Goodstone Inn & Restaurant
What We Love
- Daily full breakfast is included in the Jetsetter rate
- Idyllic setting on Snake Hill overlooking 265 acres of woodland and pasture
- Farm-fresh fare served in a restaurant located in a restored stable
- Shady pool sits in the ruins of the property’s historic manor
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Goodstone was settled by the Leith clan in 1768, when the expanse in Loudoun County, Virginia, represented the wild western edge of the New World. Its fields would help feed the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. The landscape across the 265 acres has gone largely unaltered since, and that’s a significant piece of Goodstone’s charm. There’s still a working farm, plus modern stables with room for your steed. The inn is set around the Carriage House, the original stable, which has been restored with a restaurant, two wings, and a converted hay loft. Even the pool sits in a piece of history: the ivy-covered stone ruins of a mansion that burnt down in 1937.
Bed and Bath
Goodstone’s 18 rooms are spread among six individual buildings, many restored from the original farm and dairy that opened in 1915. Suites in the Carriage House are in former horse stalls, their old doors now windows looking out over a lovely garden. The Dutch Cottage is a stone barn overlooking Goose Creek with two guestsrooms and a steamy hot tub. A 1940 Manor House is more modern, with four bedrooms, a formal parlor and dining rooms, and a gourmet kitchen; its perch on the hill offers the best views of the Blue Ridge on the property. The old Bull Barn is now a stand-alone honeymoon suite, with soaring ceilings, original exposed beams and an outdoor hot tub and shower overlooking a private garden.
Goodstone’s small, sustainably managed farm fills chef John Leonard’s kitchen with the freshest produce and meat available. It comprises a flock of sheep, a vegetable garden, an apiary, cut flower beds, an orchard, a mushroom garden and laying hens. (There’s also a giant rescue pig named Oliver and a llama named Greyson.) Chef Leonard’s preparations include a savory wild mushroom strudel and tender lamb loin croquant with morels and asparagus. Couples should cozy up at a table for two by the window, while large groups can reserve the lovely wine cellar dining room, which is lined with more than 1,500 bottles and features a detailed horse country mural by local artist Penny Hauffe.
In the Area
One could easily spend a long weekend on the estate alone — hiking, canoeing and birding trips are all available. The property is located just outside Middleburg, a one-traffic-light town known as America’s “Horse and Hunt Capital.” Its traditional Main Street supports more than 100 local businesses, galleries and restaurants, including Red Fox Fine Art, the nation’s leading gallery for horse and hunt art. Set up a winery tour with Goodstone’s concierge, or explore wineries like the family-run Barrel Oak with its award-winning chardonnay and dog-friendly winery tours. Duffers should take the back roads to Shenandoah Valley Golf Club, a 27-hole public golf course nestled in a rolling ravine between the Blue Ridge and Massanutten Mountains.
How to Get There
Goodstone is exceptionally beautiful. I loved the contrast between the tended gardens and the more wild grassy hills that flow through the property. What's charming about the hotel is the setting and the original farm architecture that they have so beautifully restored. It's both rustic and elegant.
The pool area is beautiful -- we didn't have a chance to swim, but it looked inviting.
We stayed in the French Cottage which is maybe a 1/2 mile away from the main house. When we took a run in the morning, it did not take long to get there. But it seems too far to walk to the main house for dinner -- so you will be driving whenever you plan to go to the main reception area. Which is partly why we didn't swim when we got there -- it seemed like a big hassle to change, drive to the pool, park and then drive home wet. It just felt like another layer of organization that we were too lazy to take on for a quick dip.
I loved the French Cottage where we stayed. It is, I think, the most remote of the cottages, but it borders the field where the animals graze so we had a chance to meet their llama, goat friends and sheep -- all of whom are adorable. The French Cottage has three bedrooms. We were traveling with another couple, so taking the two back rooms (Leith and Angus) was comfortable. But it doesn't seem like a romantic set up if you are traveling on your own. The first bedroom (Harvest) borders the common area, so I am not sure how private that seems. The two other bedrooms where we stayed, are on opposite sides of a back common area. So they are separated by this shared area that includes a fireplace. I liked the room. It isn't huge, but it was large enough for both of our overnight bags, had a comfortable reading chair and didn't feel crowded. These are cottage rooms with low dark beams but very atmospheric. My main complaint about the room (Angus) was the jacuzzi tub . The shower is not separate, it is in the tub. And getting into the tub to take a shower was truly challenging for a (very) spry 60 year old. The tub is wide and deep and tall, and hard to straddle to get into the tub. The water was also hard to regulate between hot and cold. In the morning I lost all water pressure in the sink at one point. It did return, but I'm thinking that for over $500 a night -- perfection is expected. The other room (Leith) has a jacuzzi and a separate walk-in shower, so this might be a better choice for the less agile.
The robes and towels are good quality and they provide free water and sodas in the common area along with Keurig coffee and creamers. So you can have coffee in the morning before you drive down to the main house for breakfast.
Breakfast was comically disorganized. Once we were seated, it took forever just to get attention for coffee. When the server did bring coffee they poured it into our new cups and our old cups without noticing or removing the used cups. Plus the coffee was cold. Ordering took forever. All of us ordered eggs with either bacon or sausage. The server, who was trying very hard, circled back three times to confirm the different orders. They seemed to be writing things down, but that didn't seem to help. When the food finally came (it took forever) almost nothing was correct. We sent some things back, but then it took forever to get replacements. We asked for milk instead of cream and got more cream, the toast came with no butter or jam --- just a hunk of dry bread. By the end of this "ordeal" I really wished that there was less pretense about a sit down breakfast and just better service. There was a person to open the door and greet us when we arrived in the morning, another person to greet us at the dining room door, but only two inexperienced staff to serve everyone in the dining room. I don't need help with the door, and while it is a nice touch, it doesn't mean much if they can't deliver on the real services needed. It is nice to have a sit down breakfast, but it might be much more efficient to offer a nice buffet. In the end, it is always a balance between price, expectations and delivery. The problem is, the place is just spectacularly beautiful. So the issues tend to melt away. But when you pay the bill, the details matter. Especially if the bill, with dinner, for one night is $1000.
My wife and I hoped to treat my in-laws for their 50th. We called 3 times to try and make the stay special and ensure only my card was charged. The property messed up the gift by charging my father in law. In addition, the 2 porches were filthy. Not what we would expect for ~$500/night. Very disappointing customer service and house-keeping.
Excellent breakfast and the customer service Carlos Moreno was all that made such a memorable stay. This is truly a beautiful Inn in the heart of northern virginia's wine country. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset and saw the tall grass light up with fire flies!! It was a natures own light show!