My husband and I stayed at the Clifton Inn for the first time mostly because it provided a convenient one-night stopover on a trip to Charleston, SC. We had read the reviews, and expected good food and nicely-decorated rooms, but were mostly just looking for a respite from the Interstate chain hotel experience. Now, however, we realize that the Clifton should BE the destination!
Upon arrival (in torrential rain), we were greeted by a charming young woman who not only informed us that we'd been given a complimentary upgrade to the Carriage House Suite, but carried most of our luggage there herself. The suite proved to be a two-level showplace featuring a downstairs living room (with grand piano!) and upstairs loft bedroom with couches and king bed. The bathroom was equally spectacular - the double shower in particular was spa-worthy. All this grandeur for the cost of the cheapest room in the place? Too good to be true. At this rate it didn't matter what the dinner was like - we were way ahead of the game.
Dinner, however, proved to be even more memorable than the room. The menu provides a choice of 3, 4, or 5 courses, including a spectacular selection of local and international cheeses. As one course followed another, I waited for something, anything, to be only ordinary. Honestly, this food was on a par with New York's finest. We retired to our private carriage house wishing that we didn't have to leave the next morning. (Only after the complimentary full breakfast, of course).
Funny how things work out. For a variety of reasons, we decided to cut our visit to SC short and head for home early, retracing our steps rather than heading through Washington. My first call was to the Clifton, whereupon we were offered yet another deal too good to pass up; a suite (with a view of Monticello, no less) including dinner and
breakfast, for approximately half the usual night's rate alone. Needless to say, we took it. And our second experience was every bit as wonderful as the first, with the added bonus of being greeted like old friends. And the sun was shining.
Maybe we were just lucky. In fact, I know we were lucky. But this inn is worth a special trip, and we intend to find our way back often.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The internationally renowned Clifton Inn, named the "Best Hotel in Charlottesville," and one of USA Today''s "10 best Southern fine dining restaurants" boasts 17 stunning guest suites and five unique dining venues. Relax by the fireplace with a speciality cocktail, escape to the wine cellar for a private dining experience, or enjoy casual a la carte dining on the veranda. Situated on 100 acres of rolling hills just 7 miles east of downtown, the dramatic infinity edge pool, miles of walking trails, and lake front views make Clifton the most desired hotel, dining, and special event choice in Charlottesville. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Clifton Hotel Charlottesville
- Country Inn Charlottesville
- Charlottesville Country Inn