Tucked away amidst the historical sites and beautiful woodlands outside Charlottesville, Virginia, stands the Clifton Inn. A word-class hotel and restaurant, and member of the esteemed Relais & Châteaux fellowship, the Clifton Inn offers a combination of elegant luxury and southern charm.
Clifton Inn was established in 1983, though the buildings date back as far as 1799. It sits on one hundred acres of gently rolling hills, with mountain vistas beyond and a private lake just a stroll down from the front door. Each of the seventeen rooms and suites are uniquely styled with American antiques and artistry that harken to the era of the Inn’s origins. Many feature fireplaces; others offer airy lofts or private terraces overseeing beautiful gardens. The Clifton Inn is a conglomeration of creamy white-washed walls, rough-hewn ceiling beams, and exposed brick, decorated here and there with Jeffersonian touches like antique writing desks or comfortable chairs and reading lamps that beckon visitors to linger over a good book for a while. Complimentary Madeira wine in every room, Molton Brown amenities, spa-jet showers, and modern technology (Bose sound systems, flat-screen TVs, wireless Internet) add to the comforts.
Stepping out of the Inn leads to lakeside trails, a flagstone terrace with an elegant infinity pool, a croquet lawn, and the area’s only clay tennis court. Of course there are plenty of shady spots with Adirondack chairs just waiting for visitors to kick back and enjoy the simple Virginian beauty. Photographers are in for a special treat at the Clifton Inn, for there are countless natural and rustic backdrops for framing that perfect romantic portrait.
The dining room at the Clifton Inn offers one of the areas most acclaimed restaurants, led by the culinary expertise of Executive Chef Tucker Yoder. Every morning begins with complimentary continental breakfast on the spacious back porch, and every afternoon is celebrated with afternoon tea. Yet the dining room exhibits its greatest splendor at dinner with sumptuous three, four, and five-course meals accompanied by boutique wines from the Virginia region. Chef Yoder sources just about everything locally, beginning with the kitchen gardens right out front of the Inn.
The greatest offering of the Clifton Inn is the romance, along with the opportunity to enjoy very special celebrations on-site. For weddings, the facility can host ceremonies and receptions for up to 300 guests, and the Inn can become the private home for the wedding party and family for an entire weekend.
The Clifton Inn offers brides a day-of wedding coordinator and a personal assistant to take care of everything, leaving couples free to enjoy their celebration. And, of course, the Chef is happy to create a custom menu for the special event, assisted by the on-site pastry chef who can create a dream wedding cake.
However romance at the Clifton Inn is not limited to weddings. The Inn makes an ideal site for engagements, offering four suggested Proposal Packages from the whimsical “Shotgun” approach (skeet shooting and discovering an engagement ring on the trigger, followed by two “shots” of liquor to toast the moment) to the romantic “Sweet” moment (Baked Alaska that is flamed, revealing the ring as the whipped cream melts away, followed by beautiful flowers and a bottle of Champagne). Whether it’s a candlelight four-course garden dinner in a private gazebo, or a private gourmet picnic waiting in a secluded spot at the end of a romantic walk through Clifton’s hundred-acre woods, every couple is sure to experience the best of that memorable moment.