The region’s 27 most inviting retreats perfect for a long weekend of slipping away from the every day.

Keswick Hall 

Keswick 

This fall, join the hounds of the storied Keswick Hunt Club on their daily morning rambles when you make a weekend of it at Keswick Hall. On your way back to the 600-acre property, don’t be surprised if you see the cooking staff pulling vegetables from the garden. New Executive Chef John Hoffman and his team stroll through the garden daily, each pulling one plant to serve as inspiration for the day’s dish. “I want my team to be inspired to create great food,” says Hoffman. “That’s the type of culture I’m trying to foster in the kitchen.” 

Hoffman drew from his years working on Kiawah Island to add Low Country elements to the menu at Fossett’s restaurant, while also incorporating Virginia heritage vegetables (and their stories) like the “walking onion,” a Thomas Jefferson favorite. One spring entrée featured the vegetable as part of a summer squash broth served with Chesapeake Bay fluke, trout roe, Carolina long grain rice and field peas. 

Look out for Hoffman’s new tasting menus focused around one seasonal ingredient, like the tomato, which he will feature in a new grilled pimento cheese, house-cured bacon and fried green tomato sandwich for the Club Grill overlooking Keswick’s two-year-old Pete Dye golf course. “We want to keep it elegant but make great downhome Southern food,” says Hoffman. Keswick.com

Goodstone Inn 

Middleburg 

Photo by Jumping Rocks 

A windy country road takes you into the 265-acre world of this lovely inn and restaurant, where you may see Greyson the llama or catch a glimpse of Goose Creek. It’s all just as picturesque as it sounds: stone walls, red barns, bales of hay on rolling hills, even a blue-stone patio pool with wisteria-draped arbor. Inside, the inn is filled with tasteful English and French antiques, toile draperies and four-poster beds. But the true gem at Goodstone is the award-winning restaurant helmed by Chef John Leonard, who works closely with the property’s sustainably managed farm to develop his French country inspired cuisine with an emphasis on seasonality. Goodstone.com

Trinkle Mansion 

Wytheville 

It doesn’t get much more tranquil and cozy than the Trinkle Mansion, a Southern-inspired bed and breakfast tucked away in the mountains of Southwest Virginia that features four elegant guest rooms. And they’re not fooling around with the breakfast—guests are treated to a three-course meal in the morning, served next to the fire on delicate crystal and silver. TrinkleMansion.com

Lansdowne Resort and Spa

Leesburg 

In time for its 25th anniversary, this 476-acre Loudoun County resort and corporate retreat is undergoing a multi-million-dollar renovation inspired by its setting near Northern Virginia wine country. All 296 guestrooms were renovated with earth tones to complement the views, and decorated with wine themed décor such as wine-cask nightstands, wine-cork frames and glasses made from recycled wine bottles. LansdowneResort.com

Salamander Resort & Spa 

Middleburg 

Photo By Justin Jriel

The 340-acre country resort in Middleburg keeps guests active with a full-service equestrian center, 23,000-square-foot spa and wellness center, zip lines, guided walks, archery, mixology classes, yoga on horseback and more. Equestrian Director Sheryl Jordan’s EquiSpective program may be Salamander’s most unique. She guides guests through a horse-whisperer program exploring communication and leadership styles. SalamanderResort.com

The Inn at Little Washington  

Washington 

Photo by Francois Haubtmann

In 2014, Virginia’s charming culinary mecca added a Victorian Parsonage with six new rooms decorated in a more modern take on the inn’s English-country style. Last year, famed chef Patrick O’Connell released his first design book about transforming the inn, The Inn at Little Washington: A Magnificent Obsession (Rizzoli New York, 2015). He has also recently expanded from one to three different six-course tasting menus. Guests participating in the Stagiaire Program spend two or three days working with Patrick and his team in the kitchen and on the farm learning what it’s like to be a gourmet chef. TheInnAtLittleWashington.com

Morrison House 

Alexandria  

Did you know Alexandria is one of the most well-read cities in America? That accolade informed the multi-million dollar renovation of Old Town’s Morrison House hotel, which has been Alexandria’s only 4-diamond hotel for 30 years. Los Angeles designer David Hill refreshed the interiors of the Kimpton-owned Morrison House by incorporating modern furnishings, artwork inspired by great American literary classics like The Great Gatsby, and tartan plaid as a nod to the city’s Scottish heritage (with a dose of classic Kimpton whimsy).

The 45-room hotel has extended the literary theme by adding a silent reading hour each Sunday and allowing guests to choose a classic novel to be left in their room at turndown. Locals will be most excited about the hotel’s new Ashlar Restaurant & Bar, an upscale tavern with dishes like snapper crudo with jalapeño, spring onion and baby beet chips, and a beverage program that draws inspiration from Alexandria’s founding in 1749, with a focus on spirits reminiscent of the era like rum, Madeira and sherry, as well as Virginia whiskey, beer and wine. MorrisonHouse.com

Inn at Tabbs Creek  

Port Haywood 

From a quiet spot on the East River, surrounded by water on three sides, the Inn at Tabbs Creek is becoming a confluence of Mathews County culture. The young couple who own this sweet eco-inn are passionate about sharing the natural beauty of the area, and they couldn’t have a better pedigree for the job. She’s a plant professional who grew up nearby and he is a former organic farmer and chef. That translates to beautiful grounds (think Adirondack chairs surrounding a waterfront fire pit and grassy meadows for creekside yoga) and fresh, locally sourced breakfasts prepared using ingredients grown onsite. 

Lori and Greg Dusenberry opened the inn seven years ago after giving its three buildings, including an 1872 farmhouse, an environmentally sensitive renovation. All six rooms offer water views and beachy-traditional interiors. Guests can explore the creek via kayak or stand-up paddleboard with the Chesapeake Bay Paddling Company. Through a partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation the Dusenberrys restored the native marsh grasses around their dock and developed an oyster reef. The inn is now an official site on the Virginia Oyster Trail. And, as a way of spotlighting local culture, guests can take a sunset cruise from the inn’s dock with a local captain to learn about the area’s history and recent sustainable environmental efforts.

From a quiet spot on the East River, surrounded by water on three sides, the Inn at Tabbs Creek is becoming a confluence of Mathews County culture. The young couple who own this sweet eco-inn are passionate about sharing the natural beauty of the area, and they couldn’t have a better pedigree for the job. She’s a plant professional who grew up nearby and he is a former organic farmer and chef. That translates to beautiful grounds (think Adirondack chairs surrounding a waterfront fire pit and grassy meadows for creekside yoga) and fresh, locally sourced breakfasts prepared using ingredients grown onsite. 

Lori and Greg Dusenberry opened the inn seven years ago after giving its three buildings, including an 1872 farmhouse, an environmentally sensitive renovation. All six rooms offer water views and beachy-traditional interiors. Guests can explore the creek via kayak or stand-up paddleboard with the Chesapeake Bay Paddling Company. Through a partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation the Dusenberrys restored the native marsh grasses around their dock and developed an oyster reef. The inn is now an official site on the Virginia Oyster Trail. And, as a way of spotlighting local culture, guests can take a sunset cruise from the inn’s dock with a local captain to learn about the area’s history and recent sustainable environmental efforts. InnAtTabbsCreek.com

Quirk Hotel 

Richmond 

In April, visitors got a new perspective on downtown Richmond when the Quirk Hotel opened its rooftop bar. Views from the eighth story are just as eclectic as the Downtown Arts & Cultural District below: a building shaped like milk bottles, a historic firehouse, a monthly parade of visitors during the art walk and more. The rooftop is the latest addition to Richmond’s year-old boutique hotel, which features an adjacent art gallery and blush-tinged interiors peppered with local art. The open-air bar with glass-wall railings opens at 5 p.m. daily and can accommodate 150, with first priority given to hotel guests. The rooftop cocktail list includes the refreshing HummingByrd, made of elderflower liqueur, honey syrup, lemon juice and Prosecco. Or sample Quirk beer (only available on the roof)—a cream ale with sea salt and lime, crafted by Hardywood Park Craft Brewery down the road. While you’re there, book a Basket & Bike Tour and spend a pleasant afternoon cycling the Virginia Capital Trail complete with chic picnic lunch served in a woven basket, or create a bespoke itinerary. QuirkHotel.com

Tides Inn 

Irvington 

Crabbing in Carter’s Creek. 

Set on its own peninsula along Carter’s Creek in Irvington, the Tides Inn offers a host of family activities, from boating to golf. The resort’s restaurant is having fun with local oysters, now serving them roasted with unusual condiments like tequila-lime mignonette sauce and pickled watermelon rind salsa. New waterfront activities this year include stand-up paddleboard yoga and Jet Ski tours along the Rappahannock River with lessons on the history and ecology of the Bay. TidesInn.com

The Jefferson 

Richmond 

This iconic Richmond hotel recently completed a three-year renovation that added square footage to its guest rooms, as well as updated marble bathrooms, walk-in closets and luxurious details like television screens built into bathroom mirrors. And over the summer, restoration work was completed on the historic rotunda. JeffersonHotel.com

Craddock Terry

Lynchburg 

Guest room at Craddock Terry. 

Lynchburg’s dog-friendly boutique hotel, formerly home to the Craddock Terry Shoe Company, celebrates its history with clever shoe-themed touches. The 44-room hotel is housed in two historic brick warehouses and filled with shoe memorabilia. Complimentary breakfast arrives at your door in a wooden shoeshine box and guest can leave shoes outside their rooms for overnight polishing. Plus, guests can walk through downtown from the hotel and take in James River views along Lynchburg’s new Bluffwalk. CraddockTerryHotel.com

Boar’s Head Inn  

Charlottesville 

Charlottesville’s only four-diamond hotel recently completed a $1.15 million renovation to Ednam House, one of its onsite meeting spaces. Non-business travelers may be more interested to know that the 175-room resort appointed a new executive chef last winter, who brings a Culinary Institute of America and Commander’s Palace pedigree to elevate the menu at the Old Mill Room with dishes like dried fig and prosciutto-stuffed quail. BoarsHeadInn.com

Clifton Inn

Charlottesville 

The bucolic 100-acre property at the Clifton Inn and sister Collina Farm House down the road are includes just 17 shabby-chic rooms, but offer a sense of peace with gracious lawns and mature shade trees. The inn recently launched a dog-friendly happy hour on Thursday evenings. And it’s always lovely to dine on the terrace or veranda. Clifton-Inn.com

Primland 

Meadows of Dan 

The ultimate natural retreat, the 12,000-acre eco-conscious resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia this year introduced new accommodations and activities to its long list of nature-oriented sports. 

The refined-rustic resort features a golf course set on a mountaintop plateau, horseback riding, fishing, hunting, hiking, geocaching, tree climbing, kayaking, a spa, fitness center, observatory and much more. This year Primland added a new archery and air rifle range, as well as two new games to its clay target course—Make-A-Break and Upland Practice Parcours. In 2015, four new Pinnacles Cottages opened at an elevation of 2,800 feet, overlooking the Pinnacles of Dan and the Dan River Gorge. And in keeping with the roots of the land, Primland works with two members of the Cherokee nation to bring its rituals, music and dance to several holidays over the course of the year. In Primland’s 1,800-square-foot spa, American Indian healing practices are paired with European spa rituals for an experience fully tied to the land. Primland.com

Martha Washington Inn & Spa 

Abingdon 

The therapeutic salt water pool is heated year round.

Abingdon’s 63-room historic hotel was originally a women’s finishing school. While its gracious covered porches are perfect for lounging, the inn also offers a range of active pursuits, including tennis, swimming, mini-golf and the iconic Barter Theatre located across the street with its February-December schedule of productions. TheMartha.com

Beach Spa Bed & Breakfast 

Virginia Beach 

New owners took over this 1930s shingled beach-cottage B&B this winter with an added focus on its spa offerings and tranquility. It’s centrally located just two blocks from the Virginia Beach boardwalk with eight rooms awash in cool, sea-glass colors with waterfalls, butterfly bushes and covered porches for maximum relaxation. BeachSpaBNB.com

Berkeley House Bed & Breakfast 

Staunton 

This 8,000-square-foot, shingle-style Queen Anne home opened as a bed and breakfast in downtown Staunton just over a year ago. Proprietors Bonnie and Jeff Ribman lovingly undertook a complete renovation of the 1896 Victorian home and added period details inside like four-poster beds, lace curtains and toile fabrics. Berkeley cleverly forged a partnership with the American Shakespeare Center to offer guests a show at Staunton’s Blackfriars Playhouse. BHBandB.com

Poplar Springs 

Warrenton 

In the middle of northern Virginia hunt country, just outside the town of Warrenton, Poplar Springs got a million dollar upgrade and new ownership in 2014. Its stately fieldstone manor house and 170 acres are filled with mature elm trees and enough seclusion to relax or take in the bocce court, saltwater pool, spa or area wineries and equestrian activities. Does it get any better than wine and ice cream? PoplarSpringsInn.com

The Inn at Vaucluse Spring 

Stephens City 

Last year, Hawaiians Derrick and Tiffany Niide purchased this group of seven historic buildings in Stephens City just south of Winchester, continuing the work of the previous owners, Neil and Barry Meyers, and reimagining the inn as a respite for peacefulness and wellness. Tiffany Niide is a physician specializing in mindfulness and has incorporated her practice into the inn. At one- and two-day mindfulness workshops and mini-retreats, guests first learn about physiology and stress responses of the body, and then use guided mindfulness exercises designed to help lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain and alleviate stress. Specialized workshops teach mindfulness techniques crafted for relationships, the workplace, even parenting. VaucluseSpring.com

Hotel Monaco Alexandria

Alexandria  

Old Town, Alexandria’s mod-Colonial boutique hotel is family- and dog-friendly with a host of fun activities and amenities like movie night at the pool and bikes available for loan. The on-site Jackson 20 restaurant hosts popular doggy happy hours on its interior courtyard every Thursday evening. Monaco-Alexandria.com

The Omni Homestead Resort

Warm Springs 

The Omni Homestead Resort dining room. 

The Omni Homestead Resort – Throughout 2016, the Homestead has been celebrating its 250th anniversary with a host of events including guest lecturers each month, partnerships with local wine and spirits purveyors materializing on menus in resort restaurants, an anniversary $250 spa package, and daily afternoon birthday cake celebration. This summer the resort conducted a thorough historic structures report on the Jefferson Pools, the 18th and 19th century bath houses in Warm Springs owned by the resort, as a first step in planning their preservation. OmniHotels.com/HotSprings

Ritz Carlton

Pentagon City

This luxury, Washington-area property recently replaced its dark, jewel tones with calming neutrals. The artwork celebrating U.S. service members and leaders is still present, but now premier rooms have been updated with state-of-the-art wine and coffee amenities. And the newly enlarged 18th-floor Club Lounge, with views of Arlington and Washington, now offers more space for work and relaxation with snacks and beverages all day. RitzCarlton.com/Pentagon-City

The Inn at Willow Grove

Orange 

Outside the town of Orange, the stately pillars on the 1778 yellow-painted brick Inn at Willow Grove give a hint at the luxurious accommodations inside. Each of the 14 rooms feature private butler service, fireplaces and warm beignets delivered to the door each morning. Guests can get a massage in the smokehouse or dine in the Forbes four-star rated Vintage restaurant, which on Wednesday nights serves a gourmet tapas menu. InnAtWillowGrove.com

Kingsmill Resort

Williamsburg 

Williamsburg’s only AAA four-diamond condominium spring with features like flat-screen televisions with HDMI inputs, updated bathrooms, kitchens, furniture, lighting, colors and more. Other recent resort upgrades include a lazy river, new riverside cottages and a million-dollar spa renovation. Even if you’re not into roller coasters, it’s worth the short drive to Busch Gardens for the annual Bierfest, featuring craft beers from around the world, pretzels, turkey legs and more. KingsmillResort.com

The Georges

Lexington 

A Richmond couple with ties to Lexington renovated two, 200-year old brick buildings across the street from one another to open this charming 18-room boutique hotel two years ago named for the two famous Georges associated with Washington & Lee University and Virginia Military Institute. The hotel features stylish modern interiors with subtle pops of bright colors and bold wallpapers as well as luxuries like in-room fireplaces and heated floors. Don’t miss the covered outdoor porch upstairs at the Washington Building or the live piano music at Haywood’s restaurant. TheGeorges.com

The Greenbrier 

White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia 

Carriage rides are available to guests at The Greenbrier. 

Okay, we know it’s not exactly in Virginia, but it’s just over the border and it’s too beautiful to exclude. A National Historic Landmark, the Greenbrier has been hosting and pampering guests with its natural mineral springs and extensive luxury retreat since 1778. Amenities include five golf courses, a mineral spa, a casino and activities like segway tours, archery, bowling and afternoon tea. Greenbrier.com


This article originally appeared in our October 2016 issue.

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