The Inn at Willow Grove
The Inn at Willow Grove is a boutique hotel located on a 40-acre estate in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of central Virginia. Highlighted by the historic 1778 plantation house as the centerpiece, the property boasts 14 rooms in a variety of unique settings throughout. The garden level of the historic home is a cozy hideaway for a truly unique dining experience at Vintage Restaurant, and the grounds serve as a perfect outdoor oasis for a stay away from the city.
We recently had the opportunity to spend a night at the Inn at Willow Grove, and were left thoroughly impressed by the entire experience. The Inn served as the destination for our Mazda Miata 25th Anniversary Road Trip, and you can see the little roadster looked right at home parked out in front. This isn’t your typical Bed and Breakfast style boutique hotel full of doilies, potpourri, and flowered wall paper. While it’s definitely a romantic destination to delight the ladies, men will feel equally comfortable in the carefully decorated suites and well manicured grounds. This video introduction may feel over-produced and too fabulous to be true, but let us assure you we experienced everything depicted within, and it’s even better in person.
It’s tough to beat that video with just words and photographs, and many have tried in the past. Gunaxin is the latest publication to add our superlatives to a growing list of praises the Inn at Willow Grove has received since re-launching with a thorough renovation and re-imagining of the property. You’ll notice we’ve included more photos than ever before in one of our hospitality features, as it was nearly impossible to turn our heads in any direction without feeling like we were living in an issue of Southern Living magazine. It only makes sense then, that the Inn at Willow Grove is a proud member of the Southern Living Hotel Collection.
Historic 18th Century Plantation House
The Historic 1778 Plantation House serves as a stately welcome to the property, and we were immediately greeted outside by our butler who ushered us inside for check-in with a glass of champagne. The Manor House features four accommodations decorated in Willow Grove’s elegant signature “urban meets plantation” style; The Interior Room, The Suite, The Loft, and The Master Suite. The Crown Jewel is obviously the Master Suite, boasting a sitting room, heated carrera marble floors in the bathroom, and private access to the entire second-story porch.
In addition to the private spaces located in the Plantation House, it also includes some public areas suitable for gatherings of various types. You can see photos above of the Library, Salon, The Hall, and our particular favorite, the outdoor patios. Multiple outdoor sitting areas are located around the Manor Home and the gas fire pits provide a great conversation area, year round. Of course you can also find a traditional rocking chair on one of the porches.
The Weaver’s Cottage
Our home for the night at Willow Grove was the Historic Weaver’s Cottage, which is an 18th Century structure boasting original wood beams in the ceiling. This private cottage features a king-sized bed, gas fireplace, wet bar, private porch and bathroom with heated tumbled travertine natural stone floors, Japanese soaking tub and rainfall shower. In the gallery below, you can see more of that “urban meets plantation” style in the lively mix of antique with contemporary furnishings and art, often featuring cows.
Our particular favorite was the private porch which served as an amazing setting for a breakfast of complimentary French Press coffee and beignets delivered in the morning by our butler. Every stay at The Inn at Willow Grove includes complimentary concierge butler service, certified by the Charles MacPherson Butler School in Toronto, Canada. The butler also delivers hot tea and sweets at turn-down in the evening, and is available to provide any service that you may require that is legal and moral.
In the evening we made our way to Vintage Restaurant for casual fine dining of farm-to-table cuisine with a contemporary twist. From the rustic pub to the more refined dining room, the setting matches the unique elegance of the food.
While closed on Monday and Tuesday, Vintage opens for Gourmet Tapas on Wednesday evening, Chef’s Tastings for dinner on “Three for Thursday”, and lunch and dinner on the weekends. Dinner was outstanding, and you can catch a glimpse of the mouth-watering dishes on Instagram. We can’t wait to make it back for Sunday Brunch in the future.
The Barn, Out Buildings, and Grounds
We’ve already shown you so much, but there is yet more to see. One of our favorite areas on the property was the Barn & Ruins, a 6,400 sf indoor/outdoor space available for events. While the barn is newly constructed (of reclaimed materials) it sits next to historic ruins that are covered for ten months of the year by a canopy. The space can accommodate up to 200 guests and would obviously make a gorgeous setting for corporate events, parties, and especially weddings.
In addition to the four rooms in the Manor House and the Weaver’s Cottage which we’ve already shown you, there are 9 more rooms and suites located on the 40-acre property. Various out building house these unique accommodations, including the Tenant House, the Carriage House, the Schoolhouse, the Butler’s Cottage, and the Overlook Cottage. The last of which is pet friendly and sits high on top a hill featuring panoramic views of the Blue Ridge foothills from dueling front and back porches. Rooms range from $275 to $595 depending on their size and day of the week.
The Inn at Willow Grove is an amazing destination in itself, but it’s also located amongst Virgina wine country, the Blue Ridge Mountains and James Madison’s Montpelier, leaving you with no shortage of things to do during your stay. The variety of suites and cottages provide choices to suit nearly any preference.
We found Willow Grove luxurious, but comfortable. It’s tough for a place that offers butler service to not feel rigid and stuffy, but the whimsical touches show a fun side to the Inn at Willow Grove that made us feel right at home. The Inn is a romantic getaway sure to please female guests, but it has enough rustic charm, natural materials, and outdoor spaces to convince a man that she picked it for him.