Day 1 - We arrived at the Homestead and were able to check into our room. It was a beautiful room that overlooked the back of the hotel onto the greens and pro shop. We had golfed in the afternoon at the old course. The course was practically empty, so we were able to take our time. The golf course was nicely manicured, but there wasn't anything special about it. It was quite hilly, and there was no water to contend with.
For dinner, we ate in the Main Dining room. It was a gorgeous large dining room with live music and a dance floor. The service was good, the dinner entrees were decent and the prices were outrageous. For one appetizer, one soup, and two entrees, the cost was $100. That does not include any alcohol, which would have added another $30 to the bill, and the food wasn't memorable enough to write home about.
Day 2 - We ate a buffet breakfast in the main dining room at $25 a person. Ouch!!! It was a decent buffet, but again, overpriced for what you got. The Homestead does offer a Market cafe where one can buy bagels, danishes, muffins and coffee. It's more a la carte, but still expensive for just a bagel. Today we played golf at the Cascades course. From the resort, they bus you to the course as it is not on property. It's about a 10-15 minute drive from the Homestead. The course was challenging. The front 9 was more mountainous and the back nine was more open and had some water hazards to contend with. As a female, it was quite frustrating to not have access to a restroom until we made the turn on 9. There was not a beverage cart provided and when we arrived in the morning (9am), the cafe was not open to even get a cup of coffee. This course, if not discounted, costs $250 to play. Luckily for us we didn't pay that. Based on our experience, it was definitely not worth $250.
For dinner we ate at Sam's Snead. The restaurant/tavern is off property, but still linked to the Homestead. Again, we had an overpriced, non satisfying meal. It took 10 minutes to receive our drinks. The appetizers were decent. The entrees were NOT worth the price paid. A friend who was traveling with us ordered a steak and it was the smallest piece of meat he's had to pay $35 for. His wife had a steak sandwich and that was over cooked and overpriced as well. We had a party of 10, and each of his did not have a good experience with our meals. I highly do not recommend Sam's Snead.
Day 3 - At the Homestead, depending on the package you purchase, some amenities are included. Horseback riding, paint ball, archery, skeet shooting, to name a few. Those are worth taking advantage of. After feeling like we got ripped off for breakfast, we ate at the Market cafe for breakfast. For lunch, we went into town. Now don't expect much from the town of Hot Springs. There are a few boutique shops, a wine shop, real estate stores, and one diner called Lindsey's Roost. It was fantastic. It's off the main street down a small alley. The staff are friendly and inviting and their food is good an VERY reasonably priced. We were able to order 6 meals for under $40, which included dessert. If we had eaten at the Homestead, it would have cost us $200 for the 6 of us. It's home cookin' food at a great price.
For dinner we ate at the Country Cafe. It's another local restaurant about 5 minutes down the road from the Homestead. Again, we had fantastic service, another home cookin' meal with about 15 different homemade pies for dessert to choose from (yummy chocolate chip cookies at the register too). These two restaurants were definitely worth the trek off property. I would HIGHLY recommend both of the over any dining facility at the homestead.
In conclusion, the Homestead is a beautiful resort with a lot of activities for everyone. The rooms were nice, but the food is overpriced for what you receive. I would recommend dining in town or around town and definitely bring your own alcoholic beverages. Many people we ran into had brought their own drinks due to the cost of everything on the property. The drive there was about 3.5 hours from Northern Virginia.