Southern Belle in Training

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

February 13, 2020

HOTEL REVIEW: Richmond's History & Luxury at The Jefferson Hotel.

     Richmond is one of the cities that was truly love at first sight for me. From my very first time visiting almost two years ago to now, I continue to become more enthralled with it each time I'm in the area. It's the perfect sized city in my opinion- not too big, and not too small. It's filled with history and culture and the most charming neighborhoods, and also has a lot of city-like amenities that Charlottesville doesn't have. Have I convinced you yet that Richmond has a piece of my heart?

    I had the opportunity this month to enjoy a luxurious girls' weekend at the historic Jefferson Hotel in Downtown Richmond! The incredible experience that my friend Emily and I had during our stay at the hotel made me appreciate this charming city even more, and I'm thrilled to share more about it with you on the blog today!

    Winter can be a dreary time of year, even in the South. I promise that a brief stay at the luxurious Jefferson Hotel will be the exact pick-you-up that you're craving! 

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History of The Jefferson Hotel:
     The Jefferson Hotel was built in 1895, which means that it's celebrating an incredible 125 years in Richmond in 2020! An estimated $5-10 million went into the original construction of the hotel, which was commissioned by wealthy Richmond resident Lewis Ginter (he is also the namesake of Richmond's botanical garden!). Ginter hired sculptor Edward V. Valentine to fashion a lifesized sculpture of Thomas Jefferson for the hotel... which is still there and you can see pictured below! Fires hit the hotel at different points in the 1900s, but in the 1980s a huge reconstruction effort began. (You can read more about the detailed history of the hotel here!)
     Today, The Jefferson Hotel is thriving into the new decade. 2020 is the perfect time to plan your visit. An added bonus: this year to celebrate the 125th anniversary, the hotel kitchen is making the most intricate chocolate molds of the hotel! There was one waiting for us in our room when we checked in- you can see the picture of it below. How cool is that? 

     Hotel Location & Info: 
     The Jefferson Hotel is located on W. Franklin Street in Downtown Richmond. It's in walking distance to the James River, the state capitol, VCU's campus, and the popular neighborhoods of The Fan District and Carytown are within a couple miles. While The Jefferson Hotel doesn't have a rooftop bar of its own, two noteworthy things also in walking distance are the rooftops at The Graduate Hotel and The Quirk Hotel, which would be great to check out in warmer weather. 
     As soon as you check-in to The Jefferson, you'll be greeted by the luxury of the lobby! I was blown away by the intricacy and elegance of the decor and ambience. In 2019, The Jefferson Hotel again received AAA's prestigious five-diamond hotel rating, placing it in a category amongst the best hotels in the US. Richmond sure is lucky to have such a place! 

    Room and Amenities:
     Emily and I stayed in a Grand Premier room with two queen beds during our weekend stay. Everything in the room was absolutely phenomenal- from the city skyline view to the comfortable beds to the TV that was inside the bathroom mirror- yes, for real! There are also little touches throughout the rooms that make them even better, such as the incredibly comfortable hotel robes and the evening turn down service. This room was perfect for our Galentine's themed girls' weekend, but I think that any room at The Jefferson Hotel would also be idea for a romantic couples' getaway! The hotel also has an indoor pool open to guests, with a sundeck attached that's perfect to enjoy in the warmer months.
     And a huge perk that I didn't know about prior to my stay was that The Jefferson provides a free transportation shuttle around Richmond for guests! Emily and I opted to have breakfast at a Richmond favorite of mine, The Fancy Biscuit, and we didn't have to worry about driving ourselves or finding an Uber- the hotel shuttle took care of dropping us off and picking us up. Such a great perk!

      Richmond itself is quite a food town- I don't think that I've ever had a bad meal when in the city. But if you're a guest at The Jefferson Hotel, you don't even have to set foot outside to enjoy a fantastic meal. Emily and I were treated to quite a lot in the food department during our stay. 
     Lemaire is The Jefferson Hotel's fine dining option for dinner. They serve many Virginia grown items with Southern influence, and our waiter told us that the menu has French influences as well. Lemaire also has an extensive wine selection, and many delicious cocktails to choose from. Emily and I had the chance to sample several wines and a couple cocktails- my personal favorite was the rum-based Richmond Daq!
     For our meals, we started off by sharing the pimento cheese appetizer, and I'm not joking when I saw this was probably the best pimento cheese that I've ever eaten. We both ordered the same beef main course, which was also phenomenal. I tried my best to save a little room for dessert- Emily had the Black Forest cake, and I enjoyed the Apple Fritter Bread Pudding. 
     Another dining option at The Jefferson Hotel is TJ's, which is a more casual lunch and brunch spot. We didn't get a chance to eat here during our stay,  but I look forward to trying this on a future Richmond trip.
     And of course what I think might be the crown jewel of dining options at The Jefferson Hotel: their famous Afternoon Tea. I've done Afternoon Tea a couple times prior to my overnight stay at The Jefferson, and it's a wonderful and must-do experience whether you are a guest or not! I love Afternoon Tea so much that I'll actually be sharing a separate blog post next week with a lot more details about it. 

    Things to do in Richmond:
     As I mentioned earlier, The Jefferson Hotel is in such an ideal spot in Richmond to enjoy so many different types of activities! Since my stay was in chilly February, I thought I'd highlight a few favorite things to do that are perfect to enjoy in the winter months:
  • Museums: The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and The Virginia Museum of History & Culture are located next-door to each other in the Museum District neighborhood, which is only a couple miles from the hotel. I've been to the VMFA a few times- it's a fantastic art museum, and it's also free admission! I haven't had a chance to visit The Virginia Museum of History & Culture yet, but it's definitely on my 2020 Richmond bucket list.
  • Tour the State Capitol: The Virginia State Capitol is a beautiful historic building, and it's open for free guided tours! The tours are about an hour long, and you get to see a lot of the building and learn a good amount of Virginia government history. This is located very conveniently to the hotel!
  • City of Richmond Observation Deck: This is super high to do on my Richmond bucket list! I love observation decks and the City of Richmond operates one for the public downtown. It's free to visit! The only unfortunate thing is that at this time it's only open M-F, not on weekends. But if you happen to be in town during a weekday you should check this out. 
  • Shopping: I frequently come down to Richmond to enjoy the great shopping options! Short Pump Town Center is the largest mall in the area, and they have a nice variety of moderately priced and high end stores. Stony Point Fashion Park is a smaller but more upscale shopping center that's also a little bit closer than Short Pump to The Jefferson Hotel.

      I truly had the most wonderful winter weekend stay at The Jefferson Hotel- and I can't recommend a visit here enough! While I do hope I get to be an overnight guest again in the future, I know with 100% certainty that I'll be back before long for Afternoon Tea again! 

     The Jefferson Hotel currently has several fantastic packages running to celebrate their 125th anniversary, including romance and dining themed packages! Be sure to check them out- 2020 really is a perfect year to visit!

     And here's the outfits that I wore during the weekend:

     God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese 

      Thank you to The Jefferson Hotel for providing complimentary lodging and meals. All opinions in this post are honest and my own, and thank you for supporting Southern Belle in Training!



  1. One of my favorite iconic hotels! I love visiting at the holidays every year, but I need to make a stop there for brunch next time I'm in RVA! Glad y'all had such a fun girls trip!

  2. What a beautiful hotel, so tastefully decorated! And gorgeous dresses on both of you!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Ellibelle's Corner

  3. This hotel sounds and looks gorgeous! Also you look incredible in that red dress. Stunning!

  4. Oh I would love to visit Richmond one day, I have heard good things. And that hotel is sooooooo luxe! Wow. That bathroom is to die for, I just want to live in that bathroom.

    Ah love this look! You look great :)

    Allie of

  5. Looks so historic and cool!

    Gigi Dattolo on Youtube or


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