Southern Belle in Training

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

November 6, 2023

HOTEL GUIDE: Kimpton The Forum Hotel in Charlottesville, VA

      I recently got the chance to stay at Charlottesville's newest boutique hotel, Kimpton The Forum Hotel, located on the property of the University of Virginia. It's always great to be back in my former home city for a weekend, and I love keeping tabs on what's new in the area. The Forum has guest rooms with an air of modern luxury, and one of the best and most unique locations of any hotel in Charlottesville. The hotel was quite busy the weekend that I visited, and there was such a diverse clientele of guests. I saw business travelers, young families with children, older folks and lots of 20-30-something friend groups who looked like they were in town for weddings or UVA events. 

      I spent a fall weekend at The Forum with my good friend and fellow influencer Caroline Coleburn. Fun fact: Caroline and I met in Charlottesville almost five years ago when I was living and working there as a morning radio host, and she was a morning reporter for a local TV news station! I'm now doing radio in Virginia Beach, and Caroline is on TV in Richmond. It was extra special to visit my former city for a weekend with a special friend like Caroline who I met during my time there.

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Hotel Location + Travel Info: 

     The Forum Hotel just opened in Spring 2023 in Charlottesville, VA. What sets it apart from other Charlottesville hotels is that it's actually located on the grounds of The University of Virginia! It's located within North Grounds, directly next-door to UVA's acclaimed Darden Business School. Talk about a location! Just steps away from the hotel is a beautiful part of UVA. If you're traveling to Charlottesville for anything related to the university, this would be such a convenient place to stay. 

      Due to limited parking because of the hotel's location at UVA, there is mandatory valet parking for overnight guests. If you are just visiting the hotel briefly, they do have a daily option as well. If you're flying into the area instead of driving, the Charlottesville airport is about 15-20 minutes away, and the Richmond Airport is 90 minutes. (You can find out more information about Charlottesville travel options in my Ultimate Charlottesville Travel Guide post.)

Room Info:

    Caroline and I were both so impressed with the luxurious and contemporary room that we shared at The Forum. It was spacious and bright, and had very comfortable beds and pillows! We also lucked out and had a room that had a wonderful view of the fall foliage behind the hotel (which was at peak when we visited). The bathroom was spacious and had a wonderful walk-in shower. 

     What I appreciated the most about our room is all of the small details that were there to make the stay more enjoyable for guests. This is where Kimpton Hotels shine above other more budget hotel brands. Our room had a refrigerator, bathrobes, an umbrella, and a yoga mat for guests to use during their stay. There was also a very detailed note with a list of lots of items that the front desk keeps on hand in case guests forget them. 


     The Forum Hotel has two restaurants on-property. The Good Sport is their casual spot which features various craft beers and popular pub favorites on the menu. I didn't get to eat here during my visit, but I have a few local Charlottesville friends who have been and said that it's very good. The main restaurant is Birch & Bloom. It's a bit more upscale, and serves breakfast and dinner. Caroline and I shared cocktails and a cheeseboard here on the night that we checked in, and we had breakfast there the next morning as well. Breakfast was delicious- we both ordered the Berry Pancakes and they were wonderful. (The granola on top was a tasty surprise!) If you'd like to get a drink but don't have time for a full meal, the hotel does have a lovely lobby bar as well. 

Notable Features:

     Kimpton Hotels are a hotel brand that I feel like truly values the guest experience. Their hotels are ones with special details for guests that wouldn't be included at more no-frills brands. Here are a few things that stood out to me during my stay at The Forum Hotel:

  • Kimpton x Anthropologie Accessory Rental Collaboration - This might just be the coolest thing that I've ever seen offered at a hotel for all guests! Kimpton Hotels (not just The Forum specifically) currently have a collaboration with Anthropologie stores nationwide to allow Kimpton guests to sign out on-trend Anthropologie accessories for the day from the hotel front desk. Caroline checked out a fall handbag and I checked out a fun pair of sunglasses for one of our Charlottesville adventures! This is a free perk to guests- no additional fee!
  • Arboretum + Botanical Garden On Property - The Forum Hotel has a stunning "backyard"- five acres of arboretum and botanical gardens! The various gardens represent plants and flowers from different parts of the world. It is truly the most peaceful and lovely hotel area. Shouldn't all hotels have lovely gardens on-property?! As you can see from some of my photos above, the fall foliage in Charlottesville was peaking around the hotel property at the time that we visited! 
  • Coffee + Tea in the Mornings - Whether or not you're eating breakfast in the hotel restaurant, Birch & Bloom, there is an assortment of complimentary free coffee and tea in the lobby every morning for guests to enjoy.
  • Evening Social Hour - There is a complimentary Evening Social Hour every evening for guests in a room adjacent to the main lobby! A variety of alcoholic beverages are provided, as well as a great ambiance to socialize. 
  • Bike Rentals - There are a couple of Kimpton brand public bikes that guests can check out and ride around the local area! We saw one of the bikes on display right near the front doors of the hotel. It's too bad we didn't have time to do this, as we had such nice weather the weekend we were there!

My other Charlottesville recommendations:

     Since I lived in Charlottesville for just about three and a half years, I have my fair share of local recommendations! It's such a great part of Virginia. You can see my recommendations for dining, wineries and local activities in my Ultimate Charlottesville Travel Guide post

     Over the last several years, Charlottesville has also begun to really establish itself as a popular East Coast bachelorette and/or girls' trip destination, due to the large amount of wineries and the stunning mountain scenery just outside the city limits. For recommendations more specific to these types of group trips, check out my Ultimate Charlottesville Bachelorette Party Recommendations Guide post.

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese

     Thank you to Kimpton The Forum Hotel for providing this complimentary stay. All opinions in this post are honest and my own. Thank you for supporting Southern Belle in Training!


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