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Hotel Review: The Historic Summit Inn in Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands

During my first visit to Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands, I was making my way towards Ohiopyle State Park from points west. As I came over the crest of Chestnut Ridge, I noticed a fantastic looking hotel called the Historic Summit Inn. I knew instantly that this was somewhere I wanted to check out at some point, so I was happy that the hotel agreed to host me during later visits to the area.

I pulled up to the hotel after a long day exploring the many trails and waterfalls in the area, and was instantly glad that I was able to stay at this historic property.

Review of the Historic Summit Inn in Farmington, PA
Another view of the historic exterior of the Summit Inn at Chestnut Ridge near Ohiopyle State Park.

The Summit Inn opened to the public in 1907 and was quickly very successful with both travelers along the National Road and the many millionaires that lived in nearby Uniontown. The hotel even hosted Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, and Thomas Edison as part of the American Science Wizards. The rooms they stayed in still bear plates on the doors attesting to this.

Over the years, amenities were added and owners were changed. However, the Historic Summit Inn has now been in the same family for nearly 60 years.

Even before entering the hotel, I knew I was in for a treat. The beautiful white exterior and fabulous decks seemed like they wouldn’t be out of place in a five-star hotel. Walking through the front door, I was greeted by the striking dark wood of the lobby. Throughout the lobby, cozy chairs had been set up, inviting visitors to sit and read a book in front of the fire or chat with other guests.

The porches of the Historic Summit Inn in Farmington, Pennsylvania
This photo doesn’t do the beauty of the porches justice.

Just off the lobby, is the hotel’s large porch. While it is located right next to the very busy Route 40, the view is simply stunning. It is said you can see all the way to Pittsburgh on a clear day, and, while I don’t know if that is true or not, the view overlooking Uniontown and the surrounding countryside is quite breathtaking.

During the summer months, meals are offered on the veranda, but any time of the year you can sit outside, drink in hand, and watch the sun set over the distant mountains.

Historic Summit Inn Review
After dark at the Historic Summit Inn.

With such an impressive exterior, lobby, and veranda, you would hope the rooms would be of equal quality.

During my first visit to the hotel, I was a bit disappointed with my room. While the furnishings were clean and comfortable, they were also very dated and had a few old stains. On the other hand, during my second stay at the Summit Inn a few years later, I had a nicely decorated room that was quite comfortable, clean, and updated (minus the very low showerhead).

Room at the Historic Summit Inn in PA
My first room was a bit dated, which was surprising given the beauty of the inn’s common areas.

Based off of the pictures online and overall reviews (check them out for yourself on Trip Advisor), I think my first stay was an exception, and it’s possible that I caught them in the middle of a renovation and that they have since updated all the rooms.

Review of the Historic Summit Inn near Uniontown, Pennsylvania
My second stay was in a beautiful and comfortable room.

That being said, the common areas of the hotel are so ridiculously impressive that even staying in the comfortable and clean, but slightly dated room was worth it for the fantastic historic charm of the property.

Eating at Mae's Dining Room at the Historic Summit Inn in Pennsylvania.
My King of the Sea pasta at Mae’s Dining Room was very delicious.

In addition to the veranda, the Historic Summit Inn is also home to large indoor and outdoor pools, a game room, a unique bar, and a delicious restaurant. While certainly not the cheapest restaurant in the area, Mae’s Dining Room provided good food for those looking for a nice meal at the hotel.

The hotel is also home to a treehouse that was built by Pete Nelson of TV’s ‘Treehouse Masters.’ Open for daily tours, the treehouse is definitely a must-see for any fan of the show.

Overall, despite my first room needing a major upgrade, I’m glad I was able to stay at the Historic Summit Inn on a later visit to the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania.

The communal areas of the hotel are so special, and I’m glad the rooms have been updated to be consistent with that quality. This historic charm, combined with a great location near places like Fort Necessity, Fallingwater, Ohiopyle State Park, and the Jumonville Cross make this a good choice for visitors to Fayette County.

Lobby of the Historic Summit Inn in Pennsylvania's Laurel Highlands.
The lobby of the Historic Summit Inn was quite striking and a great place to relax after a long day of sightseeing.

To book your stay at the Historic Summit Inn in Farmington, Pennsylvania, check out the hotel on Hotels.com (affiliate link), or for more information, check out their website. You can also read real visitor reviews of the hotel on Trip Advisor (affiliate link).

Note: My stay at the Historic Summit Inn was hosted by the hotel. However, the opinions expressed in the article are my own.

During your stay at the Historic Summit Inn, explore natural phenomena such as the waterfalls of Ohiopyle, the Quebec Run Wild Area, and Laurel Caverns, or historic ones such as Fort Necessity. There are also many great things to do on a rainy day in the area.

If you’d prefer to stay outdoors, try camping at Ohiopyle State Park, and if you are looking for something more luxurious, check out the nearby Nemacolin Woodlands Resort or the best Airbnbs near Ohiopyle.

See map for other area attractions.

Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links. We will make a small commission from these links if you order something at no additional cost to you.

Great places to stay in Fayette County

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Map of the Laurel Highlands"

More nearby places worth exploring

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7 thoughts on “Hotel Review: The Historic Summit Inn in Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands”

  1. Jim,
    In 2009 my wife and I had our wedding reception in the main ballroom at the hotel and of our near 300 guests we occupied nearly every room in the hotel.
    The grand historic nature of the building is amazing! However I do agree with you that there is a significant updating that is needed to room decor etc.

    One thing that I’m aware of is that the hotel energy bills are extremely high due to the dated construction and the lack of insulation in th building. They actually close in the winter (which is odd because Marcellus’s Shale boom has required dozens of new hotels along toll43 while this one sits vacant 4 months out of the year.

    It’s going to take 10-15 million dollars to preserve the historic aspects of the building and bring the building up to that expected 5 star level while addressing HVAC and other mechanical plumbing and electrical needs of the building. Insulation alone will run near a million dollars.

    I don’t believe the current owners have this kind of cash.

    All that said though… My wedding kicked ass! After a ceremony at Ohiopyle Falls we rocked it there for the night! The sunset was a beauty and our guests enjoyed themselves!

    • It does seem like a great place for a wedding. I hope they can figure out the issues and get the building full restored. It’s a special place for sure and would be even better if the rooms matched the quality of the hotel’s public spaces. Thanks for sharing.

  2. If one is looking for the biggest and swankiest hotel look elsewhere. If your looking for a turn of the 20th century hotel that has CHARM the others can’t buy look here.

    Our stay at Summit Inn have been wonderful. It’s not too small or too big. Getting to experience such a place is a rare find. Even carrying my luggage up the staircase I realized this is not your average place to stay but added to it’s charm. Eating out on the porch (Excellent Food) overlooking the valley is also something others can’t compare with.

    These types of Hotels fall in disrepair and are slowly being destroyed. Fortunately this one is doing well and looking forward to our next stay.

  3. The picture does not do this place justice. It’s a beautiful land mark. You don’t find places like this anymore. My daughter living in Pittsburgh at the time she was getting married and was looking for a unique place to have a reception. Being as we are from here I wanted her to get ready at home and all the tradition. It happened. The Summit Inn came to mind. We checked it out and she loved it. Her wedding was in the fall. The main ballroom being as grand as it is with all the beautiful windows only needed minimal decorating. So fall leaves and candles it was and it was perfect! Everyone one had a great time. Pictures on that bright and sunny day were beautiful!


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