My wife and I recently spent three nights at the Inn at Little Washington in Washington, Virginia.
This is a world-class hotel and a complete indulgence in luxury and service. Before going, a potential visitor, however, should understand that this is a restaurant with a hotel. Both are wonderful but have no illusions that this is a resort or spa. It is not. Washington, VA is a small hamlet. There is little to do there other than enjoy the scenery, take walks, bike and enjoy great food at the Inn. For gym, spa, business meetings, etc. you had best go somewhere else.
BUT if what you want to do is relax, enjoy some of the finest food you will find anywhere in this country, maybe take a stroll or two, sit in a garden and read, have high tea and indulge than this is the place.
To begin with, the staff is terrific: friendly, helpful, indulgent and eager to please. They were first-rate, committed to service but also not intrusive. Just the right amount of professionalism combined with open American hospitality – a mix that is hard to achieve but is here achieved seemingly without effort.
Next, the accommodations were comfortable and luxurious giving one the feeling of staying in a grand country house rather than a “hotel.” We stayed in room 2 – the Jacques Pepin. We had a wonderfully comfortable bed with a sitting area, a patio, two Juliette balconies, a vast bathroom with separate tub and shower. The air conditioning was great (I like a cold room). In fact, though our room was right over the kitchen, never heard a sound from the rest of the hotel or felt heat or smells coming up from below.
The furnishings are very eclectic – a stage designer designed them and the theatricality shows. Lots of colors and patterns and while I don’t normally like all of that busy design, somehow here it works for the most part.
Room service was prompt and attentive. While the options are narrow, the food is terrific. Their standard continental breakfast includes some of the best yogurt I’ve ever had. The afternoon tea service was an experience – consulting with a “tea master” was fun and different and the little sandwiches and treats were delicious.
There were a couple of small issues, however, I suspect the management should see to. First, the drapes in our room let in too much light too early. They should look into valances to help reduce morning light and keep the room dark longer. Second, the water pressure in the double sinks in Room 2 was practically non-existent. It is hard to shave, brush teeth, apply make-up, etc. with just a dribble of water (the shower and bath pressure were fine). But these were both minor issues compared to how much we loved this hotel.
We would love to return. We were treated like royalty and more than made to feel welcome.