WHERE TO STAY
The best place to stay during a trip aimed at taking in the city’s history, arts and culture would hands down be The Jefferson Hotel. Built in 1895, the hotel is a Richmond icon, particularly when it comes to sheer elegance. And while it may be sophisticated, it’s also family friendly at the same time.
Parents will fall in love with the ceiling frescos of the Rotunda Lobby and stained glass windows of the Palm Court. Toddlers will immediately note the alligator statues, vintage phone booths just right for quick changes by Superman and the Grand Staircase’s banisters that looks like an e-ticket ride (which is, sadly, not permitted). As for live alligators – many of which were dropped off from travelers en route from Florida — the last in residence at The Jefferson was Old Pompey, who passed away in 1948.
Larger families may want to spring for the 1,400-square-foot Presidential Suite with its separate living area, dining room, kitchen (with refrigerator and microwave) and marble balcony. And though families might not need them, the baby grand piano and three, non-operational fireplaces lend ambience. Beyond a master bedroom with a four-poster king bed, an adjoining room with two double beds can be reserved.
Another option is an Executive Suite with a separate living area, bedroom with a king-sized bed and master bath. The suite’s mini-fridge can be cleared out so there’s space for milk and juice, or an additional mini-fridge can be placed in the room. Cribs and rollaway beds are also available upon request.
There are two restaurants located within the hotel. Helmed by Chef Walter Bundy, Lemaire is ideal for parents seeking a date night. In fact, Fridays are designated as such with drink specials aimed at couples. Beyond cocktails, the venue serves up New American cuisine with ingredients picked fresh daily from the chef’s on-site urban garden.
Best for the entire family is TJ’s. Executive Chef James Schroeder offers up fare pleasing to palates of all ages, as well as Virginia favorites like fried green tomatoes, peanut soup and grits. A kid’s menu is available here, as well as through room service.
A favorite timeworn tradition at The Jefferson is afternoon tea held in the Palm Court from Friday through Sunday. Little ones will especially love the Teddy Bear Tea hosted the first Sunday of every month.
For those guests venturing out for their meals, many cafes and restaurants are within strolling distance. Additionally, the hotel offers a complimentary shuttle service that travels within three miles of The Jefferson. The best way to cool off after a downtown jaunt for lunch – with a dip in The Jefferson’s indoor swimming pool.
To learn more about The Jefferson visit www.jeffersonhotel.com or phone 1-804-788-8000 or toll free 1-800-424-8014.
For more on Richmond, Virginia, visit www.visitrichmondva.com or phone 1-800-370-9004.