The historic Cavalier Hotel harkens back to the glamour of the Roaring Twenties. Perched on a hill overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, it is an ideal location for anyone seeking a luxury beach holiday with a dash of history.
When the Cavalier opened in 1927, it became a favorite for celebrities, artists, and actors. Ten U.S. presidents and many icons of the era stayed at the Cavalier. Author of The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and his wife Zelda were regulars, along with other legendary figures who favored the Cavalier…Bette Davis, Judy Garland, Bob Hope, and Elizabeth Taylor are a few names you may recognize.
In 1929 the Beach Club opened and instantly became the place to be. Big bands of the era like Benny Goodman and Glen Miller performed, broadcasting live from coast-to-coast. Today, the Cavalier hosts many signature events throughout the season, from May to September. Imagine watching fireworks from the great lawn on the Fourth of July, or indulging in a Full Moon party every month. With three onsite dining options, a fitness room, two swimming pools to choose from, and the Atlantic Ocean at your doorstep, you could spend your holiday at the Cavalier and never leave.
The Tarnished Truth opened in 2019 as the first distillery inside a hotel. Tarnished Truth produces several different bottles of bourbon along with vodka, gin, and bourbon cream.
Book a tour of the distillery…it’s fun and educational. Though I’m not a big fan of spirits I also booked a tasting after the tour. I loved the bourbon cream but the namesake Tarnished Truth was also delicious, smooth, and a bit smokey. Tours are complimentary to hotel guests but there is a fee for the tasting experience.
Other Attractions Within Walking Distance
The Virginia Beach Boardwalk is within walking distance and the terrain is flat and not too taxing. There are also many points of interest on the ocean side such as memorials to the US military and the King Neptune sculpture located on 31st street. I got a ride from the hotel to the Vibe Arts District and walked back. The Vibe is a nice area for unique artist shops, coffee houses, and murals.
The Cavalier has 85 beautiful guest rooms in three categories: Deluxe Guest Rooms, Suites, and Heritage Suites. Each room is carefully curated to meet the needs of the modern traveler while maintaining the elegance of the hotel’s storied past. Furnished with antiques, unique artwork, architectural accents, and luxurious bedding, gorgeous light enhances the rich colors of the decor. My room had a small bar stocked with glassware for wine and cocktails plus a bottle of Cavalier bourbon, and a writing desk. I especially liked the cozy chair invitingly placed next to a window with a view. But what I liked most about my room at the Cavalier, aside from the view… it felt extravagant yet comfortable and sophisticated…but best of all, it was colorful.
Amenities include luxurious robes and slippers; wifi, and signature bath products from the Seahill spa and a fitness center. Plus, Cavalier guests have access to the Cavalier’s indoor saltwater pool and the beach club, which includes the pool behind the Beach Bar and Grill.
The Cavalier is a Marriott property and just across the street, you’ll find the Marriott Virginia Beach and Embassy Suites by Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront. Between these properties, there are nine restaurants to choose from and all are open to the public. Within a mile or two of the hotel, you’ll find many other dining options. For this article, I’ve written about the places where I dined and restaurants at the Cavalier.
Becca Restaurant and Garden
Becca is located at the Cavalier and serves modern garden-to-table cuisine in a beautiful setting. Seafood dishes are a good choice too. Try the oysters with fried green tomatoes and arugula. Becca is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch.
The Hunt Room
With a dark and warm ambiance akin to a British pub, the Hunt Room is perfect for craft cocktails and a burger. You’ll want to visit the Hunt Room even if you chose to dine elsewhere…there’s an interesting story attached to the Hunt Room. As with other stories attached to the Cavalier, it’s hard to know if it is fact or fiction; the story goes something like this…There’s a huge open hearth brick fireplace in the Hunt Room. Former president Richard Nixon (a frequent visitor) always insisted there be a fire burning no matter the season. Some say he burned evidence that would have led to his impeachment. Fact or fiction?
Marriott Dining Options
Tulu’s is across the street at the Marriot and is open for a casual breakfast or lunch with an ocean view. Orion’s Roof Garden and Dining is excellent for panoramic ocean views and delicious seafood. The sushi is made onsite and you can really taste the freshness. I also tried the deep-fried red snapper which was one of the most memorable things I’ve eaten. The pad Thai was so flavorful I question what I have been served in the past that passed as Pad Thai. I highly recommend dining at Orion’s Rooftop.
Things To Note: The Cavalier Hotel is especially popular with families, couples, and wedding parties, but solo travelers and business travelers are equally at home. With 6,608 square feet of indoor and outdoor venue space and five meeting rooms, the hotel is well-appointed to host your work or family event. Room rates vary from $300 for a deluxe queen room to $1500 per night for a suite, depending on the season and day of the week. You can go to Booking.com, Expedia, or other online hotel booking sites to see what rates they have posted and make a reservation there if you find a better deal. The hotel is valet parking only at $26 per day.