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.
- 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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