VA Travel Guide

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Too Cool for School: Graduate Charlottesville Makes Its Debut

June 30, 2015 at 8:56 AM | by | ()

More college fun in a hotel setting, as another location from Graduate Hotels is now open for business. As is the case with most of their properties this one is located in close proximity to a center of higher education. This time it’s the University of Virginia, as Graduate Charlottesville is now open for business—Thomas Jefferson would be proud.

It’s quite an upgrade if you ask us, as it’s replacing a former Red Roof Inn. There’s 135 rooms in all, and it’s just blocks away from the school and The Rotunda. The location sets it in walking distance to great shops and restaurants, but if you’re looking to stay on campus—of the hotel that is—they have you covered as well. Sheepdog Coffee will open this fall along with a rooftop bar just in time for the kids to return back to class.

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10 Commandments for Hosting Hotel Guests Over The Holidays

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1010 Kingsmill Road [map], Williamsburg, VA, United States, 23185
November 14, 2013 at 3:19 PM | by | ()

So far in our new Hotel Commandments series, we've had a top hotel butler hand down his secrets for pleasing picky luxury hotel guests, a hotelier dole out his hotel etiquette for hosting royal family members and a general manager advise on how to treat celebrities on location.

Today, we've got a special holiday-themed Hotel Commandments edition from Robin D. Carson, the general manager of the Kingsmill Resort, in historic (and utmost picturesque holiday setting) Williamsburg, Virginia.

If you're a hotel looking for ways to get in the holiday mood, look no further. If you're a family looking for a fun holiday getaway, check out what the Kingsmill is doing to make their place "look a lot like Christmas" this year.

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Now That CNET Founder Halsey Minor is Broke, What's Happening to His Charlottesville Hotel?

August 20, 2013 at 10:03 AM | by | ()

Halsey Minor, the man who founded is not only a crappy millionaire, he's a crappy hotelier too. Minor, who at one point was worth nearly half a billion dollars, filed for personal bankruptcy earlier this summer yet made news again yesterday when his posh Bel-Air estate went up for sale in a bankruptcy auction.

But being hotel nerds, we're more interested in the hotel he planned in his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia.

Minor created Minor Family Hotels sometime in the mid-2000s with the sole purpose of building a nine-story, 100 hotel room in downtown Charlottesville. However, by 2008, construction had stalled on the project and by September 2010, it had already been the subject of eight lawsuits in two different states. By then, Minor Family Hotels filed for bankruptcy.

To this day, the nearly-finished hotel remains untouched, although it did get snapped up for $6.25 million by Dewberry Capital last year. Even though the company has not touched the abandoned project since buying it, they reportedly still have plans to turn it into a functioning hotel and are even working on a new luxury hotel brand.

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'The Butler' Producer Opens Movie and New Virginia Resort In Same Month

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  Site Where: 100 W Washington St. [map], Middleburg, VA, United States, 20117
August 19, 2013 at 12:15 PM | by | ()

Sheila C. Johnson in her Southern belle best on The Salamander Resort's Grand Lawn

BET co-founder Sheila C. Johnson has had a heck of a busy August. Not only has she opened "The Butler", a star-studded movie featuring Oprah Winfrey, Forest Whitaker, Vanessa Redgrave, and Mariah Carey, but next week on August 29th, she'll unveil her decade-long project--the Salamander Resort & Spa

It took ten years for the high powered executive to put together all the pieces necessary to build this 168-room luxury resort in Middleburg, Virginia. If you didn't know, Middleburg is a one-stoplight village just 35 minutes from Washington Dulles International Airport. It also gained fame when President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy started spending weekends there--Jackie riding horses on the Salamander property while JFK held press conferences in the village. Middleburg's also smack dab in the middle of northern Virginia's wine country.

So, one can see why Johnson would choose this location to build her dream hotel. The equestrian themed resort sits on 340 acres of land cultivated for horse and wine enthusiasts. Not only is there a 22-stall stable, riding ring, and trails on property, guests have the opportunity to board their own horses and take advantage of the full-service center, programming and clinics.

Washington D.C.-designer Thomas Pheasant, who has worked on Blair House (the president's guest house), the Hay-Adams Hotel and frequently appears in Architectural Digest, is the talent behind the Salamander's "horse-country" decor. The Living Room has two grand fireplaces and distressed oak-planked flooring and opens up onto a large stone terrace, which then leads to the dramatic Grand Lawn.

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It's a Start: The Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington is Doing Free WiFi Days Next Week

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  Site Where: 1401 Lee Highway [map], Arlington, VA, United States, 22209
May 8, 2012 at 4:30 PM | by | ()

Marriott Hotels have consistently made the "Worst" list on our Annual Hotel WiFi Report but one Marriott is trying to change that.

The Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, Virginia--Marriott's second and longest-operating hotel--let us know that the hotel is "finally moving into the 21st century" by joining with AT&T to put fast WiFi in all the guest rooms, suites, meeting spaces and the lobby.

Due to the switch, guests can get online faster and have up to 12 times more bandwidth and reliable connectivity. To celebrate the new wireless provider, the hotel is offering free WiFi for all guests in the guestrooms on May 16 and May 17. The only catch is the WiFi will only have a 2-megabytes per second (mbps) capacity.

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Leap Into The Mountains of Virginia with this Leap Year Deal

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  Site Where: 7696 Sam Snead Highway [map], Hot Springs, VA, United States, 24445
January 2, 2012 at 9:15 AM | by | ()

Nothing says the mountains of Virginia like some floral decor!

Yup, 2012 is a leap year, which means not only do we gain a whole day in February, but also that we'll be seeing hotel rates 'leap' down in celebration of the quadrennial occasion. Like at the 3,000-acre Homestead in Hot Springs, VA, where guests are being offered a buy-one-get-one type deal for all of 2012.

With a booking period that lasts only from tomorrow until Friday January 6, anyone who books a room at the hotel will receive a second night starting at just $29. Gee, kinda makes us wish it was March 1 that's considered the leap day, and not February 29, so we could bring that number down to a nice clean $1. But we don't make up the calendars!

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A Look at Hilton's Brand New Technology Lounge

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  Site Where: 7920 Jones Branch Dr [map], McLean, VA, United States, 22102
December 19, 2011 at 1:45 PM | by | ()

Back in April we learned that the Hilton Tysons Corner in McLean, Virginia was undergoing a massive renovation that would actually set the blueprint for all future new Hilton Hotels. Yay, new stuff!

The fruits of the renovation debuted five brand new design concepts from the check-in area to the restaurant and of course, up in the guestrooms. We were able to peep at some of the new designs via computerized renderings but we've only just noticed an actual photo of Hilton's new Technology Lounge pictured right here.

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Would You Live In A Hotel If You Could?

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  Site Where: 205 Hillwood Ave [map], Falls Church, VA, United States, 22046
November 1, 2011 at 9:40 AM | by | ()

Making the internet rounds yesterday was the story of Joy Bricker, a 79-year-old woman who has spent the past ten years living at the TownePlace Suites Falls Church. And not 'living' as in, she commuted every week between the Virginia hotel and her home. No. The hotel itself was her home, and she loved it.

As she numbered off to the Washington Post the perks of living in a hotel—no utility bills, free breakfast, free wi-fi—we were suddenly struck with the idea that we, too, might enjoy the prospect of life in an extended stay property.

For starters, the cleanliness! We'd never have to do another house chore in our life. And if we chose our room carefully, we might wind up with a killer view right next to our bed—now that is something we'd never get tired of.

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Josh Flagg Visits the Inn at Little Washington, Leaves a Cow Lover

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  Site Where: Middle St At Main St [map], Washington, VA, United States, 22747
September 7, 2011 at 12:35 PM | by | ()

Our own Eloise, Josh Flagg recently took a trip down to Virginia where he made friends with a very interesting hotel restaurant"employee." Read on to find out more!

Have you ever met a cow by the name of Faira who serves you cheese table-side? Well I have!

If you visit the uber-chic Inn at Little Wahington (which incidentally is not in Washington D.C., but in Virgina), you will have one of the best meals of your life in this quaint hotel.

The Inn at Little Washington is basically in the middle of nowhere. Driving there, I was sure I had made a wrong turn. Amongst all the goats and tractors, and old abandoned barns, I was sure I was not on my way to a Relais & Chateaux five-diamond resort but alas, all of a sudden, there it was!

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What Will Hilton's New Design Look Like?

April 19, 2011 at 8:32 AM | by | ()

This is a day that HotelChatter has long been anticipating--the day when Hilton Hotels & Resorts reveals a new look for their hotels. And all that should be going down today at the Hilton McLean in Virginia.

That's where Hilton will unveil five new brand design concepts ranging from the check-in area to the restaurant and up in the guestrooms. These design options will not be rolled out immediately in all Hilton hotels but they will be an option for owners to place in new and existing hotels if they want.

We've been waiting for Hilton to up their game, especially after their competitors Marriott, Starwood and Hyatt threw down the gauntlet by deflagging under-performing hotels and introducing new brands like Aloft, Element, Edition and Andaz Hotels.

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Renaissance Arlington Capital View Steps up Opening Date to Next Week

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  Site Where: 2800 South Potomac Ave. [map], Arlington, VA, United States, 22202
March 4, 2011 at 1:56 PM | by | ()

It's not often hotels beat their projected opening dates, and it's even more remarkable from the Renaissance Arlington Capital View because the hotel is already* will likely be LEED certified, a process that's ordinarily more complicated than Charlie Sheen's interview schedule. Last we heard, the place would open in April; they're now taking rezzies for March 9 and on.

The Renaissance corporate blog says the opening date for the hotel—situated a four-mile cab or short Metro ride from the heart of D.C.—is March 9 and promises "grand opening deals." Our initial test bookings revealed no such thing, with weekday rates starting from $299 whether you're shopping for next week or April. But punching in promo code SB4 reveals weekend stays for as little as $139, including breakfast for up to two adults and two kids.

Btw, it must be coincidental but there's some humor in the fact that the hotel's website URL contains the word "waspy." Doesn't get more Arlington than that!

*Update: The hotel's PR writes to clarify that "the Renaissance Arlington Capital View has been designed to receive a LEED Silver Certification, which we hope to receive later in the year," meaning it hasn't actually secured the LEED oak leaves just yet. They also confirm an opening date of March 9—it was initially listed on the corporate blog as March 16—putting the property ahead of original schedule.

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A Renaissance Is Coming To Arlington (A Hotel, That Is)

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 2800 South Potomac Ave [map], Arlington, VA, United States, 22202
November 23, 2010 at 2:25 PM | by | ()

Whichever way things swing in 2012, one thing's for sure: a new Renaissance is headed D.C. way. Well, a Renaissance Hotel, at any rate. The new hotel, scheduled to open next March or April is actually in Arlington, VA, but conveniently close to Reagan National Airport and just over the Potomac from D.C.

The Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel will be LEED-certified and, according to its website, have "the soul of a boutique hotel with the location and amenities suited for business in and around the nation's capital."

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