Plan a special getaway to historic hotels in Virginia and the mid-Atlantic US to enjoy romance, luxury, and an escape from the everyday. We’ve sampled a mix of grand hotels and elegant boutiques that offer unique settings perfect for history lovers. These hotels and historic inns preserve some of their original opulence while offering modern comfort and amenities.
The United States has a rich tradition of grand lodges built during the Gilded Age and early 20th century. Many of the most lavish properties faded from popularity and fell into decline. Fortunately, these historic inns and hotels have been renovated and refurbished to deliver a beautiful mix of classic style and travel convenience.
All of the historic properties on our list are members of Historic Hotels of America, a collection dedicated to preserving historic authenticity. Read on for information and tips to plan a getaway to historic hotels in Virginia and throughout the mid-Atlantic region.
Historic Hotels in Virginia
The Jefferson Hotel, Richmond, Virginia
The Jefferson is a fabulous star of the Gilded Age that has been extensively restored and thoughtfully renovated for the modern traveler. The beautiful Palm Court sets the stage for elegance throughout the property. The room is crowned by a massive stained-glass ceiling towering above a life-size marble statue of Thomas Jefferson. In its early days, the court was home to alligators living in rills surrounding a central fountain.
A sweeping Grand Staircase (rumored to have inspired Gone with the Wind) leads down to the swank Rotunda Lobby. This beautiful space is the site of countless photographs marking a stay or special event at The Jefferson.
Our elegant Grand Premier Guest Room featured a comfortable king bed, separate sitting area, and spacious marble bath. Dinner at Lemaire highlights locally sourced ingredients and Southern flavors. The Jefferson is one of the most beautiful historic hotels in Virginia and a fabulous base for a Richmond getaway.
Highlights: Beautiful lobby and Palm Court, newly renovated rooms, central Richmond location.
Tip: Stop in the small museum in the Rotunda Lobby to learn more about the famous people who have stayed at the Jefferson Hotel and one guest’s alligator encounter.
Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke Virginia
The historic Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center is one of the grand railroad hotels of the late 19th century. The Tudor Revival building occupies a hill above the railroad tracks, where it has been welcoming guests for over a century.
A covered pedestrian bridge leads directly from the hotel to excellent museums, dining, and shopping in walkable downtown Roanoke. The hotel is also a great base for exploring the booming craft brew scene on the Blue Ridge Beerway.
The lobby and common spaces at Hotel Roanoke evoke the luxury days of rail travel. Murals above the front desk highlight important moments in Virginia history. Genteel Southern scenes and a peaceful sky surround the oval-shaped Palm Court.
The Pine Room pub and a row of rocking chairs on the porch provide more casual spaces to relax. Rooms are plush and comfortable; a wonderful place to recoup from a day of hiking, biking, and paddling in Roanoke and the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains.
Highlights: Historic murals, plush rooms with mountain views, covered walkway to downtown Roanoke.
Tip: Request a room facing the downtown for lovely views of Mill Mountain and the Roanoke Star.
Keswick Hall, Charlottesville Virginia
NOTE: Keswick Hotel is closed for renovations in 2018 and plans to reopen in 2020.
Keswick Hall is an excellent choice If you prefer a country setting for your historic hotel getaway. Keswick is surrounded by beautiful Virginia wineries on the Monticello Wine Travel. It’s also an ideal base for exploring historic sites, dining, and outdoor activities in Charlottesville.
It would be equally easy to spend your days on-site relaxing in this historic Virginia resort. Spend some time at the on-site golf course and fitness center, then relax in the infinity pool and spa. The award-winning Fossett’s restaurant offers fine dining, while the golf club provides a more casual setting.
Check rates and availability at Keswick Hall and plan your stay now.
Highlights: Country setting, golf, infinity pool, access to Charlottesville, and Virginia wineries.
Mid-Atlantic Historic Hotel Getaways Near Virginia
We love the historic hotels in Virginia, but if you’d like an out of state escape there are wonderful options close enough for a weekend getaway. Here are four historical places to stay close to Washington DC.
HOTEL DU PONT, Wilmington Delaware
The HOTEL DU PONT was built in 1913 to offer grand lodging for important visitors to DuPont company headquarters, which occupied the same building. The Gilded Age hotel is centrally located on Wilmington’s Rodney Square.
Enter the lobby and your eyes are immediately drawn to the elaborately carved coffered ceiling and sparkling chandeliers. The drama continues in the Green Room, where you can (and should!) enjoy classic cocktails, steaks, and seafood in a romantic setting. The grand piano has been moved to diner level, but you can still see the carved balcony it once occupied.
Suites at the HOTEL DU PONT are plush and spacious. Our corner suite featured a separate living room, huge marble bathroom with jetted tub, and large king bedroom.
The hotel is an excellent place to stay if you’re focus is on the gardens and estates of the Du Pont family—Nemours, Winterthur, and Longwood Gardens. The fun Riverfront area is close by, and eclectic Market Street is right outside your door. Plan your stay with our complete guide to fun things to do in the Wilmington area.
Weekend specials are a great way to save on your stay. Check HOTEL DU PONT. rates and availability now.
Highlights: Lavish Gilded Age decor, fine dining in the Green Room, central Wilmington location.
Tip: The Green Room offers a limited, prix fixe “Sunday Dinner” menu on Sunday nights. If you want to sample the full menu in this elegant dining room, choose another night.
Lord Baltimore Hotel, Baltimore Maryland
The 1920s Lord Baltimore Hotel was celebrated as the largest hotel ever built in the state of Maryland. A two-story lobby with a carved coffered ceiling welcomes guests, many of them attending events and conventions in the city.
Rooms at the Lord Baltimore Hotel are comfortable, and the central location makes it easy to explore Baltimore on foot. Be sure to visit the rooftop LB Skybar during your stay at the Lord Baltimore Hotel. Relax with a cocktail and a snack while you watch the sunset and the lights of the city sparkle.
There are two casual dining options at the hotel, a bakery, and a tavern, offering meal options throughout the day. The hotel’s former fine-dining restaurant, the French Kitchen, is now an event and catering space.
Highlights: Downtown Baltimore location, rooftop bar, renovated rooms.
Tip: It’s a short walk to Edgar Allen Poe’s grave and the historic Lexington Market (best crab cakes around). The Lord Baltimore Hotel’s downtown location can mean city noise in your room, so bring earplugs if you’re a light sleeper.
The Redbury, New York City
Fans of boutique hotels will love The Redbury, where you can enjoy a relaxing stay with a hip vibe. The interior design features musical references and 60s images inspired by Tin Pan Alley. The hotel opened in 1903 and it occupies a great location in Midtown Manhattan. New York City icons like the Empire State Building, the Flatiron, and Madison Square Park are close by, so it’s easy to explore on foot.
Book a corner suite and you can kick back with a roomy living room, separate bedroom, and bathroom with a spacious shower. Downstairs, you’ll find Marta, one of the tastiest pizza restaurants in the city. Vini e Fritti serves breakfast and late-night snacks, and there’s a lounge bar where you can relax with a cocktail.
New York City is one of our favorite destinations for a weekend getaway because it’s easy to reach by train from the Washington DC area. Find more suggestions for your trip to the city and other destinations in our round-up of Favorite Winter Getaways.
Check rates and availability at The Redbury and book your stay now.
Highlights: Central midtown location, unique boutique style, spacious suites, on-site dining.
Tip: The Redbury is a member of Preferred Hotels, which offers members extra amenities like plush robes and upgraded rooms. Construction and traffic noise are constants in New York City. Request an upper floor room and be prepared with earplugs if you are noise sensitive.
The Inn at Leola Village, Leola Pennsylvania
The Inn at Leola Village is a romantic and historic base for exploring Pennsylvania’s Amish Country. The former tobacco farm preserves several historic buildings offering a variety of rooms. We stayed in a pool-side suite with a four-poster bed, fireplace, whirlpool tub, and massive stone shower.
Learn more about the Inn at Leola Village on McCool Travel.
The five-star, five-diamond restaurant Te serves dinner on Friday and Saturday nights. Osteria Avanti offers rustic Italian cuisine daily. Breakfast at Osteria is a delicious start to a day exploring country roads and shops.
Head to nearby York County for foodie fun; it’s known as the Factory Tour Capital of the World. The region is also home to restaurants featuring fresh, locally sourced food. Or spend the day visiting Amish shops, farm stands, and covered bridges.
Highlights: A cluster of historic buildings where every room is unique, fine dining and casual restaurants, great location in scenic Amish Country.
Tip: Enjoy a walk around the property and visit the billiards room and kitchen garden.
About Historic Hotels of America
Historic Hotels of America is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This collection of more than 300 hotels is dedicated to preserving historic authenticity.
These historic hotels have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity…To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; has been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance. —HistoriceHotels.org
Is your getaway plan all about romance? Check out these 15 Fabulous Romantic Getaways from Washington DC. You’ll find even more local lodging ideas here:
- 8 Great Overnight Getaways In and Near Northern Virginia
- 8 More Wonderful Overnight Getaways Near Northern Virginia
Please share your recommendations and tips for favorite historic hotels and inns in the comments below. Follow Fun in Fairfax VA on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram for more places to visit and things to do in and Northern Virginia and the Washington DC area.
Thank you and happy travel!
We were guests of The Jefferson Hotel, Hotel Roanoke, HOTEL DUPONT, Lord Baltimore, Inn at Leola Village, and The Redbury. Each property hosted our stay and some meals so we could share our findings with the Fun in Fairfax VA audience. As always, all photos, text, and opinions are our own.