Cozy Elegance at The Georges in Lexington, Virginia

Unconventional luxury might be the best way to describe The Georges, a boutique hotel in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley.

Comprising five buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries, this upscale accommodation opened in 2014. It is located in Lexington, Virginia, on both sides of a very charming Main Street.

The hotel fits right into the historic vibe of downtown.

The Georges Guest Rooms

Each of the 33 guest rooms is unique. Custom furnishings, complimentary color schemes, and striking artwork make you feel like you have entered an interior designer’s dream. And perhaps you have.

Bedroom in the Livery at The Georges.

Owned by Ann Parker Gottwald and her husband Thomas E. Gottwald, you can tell this hotel is a passion project.

According to a Virginia Living magazine article published earlier this year, Ann has taken an active role in each room’s design. The result is sumptuous-comfort-meets-understated-elegance. Plus, there’s a touch of whimsey.

The Livery is where you’ll find the 12 newest guest rooms. Formerly the Sheridan Livery Inn it became the newest member of The George’s portfolio in 2022. The featured photo at the start of this review is from The Livery’s entrance hall.

Embracing the Old and Making it New at The Georges

The Washington and The Marshall buildings are more than 200 years old and also house guests.

A former auto showroom has been transformed into The Patton Room. Now an event space with a garden terrace for private events, it seats a little over 100 or can accommodate 200 for cocktails.

The Patton Room event space.

Lawyers Row, formerly legal offices, was converted into three new guest rooms in 2020.

Luxurious Home Away From Home

The Livery’s guest rooms feature high ceilings and flying arch canopy beds. Touches like tasseled throws perk up the linens. Plush upholstered chairs provide seating areas and amenities such as coffee table books introduce a measure of hominess.

Bathrooms have heated floors, heated towel racks, large soaker tubs, and showers.

Bathroom at the Livery at The Georges.

Bring Your Appetite to The Georges

The hotel has two restaurants. Haywood’s Piano Bar and Grill is named for Ann’s father who loved piano music.

Helmed by Chef Xavier Deshayes, Haywood’s serves American fare such as hearty, hand-cut steaks, poultry, and fish.

Chocolate torte is divine at Haywood's Piano Bar & Grill.

The desserts are divine. Those with a sweet tooth swoon over the chocolate torte with seasonal crushed berries.

The second restaurant is called Taps. Sit by the fireplace and indulge in snacks such as wings or Virginia fried oysters.

Taps is a casual eatery off the reception area at The Georges.

Or make a meal of it with a burger, salad, or fish tacos. Beverages include craft brews, wine, and fun cocktails such as The Generals which is a mix of gin, Earl Grey tea, St. Germain, and bubbly.

Taps is where a complimentary breakfast is served. The night before, you let the front desk know what time you’ll be down and what you’d like to eat. Options include eggs, bacon, toasted English muffins, fruit, juice, smoothies, and coffee.

You put your order in for breakfast the night before.

As an afternoon pick-me-up, coffee, tea, and sweet nibbles are offered daily.

What’s In A Name?

Why the hotel’s name? The Georges recognizes famous men who are honored by Lexington’s s two schools of higher learning.

The schools are Washington and Lee University, and the Virginia Military Institute (VMI). The first George is a nod to America’s founding father. The second is a famous alumnus of VMI– George Marshall, an American army officer and statesman.

An Abundance of Nature

A charming town of around 7,000, Lexington sits within 78,000 acres of parkland in Rockbridge County. Overlooking the area are the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Allegheny Mountains.

Beautiful creek at Natural Bridge State Park.

This slice of the Shenandoah Valley has plenty of outdoor activities for visitors to choose from. Spring, summer, and fall are great for hiking, biking, fishing, and paddling.

In winter, there is skiing nearby. All year round you can visit a handful of breweries and wineries that offer tasting flights.

Take a Trip to the Past

One way to learn about the town’s fascinating history is to take a carriage tour. Go with Lexington Carriage Company and you’ll roll by the Stonewall Jackson House and Washington and Lee University.

A carriage ride is a great way to get to know Lexington Virginia.

Confederate General Robert E. Lee was the school’s president for five years after the Civil War. He is buried on campus in the school’s University Chapel & Chapel Galleries. His horse Traveller is buried just outside the chapel.

You’ll also see the esteemed Virginia Military Institute, Stonewall Jackson’s tomb, and the Lee House. Moving at a slow pace, it’s easy to take a gander at the town’s many delightful historic homes that date from the 1820s to the 1880s.

Historic homes along the way of the carriage tour.

Many Reasons to Visit

Lexington is steeped in stories of the past. But it’s also alive and kicking in the present. You can check out outdoor music performances and pick-your-own farms or take a self-guided Dark Sky Night tour at nearby Natural Bridge State Park. Maybe you are just there to enjoy nature or have a relaxing getaway.

Whatever your reason for visiting this Virginian town, The Georges will make you feel welcome. And at home.

 

Rates start at around $265 for a Classic Queen. A Deluxe King is around $330 and suites are around $450. You can compare rates and make reservations at Expedia, Hotels.com or your favorite hotel booking site.

 

Hotel feature by Toronto-based travel writer Maureen Littlejohn. Photos © Maureen Littlejohn. Virginia Tourism arranged for her stay as she researched a larger piece. As always, her thoughts and opinions are her own.

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