. Our unit was large, clean and met our needs. The resort is only a short drive from most of the area attractions. It is a timeshare resort, so expect a sales pitch. My parents went to the 1.5 hour pitch for RCI owners to get the $125 visa card. They were back on time and didn't feel like their sales person was overly pushy. They also got to see one of the remodeled 2 bedroom units and thought it was very nice. They were told the resort may put hot tubs back into the units, it's a matter of legal issues and protecting themselves from lawsuits.
Below are some pros and cons of the resort and a more detailed review under them.
-located close to Williamsburg attractions
-4 outdoor pools, including toddler pool, as well as one outdoor hot tub
-towels offered at pools
-indoor pool with two hot tubs
-WiFi in units, easy to set up, worked well
-spacious, clean unit with lots of closets
-washer/dryer in unit
-beautiful grounds and landscaping
-historic plantation house on site
-good sized deck off unit, with deck furniture
-friendly staff, remedied missing towels immediately
-very nice child's playground and mini golf on site
-newer kitchen appliances, living room TV, DVD player
-unique activities, like ghost hunting, offered at resort
-typical activities like arts and crafts, bingo, bus trips offered through resort
-fife and drummer play by plantation house Friday and Saturday nights
-matches for grills available for free at general store
-electric fire place
-newer tile and counter tops in kitchen and bathrooms
-kitchen stocked with a roll of paper towels, dish soap, dishwasher detergent, sponge, coffee, and small salt and pepper. One pack of laundry detergent provided in laundry room.
-small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, facial bar and bath bar in both bathrooms
-TVs in bedrooms were ancient tube TVs, very fuzzy picture
-people sleeping in loft bedroom could hear noise from living room
-skylights in some sleeping areas, no way to keep out sunlight
-beds were extremely firm
-deck furniture was grimy, needed a good power washing
-not a lot of room to store food in kitchen
-A/C in unit seemed inefficient, we set to 67 to make it comfortable downstairs (actual temp around 72) but always 10 degrees hotter in loft (outside temps were in the mid 80s to low 90s in mid September)
-no trash cans in the bedrooms/loft
-hard water, felt like soap never got washed off
-one charcoal grill per 16-20 units, kitchen utensils plastic so can't be used for grilling
-wasted space in sun room with no furniture
-2nd floor loft appears to be wasted space- could have sleeper sofa up there so unit could sleep 10 instead of 8 or put a TV up there (there is a cable hook up) so it could be a second living room (would be awesome for families with teens)
Our unit was not yet remodeled, but was clean, and appeared to have newer carpet, tile in bathrooms, kitchen appliances and large flat screen living room TV. The only quibbles we had with cleanliness was that they hadn't vacuumed the track on the sliding door and there were some dead flies there. The bedroom TVs do need to be updated badly, and water softeners are needed as well. It felt like there was still soap on you after a shower or after washing your face. The three bedroom units are basically townhouses, so you don't have to worry about other people above or below you. We had an end unit. There were people in the unit to our left, though we never heard them.
If you get a 3 bedroom unit, be prepared for stairs. These units are impressively large, had a ton of storage room and closets, but also were three stories. The first floor contained the master bedroom- queen bed with huge walk in closet, a full bathroom with access from both the common area and bedroom, the living room, dining area, galley kitchen, sliding glass door to deck, and sliding door to an empty sun room. The sun room used to contain a hot tub, but that was removed and the area re carpeted, however no furniture had been put in. A small wicker set or something would at least give the room purpose. Though it did come in handy for us, as we used it to store our 2 year old's stroller and toys and empty coolers.
The second floor contained another bedroom with double bed, another huge walk in closet, a second full bathroom, a loft area with a large sectional sofa and coffee table, the laundry room and additional closet space. There was a reading nook by a large picture window going up to the third floor, which contained a small loft area with two twin beds. There is no door to the third floor loft sleeping area, though they do call this the 3rd bedroom. Our 2 year old slept up here, but it was slightly problematic as there was a skylight and the sound from the living room below was quite loud in the loft. We solved these problems by taping a trash bag over the skylight and stuffing pillows into the small gap where the loft was open to below. The unit could sleep 8 if you used the sleeper sofa in the first floor living room, but once again skylights would be a problem for those who are bothered by light and want to sleep past sunrise. WiFi in our unit worked great. Username and password was provided with our unit keys and it was very easy for us to get our tablets and cell phones on the WiFi and the signal was good. You did have to re-enter the username and password every day or two.
The resort grounds are absolutely beautiful. The landscaping is gorgeous, especially the gardens around the impressive plantation house. The fife and drummer hired to perform outside the plantation house on Friday and Saturday nights were an extra surprise. My son loved them and the drummer even let my son try playing the drum. We loved that the resort has 4 outdoor pools, all housed in the same pool complex. The toddler pool was wonderful for our 2 year old son. There is a family pool that is 3-5 feet deep, that has several waterfalls and is right next to the toddler pool. I loved their lap pool for lap swimming. There was also an adult only pool that seemed very peaceful and was quite popular. We also appreciated that the resort gave out pool towels, which just made life easier. The resort also has a small exercise room in a building next to the pools. Looked like nice equipment, but we didn't try anything out. The playground next to the pool was a hit with our son too, and had equipment for both toddlers and bigger kids. The miniature golf area was next to that, and looked very well taken care of but we ran out of time to play. There were ponds with fountains throughout the resort, including one larger pond with a fishing pier. Daily activities were offered, such as arts and crafts and bingo for nominal fees. My son painted a flower pot and had a blast doing it.
A quibble my father had was with the grills at the resort. In the area where we stayed, there was a single charcoal grill for 16-20 units. This would be problematic if two families wished to grill dinner at approximately the same time. Also, none of the kitchen utensils were suitable for grilling, so if you plan to grill, bring your own. We forgot to bring matches or a lighter, but the general store staff kindly provided us with a pack of matches.
Overall, this resort was very nice. They are working to update all their units and we saw crews running underground cables to improve the WiFi. We've already recommended this resort to my sister who is looking to vacation in this area in two years. We would come back to this resort.