After a year and a half of being cooped up in our houses, we’re overdue for a change in scenery. Not ready to venture too far from home? Consider a staycation at a local hotel that’s within a few hours’ drive. Spend your day relaxing at the spa, lounging around the pool, or exploring nearby museums, shops, and restaurants. Here are six new or renovated hotels in Virginia where you can rest and recharge.
1. Delta Hotels by Marriott Virginia Beach Bayfront Suites
Opened in March, this Virginia Beach hotel with one- and two-bedroom suites—some of which include kitchens or bunk beds—is an ideal escape for families. Guests in some rooms will enjoy a balcony where they can take in the Chesapeake Bay views.
Amenities and activities: Splash around in the outdoor pool or private beach—or get your workout by renting a bike to ride on the boardwalk. The hotel restaurant, Tin Cup Kitchen and Oyster Bar, features fresh coastal cuisine that you can enjoy on the patio.
Nearby attractions: Families can hit the rides and slides at the Ocean Breeze Waterpark or explore the interactive exhibits at the Children’s Museum of Virginia.
2. Marriott Virginia Beach Oceanfront
Opened in June 2020, the Marriott Virginia Beach Oceanfront hotel represents one piece of the $350 million expansion of the swanky and historic Cavalier Resort, which reopened in 2018. The hotel is located on the beach, and all the rooms offer ocean views.
Amenities and activities: Head to the rooftop to dine at the Asian-fusion restaurant Orion’s Roof, or cool off in the pool while enjoying sweeping ocean views. A second indoor/outdoor hotel pool and boccie will keep the family entertained. Walk across the street to the Cavalier to tour the in-house spirit maker Tarnished Truth Distillery or get a massage at the SeaHill Spa. (Please designate a driver if you plan to consume alcohol.)
Nearby attractions: The 3-mile-long Virginia Beach Boardwalk features plenty of shops and restaurants. Don’t miss your shot to take a selfie at its iconic King Neptune statue, just over a mile from the hotel.
3. The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the AAA Four Diamond Tudor-style Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center unveiled a dramatic $3.6 million transformation last fall that gave its restaurant and lobby bar a new look. The Pine Room restaurant inside the Curio Collection by Hilton hotel now features an open kitchen, outdoor seating, and a focus on regional and sustainable cuisine, while the 1882 lobby bar (named for the year the hotel was built) features a restored night-sky mural that guests can admire while sipping cocktails around the oval-shaped bar.
Amenities and activities: Hotel guests have access to Roanoke Country Club’s 27-hole golf course, located 10 minutes from the hotel. Afterward, soak your feet in a mineral bath at the hotel’s Salt Foot Sanctuary or practice your downward dog in yoga class.
Nearby attractions: The hotel partners with local tour companies so guests can go mountain biking on the Blue Ridge Parkway or, for a more relaxed adventure, savor local bites on a culinary tour.
4. Keswick Hall
This luxe Charlottesville resort got even more luxurious after owners Molly and Robert Hardie invested in a major 2.5-year renovation and expansion. While conducting a recent tour of the Virginia Hunt Country property, Molly Hardie said Keswick always felt more like a private residence than a boutique hotel. It’s easy to see why. You’ll feel right at home, whether you’re relaxing in the larger, more timeless guest rooms or cozying up to a cocktail in the elegant library lounge.
Amenities and activities: There’s no shortage of recreation options here. Play tennis in one of Keswick’s seven new red-clay courts, swim laps in the new T-shaped, adults-only 80-foot infinity pool, or tackle the 18-hole golf course. Afterward, dine at the rustic Marigold, a farm-to-table restaurant from chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
Nearby attractions: The surrounding area offers a wealth of natural beauty and historic attractions. Hike in Shenandoah National Park or spend the day at James Madison’s Montpelier. Drink in the views and the vino at area wineries, including Keswick Vineyards and the newly opened Merrie Mill Farm and Vineyard, featuring whimsical, animal-themed decor (including a balloon-carrying sea lion) and a terrace with views of the vines.
5. Quirk Hotel
Decorated in pastels and neutral colors, the new boutique hotel in Charlottesville puts visitors at ease. Ask for a room with a balcony, where you can bask in the evening glow as the sun sets with a local pour in hand.
Amenities and activities: The lobby and gallery feature intriguing paintings, sculpture, and other works from local artists. Grab pastries and coffee from the café located in a charming house next door. In the evening, take in the Charlottesville skyline at the hotel's rooftop bar or enjoy a cocktail in the sunken first-floor “living room.”
Nearby attractions: The hotel is just a 10-minute walk from C’Ville’s lively downtown pedestrian mall, filled with eclectic boutiques, restaurants with outdoor dining, galleries, and theaters. For more good eats and drinks, head to the Wool Factory, a former mill that was recently converted into offices, the Workshop coffee and wine store, and two restaurants, Selvedge Brewing and Broadcloth. Drive to Barboursville Vineyards, where you can sip wine while admiring the sprawling, European-style estate. Afterward, pick up some perennials or grab a pimento sandwich at the scenic garden café at the Market at Grelen in Somerset.
6. The Tides Inn
Overlooking the Chesapeake Bay estuary at Carter’s Creek, the luxury hotel in Irvington last year unveiled a more modern look with updated rooms and amenities after a multimillion-dollar renovation. If that weren’t reason enough to visit, the hotel just completed the first phase of a $3.6 million shoreline restoration project that will add thousands of shoreline plants and create new oyster habitats.
Amenities and activities: The hotel has endless activities to keep guests occupied, from a river tour with the hotel’s resident ecologist to nature trail walks with an apiarist to learn about honeybees. Enjoy the water with an evening sail or a dip in the hotel pool, or take part in the Virginia Oyster Academy, where you’ll learn all about the bivalves. Epicureans can enjoy wine dinners with local vintners and chefs or ride one of the hotel’s bikes to the town’s Saturday morning farmers market.
Nearby attractions: The area is full of exceptional culinary treasures, including the small-plates restaurant and wine shop Vine, a 15-minute walk from the hotel, and the much-lauded Adrift, a 10-minute drive away in nearby White Stone. The Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail features 10 stops, including Dog and Oyster Vineyard, where you can sample local oysters with your vino.
Julekha Dash is a Maryland food, travel, and arts writer who has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, AARP, Condé Nast Traveler, Lonely Planet, Wine Enthusiast, and USA Today.
AAA Travel Alert: Many travel destinations have implemented COVID-19–related restrictions. Before making travel plans, check to see if hotels, attractions, cruise lines, tour operators, restaurants, and local authorities have issued health and safety-related restrictions or entry requirements. The local tourism board is a good resource for updated information.