Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

May 30, 2019

HOTEL REVIEW: Why You Should Stay At Hilton Norfolk The Main!

     I spent Memorial Day Weekend of this year visiting the beautiful coastal city of Norfolk, VA! I was delighted to work with VisitNorfolk for this fun press trip. My hotel for the weekend was Hilton Norfolk The Main, and I am in no way exaggerating when I say this was my favorite hotel that I've stayed at in quite awhile! I had such a fantastic experience here that I wanted to recap that separately from my Norfolk Travel Guide (which will be published in a couple weeks!). 

History of The Main:
    Hilton Norfolk The Main is one of Downtown Norfolk's newest hotel properties, having opened in 2017. Its website describes it as a "modern luxury hotel with vibrant spaces for your business and social lifestyle. " Having been a guest myself, I would say that's an accurate description! The interior of the hotel combines modern amenities and technology with a classic, upscale feel. The decor is  very chic, and I learned in conversation with the hotel's marketing manager that the owner of teh hotel is an art collector, and places his artistic finds from around the world all over the hotel. (It feels a little like a treasure hunt to find all of the unique artwork!) Many of the hotel rooms, including the one I stayed in, have insanely stunning views of the Elizabeth River and the Norfolk riverfront. The hotel also has plenty of event and meeting space, and has become a popular destination for weddings. I think there were three or four weddings that took place during the weekend I was there! Lastly, Hilton Norfolk The Main prides itself on being a culinary focused hotel, and has three unique and incredible dining options. I'll talk more about about the food and restaurants later on in this post!

     Hotel location:
   Hilton Norfolk The Main is conveniently located in Downtown Norfolk! It is steps away from all of the waterfront attractions like the American Rover sailing cruises and the Nauticus Battleship museum. It's also walking distance from MacArthur Center Mall, the NEON district, and all of the great restaurants in Norfolk's downtown area. From Charlottesville, it was extremely easy to get to Norfolk. Without traffic, the drive is supposed to be just 2.5 hours. Since I was there during Memorial Day Weekend and the highway was congested, it took me more like 3.5 hours. But still- not a bad drive at all!
    Downtown Norfolk is a short drive away from the other cities in the Hampton Roads area- including Newport News, Virginia Beach, and Portsmouth! During this weekend trip I wanted to focus my time on enjoying the hotel and the itinerary that VisitNorfolk had made for me, but on a future trip I'd love to explore more of the cities of the Hampton Roads area. 

  Rooms and amenities:
    I loved my room at Hilton Norfolk The Main! The hotel has 21 floors. I stayed on the 19th, in a stunning King room that looked out over the water. I could have honestly spent hours just staring out the window at the incredible view! My friend Perrin and I really liked our room. A wonderful feature of the room I stayed in is that Hilton Norfolk The Main provides turn down service every evening, complete with chocolates left on the bed! Such a thoughtful touch.

     While the guest rooms are fantastic at this hotel, what really sets Hilton Norfolk The Main apart from other larger hotels in the area is the focus on the culinary experience. There are three dining options in the hotel: Grain, a rooftop bar on the 5th floor specializing in beer, Varia, a swanky Italian restaurant with an extensive wine selection, and Saltine, a seafood restaurant that's currently ranked #1 on TripAdvisor for Norfolk fine dining! Perrin and I were able to dine at both Saltine and Varia. Had we been there an extra day, a visit to Grain would have been in order as well, as y'all know that I do love rooftop bars!
     All three restaurants focus on a different type of alcohol, and making the beverage experience extrordinary. I learned from Rio, the hotel's marketing manager, that Saltine employs a chief mixologist, Varia has a sommelier, and Grain has a cicerone. She told me there aren't any other hotels in the area that employ all three of those types of experts on property!
     I was able to meet Mark, the chief cocktail mixologist at Saltine, during our brunch there. He has a cocktail bar cart that he brings around to each table, and he made me the most delicious mojito right in front of me, which was such a cool experience! Perrin and I met Rio and her husband for brunch at Saltine upon arrival, and it was truly the best brunch that I think I've had in 2019 so far- possibly ever! I sampled many of the dishes, and found them all to be exquisite. Saltine is a seafood restaurant for lunch and dinner, but the brunch menu features unique takes on traditional breakfast foods as well.
     Perrin and I split a pizza and charcuterie board at Varia for dinner, and enjoyed glasses of wine as well. Everything there was great, and I was delighted to see a white wine called "Anna Lisa" on the wine glasses menu!

     Finally- I have to share the sweetest surprise that the head chef at Saltine and Rio teamed up to make for me. Look at this Instagram cake!! They wanted to do something special for me since I'm a blogger, and they couldn't have picked something better than the Instagram logo. The cake was brought to our table as we finished brunch, and I was seriously speechless! It was cool looking, tasted incredible, and was seriously the most thoughtful surprise. 

     I really hope to make another trip back to Norfolk later this year- I absolutely loved my little taste of the city, and there is so much to do there! After the impeccable experience that I had as a guest at Hilton Norfolk The Main, I honestly can't imagine staying anywhere else. Thank you so much to Rio and the whole hotel team for the incredible welcome! I can't say enough good things about my stay.

     Stay tuned for my Norfolk Travel Guide and more from the trip coming to the blog in June! I also recently gave my Travel Guides page here on the blog a refresh- making it easier for you to search my past travel content. This post will be linked there as well!

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese

     Thank you to VisitNorfolk and Hilton Norfolk The Main for hosting me for a press trip. All opinions in this post are honest and my own, and thank you for supporting Southern Belle in Training!


  1. This hotel looks amazing!! The room looks super modern and stylish but comfortable too and wow what a view!! The Instagram cake is incredible, what a lovely surprise and so thoughtful ! Thanks so much for sharing this I know where to stay now if I visit Norfolk. 😊

  2. This hotel sounds/looks fabulous. We have always loved staying at Hilton's. They're always so nice and great customer service. They always have really good food too. I love all of your outfits and that cake is adorable.

  3. The food looks absolutely amazing. I'm convinced!

    Anika |

  4. I stayed at this hotel years ago and loved it ! I would love to go back again sometime!

  5. What an amazing experience. That hotel looks incredible. And an Instagram cake too! That’s definitely going above and beyond.

  6. You're pictures are to die for! Putting this on my bucket list

  7. Oh wow the Hilton Norfolk looks fantastic. I could just look out to those fantastic views and hang at the rooftop bar. Gorgeous aesthethics too!

  8. What a great hotel! It looks like an absolutely perfect location. I'll definitely have to save it somewhere in case I'm ever in the area!


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