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Road Trip: Oakhurst Inn – part 1

Oakhurst Inn building 1


disclosure:  We received a discounted rate and a free upgrade at the Oakhurst Inn.  Regardless, all opinions are totally my own. 


Our recent 11 day 3,400 mile road trip provided many overnight stays at some form or fashion of inn or hotel along the way.  Planning for this trip occurred well before we packed anything in the car.  I will admit that I am super duper picky when it comes to accommodations, and my husband is more than aware of it.  So he turned the hotel planning over to me.  I just had to let him know where we were going, stay within some kind of a budget, make sure that we moved our son into his apartment in New Haven, Connecticut somewhere along the way, and let him (my husband) plot our adventure on the map so that he could drive it. 🙂 (Easier said than done!)

“Super duper picky” means you do a ton of research before making a reservation anywhere.  From Trip Advisor (the good, the bad, and the ugly) to Expedia to google images and everything in between, I did my homework.  So when I finally committed to a reservation at a place, it meant that it had already been thoroughly checked out…by me…the picky hotel girl.

Oakhurst Inn building 1 side viewWhen I found Charlottesville, Virginia’s Oakhurst Inn I knew I had hit the jackpot.  It passed all my tests – great reviews, wood floors, good interior design, minimal bed linens,(yes, that is really a requirement for me and no I am not crazy 😉 ) interesting architecture, and even better – it was a relatively new place having opened on January 1, 2014.  But there was also much more that made me choose it.

Our first day on the road (and the night we would be in Charlottesville) just happened to be our son’s 25th birthday, and the interior of Oakhurst looked exactly like something I thought he would like. He loves coffee shops, and if a coffee shop could grow up and be an inn, it would be the Oakhurst Inn. 🙂  From the photos I could see of it, the inn had that kind of vibe – cool, urban, eco smart.  And even better than that – Oakhurst has their own cafe and coffee shop!  Yes, I had hit the jackpot with them (but we didn’t tell our son where we would be staying so that it would be a delightful surprise.)

Oakhurst Inn buildingsNow let me share a little about the background of the inn.  Oakhurst is really a group of 4 buildings on a circle in a lovely historic residential neighborhood.  Dr. Paul Barringer, former president of Virginia Tech, built one of the buildings in the 1920’s.  The owners lived on the 1st and lower levels of Oakhurst House 100 (the building in the top 2 photos of this post.)  The other entrance to the house led to the upstairs.  This floor was for boarding medical students who worked at UVA hospital.  Later Dr. Barringer had another building constructed (the one in the next photo) to provide more housing.  The buildings actually served as dorms until 2012.

Oakhurst Inn building 2The other 2 buildings of the Oakhurst Inn were former homes of college professors.  We stayed in the one pictured below.  In 2007, a group of investors, including owner Bill Chapman, purchased the 4 buildings and began the 7 year project to redesign, renovate, restore, and turn the buildings into the beauties they are today.  Getting approval for all the plans took several years, and the actual construction took 18 months.

oakhurst inn building 3I mentioned that the buildings are on a circle in a residential neighborhood.  The interior of that circle is a beautifully landscaped park area.

Oakhurst Inn parkThe inn borders the University of Virginia campus.  In fact, you can see some of UVA’s apartments here between 2 of the inn’s buildings.  There is a small conference room in that complex that Oakhurst often rents out for those who need such a facility when staying there.

Oakhurst Inn by University of VAOkay, enough of all the info.  I want you to see the inside of this glorious place!  So come on in their plum colored door to check in. 🙂  (Note that beautiful potted plant there.  It was one of many on their property. Kudos to their landscape person!)

Oakhurst Inn entranceI cannot even begin to explain the feeling of “at home” that you get when you stay there.  It truly is like being in a friend’s house. 🙂  Soooo very welcoming.  Each of their buildings has a library on each floor for a common space.  Our son is an avid reader, so this was yet another reason for choosing Oakhurst.  The room below is beside their office where you check in. (You can see it through the door there.)

Oakhurst Inn lobby libraryEach common room has a working fireplace, a wine cooler stocked with bottled water and San Pellegrino sparkling juices, and a Nespresso coffee machine available for guests 24/7. (And there is no additional fee for the use of these.  It is included in your rate….just in  case you were wondering. 🙂 )

Oakhurst Inn lobby library fireplaceWe checked in, unloaded our car, and made our way up the stairs to our room.  (If you have mobility issues I would recommend requesting a first floor room.  The stairs are authentically steep and narrow in these old houses.) We had a suite with a sleeper sofa because our son was traveling with us. (He was afraid my husband and I would snore so loudly it would keep him awake.  No problem.  The Oakhurst Inn has equipped each room with  a white noise machine.  We gave it to our son to use while we were there, and he had no problem whatsoever sleeping.)  I was expecting one room with a bed and a sleeper sofa in it.  Boy was I wrong!

We entered our room on the second floor through our sitting room with the cute patterned ottomans….

Oakhurst Inn sitting areaand nice desk and chair…

Oakhurst Inn sitting roomand there was a full length mirror hanging in a hallway that led to….

Oakburst Inn bedroom hallwayour bedroom…an entirely separate space! 🙂

Oakhurst Inn bedroomAll of the beds in the inn were designed by Kenny Ball Antiques and Accessories and built out of cherry by local craftsman, Tim Fisher.  I loved those drop down tables and the ample plugs for charging phones and all the electronics we travel with! Using those beautiful brass wall sconces gave the “table area” more free space. Super smart.

Oakhurst Inn bedroom head boardI forgot to photograph the dresser on the wall opposite the bed, so here is one like it in another room in the inn. (Photo credit oakhurstinn.com.) The dresser had no legs and “floated” on the wall.

Oakhurst Inn room

The bathroom was simple but classic luxury with a fabulous walk in shower.

Oakhurst Inn walk in showerLoved the Malin+Goetz products in the shower.  All 3 of us wanted to take the bottle of peppermint shampoo with us! 🙂

Oakhurst Inn shower products by Malin and Goetz

Oakhurst Inn bathroom sinkOur door was the one on the right in the photo below.  If you walked right past that bench, and went across the hall…

Oakhurst Inn hall window with benchyou entered the library common space for our floor. I love how the fabric from the lumbar pillow and ottomans in our suite was repeated on the hallway bench and the throw pillows and ottomans in this room. It almost made me a fan of orange! There were more charming brass sconces in this room as well.

Oakhurst Inn libraryThis library was full of interesting books, and because no one else on our floor was using the room, (truly) we just left our door open, and it felt like it was part of our suite.  I told you it was like staying at a friend’s wonderful home. 🙂

Oakhurst Inn library bookshelvesI want you to notice all the Roman shades in the inn.  This detail will be important in a future post. 🙂 (And of course you can notice the old phonograph player below!)

Oakhurst Inn library phonographThere’s my husband enjoying an espresso at the desk by the fireplace in the library.

Oakhurst Inn library fireplaceJust look at all those treats for guests!  No detail has been overlooked at Oakhurst Inn.

Oakhurst Inn guest refreshmentsWe went out for a birthday dinner that night at a restaurant in Charlottesville. (A post is coming up about it very soon.)  When we returned, the kind folks at the inn had left their nightly package of delicious ginger cookies and this plate of goodies with a card for our son when they came in to do their evening turndown and set up of the sofa bed with linens. (When I contacted them about reservations, I mentioned that it would be our son’s birthday, and I would love it, if possible, if they could do a little something for the occasion.  They surprised him by greeting him with “Happy Birthday!” when we registered in the office, and I had assumed that was all they would do.)  I think they came through nicely; don’t you? 🙂

Oakhurst Inn birthday cupcakesWe all enjoyed the cupcakes tremendously (and the cookies) and our stay at the Oakhurst Inn.  Our son says it was the best place on our entire trip.  Remember this is the son who said, “Mom, I want my apartment functional – not decorated.”  Well, when we were about to leave the inn he asked if we could make his apartment in New Haven look like “his” room at Oakhurst! 🙂 I’m afraid that didn’t happen, but at least he did notice that decorated can be functional, comfortable, and welcoming too.

Oakhurst Inn birthday(He did share his birthday cupcakes. 🙂 )

And this isn’t all there is to see of the Oakhurst Inn!  I want to show you the inn’s cafe, our delicious breakfast there, one of their other libraries, and one more room when we come back for part 2. So be sure to watch for that post later this week!

Until next time…

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Sherry Myers - August 26, 2015 - 11:19 pm

Oakhurst Inn looks and sounds wonderful. Thanks for the virtual tour! I remember a certain hotel that my family and I stayed in on a trip to Florida. That was in the day of brochures, the ones that show a picture perfect pool and accommodations. Needless to say, we got none of the picturesque, and many things that nightmares are made of. We left the hotel at four in the morning as fast as we could! So, I am very picky to the point of being persnickety! Your trip sounds wonderful. Can’t wait to see the rest! Love the details!!
Sherry
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Sherry, that is terrible about your Florida hotel! I am so thankful today there are websites with reviews from real people who have stayed there. Management photos can make something look very good when it isn’t. I would say that I am right there with you in the “persnickety” category. 🙂 More of our trip coming soon. 🙂
Kelly

Linda - August 26, 2015 - 8:22 pm

I also think you would be a wonderful travel agent. Lovely place, made me want to visit.
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Well I do hope you have an opportunity to visit there one day Linda. It is a great inn. I think being a travel agent would be a very fun job! (But not as fun as being the traveler! 🙂 )
Kelly

Dawn - August 26, 2015 - 5:16 pm

Wow, Kelly!

I want to travel with you! You certainly have best kind of “picky” as far as I am concerned. What fun to stay at such a nice and accommodating place. I have two second favorite colors…purple (like the front door) and orange (like the ottomans, lumbar pillow and decorative touches). I can’t wait to see more. Thanks for sharing. Take care.

Dawn
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Dawn, my husband doesn’t think it I am the best kind of picky. (But I am glad you do! 🙂 ) He wants to always shoot for the lowest price anywhere, but then I remind him of a certain place we stayed in Boone that was the least expensive and the most yucky place we have ever set foot in. So that is why he turned that part of the planning over to me. I really liked all the orange at Oakhurst. It really looked nice there.
More travel posts coming soon. 🙂
Kelly

Gina - August 26, 2015 - 4:01 pm

Oh, I was so excited when I read Charlottesville! 🙂 Our daughter attended UVA as well as our niece living there for twelve years (undergrad, med school and residency) so we feel right at home there. Just so happens our daughter and son-in-law sold their townhouse this week and will be moving to C’ville at the end of September!! I am familiar with the inn’s location because our daughter lived on JPA for three years. It sounds like the perfect place to stay. So charming and welcoming. 🙂 I love your detailed posts like this. It makes me feel like I have visited myself. I think I’m going to enjoy this trip. 😉 That’s such a sweet picture of your son too. 🙂 What a special road trip with him.
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Gina, Virginia is on my mind tonight as I am sure it is on many people’s after today’s tragic events. So very sad. Virginia is such a beautiful state. I know your daughter and son-in-law will have a great time back in Charlottesville. The restaurants and shopping there looked wonderful. I need to go back! Yes, the trip was fun with our son…until the air conditioner in the car went out in Vermont. That was NOT fun (and not part of the plan or budget!) But other than that, we saw sooooo much on the trip..a once in a life time road trip. 🙂
Kelly

Garden, Home and Party - August 26, 2015 - 3:32 pm

Kelly,
Okay, if you don’t end up publishing a series of books on entertaining at home, then you must publish a book of best inns in America! I have no patience when it comes to doing in depth homework on places to stay. I rely on Mr. B. and friends that have visited the region. 🙂
Looks like a great trip so far.
xo,
Karen
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You and my mom must be getting together to push this book thing! She said something like that this morning on the phone. 🙂 It does take a lot of reading to find just the right place. You are going to love our inn in Vermont! Can’t wait for you to see it. You should be glad Mr. B does the research for you. 🙂
Kelly

DiAnne - August 26, 2015 - 11:04 am

Oh Kelly, I am going to love everything about this trip you took. Thank you for letting us tag along with theses posts. What a lucky son! I know he has worked really hard to get to this place and hopefully New Haven will be a wonderful adventure.
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Thank you DiAnne! I wish we could have taken everyone with us. 🙂 (But the car was quite full with us, the luggage, and the things we had for our son’s apartment!) He has definitely worked hard to get to Yale’s law school, and he still has a lot of work in front of him to go. I pray he can stick with it and not get discouraged when things don’t come easy.
Kelly

Louvina - August 26, 2015 - 10:49 am

I feel like I am on a road trip! Love seeing this wonderful inn! I have a friend that lives near UVA and her daughters work there. So it was especially interesting to see this post and looking forward to part 2. Wasn’t that orange modern print an unexpected nice touch?! I think orange may be the up and coming color for the fall and maybe something you can work into your decorating at home. Of course, I like it as orange and black were my high school colors! Yea! Raceland Rams!!:)
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How wonderful that your friend’s daughters work at UVA. It looked like a great college town there in Charlottesville! Orange and black were your school colors? Wow I bet you all really had fun at Halloween! LOL I think all the fabrics at Oakhurst worked very well together. They got me thinking about looking for something different for here…but I have to wait until everything from the trip is paid off first! 🙂
Kelly

Vicki - August 26, 2015 - 10:31 am

Thank you for sharing – great post. We stayed in Charlottsville this past spring. This is great info!
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You’re welcome Vicki, and thank you for reading and enjoying the post. I hope you get to make a return trip to Charlottesville sometime in the future and that you get to stay at the Oakhurst Inn. 🙂
Kelly

Arlene@Nanaland - August 26, 2015 - 9:40 am

My brother in law and his family live in the Charlottesville area. I will keep this inn in mind when we go to visit them. Both are nurses and work at the University Medical Center. I am picky as well and I usually stick to Hampton Inns as we have found them to be the most reliable of the chains. But it is fun to see all the furnishings and to get ideas for decorating!
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I am glad you have found a reliable hotel. That makes it so much easier when you travel. We stayed in Marriotts on the way back home because my husband likes them and one very nice Hilton Garden Inn. (Of course I had to read every review out there before booking them!) Oakhurst was a wonderful one to get decorating ideas from. 🙂
Kelly

Nancy Reves - August 26, 2015 - 9:34 am

I love your posts! Thanks for letting me tag along! Such eye candy you bring to your blog!
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Goodness thank you Nancy! I am more than happy for you to tag along. 🙂
Kelly

Kaye Ann - August 26, 2015 - 8:50 am

Hi Kelly! Just wanted you to know that you aren’t the only “picky” hotel lady. I’ve been known to leave a hotel room if I feel uncomfortable in the accommodations! This place looks wonderful. It’s on my list if I ever get back to Virginia (where I lived for 4 years). Thanks for the picture!!! Have a great day.
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Yay! I not alone! Picky hotel people unite! 🙂 I hope you do get back to Virginia one day. That was one state i didn’t want to leave. 🙂
Kelly

Cheri - August 26, 2015 - 8:36 am

It is nice to read your blog concerning your travels because you do all the leg work of where to stay, where to eat and what to see. You are the perfect travel agent.
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Thank you bunches Cheri! It is nice to be appreciated. 🙂 It would be much more fun to be the traveler than the travel agent.
Kelly

Donna Collins - August 26, 2015 - 7:55 am

Hi Kelly, I knew the photo of the house you showed in your last post looked familiar. My son just graduated from the University of Virginia & his apartment was just up the street from the Oakhurst Inn. We never got to stay there (they were usually always booked when we visited from NJ) but from your wonderful description, I feel like I got a taste of what it would be like to be a guest there. I wish they built it sooner! Looking forward to the rest of your posts. Congrats on your retirement too – you certainly have been on the go!
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What a small world that you would recognize the house! Congratulations to your son on his degree from the University of VA! You can still go back there for a visit you know. 😉 (maybe go with your son for alumni weekends and football games?)
Thank you for the congratulations on retirement. Yes, it has been go go go since June. Now that the weather is cooling some and I have no plans for projects or travel, things will settle down and it will actually feel like I am retired. 🙂
Kelly

Katrina - August 26, 2015 - 7:30 am

Oh I have been anxiously waiting to go on this trip with you! Great post and I can’t wait to see the rest. 😀
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MUCH more coming Katrina! You are going to love the Maine and Vermont places we went! (Wish you could have piled in the car with us. 🙂 )
Kelly

Tricia - August 26, 2015 - 6:09 am

Oh, Kelly, I’m going to love going on this trip! How charming it all sounds, especially how the buildings are clustered around a park. Looking forward to hearing more! Enjoy your day, T
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Thank you Tricia! Yes, I hope you will enjoy going on this trip! I think my camera was tired from all the photos it had to take. LOL The inn was charming and in a great quiet area right in the city.
Kelly

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