The Best Hotels in Virginia

Travelers looking for bucolic country inns, historic hotels, and resorts that stay true to their cultural and natural roots should look no further than Virginia. Sleep under roofs that have hosted celebrities, royalty, and U.S. presidents, wander the campuses of old university towns, and tuck into tasting menus at some of the country’s finest restaurants. Virginia hotels also make the most of their surroundings, with myriad outdoor activities from world-class golf to old-fashioned lawn bowling.

101 W Franklin St, Richmond, VA 23220, USA
The Jefferson Hotel has been the gold standard for discerning visitors to Richmond (including 13 U.S. presidents) since 1895. Not content to rest on their laurels, the hotel completed a renovation in 2016, restoring its landmarked public areas and refreshing and expanding the guest rooms and suites. The new rooms feel more like posh apartments, with doorbells, foyers to the sitting and dressing areas, and luxury touches like soaking tubs, walk-in showers, and in-mirror televisions. The alligator drawer pulls are a nod to the creatures who used to live in the lobby fountains in the early 20th century. The Rotunda and Palm Court lobbies, with their Tiffany stained glass ceilings, have overlooked many power meetings and celebrations, and provide a magnificent backdrop for decadent afternoon tea or the popular champagne Sunday brunch. The four-star Lemaire restaurant serves a New American menu of Virginia ingredients in their distinctive dining rooms, while the more relaxed TJ’s bistro is open for hearty breakfasts and classic lunch fare. Guests of the Jefferson may work off all that locally sourced food at the 3,000-square-foot gym or in the indoor pool with skylights and an outdoor pool deck.
Richmond, VA, USA
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 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 10 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). Rooms have lovely details like scallop-patterned nightstands, Tivoli radios, generously sized bay windows, and well-worn floors that look vintage. You can slake your caffeine addiction at the chic coffee bar in the lobby, or do a bit of retail therapy in the “Gallery” boutique off the lobby. It sells branded pink-and-white plaid pajamas and items like custom Na Nin hand-poured double-wick candles, crafted by Richmond resident Kate Jennings. The coffee for sale comes in brightly patterned signature rose tins that won a packaging award. “There’s no decade or theme to this gallery,” one employee assured me, but the vibe is decidedly mod-chic and whimsical, befitting the hotel’s 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. Room rates from $225.
200 Ednam Dr, Charlottesville, VA 22903, USA
A bucolic resort in the Virginia Piedmont, the Boar’s Head Resort is as deeply rooted in Virginia as its owner and neighbor, the University of Virginia. The land has hosted travelers since 1759, with the original Birdwood mansion dating to 1830. A short drive from downtown Charlottesville, Boar’s Head has plenty to keep a visitor occupied without even leaving the property, including an 18-hole golf course, a full-service spa, a fitness center with squash and tennis courts, and three swimming pools. The resort has 175 rooms spread over 573 acres; suites feature a seating area and balcony or patio, and some have fireplaces. Dining options range from healthy café fare (necessary fuel for all those tennis matches), to a grill overlooking the golf green, to an elegant meal in the restored Old Mill Room. The Blue Ridge mountains are renowned for their fall foliage, but visit in summer for fewer crowds (and UVA students) and the English-inspired grounds and gardens in full bloom. Be sure to ask for details on arranging a hot-air balloon ride over the countryside to appreciate all of historic Virginia.
701 Club Drive
Keswick Hall was originally built in 1912 as a family estate and was later a country club before being transformed into a country hotel in the 1990s, and it continues to evolve as a luxury resort in its second century. Experience a bit of the historic grandeur with an elegant al fresco dinner overlooking the countryside at Fossett’s restaurant or with a cocktail at the Villa Crawford bar (named for the original home), before retiring to your room on a bed fit for royalty. (Indeed, the handmade Hypnos mattresses are also commissioned for the British royal family.) Each of the 48 uniquely designed rooms and suites overlook the golf course or gardens, and have minibars stocked with local goodies. You’ll need a good night’s sleep to properly enjoy a full day’s activities on property: a round of golf on the Pete Dye–designed Full Cry course, a tennis match on one of seven courts, or a game of croquet or horseshoes (just a few of the games on offer). Wind down with a massage, signature vinotherapy facial, or raindrop therapy with essential oils at the spa. If you can bear to leave the lush grounds, downtown Charlottesville and the Monticello estate are each a 15-minute drive away.
100 E Main St, Norfolk, VA 23510, USA
The new Hilton Norfolk hotel known as The Main was opened in spring 2017 as the latest phase in the revitalization of the downtown waterfront area. While the 21-story hotel is largely new, it also incorporates over 500 pieces of limestone—kept in storage for years during construction—from the historic Decker building, built in 1912. Modern rooms overlook the city or the Elizabeth River, and guests have access to an indoor pool, fitness center, and rooftop lounge with seasonal yoga classes. On the ground floor, seafood restaurant and raw bar Saltine brings in historic downtown Norfolk, with exposed brick walls and garage-style glass doors that open onto the patio; a weekday happy hour and Mule Mondays feature a changing selection of cocktails. Varia trattoria and wine studio serves sophisticated Italian with a 24-bottle Cruvinet wine dispenser, live piano music, and hidden “speakeasy” dining rooms. The rooftop beer garden, Grain, is the place to be in the summer, with more than 100 beers on tap, a billiards and game room, and regular live music and special events. Health-conscious guests can grab a superfood smoothie from the organic, plant-based Fruitive downstairs before heading out for a stroll around Norfolk’s harbor.
302 Francis St E, Williamsburg, VA 23185, USA
While the state of Virginia generally has more historic accommodations than you can shake a stick at, few would argue that the Houses of Colonial Williamsburg trumps them all. Guests can truly immerse themselves in an 18th-century environment (with 21st-century conveniences) with a stay in one of the original homes, shops, offices, or kitchen buildings of the Revolutionary City. Two dozen cottage-like buildings vary in size and layout, with period antiques or reproduction furnishings. Tavern rooms are closer to traditional hotel rooms, with private bathrooms and sitting areas and a great room downstairs with a fireplace for gatherings. All rooms and houses have access to the amenities of the Williamsburg Inn and Spa, discounts on Colonial Williamsburg tickets and passes, and preferred reservations for dining, spa appointments, and golf tee times. What guests are really paying for, though, is location and uniqueness of experience rather than luxury.
2000 Busted Rock Road
“Heavenly” might be a common descriptor for a resort with Frette linens, American Indian–inspired spa treatments, and round-the-clock room service, but the experience at Primland is quite literally heavenly. The showpiece of this remarkable eco-resort is an on-site observatory, a giant silver, silo-like structure attached to the main lodge, with a powerful telescope whose images can be seen via closed-circuit TV in the guest rooms or on nightly guided star walks. The property’s altitude, at nearly 3,000 feet, makes it ideal for stargazing, especially if you are in one of the two-floor Pinnacle Suites overlooking the Dan River Gorge, or in an even more secluded tree house suite with views of the mountain valley from the balcony. Encompassing 12,000 acres, the property is so large that different driving directions are provided whether you are arriving for clay shooting, hiking, dinner, or an overnight stay. Meals at Elements restaurant showcases organic Blue Ridge ingredients with a French flair, served on fine china, while moonshine cocktails and a club sandwich with sugar-coated “pig candy” are on the menu at the 19th Pub. Primland is especially a dream destination for golfers and hunters in their respective seasons, but an extensive list of outdoor sports, family activities, and a large media library will please every guest no matter the weather.
309 Middle St, Washington, VA 22747, USA
Chef Patrick O’Connell opened his country restaurant out of a former gas station in 1978 and rave word-of-mouth reviews soon made it “destination dining.” He opened rooms in 1984 and a few years later, it became a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateau hotel association. Today, it remains one of a handful of country hotels worth the trip for the meal as well as the stay, and it continues to rack up stars and top lists for dining and accommodations.

Two dozen opulent rooms reflect the style of a whimsical English country manor (as interpreted by O’Connell and London stage designer Joyce Conwy Evans), setting the tone for an over-the-top dinner with an exacting attention to detail. Be sure to visit the kitchen after your meal to see culinary magic in action. Little Washington (the first town named by George himself) is a bit over an hour from its capital namesake, and the Inn’s campus of guest rooms, shops, and gardens are spread over the colonial town; take the Perimeter Path walk to visit all of the farm operations and the newest guest quarters: a Little Bug Inn for pollinating and beneficial insects.
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