by Lissa Poirot
The Westgate Historic Williamsburg is not set up as a hotel in which to spend full days, but rather understands it provides a home away from home to visitors wanting to see Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown Settlement, Yorktown Center and Busch Gardens. The hotel is conveniently located within blocks of Colonial Williamsburg and a main street in Williamsburg filled with budget-friendly dining options.
The resort actually is a timeshare property owned by Westgate Resorts. Each room available can be booked through the resort and are available when residents are not vacationing. Each studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom villa is decorated identically, like a traditional hotel, and the resort offers a lobby with a reception area. Be forewarned of “concierges,” however, who ask if you need tickets to nearby attractions. They are actually salespeople trying to sell you a timeshare at the property and will offer tickets if you attend a 90-minute seminar. If you feel like sitting through a hard-sell presentation, you’ll get the tickets, but if you, like most vacationing, do not want to be harassed, avoid the concierges, and tell them “no thanks” when they approach you at check-in.
The hotel features a pool, small playground and free, first-come, first-serve bicycle usage for all guests. It is also pet-friendly.
Our Editor Loves
- Suites with full kitchens
- Convenient to Colonial Williamsburg
- Near shopping and restaurants
- Theme Park
- Family Room 5+
- Game Room
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The best part of Westgate is its one- and two-bedroom villa offerings. One-bedroom villas provide a separate bedroom with a king bed, a living area with a queen sofa bed and a fully equipped kitchen with a refrigerator, oven, microwave, dishware, glassware, cookware, silverware, blender, toaster and coffeemaker. A small dining table for four, gas fireplace, and washer and dryer are also featured in each villa. Two TV's are provided, although during our visit, the living room offered a small flat-screen and the bedroom offered an old box TV, and neither received the same cable channels. Bathrooms feature whirlpool soaking tubs and separate showers. One-bedroom villas can accommodate up to four guests.
Two-bedroom villas are nearly identical, with an additional bedroom holding two twin beds. These villas can accommodate up to six guests.
Studios are equipped more like a traditional hotel room. These do not have a separate bedroom but do provide a queen bed and a twin sleeper sofa. A small kitchenette features a microwave, mini-fridge, blender, toaster and coffeemaker. These rooms do not have fireplaces.
All accommodations feature Wi-Fi for an additional daily or weekly fee.
The staff was great with the exception or Cory, the manager. We had a problem checking in and when he didn't immediately resolve the problem he handed the problem over to someone else. We had expected to get a Westgate lodging when we booked but was offered lessor accommodations. Next time I am staying at the Williamsburg Country Inn and Suites.
First off, know what you are reserving when you book. You may not be staying in the nice faux colonial building in the ad, but in the annex down the street. The annex is essentially and old motor court motel under layers of paint and shellac. At first look it is quaint, but upon closer inspection you can see the age of this place.
Inside, we found a broken outlet cover with exposed wires. One headboard slammed against the wall if you moved in bed at all, so loose on the bedframe it was. The toilet was so low to the ground, any smaller it would have been a training toilet (Note: This would not be acceptable for elderly guests. I have knee problems and this was a real struggle). Lots of caulking on tiles...clearly a place being held together with spit and bailing wire.
Also, be aware this is a timeshare property. If you are not looking to get pressured to attend the presentation, look elsewhere.
In a town with many many hotel options, you can do better than this...
Activities are limited, with a small swimming pool the resort's kid-friendly highlight. A small playground is tucked into a shaded corner, almost invisible to kids and is better suited for toddlers. Families may borrow from the collection of bicycles available outside of the lobby, although the selection does not include children's sizes or helmets.
Westgate does not feature onsite dining but many guests can stock up on groceries for in-room meals at the grocery store a block away. Many chain and local restaurants are also located along the same street as the hotel.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
We selected the Westgate because it welcomes pets. However, the pet fees were high. Guests must put down a $100 refundable deposit, as well as pay $170 nonrefundable for every three nights in the hotel. We felt that to be a very high "cleaning" fee.
The Art of Smart Timing
Summer, spring break and holidays are Williamsburg's busiest periods. Visit in the off-season to avoid lines and missing out on oversold activities.
The hotel is located in the heart of Williamsburg. For those arriving by airplane, Williamsburg is accessible via Richmond International Airport, Norfolk International Airport and Newport News International Airport. Guests will need a rental car to get to the resort, which offers free parking. Williamsburg provides transportation options for visitors trying to visit a number of sites without worrying about parking, which can be hard to find, aboard its shuttles and trolleys. Rent a car to venture further afield, including Virginia Beach, which is less than an hour away.