5 Reasons to Visit the Clifton Inn in Charlottesville, Virginia

1. The Clifton Inn is a Secluded Getaway That’s Just 15 Minutes from Downtown Charlottesville

The Clifton Inn is a beautiful hotel in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The main building at The Clifton Inn

 

The Clifton Inn may be situated on 100 acres of beautiful forests and lakes, but it’s also only a quick 15-minute drive from downtown Charlottesville, making it a perfect location for a romantic Virginia weekend getaway. Options for staying include rooms and suites in a main house, a farm house, a carriage house, and a honeymoon cottage. If you like feeling more connected, try to stay in the main part of the inn, but if you’re looking for seclusion, the Collina Farm House might be right for you. I stayed in the Dogwood Room at the Collina Farm House, which featured a private porch with sweeping views of the back lawn.

 

The Dogwood Room at The Clifton Inn in Charlottesvill, Va., features a private patio
The Dogwood Room in the Collina Farm House includes a private patio.

The Farm House also has its own kitchen, wrap around porches, and a beautiful rustic-chic dining room. You’ll feel like you’re at a country retreat—but you’ve got one gourmet restaurant right on the property and the rest of Charlottesville’s city amenities just a quick drive away.

The Collina Farm House at The Clifton Inn has a secluded country feel with wraparound porches.
The Collina Farm House has several pretty porches and even a porch swing

2. The Clifton Inn’s Food is Outstanding

Make your stay truly luxurious and book dinner at the Clifton Inn Restaurant. The menu is small but elegant and the atmosphere has a warm, French country-inspired vibe.

 

The restaurant at the Clifton Inn b&b features gourmet cuisine in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The restaurant at The Clifton Inn feels both upscale and cozy.

If it’s the right temperature outside, see if you can dine on the beautiful patio that overlooks the grounds. And if you’re really traveling in high style, you can also ask about booking the Chef’s Counter, it seats a maximum of seven and comes with a minimum order of $400.

On our visit standouts included the shrimp n’ grits, which were an upscale take on a dish that you see all over Virginia with decadent, creamy grits, goat cheese, perfectly cooked shrimp, spicy lamb sausage, and a drizzle of mint oil.

Shrimp and grits are a standout appetizer in the restaurant at the Clifton Inn hotel in Charlottesville, Va.
Shrimp and grits with spicy lamb sausage was a show-stopper appetizer

I also couldn’t help but sample the caramelized onion soup with oxtail and Beaufort cheese—it was basically really, really good French onion soup taken up an umami note from the savory addition of oxtail. The Cracked Farro Risotto entrée was also rich and indulgent with roasted mushrooms, wilted arugula and shaved chestnuts. The farro gave the risotto more texture and individuality. Seared sea scallops were also perfectly cooked, large and flavorful.

Seared scallops at the Clifton Inn Restaurant in Charlottesville, Va.
Seared scallops, with a side of bubbly of course, made for a fantastically satisfying entree.

For dessert, the signature sticky toffee pudding was rich, sweet, and everything our server promised.

Try the Clifton Inn's signature dessert, sticky toffee pudding
The Clifton Inn’s restaurant’s signature dessert is indulgent sticky toffee pudding

Even if you don’t do dinner, your stay includes free continental breakfast at the restaurant. Stop by for coffee and a little plate of yogurt, fruit, granola and pastries to start the day. If you’re a light breakfast eater, this is plenty. If you’re looking for something a little more protein packed, there is also a full breakfast menu you can order from.

Your stay at The Clifton Inn in Charlottesville includes a continental breakfast.
Continental breakfast features fruit, yogurt, granola and tasty pastries

 

3. Your room comes with Madeira

The property where the Clifton Inn is located has history dating back to 1735 and was owned by Thomas Jefferson’s son-in-law. You know what else has a long history in our country? That’s right, Madeira. The card in your room will tell you it was the classic wine of Colonial Times and was a favorite of Thomas Jefferson who was said to have had over 4,400 bottles of Madeira at the White House during his presidency. Why shouldn’t you toast Declaration of Independence-style while you relax at this historic property? There are many types of madeira, but the version you will find in your room is sweet and nutty, making for a perfect little treat when you arrive or as a nightcap before bed.

Every room at The Clifton Inn in Charlottesville is stocked with a bottle of madeira so you can swip and swirl like Thomas Jefferson
Your room includes a bottle of madeira. We added the Gearhearts malt caramels, which can be found nearby in Charlottesville and make a great pairing.

4. The Infinity Pool in the Summer and Cozy Fireplaces in the Winter

Going to the Clifton Inn during the summer? The luxurious infinity pool is breathtakingly beautiful, upscale and inviting. You won’t need to drive to Charlottesville because you won’t want to leave what feels like your own private mansion pool.

Who wouldn’t want to lounge by this pool all day? Photo courtesy The Clifton Inn, taken by W. Ariel López

In the winter, the main inn’s sitting area features an inviting fire and cozy furniture—a perfect place for enjoying a craft cocktail from the bar.

5. Special Details Around Every Corner

One of the fun things about staying at a locally owned, historic inn is the distinctive details, large and small that are tucked in every corner. I loved that our room was furnished with elegant American antiques and art.

All the rooms at the Clifton Inn are decorated with American art and antiques.
Remember these?

Depending on the room you choose, you might get a private fireplace, a soaking tub, a private patio, or a loft.

One of the best parts about staying at The Clifton Inn in Charlottesville is the special details placed throughout the Inn
Little touches like these fresh flowers made our visit to The Clifton Inn feel special

If you’re there at the right time of day, you might get a look at The Clifton Inn’s extensive wine cellar where rehearsal dinners and other private events are often hosted.

The wine cellar at The Clifton Inn is a popular spot for private events
The wine cellar at The Clifton Inn is often used for private events, but if you ask, they just might let you take a peek

Apparently, there’s also a cookie jar that the chefs always keep stocked with changing flavors of fresh-baked confections—I didn’t find it on my last visit. Something to seek out next time…

 

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