Every city boasts at least one historic hotel, and Roanoke, nestled in the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, is no different. It’s always a treat to stay in a historic hotel, however with a history so carefully preserved over the years, a stay at the Hotel Roanoke is an experience you will remember forever.
The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Centre has remained in the same spot for 131 years. Built in 1882 by the Norfolk and Western Railway when the city of Roanoke was the town of Big Lick, it was built in a wheat field on a little hill, as part of a railroad property.
131 years later that wheatfield has been transformed into the vibrant city of Roanoke, and that “little hill” allows the property to be seen from anywhere in town. Once the centrepiece of the railroad’s development of the city, the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Centre is now the centrepiece of this historic railroad town.
From when it was first constructed in 1882, the owner was committed to maintaining the Hotel’s reputation for excellence. The railroad continually provided resources for additions, remodelling and re furnishing.
It’s distinctive Tudorean facade, crystal ballrooms and spacious antique filled lobby has attracted Presidents of the United States, millionaires, theatre and sports stars, political and business conventions, Miss Virginia competitors, and, in 1967, the Governor of Virginia with his six living predecessors, in celebration of the Hotel’s 75th birthday. And now us!
To say the hotel is easy to get to is an understatement. You can see it from anywhere in town! Witnessing the hotel for the first time takes your breathe away. A grand building resembling a Swiss Chalet, it overlooks the city, perched high on a hill in the centre of the district.
After choosing to self park we had to stop and take a moment before checking in to truly take in the magnificent lobby. Having walked past people dining on the outdoor terrace and enjoying the sunshine and cocktails in rocking chairs on the hotel’s front porch, we were already smiling and in a good mood. On entering the lobby, however, we were blown away.
More of a grand ballroom, with crystal chandelier lighting and amazing antiques, we had been transported to another world – one which was truly decadent. And the decadence didn’t end in the lobby.
Our room was absolutely spectacular. More spacious than any suite I have experienced to date, and filled with the finest antiques, furnishings and decorations, it’s not hard to see why the hotel attracted Presidents and other various VIPS. For one night, we got to feel like a true VIP. We felt presidential, and we can’t thank the Hotel Roanoke enough for providing us with that experience as it’s one we will remember forever.
The staff were just as fantastic as the hotel itself. Friendly, genuine and welcoming, they were always ready to open a door for us, lend a hand with our bags, and fill us in on the history of the hotel. They were proud of where they worked, and proud to be involved with such an amazing piece of history. Very rare to find hospitality staff today who take pride in their work, so we were incredibly impressed.
Clean, spacious, grand, superb – I think I covered everything. Although can’t forget about those amazing DoubleTree by Hilton Cookies on check-in!
We were guests of the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Centre. In no way was my opinion shaped by the beautiful interior and exterior of the hotel, fresh mountain air, luxurious suites, friendly, welcoming staff or warm chocolate chip cookies handed out on check-in.