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May 14, 2011

Romance/Getaway Series - Jefferson Hotel

About the Jefferson:
Conceived by Major Lewis Ginter as a grand hotel to rival an of Europe's finest, The Jefferson welcomed its first guests in October 1895. Althought it has been updated since the opening day, it is fundamentally the same grand hotel with rich tradition of gracious hospitality, which has been cultivated for more than 100 years. With 264 guest rooms and suites each features bathrobes and linens, CD players, wireless high-speed Internet access, dual-line phones with VM, and other amenities. Centrally located in the heart of downtown Richmond, VA, the Jefferson is just blocks from the state capital, historic Shockoe Slip, and the financial district.

Hotel Highlights

Step Closer to Gone With the Wind
The Jefferson Hotel’s grand staircase has been rumored to be the model for the famed staircase in Gone With the Wind. Richmonders still encourage the rumor since the likeness between the two staircases is, quite frankly, hauntingly similar.

Gators in the Fountain
From 1901 until 1948, live alligators lived in the hotel’s Palm Court fountains. It is rumored that the alligators were left in the hotel by travelers, who originally purchased the gators as pets while on vacation in Florida. However, before leaving, the vacationers decided to leave the alligators to the hotel.

The alligators did not always stay in the fountains. They often sought alternative lounging locations. In the early 1900s, bellmen would enter The Jefferson in the morning to find the alligators reclining on the hotel’s fine furniture. The bellmen’s daily morning routine sometime included chasing the alligators off the furniture and back into the water of the fountains.

Famous Guests:  Chevy Chase, Tom Hanks, Jerry Garcia, Katie Couric, Bill Cosby & Diane Keaton, just to name a few of the MANY! While we were getting a tour with the Public Relations Manager of The Jefferson, she mentioned that their presidential suite still holds a piano played by Elvis himself and Frank Sinatra.

My Thoughts:
Jefferson is a AAA Five Star Diamond award winning hotel for 18 years, and upon stepping into the hotel it's clear why. Upon entering you are greeted by a 35-foot dome of Tiffany stained glass windows. Directly to your left is the Grand Staircase, which is named appropriately because it is very grand. Some thought that this staircase was the one featured in the film "Gone With The Wind," but it is not so, but may have been inspiration for the staircase in the film. Below the staircase is the Rotunda, which has ornate columns which support a 70-foot ceiling embellished with a multi-colored leavf design and skylight. Hands down, this is one of the most gorgeous place I've ever stayed in. It felt like a step back in time but with all of today's amenities.

Advantages of staying here:
1. Complimentary car shuttle service to locations within a 3-mile radius, which we took advantage of several times
2. BEAUTIFUL! If you appreciate beauty, history and architecture you will fall in love with this hotel
3. On Site Activites and Restaurants - You don't need to leave if you don't want to with Lemaire and TJ's restaurants, and the pool, fitness center, Internet etc.
4. Perfect Wedding/Reception location: With such a beautiful location, how can your day not be magical? You can find wedding/reception information here:

1. Car Service - While using the complimentary car shuttle service one driver tended to hit curbs and every bump imaginable, so it could be a bit rough.
2. While the hotel is amazingly beautiful, your view may not be. The hotel is located in the heart of Richmond, so your view will most likely consist of buildings, streets or alleys.

To book your stay, wedding, special event, business meeting or more, visit their website:

disclaimer: stay provided for this review

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