My husband and I spent one night in Richmond to see the Chihuly exhibit at VMFA - a quick get-away without our 14 month old. We very much enjoyed the Berkeley Hotel and would stay there again. It is in the Shockoe Slip neighborhood, which has several restaurants/bars and shops. It's a small neighborhood and walkable.
We parked at a self-park garage one short block away from the hotel; from 4pm Sat to 10 am Sun parking cost $6, much less than the Berkeley's valet service. We booked our room by calling the hotel directly and saved at least $50 from listed prices, including those on this website, all the major discount sites, and the hotel's website. We booked a premium king for $153 (plus tax of about $23) and were incredibly surprised by a complimentary upgrade to the Governor Suite on the top floor with a private balcony. In January, this wasn't of much use to us and the view is not great - street and a high rise. However, I love the extra space and it would be great when weather is warmer. The room itself was very comfortable, fairly large size with a four-poster king bed, a desk plus 2 club chairs and a tv chest, large closet, iron, and coffee maker on a small dresser. Seemed to have adequate store for a stay of several days or more. The bathroom was a good size with a large walk-in shower with multiple sprays. It was challenging to keep the water temperature comfortable when all were on. The hotel has free WiFi, which should be standard at all hotels.
We had drinks at the Tabacco Company across the street - now a restaurant/bar. We liked the architecture and interior design of the bar and it seemed charming to ride an old fashioned elevator to the 2nd or 3rd floors to dine in their more formal restaurant. The bar is casual and worth at least one drink. We didn't eat at the hotel. There is a little cafe/market pretty much across the street and we picked up a very tasty breafast and coffee from there.
The hotel charges $25 for a fridge and you can also order cots or cribs. I prefer when hotels have fridges; there is space in the room for one. I needed to keep things cold and had to put them outside, which is not an option most times of the year. The hotel seemed empty - it was January - so I can't attest to soundproofing.
After driving through Richmond and seeing the location of the Jefferson Hotel, our other option, I was glad we chose the Berkeley. Richmond is a small city, but there didn't seem to be anything expect a 7-11 near the Jefferson. It only took about 8-10 minutes to drive to the museum district and to Carytown, a nice shopping/dining district worth visiting.
A few things I learned from our trip. Richmond is a small city and easy to drive around. I understand that they have limited taxis, so if you choose to go somewhere and require a cab back, you may wish to arrange that in advance. I highly recommend Heritage restaurant - a locavore eatery. It's very busy so make a reservation. Richmond seems like a good value for a short getaway trip for couples or families. There is a children's and a science museum, and King's Dominion amusement park isn't too far away. We will stay at this hotel if we return to Richmond.