Courtesy Richmond Metro CVB
On arrival in Richmond, visitors to Virginia’s capital will find numerous ways to enjoy the high life. Many, including the famous Jefferson Hotel, are tied to the city’s storied history.
“The Jefferson Hotel is a five-diamond, five-star hotel that is the premier hotel in the region,” said Janie Lawson, group tour manager at the Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau. “It has served many presidents in its lifetime.”
Established in 1895, the Jefferson has become a Richmond landmark and a paragon of luxury. The hotel features a large, ornate lobby with marble floors and towering columns, as well as a palatial balcony overlooking downtown Richmond. Groups that splurge for a night or two at the Jefferson can dine at Lemaire, the hotel’s five-star restaurant that serves “new American” food created from locally sourced ingredients. For a splash of tradition without the expense of a full dinner, travelers can opt for a high tea at the hotel.
Richmond serves as the state’s headquarters for high culture as well with a professional symphony and ballet. Other institutions, such as the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and Maymont, a beautiful Victorian-era mansion, afford opportunities for refined group outings.
The convention and visitors bureau has also arranged some highly customized cultural and historical experiences for groups.
“We have an art experience where groups have a class with local artists and then make their own pieces of art,” Lawson said. “We’re also working on one that traces Martha Washington’s life in the area. We’ll go to the church where Martha and George were married, and then go to the New Kent Winery and have a toast and reception in their honor.”
New Kent is one of three wineries in the area, and there’s also a brewery that groups can visit. Chowhounds will also enjoy a historic food crawl that visits notable restaurants downtown.
“The Tobacco Company is an upscale restaurant that used to be an old tobacco warehouse,” Lawson said. “It’s filled with huge old beams, a stained-glass atrium and an old-fashioned elevator. The ambiance is wonderful and quite romantic. Then there’s Juliep’s Acacia, Bistro Twenty Seven and the Original Bookbinders restaurant as well. They all have great chefs with their own flavor and will please the palate of any upscale group.”