As fans of historic downtown hotels, our weekend stay at the Tazewell did not disappoint. It's located in downtown Norfolk, a quick 15-minute drive from the airport.
When we first arrived in downtown Norfolk, it was a gray, drizzly Saturday morning. The streets were deserted except for a few sketchy-looking characters, everything was closed. The place didn't seem very happening at all, and we were disappointed. By Noon, however, the sun had come out, the shops and restaurants were open, and the streets were alive with tourists and families of shoppers.
We got a great deal through Southwest Airlines for a deluxe room with king size bed at the Tazewell. We weren't sure what to expect. Stepping into the hotel put us at ease after our initial doubts about the area. The hotel had clearly gone through a careful restoration, keeping the original early 20th century woodwork and fixtures intact while adding modern furnishings and amenities. The lobby area was spacious and pleasant, and the front desk staff remained cheery and patient despite our many questions.
Our room was enormous -- far larger than what we'd expected-- with one of the largest and most elegantly decorated bathrooms we've encountered in a comparably-priced hotel, with nice details like a retractable shaving mirror and Bath & Body Works products. Everything was very clean, with a newish feel. Cranking up the air-conditioning and sinking into the king size mattress for a nap felt like heaven after our long flight.
The immediate area around the hotel had quite a bit to offer, including a huge shopping mall (the MacArthur Center) about a block away, which has Nordstrom, Dillard's, most of the major fashion retailers, a movie theater, and a large children's arcade and play area. There are also some nightclubs in the area (we noticed Whitesnake would soon be playing at one of them). Many of Norfolk's other downtown attractions (the Waterside, the USS Wisconsin, the Chrysler Art Musuem, the Nauticus Maritime Center) are in walking distance or a very short drive from the hotel.
There's a steakhouse located off the lobby of the hotel. The decor looked beautiful, but we didn't have a chance to try it. We did eat at the Irish pub next door, which was friendly and very busy, decorated with nautical antiques. The pork loin and the bangers & mash were delicious and attractively presented, and any pub with hard cider on tap gets my thumbs-up vote. There are several other fine restaurants in the downtown area, such as the Blue Hippo, the Monastery, and a sushi bar close to the hotel that seemed to be an active nightspot.
Since the Tazewell is located downtown, parking is at a premium. The most convenient option was to pay an extra $15 to park in the hotel's own small valet lot on Tazewell Street. It might be a good idea to let them know ahead of time that you'll need parking. Some other options, such as a city parking garage, are available a little farther from the hotel.
We will definitely choose the Tazewell again on our next trip to Norfolk. The hotel had all the charm we expect from a historic downtown hotel, with a friendly staff, great location, wi-fi in the lobby, data port in the room, a/c, travel iron -- everything we needed. They're doing a great job.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.