I’m a sucker for a girlfriend’s getaway. After the hustle and bustle of my daily life, I always up for relaxing with my friends. If you are in need of a Girlfriend’s Getaway, Charlottesville, Virginia is the place to be. There’s history, wineries, and an amazing food scene. Whether you’re in town for a romantic weekend, a college tour, a family vacation or just hanging out with friends, I’ve found four wonderful accommodation options.
The Clifton Inn– With only 17 rooms, the Clifton Inn, former home of Thomas Mann Randolph, the son in law of Thomas Jefferson, is a boutique luxury inn. I stayed in the Honeymoon Cottage directly behind the main house, which was once used as an office for Mr. Randolph. The cozy 305 square foot room features the charm of the past with the painted brick walls, high beamed ceiling and pine floors, along with the amenities of the present. The large bathroom, which includes a claw foot tub, is separated from the main room by french doors and a wall of floor to ceiling windows. It’s a short walk to the main house for the complimentary breakfast of fruit, yogurt and mini baked goods, but affords a good bit of privacy.
I love great meals and took advantage of a meal at the Chef’s table. It was a fun experience, watching the chef work while he answered questions about the ingredients. They believe in the local farm to table movement and making their dishes from scratch. I recommend trying the Sticky Toffee Pudding with Ice Cream for dessert. We’re still trying to discover the recipe for this one! A complimentary afternoon tea with individual pots of herb teas, a sandwich and other goodies was served in the drawing-room, giving us a peaceful retreat from the cold, rainy weather outside. There are over 100 acres to explore, including a lake, infinity pool, hot tub, croquet field and hiking trails. The property is located a short distance from Miche’s Tavern, Monticello and Ash Lawn-Highland. Insider Tip: During the offseason rooms can be found for as low as $129 a night. This inn is good for romantic retreats and girlfriend getaways.
Residence Inn Downtown— Want to be in the heart of the action? This new hotel, opened in April 2016, is located in the center of downtown. You can walk across the street to the Downtown Mall or take a short stroll to the University. Each suite includes a fully equipped kitchen with stainless steel appliances, one to two bedrooms and baths, and a separate living space. Studio rooms are also available. I was impressed with the amount of space and extra touches including in each suite. There were shelves to hold towels, large closet spaces and of course, free high-speed wi-fi.
Want to relax? The hotel includes a state of the art fitness center- watch your own tv on the treadmills!- an indoor salt water pool, and outdoor entertaining spaces. Each morning you can treat yourself to the free breakfast, included with your stay. Their breakfast bar is impressive; with a make your own waffle bar, make your own yogurt parfait bar, and a make your own oatmeal bar. There’s also traditional choices of yogurt, fruit, toast and pastries, plus hot breakfast choices that change daily. One of my favorite amenities was the complimentary grocery delivery service. How easy is it to let the staff know what you’d like and have it waiting in the fridge when you return to your room? A coffee and tea bar is available 24 hours a day and there’s a happy hour from 5 PM to 6 PM serving free beer, wine and soft drinks. Although this hotel is in the center of downtown, I was in a room facing the parking lot and didn’t hear much noise. If you prefer no noise, I suggest getting an interior room. This hotel is great for families, business travelers, and of course, girlfriend getaways.
The Graduate— Do you need to be close to the University of Virginia or downtown? The Graduate is a funky mix of old and new, with rooms designed to give that collegiate feel. Think about a cabinet with silhouettes, trophy lamps and black and white tiled bathroom floors. Each room has a Wahoo fish, a tribute to the University of Virginia, hanging over the bed. But there’s a definite nod to comfort, with comfortable beds, ample space and luxury shower products. The hotel has valet parking only, at a cost of $7 per day, but the service is open 24 hours a day and the hotel is within walking distance to several area restaurants and the University.
If you are traveling with kids or teens, they will enjoy the game room with shuffleboard, foosball and ping pong. While I didn’t take along any pets, the Graduate is pet-friendly but there is a small additional fee per day. For breakfast stop by the Sheepdog Cafe, featuring Coffee Drinks, cocoa, muffins and pastries. The free wi-fi is a major plus for me. Insider Tip: The Graduate is within walking distance of The Virginian, Charlottesville’s oldest restaurant. It’s a great place to stay for families, girlfriend getaways, and for college students and their families visiting for campus tours.
The Townsman Hotel– Want to be in the center of the action but still have privacy? The Townsman Hotel is the place to be. It’s hidden in a historic building on the Downtown (Pedestrian) Mall, located between a restaurant and a comic book store. (Seriously, it’s so well hidden that two Charlottesville residents stopped to help us and they had never heard of the Townsman!) With only four rooms, the Townsman prides itself on being a boutique hotel. The concept of this hotel is unique. You will never see hotel staff! Check-in is at 4 PM. You are given a code that will open the front door and a separate code to open the door to the room. To be located in the mall, it is surprisingly quiet. I didn’t hear any noise from the mall or the street behind me.
The first-floor landing has a complimentary coffee bar, along with a fridge stocked with water. Free wi-fi is available in all the rooms. I was impressed with the different theme of each room. I stayed in the “Meriweather,” a room with a ‘modern Southern’ ambience. Although the decor was chic and soothing, I loved the extra touches to make it homey, like the throw draped over the chair, beckoning me to sit down and curl up with a good book. This hotel is great for a romantic retreat or a girlfriend’s getaway. Insider Tip: This is a historic building so there is no elevator. You will have to take your luggage up one to two flights of stairs to reach your room. It’s not handicapped accessible.
Planning a trip to Charlottesville? Be sure to check out these posts: 4 Must-Visit Historic Sites, Girlfriend’s Getaway ideas, Must Try Restaurants in Charlottesville and The Monticello Artisan Trail.