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Shenandoah Hills Campground, Madison, Virginia

Date of Stay: August, 2005 - $75.00
Overall Rating:      

This is THE WORST camping experience my husband and I have ever had!! We choose this campground because it was a good half-way point to meet my mother-in-law and our youngest niece, and they had what looked like nice cabins! My mother-in-law and niece arrived an hour or so before we did and went into the camp store. They were FORBIDDEN to enter the campground to even look at the cabin before we got there. In addition they were told it would be unlawful for them to use the playground or pool while they waited for us since they were not registered guests. It was suggested that they meet somewhere off their property and all come back together. (All that mess to a 50-something lady and 10 year old little girl!) Well, when we got here, we checked in and before we could do anything else, a copy of our credit card was made (even though the number and expiration date was already in their computer system from my call for reservations). I got really uneasy when she made a copy of our credit card and I asked about it. I was told that they would hold a $200.00 deposit in case the cabin was not returned as we found it. I asked if it was necessary to have a copy of the card. She said it was. When we checked out, if the cabin was found to be in good condition, it would be shredded. Although, still uneasy I felt somewhat better. When we went to sign the bill I noticed that my mother-in-law and niece were being charged a separate rate EACH night as guests, even though the cabin is equipped for 4 people. I thought this was OUTRAGEOUS since we've NEVER been charged per person before! Anyhow, we paid our $10.00 fee for the gate pass and THOUGHT we were told to take both vehicles and unload them and then put the extra into the overflow lot, but apparently that was not the case. No sooner than we pulled both vehicles up to the cabin a gentleman on a golf cart threatened to have us removed if we didn't put one of them in the overflow lot immediatly. We were stunned. Soon after we were all discussing the lack of a fire ring at the campsite and were wondering if there was anywhere to build a fire. When all of a sudden the lady from the store pulls up in her golf cart and informs us that we can purchase wood from her and and build a fire in the gill. It was as if she had been listening to our conversation. It was quite strange! We went back with her to the camp store where we purchased a tote full of wood for $3.50. She delivered it in her golf cart, which was the only kind thing she did the ENTIRE weekend. When we checked in we noticed the cabin was quite small, although on their website it was advertised as a 12x20. My mother-in-law whipped out her measuring tape and we measured. The actual cabin was only 12x12 with a 4 foot front porch (adding it all still only made it a 12x16). If you measured to the tip of the front step it was BARELY 12x20. Sounds like false advertising to me. But we all fit and we were pleased with the cabin itself, so we ignored the fact that we had been lied to about the size. On Saturday morning we were relaxing on the porch, reading over their rules. Like a previous poster I must say MANY are unreasonable. (No hachets? My husband NEVER camps without one.) And the speed limit is a RIDICULOUS 9 1/2 miles per hour. Make it 9 or 10, but 9 1/2??? Anyhow, all was well Friday evening and Saturday, but it went WAY downhill on Sunday! My husband, niece, and I were relaxing at the pool when my sister-in-law pulled in. We had not been expecting her to join us until the following day, however she was able to get here a day early. We were all estatic to say the least: what a good surprise. Not knowing the visitor policy, we had her park in the overflow lot, took her to see the cabin and surprise her Mom. We had barely gotten to the gate when the woman yelled that my sister-in-law had not been registered as a guest and if she went through the gate would be trespassing. We were informed that it would be $3.00 for her to visit. We turned around and went to register her. In the mean time she dropped by her car and got a few of her things, so she could change and freshen up after a 6 hour drive. She handed the lady a $10.00 bill and the lady gave her 2.00 back. When questioned about it, we were told that we were being charged $5.00 for her to use their pool, since she noticed my sister-in-law had a bathing suit with her. My sister-in-law said she didn't intend to swim, but layout and the woman told her if she had a suit she'd have to pay. When I mentioned that she would be staying the night I was informed that was IMPOSSIBLE. No reason was given and no options were given. (Rent another cabin, a tent site or the rental camper they have.) There wasn't even an apology, just: no she can NOT! We were informed that she could stay until 10PM and if she stayed any later she would be trespassing. When I mentioned that we all may have to leave, she informed me that we would not get our last night's rent or our deposit back (a total of $285.00). We tried to make the best of a bad situation and enjoyed ourselves as best we could. At 10PM we walked my sister-in-law to her car and low and behold we were being watched. I have no doubt that had her car not been gone at 10:01, there would have been a deputy arresting her for trespassing. The next morning we were all fed up and couldn't wait to leave. We made sure the cabin was spick and span and marked off EVERYTHING on her checklist. When we arrived to check out a $10.00 bill was SHOVED in my face for the refund on the gate key. When I asked if she could inspect the cabin I was told she didn't do this and the lady who did was not here. I told her I'd like the copy of my credit card before I left or for her to shred it in front of me. She refused saying the cabin hadn't been checked and wouldn't be checked until after we left. I even offered to stay until she could check the cabin and she refused saying after we left she would check it and shred our credit card copy if all looked good. I told her I felt this was unacceptable and she told me she didn't care. My husband or I never once raised our voices and were as polite as we could be under the circumstances. We finally just gave in and went to head home. On the way out, I turned to her and said, "Thank you for the weekend, and we do not plan to return." Her reply to me was, "Good, now GET OUT." DO NOT waste your time here! Family time is much too valuable to waste with these people! They are inhospitable and just plain RUDE! They have NO business dealing with the public and without the public they'd have NO business. Do NOT support these nasty people! As of today they have not charged our credit card for anything we did or left undone. However, should they choose to charge my card I will be disputing it. Please take this post to heart! We camped at Shenandoah Hills Campground in a .

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