Cannonballs heralded my arrival! Ok, they weren't for ME, but it was clear that after two weeks in the UK & just two days home in NYC, I had landed in Colonial Williamsburg with guns blazing and Revolutionary War battles being recreated. I say you can become anyone you want simply by checking into a hotel for a night. At The Williamsburg Inn, I channeled a kind, funny Southern lady, living in a stately Virginia home that looks like this.
As I write this, I'm snuggled up in a room that is just so elegant and comfortable (with free, fast WiFi!!). There's a dressing table, mahogany furniture, light gold drapes, cozy armchairs, and a balcony that looks out onto a beautiful green lawn.
John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his wife Abby were committed to preserving Colonial Williamsburg and opened the inn in 1937 to be more like a Virginia country estate versus a hotel. It's sumptuous without being stuffy, and still a destination hotel today. The Regency Room serves a formal dinner with dancing, while The Terrace is a great spot for a casual dinner or drink at the bar.
I did actually absorb history in England, including what Regency style means. When George IV ruled as Prince Regent in the early 1800's, this style was all the rage and beautifully shown here at the inn with bright colors and gold on black lacquered chairs. And what is a REGENT, you might ask? Someone who rules while the real monarch is incapacitated-in this case his father was mentally ill.
The lobby has the most comfortable reading chair ever, perfect as I read the first 100 pages of "The Darlings" (a great travel read).
Part of the fun of coming here right after being in the UK is the huge connection shared by Britain's royal family, Williamsburg, and this hotel. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip stayed here in 1957 and a glamourous state dinner was thrown at the inn. They stayed again in 2007 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown.
Their spa menu has something I've never seen before, "century-inspired treatments," from the 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. They used leeches to heal diseases so what could possibly be blissful about that time? But I was lucky enough to experience the two-hour 18th-century spa treatment. All treatments came from archive research and were recreated for the modern spa. The foot bath uses a historic herbal recipe, followed by an orange and ginger scrub, both of which were used in the 1700s for healing. And lastly, an hour & 15-minute massage with 18th-century-inspired oil. I followed all that lazy fabulousness with treadmill time-the gym is very nice.
I absolutely love The Williamsburg Inn. You get to live the Colonial Williamsburg experience that is so wonderfully presented by also having every creature comfort (I really can't be without Internet access). Also, the shampoo & conditioner made my hair smell insanely good.