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The Jefferson describes its historic five-star hotel in Richmond, VA as “authentically opulent” and “eternally relevant.” Built in 1895 by Lewis Ginter, a wealthy businessman who spent millions planning, constructing and furnishing the hotel, it is no surprise that The Jefferson earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Jefferson Hotel
The Jefferson opened on October 31, 1985, and was soon called “The Bell of the ’90s.” Photo by Lara Dunning

As a guest of The Jefferson, I discovered it is opulent and relevant, and so much more. Its stately grandeur and luxurious amenities offer plenty of wow moments, almost around every corner.

A Dream Made Reality at The Jefferson

In the 1890s Lewis Ginter had a dream, and that dream was The Jefferson. A well-traveled and cultured man, Ginter had an affinity for the arts and architecture and the hotel is a mix of Renaissance, Italian and Beaux Arts. When it opened, the hotel had 308 rooms and offered guests luxurious amenities like electric elevators and lights, hot and cold running water in every room, and an early room service telephone called a Teleseme.

The pool at The Jefferson.
The indoor heated pool has an outdoor sundeck. Photo courtesy of The Jefferson.

Today, after a 3-year renovation, which included scaling down the rooms to make them larger, The Jefferson has 181 guest rooms. Guests may choose between Premier Rooms, Grand Premier Rooms, Richmond Suites, Ginter Suites and the Presidential Suite. All rooms have entry foyers, dressing rooms, spacious bedrooms with stately furniture, rich fabrics and chandeliers. Roomy bathrooms offer a separate water closet, shower, and soaking tub, which feels more like a high-end apartment than a hotel room.

There is also an onsite spa, salon, exercise room, an indoor heated pool with an outdoor sundeck and a gift shop. Guests can dine onsite at Lemaire and TJ’s. And there are complimentary bicycles to explore Richmond at a more leisurely pace.

The Jefferson in Richmond, VA.
The Jefferson has had many distinguished guests, including thirteen Presidents. Photo courtesy of The Jefferson.

First Impressions of The Jefferson

From the moment I saw The Jefferson’s Italian-style clock tower on the Richmond city horizon, I knew a stay at this grand hotel would make an impression. In fact, it made dozens of impressions from the moment I pulled into the porte-corchère until the moment I departed.

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