Virginia Bed and Breakfast, Boutique Hotels, & Country Inns
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A Rich History of B&Bs
Many bed and breakfasts are operated out of family homes, which as history has it, dates back to Colonial times. The custom of opening one’s home to strangers and travelers was common due to the fact of limited inns and lodges at the time. People often relied of the kindness of the residents to provide a place to sleep and a meal. Of course, with technology a booming business, the railroad and automobiles gave way to the modern day hotel. Luckily, the concept of the B&B was not lost, and people still desire the small town family feel that the bed and breakfast can offer.
During the Great Depression hosting guests or travelers became economically sensible to both of the parties, cheaper than a hotel and much needed money for the home owner. Technically not yet reaching the B&B status that is available today, in WWII many Americans travelled to Europe where they were introduced to European-style B&B’s. These establishments inspired many to open B&B back home in the United States. This happened to coincide with the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and the Tax Reform Act of 1976 – these offered tax incentives for the restoration and reuse of historic structures. In turn, many used the property they already had and turned it into a source of income.
The Bed & Breakfast Industry Continues to Grow
The bed and breakfast industry has therefore been a constantly evolving culture in the United States. There was a sharp increase in B&B in the 1980’s and 90’s, and they became more similar to a hotel in that the shared bathroom was diminished and the minimal simple furnishings were exchanged for luxury décor and amenities inside of beautifully renovated estates and historic mansions. The internet also offered a new and more affordable way for owners to promote their establishments.
In order to compete with hotels, bed and breakfasts continue to evolve and offer similar amenities, such as free Wi-Fi and appeal to the wedding industry offering wedding services. Currently there are approximately 17,000 B&B in the US that can be found in a variety of homes and places, from modest to immaculate. According to a study done by Michigan State University, B&B guest are largely comprised of middle aged married couples, which are highly educated. The appeal of the B&B is easily described using just a few adjectives: unique, charm, ambiance, quaint, and also described most commonly as a getaway.
Coined in the 1980’s, boutique hotels range in size from 10 to 100 rooms and usually provide upscale accommodations in unique places. More often than not these hotels are furnished following a certain theme or style. Boutique hotels are geared towards a certain type of traveler that desires an excellent experience not only in their daytime adventures, but also the night. Certainly a more intimate experience than the usual hotel, these smaller, quaint hotels desire to woo the clientele from the moment they walk in the door. The clientele will be similar to that of a B&B, yet boutique hotels tend to be in medium sized to larger cities and downtown areas. Areas in Virginia that boutique hotels have been popular include:
Charlottesville VA Boutique Hotels
Charlottesville is a delightful city in Central Virginia that maintains a constant flow of tourism year round. The spectacular restaurants, charming downtown, and beautiful campus (University of Virginia) as well as the famous Monticello can be found here. The “Buy Local” movement is very strong is this lovely city, from farms, wineries, breweries and distilleries these townies can tell you where to go and what to indulge in.
Lynchburg VA Boutique Hotels
Lynchburg, like Charlottesville, is a college town. Home to four colleges and universities, Lynchburg has a constant ebb and flow of tourists and families visiting. In addition to the schools, it is home to Thomas Jefferson’s estate Poplar Forest. Other things to do include:
Amazement Square, Crabtree Falls, Lynchburg Museum, and Smith Mountain Lake.
Craddock Terry Hotel
Alexandria VA Boutique Hotels
Alexandria is an awesome place to stay for those wishing to visit Northern Virginia, but do not really want to be in the heart of Washington, DC. Named one of the top ArtPlace’s in the past couple years, places like the Torpedo Factory Art Center and the Athenaeum continue to be popular galleries to visit.
Lorien Hotel & Spa
Kimpton Morrison House
Culpeper VA Boutique Hotels
As noted on Virginia.org, Culpeper is “where history and hospitality meet!” The revitalized downtown area and the close proximity to Washington DC make Culpeper a great place to stay when traveling to this part of the state.
Suites at 249
Inn at Willow Grove (in neighboring Orange, VA)
Onancock VA Boutique Hotels
If you have never visited the Eastern Shore, Onancock is definitely the place to stay. All the way back to when John Smith roamed the East Coast and described it as “the Gem of the Eastern Shore.” With a population of less than 1500, tourists make up a large amount of people passing through every year. It has also been called, “The Coolest Town in the South” as well as “a town with a heart.”
The Charlotte Hotel & Restaurant
Colonial Manor Inn
The Inn at Onancock
Of course these are not all of the places in Virginia with Boutique Hotels. Other great cities and towns are: Richmond, Arlington, Winchester, Williamsburg, Virginia Beach and Fredericksburg.
If you are interested in buying a Boutique Hotel for Sale, or looking for a property that would be well suited for opening a Boutique Hotel please contact Virginia Estates.