We chose the Clifton Inn as the starting point for our long Charlottesville weekend and moved on to the Inn at Willow Grove for our second night. I had remembered the property from when Southern Living featured it as “One of the South’s Best B&Bs” but hadn’t heard much more about it. I believe it opened in 2011 and the property dates back to 1778. After staying there, I have no idea why it doesn’t receive more praise. It was fantastic on all fronts. Service was top notch. Impressive food. Well-appointed suites. Delightfully whimsical yet completely elegant decor.
We aimed to make the happy hour at Vintage, the restaurant found on the first floor of the Inn, but arrived just a tad too late. We were greeted by two friendly staff members after driving up the gravel entrance— one who speedily checked us in at the computer and the other who offered to take our luggage and handed us glasses of prosecco. The property is made up of a main mansion and a series of outbuildings (venue spaces), cottages, and multi-suite outer homes (pet friendly!) up the hill. We stayed in a suite in the main mansion so easily dropped our luggage and joined another couple in the main parlor (imagine fireplaces, couches, grand piano, and… a life sized faux butler in the corner?) for casual chatting over a glass of wine and complimentary appetizers.
We had toyed with the idea of doing Vintage’s four course tasting menu (~$125/pp with wine pairing) but it requires advance notice and we weren’t sure what time we’d be done at the vineyards. We could have still dined in the main dining room from the a la carte menu but after we took a seat in the beautiful bar, we agreed we were set for the night.
We arrived back at the room after dinner to find the sheets turned down, fresh slippers and robes laid out on the bed, chocolate covered strawberries, and a carafe of hot water to go with the tea and cookies left in the parlor portion of our suite (couch, two chairs, TV, credenza). The suite included a king bed, fireplace and chair, and then the bathroom had a very contemporary soaking tub with accompanying heated tile floors, towel heating unit, separate shower, and best of all—L’Occitane shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and *bath bombs*.
We had scheduled delivery of local French press coffee and fresh made beignets at 7am with the concierge after leaving Vintage’s bar the night before. We woke to an amazing sunrise, a quiet knock at the door, and the scent of deliciously strong coffee. After indulging, we went for a proper breakfast at the Inn and then toured the grounds. Upon departing the property, we agreed that we would definitely be back. If we *had* to provide a critique, the only thing we would have liked to have seen is a pool or spa on the property— this might be influenced by our mid-summer visit though. The gardens had so many great nooks and crannies to explore and there were numerous large and small water features to be found as guests explored the property.