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“Great Place - Hard to Access - Needs Some Upgrades”
Review of UVA Inn at Darden

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UVA Inn at Darden
Ranked #14 of 35 Hotels in Charlottesvill...
Certificate of Excellence
Blacksburg, VA
Level Contributor
85 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Great Place - Hard to Access - Needs Some Upgrades”
Reviewed August 20, 2012

This facility was developed for long-term stays by Darden students, faculty, and guests. It is quite obvious that it was not built to compete with a modern hotel. But it is nice and comfortable and clean. It is rather basic. The Internet access and cell-phone access are limited. We had to ask to use the campus wireless because our cell access was blocked by the thickness of the walls and location of our room. There are no directions given when you check-in on how to do this or provided in the room. A cell signal booster of some type installed in the building would help the cell phone issue - maybe! Charlottesville cell reception is bad everywhere in town, so this might not matter.

The room amenities could have been upgraded a tad too. We were surprised to see an old CRT analog television in the room. It had very poor picture quality and I guess Darden doesn't pay much attention to this issue since I am guessing the normal roomers here don't complain.

The maid service was not the best. We were awakened at 8:00 am by the maid wanting to service our room. Although I was on business, I really didn't want to be up and out of the room that early on a Saturday. When we put the do-not-disturb sign on the door to avoid this on Sunday we could hear the maid and another employee grumbling about the sign outside our door the next morning.

The front desk staff were fantastic! Very nice people!

The rest of the hotel was quite enjoyable. All except the access. This building was not built to gain easy access. The hallways are difficult to negotiate, especially if you want to walk to the lobby. The place was built on a hill and you have to walk each floor to the end then go down a set of steps and then do the same on several floors below if you want to find the lobby from within the building. The access from the outside involves walking around the building, down a hill and into a separate building.

The parking is also a challenge. All parking for the building except handicap parking is in a parking garage down the street from the entrance. It is a walk to reach the parking garage. During the week alternative parking is restricted around the building. During weekends it is not, but the signs say otherwise. So it is much safer to park in the garage to avoid a ticket. There is no drop-off area at the entrance of the hotel (room access) to load and unload bags upon checkin/checkout. Most of this area is blocked by handicap parking. It is even more of a challenge to enter the hotel. The entrance is a set of narrow double security doors that are difficult to open. Once through those there is a second set to negotiate. Then you have to walk down a hallway and use your room key to open another set of doors. By the time you do all of this you have dropped most items you are carrying because the doors are all heavy narrow doors. Finally, when you get onto your floor and into your room - on a hot day - you are exhausted. My stay was during 90+ degree days and it was an experience. That plus the long walk to and from the parking garage moving luggage and other items back and forth was not fun. Several of our treks were during thunderstorms so we were worried we would be struck by lightening by the time we arrived at our car and later into the hotel.

Overall though, this is a good place. I would stay here again for several reasons. One, is that it is secluded. Two, it is on the UVA grounds. I love the place and on a cooler day I would have taken advantage of walking. Three, (as I mentioned about the access) it is secure! Finally, the people are nice and you do feel at home. I would highly recommend considering this place. Just keep in mind it isn't your average hotel and don't expect luxury or access to restaurants or shopping within walking distance.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the main access floor to avoid walking the halls in search of your room. All rooms...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank chester65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jessica O, General Manager at UVA Inn at Darden, responded to this review, November 12, 2012
Hi! I wanted to thank you for your constructive suggestions and would like to address some of your concerns. There are 5 entrances to our hotel and the one you entered does have the double doors, but the other entrances don't- there is only one door and it really depends on where your room is as to which entrance is more convenient. We have also upgraded our televisions to 37” flat screens. I am sorry about the housekeepers disturbing you too early and sorry that you heard them in the hall way. We also provide parking along the Blvd., right beside the side entrance and in a lot on the back of the East building. Again, this depends on where your room is as to where it is most convenient to park. We also provide a loading zone at a central location for all guests. I am sorry you were not informed of all the parking options. Just to confirm, we do not charge for parking and there is no restriction on the weekends. Thank you again for the comments and if you do choose to come back please email me and I will make sure your room is close to parking. We got brand new mattresses, and refinished all of our furniture as well. We hope to see you soon!

Thanks again,
Jessica O'Gorek
Director of Lodging
ogorekj@darden.virginia.edu
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (52)
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English first
Smithfield, North Carolina
Level Contributor
165 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed May 22, 2012

I was glad to get a room at the last minute for graduation at UVA. However I had to pay NYC prices for the stay. The rooms are good, but a king bed would have made it nicer. Unfortunately the view from our room was a corridor with a exterior light.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank xit95i95
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jessica O, General Manager at UVA Inn at Darden, responded to this review, November 12, 2012
Hi! I started here in June but wanted to thank you for your constructive suggestions. I hope you will come back and see what we have added to our rooms. We got brand new mattresses, 37" flat screens, and refinished all of our furniture! Please let us know if you'd like to come back to this year's graduation!

Thanks again,
Jessica O'Gorek
Director of Lodging
ogorekj@darden.virginia.edu
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
37 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed January 26, 2012

The Inn at Darden exceeded my expectations. We chose the Inn for convenience – needed to conduct interviews and the Inn was right on-campus and had meeting space available to use at no cost if we stayed there. Not being to UVA before, I was picturing the drafty, old university buildings that give that haunted kind of a feel. I was definitely wrong.

The room was a little outdated in some aspects, but it was still quite comfortable and very clean. There was a fridge (with complimentary water), a microwave, air purifier, safe, and toiletries… everything that you need for a trip (well maybe I didn’t need the air purifier, but it was nice addition).

While the campus seemed almost empty when we arrived at 9:30pm, we found where everyone was upon walking into the on-site pub. It was a charming pub, not very large, but it was nice to grab a couple of beers before heading in for the night. It seemed to be quite the hang out.

If coming back to UVA, I wouldn’t think twice about staying here again. Very charming place with lots of character, but still has the amenities that you’re looking for.

Oh, and great WIFI… using it as we “speak”.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank tarad21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jessica O, General Manager at UVA Inn at Darden, responded to this review, November 12, 2012
Tarad21- I started here in June but wanted to thank you for your kind words even if you stayed with us "before my time." I hope you will come back and see what we have added to our rooms. We got brand new mattresses, 37" flat screens, and refinished all of our furniture! I hope you will be pleasantly surprised again sometime!

Thanks again,
Jessica O'Gorek
Director of Lodging
ogorekj@darden.virginia.edu
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about UVA Inn at Darden

Property: UVA Inn at Darden
Address: 100 Darden Blvd, Charlottesville, VA 22903-1760
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Virginia > Charlottesville
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 35 Hotels in Charlottesvill...
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — UVA Inn at Darden 3*
Number of rooms: 177
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to the University of Virginia Inn at Darden in Charlottesville, Virginia offering historic and gracious on-Grounds hotel accommodations. The Inn is an ideal property for individuals, groups and conferences, close to shopping, downtown Charlottesville and many local attractions. Relax and enjoy our dignified traditional hotel offering an excellent location, outstanding service and convenient amenities. Guests at the Inn may choose from 177 charming accommodations featuring a traditional Jeffersonian décor and numerous amenities including complimentary Wi-Fi, microwave and mini-fridge and complimentary lighted guest parking seven days a week. ... more   less 
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