A hotel that describes its location in a university town as “across the street from everything you remember” is catering to a certain crowd, but you don’t need to be a student or alumnus to appreciate the Graduate’s proximity to campus, the pedestrian Downtown Mall, and views of the Southwest mountains. Amenities include free Wi-Fi and cruising bicycles, keycards with a sense of whimsy (featuring UVA alumni like Tina Fey and Jessica Lange as they appeared as students), and a game and study room. Guest rooms are modern while still evoking nostalgia, with graphic plaid carpets and mounted wahoo fish (an unofficial nickname for UVA’s sports teams) above the beds. The sweet and shaggy Sheepdog Cafe serves coffee, cocktails, and comfort snacks like donuts and biscuits, while the rooftop restaurant Heirloom looks to local ingredients for dishes like cheddar and cider fondue. There are Graduate hotels in eight other university towns across the country (and growing), which may inspire you to take your own college tour.
By Meg Nesterov, AFAR Local Expert
1309 W Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22903, USA