There is something truly distinctive yet quirky about staying in a former fine department store.
Situated in a plum spot on West Broad Street, a convenient 30-minute ride from the Richmond airport, is the newcomer Quirk hotel which is part of the Destinations Hotel Group.
This is the labor of love of owners Katie and Ted Ukrop, who spent more than ten years transforming a 100-year-old department store into a 75-room hotel with a rip-roaring rooftop bar scene, arguably the finest in the city.
You’ll sleep on cushy beds made with joists salvaged from the former store, and bathe in the Barbie-like aura of the “love and happiness” rooms (incidentally, Sherwin Williams has a paint swatch by that same name).
The spotlight of the rooms –with their lovely details like the scallop-patterned nightstands, Tivoli radios to generous-sized bay windows—are the well-worn floors, which look vintage.
You can slake your caffeine addiction with the chic coffee bar in the lobby, or do a bit of retail therapy in the retail “Gallery” boutique off the lobby that sells pink and white plaid branded pajamas, and items like custom Na Nin hand-poured double wick candles in a powdery scent crafted by Richmond resident Kate Jennings. The coffee also comes in brightly-patterned signature rose tins that also won a packaging award. “There’s no decade or theme to this gallery,” one employee assures me, but the vibe is decidedly mod-chic and whimsical, befitting the hotel name.
The communal-style restaurant, Maple & Pine, is situated right in the middle of the lobby and is truly convivial. The culinary program is headed by chef David Dunlap who was formerly with the Ashby Inn.