Jim Stern, Janet Stern
Circa 1818. Gracing four picturesque acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this historic property has retained its original integrity and remains true to its 19th century heritage. Surrounded by ope...
Review - Inn at the Crossroads
The Inn at the Crossroads
(located at Plank Road and Highway 29 south of Charlottesville, VA)
North Garden, VA
by Leon Neal, Stay August 19 – 20, 2008
The B & B Building: The Inn at the Crossroads is leased and operated by Jim and Janet Stem (they have 4 children – not seen at the Inn). The Inn is actually ‘owned’ by a historic preservation society and ‘controlled’ by the Park Service – the Stems have a ’99 year lease’ to use, maintain, and operate the Inn. The building and outbuildings are truly ‘historic’ – from about 1820 – I think. The Inn is four stories high and the walls are extremely thick with the original brick construction. Breakfast and the kitchen are in the lowest floor. The entrance reception room and some guest rooms are on the second floor. The third and fourth floors have guest rooms. (We stayed in the Americana Suite – a two room plus bath suite on the third floor. This is a very, very nice suite with a very large – maybe larger than King sized – bed and a delightful shower.) There are steps everywhere in this Inn and they are rather steep and old-fashioned, so this is not a place for guests who have difficulty with stairs.
The Americana Suite had a living room with a large couch and a large chair. It is located on the third floor – but you enter the Inn on the second floor – so it is up only one flight. The Inn itself is located very near – but up on a large bank – from Plank Road (which has a good bit of traffic) and not far from Highway 29 (which has lots and lots of traffic) and I was somewhat concerned that traffic noise might be a problem. Traffic noise was definitely NOT a problem in the Americana Suite. The extremely thick brick walls of the Inn made the suite very quiet. [This suite is on the side away from Highway 29 and the bedroom was ‘in the back’ of the suite – so I cannot vouch for the noise in the other rooms. I suspect however that this Inn is much quieter than almost any hotel or motel (i.e. walls are much thicker)].
The Location of the Inn: The Inn is located on Plank Road at North Garden, VA just off Highway 29. This location is rural and – in my estimation – perfect for a visit to the Charlottesville area. It is approximately 8 miles to the Downtown Charlottesville Mall (the location of many fine restaurants) or to Monticello (12 minutes or so). It is perhaps 11 miles to the ‘north’ section of Highway 29 where all the ‘shopping centers’ of Charlottesville are located (only about 15 minutes if you take the Bypass 29). It is only about 3 miles from the Inn to The Batesville Store – a deli/restaurant, bakery, homemade ice cream, must visit store.
Betty and I were very pleased with the location, the grounds, and the views at the Inn. There were ‘butterfly bushes’ and lots of butterflies. Also lots of birds. We love rural settings and rolling mountain views.
Many of the guests at the Inn while we stayed there were doing ‘tours of the wineries’ so this is obviously a good location for this type of visit to the area. We visited a ‘Heritage Virginia Apple’ orchard only about 2 miles from the Inn. We also ‘did Monticello’.
Rates and Breakfasts: In my estimation, the rates at the Inn at the Crossroads are moderate (we paid about $150 per night including the taxes). [There are many much more expensive B & B’s in the Charlottesville area.] Our breakfasts were really great – typically including juice, local fruit, waffles – with local fruit, and some meat like sausage or ham, and homemade muffins. Breakfast was served at 8:30 am and all the guests pretty much showed up on time while we stayed at the Inn. [This worked well for Betty and myself because we do not ‘get up and get going’ very well and this meant that we had a full day of activities during our stay.]
The Innkeepers: I found Jim and Janet to be very helpful and gracious innkeepers – especially Jim. I suppose that Betty and I were not ‘typical guests’ in that we were interested in the local people and doing things like visiting in Covesville and in Batesville. Jim shared a lot of local information and he seemed to know many of the local people. He recommended that we visit a ‘Virginia Historic Apples’ farm nearby and this proved to be a wonderful adventure. Jim and Janet both helped us locate a specific house for which we were searching (a house that my wife – sort of – remembered from visits over 55 years ago – it was still there). Jim also shared information about the Batesville Store and general information about the downtown mall in Charlottesville (he did not especially ‘push’ any of his favorite places – except perhaps the homemade ice cream at the Batesville Store).
|My ratings for this property|
Near everything but with views!
This place was only about ten minutes from
our daughters dorm at UVA but still had great
mountain views. The place is surrounded by farmland
but is away from the hustle of Charlottesville.
The last place we stayed in in Charlottesville
forgot to mention the freight train that goes by the
bedroom window, and the next place we stayed at forgot
to mention that the neighbors could watch you through
your window. This place is perfect, quiet, clean
with history and a great staff. The only downside is a
small parking area that didn't accomodate my Ford
Excursion very well.
Esther and Tom
|My ratings for this property|
At A Glance
100% would stay again
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Washington Post (1/19/05 article by John Deiner).
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