The Clifton Inn: A Secret Pleasure in Thomas Jefferson Country
When you’re in the Charlottesville area I recommend the following: Visit the UVA campus; take a tour of Jefferson’s Monticello and Madison’s Ash Lawn; check out the numerous vineyards; and check into the historic Clifton Inn, a destination in itself that’s only minutes from all of the above.
Turning in the driveway provides your first view of the white-columned Federal-style house that sits majestically – or should I say presidentially – on a perch looking toward Monticello Mountain. Walking through the front doorway is like walking into the past—a past of high design, chic comforts, and the best of service.
Having stayed at the Clifton numerous times now, including in the Carriage House and the “big house” itself, I have to say this Relais & Chateaux property is one of my favorite places to take afternoon tea, walk around the lake, swim a few laps, forage for herbs and berries, and — most of all — sleep in heavenly peace.
But the heart and soul of this Inn is its staff, many of whom have been there for years. Whether it's the folks checking you in, the maître d’ or the servers in the fine restaurant, hospitality seems to be so much more than a job. I’d call it a way of life at the Clifton.
“In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock,” said Jefferson more than two centuries ago. With its up-to-date style and its commitment to its guests unsurpassed, The Clifton follows Jefferson’s advice to a T (as in Thomas).