Some of my clients who are combining their real estate search with a vacation have been choosing to stay at one of the Charlottesville area boutique hotels and inns. Below are some of my favorite local places to dine or visit. If you want ideas for places to stay, things to do, and where to eat, I am happy to provide suggestions to accommodate a variety of tastes.
History combines with luxury at the Clifton Inn, a charming upscale European-style boutique hotel, restaurant, and wedding venue. The Inn is set among lovely old trees and beautiful gardens, scenery which lends a serene grandeur to a dinner on the patio or a sunset stroll. It is located near Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, and in fact it was first built by Jefferson’s son-in-law Thomas Mann. The Clifton Inn is a perfect spot where visitors and locals gather to meet friends on the terrace for drinks or for an elegant meal in the dining room. Seasonal menus at their 1799 restaurant feature organic vegetables and herbs from the Clifton’s own gardens.
Guests who choose to enjoy overnight accommodations have a delightful selection of cottages and suites, all charming and elegantly historic. As one of Charlottesville’s most popular wedding venues, Clifton Inn even has a honeymoon cottage on the grounds. The Inn’s location offers guests proximity to Virginia’s wine and horse country, and is convenient to Charlottesville’s entertainment and amenities.
In the center of Charlottesville are the streets where Thomas Jefferson used to walk to the courthouse. The Inn at Court square is across from the historic Court Square Park. This boutique hotel is comprised of two beautifully restored houses. The Federal style house, c.1785, is the oldest existing house in downtown Charlottesville. The second with its rare Mansard roof dates from 1918. Both are charmingly decorated with period antiques, which often are available for purchase.
The Inn has 10 beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites with private bathrooms. Many of the rooms offer fireplaces and whirlpool tubs. Guests enjoy elegant Southern style breakfasts; the dining room is also available to host private functions.
The Inn at Court Square presents a wonderful opportunity to experience a bit of historic Charlottesville, yet it is only a block away from the downtown pedestrian mall and Charlottesville’s vibrant restaurant scene.
Even from a distance, the Inn at Willow Grove provides a tempting hillside view of southern grandeur. The manor house at Willow Grove Plantation dates from 1778 and additional structures on the property originally included a schoolhouse, a smokehouse, a weaving house, and a spring house. The huge Jeffersonian columns were added to the manor home as part of a balcony addition in the mid 1800’s. All of the property was tastefully renovated by 2010 to provide luxurious boutique hotel resort accommodations that include a Forbes 4-star rated restaurant …. sure to please even the most discerning guests. There are several dining locations in addition to the main dining room, and among those is my favorite, the cozy Pub where locals and visitors relax in its congenial comfortable atmosphere.
Accommodations inside the main hotel include elegantly appointed rooms with fireplaces, soaking tubs and private balconies. The Tenant House Cottage offers a more casual option with its two bedrooms and Creekside Cottage provides 5 unique bedrooms and luxury suites. The adorable Butlers Cottage is a cozy 1-bedroom retreat located in a quiet corner of the gardens. If you have the time, don’t miss The Mill House Spa, a fitness facility with a saltwater pool. It’s easy to see why The Inn at Willow Grove is a popular wedding venue as well.