Accommodations often shape communities and lead to other successful businesses in a region, adding revitalized support the local economy. From small seaside towns to rural mountain areas, these hotels are giving downtowns across Virginia another reason to visit. Check out these 10 hotels that changed the vibe of their town, turning them into fun Virginia vacation destinations.
The Georges is a boutique inn of 18 elegant rooms occupying two buildings on opposite sides of Main Street in Lexington, Virginia. Located in the heart of downtown Lexington, The Georges’ Washington Building and Marshall Building are two of Lexington’s oldest surviving structures, both built over 200 years ago. In the past, these structures served as private homes, a jewelry store, doctor’s office, and post office, surviving fires and a decade of emptiness. The Georges blends historic architecture with luxury in its upscale yet casual guestrooms and suites, complete with lovely views and lavish amenities. The owners’ intention is to offer a place of comfort, traditional Virginia hospitality, and delicious food with regional ingredients—all in an environment that carries the history of the last couple of hundred years in its bones, and now with every modern amenity and convenience.
HOTEL CAPE CHARLES—CAPE CHARLES
Hotel Cape Charles, a historic hotel redeveloped into a modern boutique hotel, jump-started Cape Charles as a destination, leading to a slow and steady revitalization of the entire historic main street in the last decade. It is now one of Virginia’s top-ten tourism towns. Bay Creek Resort and Golf Club, an upscale beachside resort community, also played a key role by putting two waterside championship golf courses just south of the town.
Bryce Resort is an attraction that has shaped the Shenandoah Valley. Celebrating over 50 years, Bryce Resort has made Shenandoah County a four-season destination. Visitors to Bryce also enjoy supporting other local businesses throughout the county and region, dining in restaurants, visiting vineyards, and exploring everything else Shenandoah County has to offer.
The Island House Restaurant, also located on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, was re-imagined as a seaside destination restaurant, followed by the re-development of the historic hotel, Wachapreague Inn. This helped kick off a renaissance of what was once one of the mid-Atlantic’s premier luxury fishing spots. Today, Wachapreague is a still a fishing destination, but is evolving into an outdoor recreational market as a key launch point for eco-tours to the remote barrier islands.
MOUNTAIN LAKE LODGE—PEMBROKE
Discover this ultimate outdoor retreat in the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountain Range and the center of a 2,600 acre nature preserve. The resort is located in Giles County, only 30 minutes from the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. The hit movie “Dirty Dancing” was filmed at Mountain Lake in 1986. In 2012, Mountain Lake Lodge completed a renovation of many of the guestrooms and cabins and added new recreational activities, including an Aerial & Zip Line Adventure Course, Treetop Adventures, and new special events throughout the year. Mountain Lake Lodge is the ideal place for families, friends, couples, and groups to recreate and relax amidst nature’s bounty. Arrive to an unhurried pace in a place faithful to the outdoors, where friendly service prevails.
Situated outside Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery in Lexington, this redbrick Colonial-style B&B, was constructed in 1928 as a fraternity house for Washington and Lee students. While it has undergone extensive remodeling over the years, it has also retained its essential historic character thanks to a succession of owners who have loved and cared for the property. In recent years, owners of the property have used it as a bed & breakfast, and many citizens in Lexington consider it to be the premier B&B in the community. The 8 low-key rooms with antique-style furnishings is just a mile from Boxerwood Nature Center & Woodland Gardens.
ROBERT E. LEE HOTEL—LEXINGTON
Set among the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Robert E. Lee Hotel is an elegant establishment dating from 1926. The hotel is just a two-minute walk from the Stonewall Jackson House and a 19-minute walk from Washington and Lee University in Lexington. Featuring mountain views, the modern, warmly decorated rooms welcome guests to enjoy a relaxing stay during their visit to the historic town.
Hotel Laurance is steeped in rich history. Built in 1830 as a mercantile establishment, the hotel was converted by Joseph Parkinson in 1883 to the Hotel Laurance, named after his wife, Laura. The Hotel Laurance has been a favorite destination for travelers exploring the Luray Caverns and looking to experience the Shenandoah Valley, the town of Luray, and the myriad activities the area has to offer. The Hotel Laurance is a newly renovated, 12-room boutique hotel. Each room is uniquely organized with comfortable beds, Smart TVs, and within easy walking access to the downtown restaurants and attractions. Each room has a full kitchen, perfect for a short-term or extended stay.
GENERAL FRANCIS MARION HOTEL—MARION
The General Francis Marion Hotel, once said to be the most elegant lodging establishment in Southwestern Virginia, reopened in February 2006. After almost two years of renovation and restoration, the grand old hotel was reborn with the comfort, convenience, and amenities of a modern hotel while retaining the ambiance of the 1920’s. The hotel consists of 36 rooms and four unique event spaces ideal for conferences and celebrations, and the bar is replicated after a speakeasy. The General Francis Marion Hotel, a 1920’s historic boutique hotel, received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence and made the list for National Geographic’s Top 150 Hotels in North America.
HOTEL 24 SOUTH—STAUNTON
Photo Credit: Bradley Hart
Originally built in 1924 and a member of Historic Hotels of America, this modern yet refined Virginia gem underwent a complete top to bottom renovation in 2005 and has been lovingly restored to its original grandeur. Staunton was recently named as one of the top 20 Small Towns in America by Smithsonian Magazine. Hotel 24 South features an indoor heated pool, fitness center, and a business center, showcasing 8,500 square feet of meeting space with accommodations for up to 400 guests.