Blending the trendy with the traditional, Charlottesville’s hotels are as diverse as the city itself. Whether you’re visiting to explore American history in Monticello, or using it as a base for hiking adventures in Shenandoah National Park, the city has plenty of accommodation options. From design-forward boutique properties to quaint countryside B&Bs, here are the best hotels in Charlottesville, Virginia.
With Bakelite telephones, trophy lampshades and giant wahoo fish above every bed – a nod to the unofficial nickname given to University of Virginia students – this boutique hotel in Venable has a youthful feel. Camp Ten Four serves casual bites such as nachos and burgers, while the hipster Sheepdog Café fulfils caffeine and cocktail cravings in style. Better still, the hotel sits among the chic eateries and galleries on historic Main Street, with downtown Charlottesville a 25-minute walk away.
On Charlottesville’s suburban edge and a 15-minute drive from downtown, this enormous resort is perfectly placed for a spot of rambling among the forests and waterfalls of Shenandoah National Park. Closer to home, you’ll find a sports club offering more than 45 weekly classes, an aquatics center and 26 tennis courts. After all of that exertion, unwind with an heirloom herb massage at the spa, or tuck into locally sourced grits and shrimp at the Mill Room restaurant.
Just a 10-minute drive from James Monroe’s Highland – home of the fifth US president – this traditional B&B occupies 5 acres (2ha) of woodland on Charlottesville’s southern edge. Five guest rooms have private baths, but if you’re feeling flush, opt for the two-person cottage with an antique queen-size canopy bed, mahogany furniture and squashy leather chairs. Breakfasts comprise home-baked muffins and lemon blueberry pancakes served with a bespoke coffee blend from the Queen’s Beans Roasters.
Set in a blossom-laden garden a 20-minute drive northwest of downtown Charlottesville, the Foxfield Inn offers easy access to wineries, craft breweries, horse-riding schools and birding sites. Five guest rooms mix beds made by local artisans with pops of color from plush cushions; book the Garden Room for a fireplace and jacuzzi. Owner Brigitte serves up a three-course rotating breakfast that may include muffins, scones, pork sausages and vanilla ice cream – all home-made.
With tie-wearing staff, an adjacent gallery and custom-made splatter art by artist Kiki Slaughter, the Quirk Hotel lives up to its name. It’s spread across two 19th-century brick houses. One building contains a cafe and barrel-aged spirits bar, while the other is home to a beauty salon and the premium two-bed Loft Suite, kitted out with a free-standing tub and private balcony. It’s just outside downtown, in an area that buzzes with trendy Mediterranean restaurants and wineries.
This 35-room boutique hotel sits on the fringes of the University of Virginia campus, moments from Scott Stadium and a 10-minute free trolley ride from downtown. Inside, you’ll find luxury touches such as free cookies and beverages in the common rooms and a turndown service at night. Grab a light Mediterranean-style brunch and a rich espresso at the cafe, or chill in the tranquil outdoor pool. Staff can help you arrange hot-air balloon rides and vineyard tours.
Just two blocks from the Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville’s historic downtown, the Omni is well placed for weekenders. Plunge into one of the two pools, lift free weights in the fitness center or request a yoga kit for your room. The guest rooms ooze understated elegance, with taupe linen, marble-floored bathrooms and coffee makers. Breakfast at the Pointe comprises pastries, fruit and various egg dishes.
Spread over two Georgian homes downtown – one of which was built in 1856 – this traditional inn features English and Belgian antiques, a solid walnut banister, original fireplaces and four-poster canopy beds. Some suites even have whirlpool baths – ask when booking. Tuck into a continental spread in the book-lined dining room before heading into the city; you’ll find the Downtown Mall just two blocks away.
The Charlottesville outpost of the Marriott’s Autograph Collection is anything but chain-like; it’s filled with foliage, mid-century dark wood furnishings and geometric pendant lamps. True to its name, the Draftsman bar boasts 36 rotating self-serve taps; after sampling them all, collapse into crisp white sheets or keep the party going at your in-room honesty bar. Three blocks away, you’ll find the University of Virginia campus and the Corner, a foodie haven where Irish pubs mingle with dumpling shops and poke bowl joints.
This genteel inn based in the leafy North Downtown area offers a classy B&B experience, from the chocolate chip cookies on arrival to breakfast pastries from the local Great Harvest Bread Company. Many of the floral-patterned rooms come with working fireplaces and showers with steam jets. Upgrade to a suite for a light-filled sunroom, perfect for curling up with a book or crossword puzzle. Owner Carolyn McGee is a font of knowledge on local art galleries, restaurants and wine tours.