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“Beautiful Home and Gardens, Docent Not So Great”

Nemours Mansion & Gardens
Ranked #2 of 58 things to do in Wilmington
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Owned and developed by our founder, Alfred I. duPont (1864-1935), Nemours Estate comprises an exquisite, 77-room mansion, the largest formal French gardens in North America, a Chauffeur's Garage housing a collection of vintage automobiles used on the Estate, and nearly 200 acres of scenic woodlands, meadows and lawns. The Estate is open for visits May-December.
Reviewed 28 June 2018

We chose to take the guided tour so that we could see as much as possible while we were there. Our docent wasn't very well informed and in fact, we found the answers on the plaques right there in the rooms to some of the questions that were asked when she couldn't answer them herself. She kept saying over and over again that what she was telling us was true and that she wouldn't make it up. Well, I certainly hope that someone leading a tour would give only facts. She spent so much time repeating things that we ran out of time and she said she was going on break and we could tour the rest of it ourselves. I hope we got to see it all, because it was closing and we had to leave before we felt that we had seen everything that there was to enjoy.

1  Thank ThomasTCat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"alfred dupont"
in 35 reviews
"visitor center"
in 60 reviews
"dupont family"
in 78 reviews
"garden tour"
in 25 reviews
"self guided"
in 29 reviews
"reflecting pool"
in 12 reviews
"french style"
in 10 reviews
"bowling alley"
in 20 reviews
"answer questions"
in 21 reviews
"the children's hospital"
in 8 reviews
"interesting facts"
in 8 reviews
"introductory film"
in 7 reviews
"shuttle bus"
in 23 reviews
"short film"
in 11 reviews
"antique cars"
in 19 reviews
"marie antoinette"
in 7 reviews
"billiard room"
in 7 reviews
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41 - 45 of 590 reviews

Reviewed 22 June 2018 via mobile

Docents take 4 to 6 people in their group tours. Makes hearing & asking questions very easy. You get to see house, gardens, & garage on your tour. Fascinating life stories of one of the DuPont's, among Wilmington, DE's "first families".

1  Thank 546kyral
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2018 via mobile

We loved the self guided tours. The guides were amazing! We loved that there were live people in most of the rooms who took the time to explain things and answer questions. We found it so much more informative than signs, audio guides or even a full on tour. Please do not change the format! We will definitely be back!

Thank Binyamin S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2018

Here is my BEST advice:

1. You will need at least 3 hours to leisurely do this tour, if you don't have that time, DON"T GO. The price of admission is a bit prohibitive to return if you miss some aspect of the tour.
2. Watch the "mini-documentary" in the visitor's center, THEN do the GARDEN SHUTTLE TOUR FIRST. They run on the hour, every hour EXCEPT THE LAST HOUR, so the LAST SHUTTLE IS AT 4:00pm. This way, you can still tour the house until 5:00pm to maximize the mansion's hours. (WARNING: the garden shuttle bus is an open, covered bus, so no air-conditioning. Try to avoid it during the hottest part of the day or during a heat wave, unless you like sitting in someone else's sweat.)
3. The mansion has been restored/maintained to preserve historical accurateness. The docents are excellent and very knowledgeable. The tour is only open on the 2 first floors, the other floors are closed to the public.
4. The mansion is ADA friendly, with access to an elevator and restroom, however I don't know if the same pertains to strollers. Strollers would be challenging since you'd need to fold them up to board the shuttle to and from the mansion to the visitor center.
5. The gardens are not historically accurate to du Pont's time, there seems to be constant building and expanding of the gardens, just FYI.
6. If you've toured the mansions of Newport, RI you may be a bit disappointed by the mansion. It is definitely smaller in scale and not as grandiose, however the land and gardens are quite extensive which MAY make up for the difference.

The reason for my poor rating? The STAFF and bus drivers are incredibly rude, surprisingly so! I made a non-judgemental, constructive remark about displaying the hours of garden shuttle tour more prominently to the supervisor at the VC and she simply directed me to the 1/4 sheet of paper that was printed out with the day's events as opposed to placing it in the clear acrylic stand. Well her print-outs weren't working as there was a garden staffer visiting on his day off and even he missed the garden shuttle bus!

We also had a very unpleasant experience with the bus driver berating my husband to remove our vehicle from the parking lot right at 5pm, so we relocated the car to outside the gate, but 20 minutes later the gates were still open with an employee car within. It simply seems as though the employees aren't happy to be working on such a nice historical site and are not open to improving visitors' experiences.

The docents were great and even offered a scavenger hunt to children. I would not recommend this place for toddlers, too many fragile things to break and touch.

3  Thank Cbp02222002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NemoursGuestServices, Manager at Nemours Mansion & Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded 18 June 2018

Dear Cbp02222002,

We appreciate your taking the time to post such a detailed review of your recent visit to Nemours Estate, but are sorry that your visit was not wholly enjoyable. We take pride in striving to provide a quality experience to every guest, every time. If we fell short in any way and did not live up to expectations, we apologize for this.

We do want to point out some possible misperceptions or misunderstandings:

1. Three floors of Nemours Mansion are open to the public: first (reception hall, drawing room, dining room, etc.), second (bedrooms), and basement (Mr. duPont’s “Trophy Hall,” office, game rooms and mechanical rooms).

2. Nemours Mansion is ADA-compliant and accommodates most wheelchairs (we limit large electric wheelchairs to the first floor). In order to avoid damaging the historical floors, we do not allow strollers inside the Mansion.

3. We respect the Estate’s historical integrity, meaning that the design of the gardens is accurate to Mr. duPont’s time; the last garden to be developed, the Sunken Garden, was completed in 1932, three years before he died. We are finishing a major renovation of our Reflecting Pool. Weather conditions require such work to occur during the spring, summer and fall months.

4. We appreciate your suggestion about more prominently displaying the schedule of our Garden Loop tour. Please note that poor weather, special events or other factors may cause alterations in the Garden Loop schedule.

5. In order to secure the Estate, we do ask that all visitors and vehicles (other than staff) leave the premises promptly by 5 pm., our posted closing time.

Once again, thank you for your review and we hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back to Nemours Estate

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Reviewed 10 June 2018

Don't miss this tour, very interesting and informative about the DuPont family. We were with a group and our tour guide was wonderful, also go to Hagley to understand more about the family and their business.

2  Thank karenlou2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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