The Clifton is an undeniable choice for overnight stays and fine dining in picturesque Charlottesville, Virginia. With arguably the richest history of any other local lodge, the Clifton sits near the gateway to Shenandoah National Park. What’s more, it’s associated with the city’s most famous former resident – Thomas Jefferson. Coupled with a stunning backdrop of the mighty Blue Ridge Mountains, the Clifton is also gaining broader attention. This is due to its Michelin-worthy cuisine and a refreshing new change to this 18th century property. Whether it’s for a getaway or intimate spring wedding, learn why the Clifton is a top choice in Charlottesville.
The Clifton Inn
1296 Clifton Inn Drive
Charlottesville, VA 22911
The Clifton is an historic boutique hotel built in 1799 by Thomas Mann Randolph Jr.. He was the husband of Thomas Jefferson’s daughter Martha. An inn for over 35 years, the Clifton retains many of the original structures. Most notably is the the colonial revival-styled Manor House. The celebrated boutique offers 20 guest rooms and suites, world-class service and hospitality. In additional, there is an exceptional restaurant led by a Michelin-starred chef and swimming pool. Lastly, there are both indoor and outdoor wedding venues.
Just Minutes from Monticello and Downtown Charlottesville
The Clifton is just minutes from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and other Charlottesville attractions. For instance, the historic Downtown Mall and University of Virginia. Additionally, some of the state’s leading wineries are also nearby. In fact, Jefferson Vineyards is just minutes away. Thomas Jefferson established this winery nearly 250 years ago and it’s called the “Birthplace of American Wine”. Of course, there are other wineries to consider, like Blenheim, Eastwood Farm and Thatch Winery.
Clifton Inn, is consistently named the best hotel in Charlottesville by TripAdvisor. Furthermore, it has earned a number of recent distinctions. To illustrate, “12 New Boutique Hotels to Visit this Year” and “The Best Place for a Girls Trip”.
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The Clifton offers accommodations in four other historic structures, with three within walking distance. In addition is Collina Farmhouse, with five bedrooms and fully equipped kitchen. Inside the Farmhouse, you will find additional conveniences like a fireplace and backyard porch. At the porch, you will find rocking chairs and lounge chairs for your comfort. Moreover, the farmhouse also has splendid views of the 18-acre private lake. In addition to these outstanding amenities, you also have access to the pool and hot tub at the main property. One last set of accommodations is at the Livery Stables, with three junior suites.
Each rooms offers fine linens and bath products, flat screen TVs and a blend of antique and modern furnishings. Additionally, are custom lighting by Luke Hobbs and impressive original artwork from William McClure. Some rooms feature fireplaces, private decks, and claw foot tubs or rainfall showers. Other amenities include luggage assistance, nightly turndown service and complimentary breakfast. The Clifton is also pet friendly, with pets allowed in many rooms. A $75 fee per stay is added to the reservation.
1799 is the signature restaurant of the Clifton Inn, led Michelin-starred executive chef Matthew Bousquet who earned coveted star as owner-chef of Mirepoix in California’s Sonoma Wine Country. Known as one of the most romantic restaurants in Virginia, 1799 showcases Mid-Atlantic cuisine, including a fabulous chef’s menu graced with imaginative gourmet dishes and fresh organic vegetables sourced directly from the chef’s on-site farm. While the central Library dining space is quite popular, additional seating is available at the Cooper Bar, Wine Cellar with a private entrance, the exclusive Chef’s Counter in the kitchen and seasonal outdoor patio.
Back by the restaurant’s Wine Spectator award-winning wine list, the Cooper Bar offers premium wines from France and California, along with expertly crafted house and signature cocktails. A sample bar menu includes popular favorites like Maple Walnut Perfect Manhattan, premium beers and seasonal cocktails like Cooper Sazerac and Oaxaca Old Fashioned.
Open for breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch and dinner, 1799 restaurant is also hosting a lavish Thanksgiving dinner. In detail, it will feature sumptuous salads, traditional turkey, Virginia flounder and deliciously inventive desserts. Please check with the Clifton Inn for more details.
In addition to the 400 square foot infinity pool, the property features a spacious hot tub, cabanas and lounge chairs. The property also has courts, lawn games like croquet and several miles of hiking trails, including a short stroll to the private pond. Onsite massages are also available upon request.
The Clifton offers several meeting rooms and outdoor spaces onsite. This includes the Library for up to 25 guests, Wine Cellar for 30 guests and larger spaces like the Outdoor Terrace and Back Lawn or the Court Tent for 200 and 250 guests respectively. Other options include the Cooper Bar and Lounge for up to 25 guests and Collina Farmhouse, with a capacity of 120 guests.
One of the most coveted wedding venues in the entire Charlottesville region, the Clifton offers a number of wedding services. Examples are accommodations in all 20 guest rooms, suites and cottages, pre-wedding family/rehearsal dinner, gourmand dining options and wedding space from smaller parties to larger space for 250 guests.
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A clear indication of why the Clifton is such an extraordinary boutique is its obvious quality of service and hospitality, as well its fine attention to every detail. Everyone from the bar and wait staff to the concierge and all levels of management, particularly incoming general manager Leah Pence are truly outstanding. Additionally, Ms. Pence also expects to see additional improvements in the near future, such as valet parking and structural refinements.
About Leah Pence
A distinguished graduate of both George Mason University and Columbia University, Ms. Pence also serves on the city council of the Town of Luray and as secretary on the Board of Directors for Page County’s Habitat for Humanity, among others.
The Clifton is offering a number of specials and offers. This includes a Fall Harvest Package through November 31, History Lovers Package with two night accommodations and two passes to Monticello and Staycation, with luxurious accommodations and dinner at 1799.
About The Author
Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who served as the National Travel Writer for CBS from 2012-2019. More than 900 of his stories still appear in syndication across 23 CBS websites, including CBS New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. During his peak years with CBS, Randy had a reported digital audience reach of 489 million and 5.5 million monthly visitors. Additionally, his stories have appeared in the Daily Meal, CBS News, CBS Radio, Engadget and Radio.com. He earned a Media Fellowship from Stanford University in 2012.