PRINT PREVIEW
send to printer

Concierge.com

Colonial Williamsburg Hotels

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Colonial Houses
136 E. Francis St.
Williamsburg , Virginia
23185
Tel: 800 447 8679 (toll-free)
Tel: 757 229 1000, x8440
cwres@cwf.org
www.history.org/visit/staywithus/colonialhouses

The best way to get the full immersion experience is to rent one of the 26 best-selling Colonial Houses. Are they authentic? Not so much. Though the shells are absolutely 18th-century, modern bathrooms, TVs, and room service tend to ruin the illusion (but did you really want to star in your own PBS reality show anyway?). Booking online puts you in a lottery; call ahead to request a specific house, like Brick House Tavern, a replica of the house where American cavalry troops quartered during the War of 1812, or the Lightfoot Tenement, whose clustered outbuildings mirror the "miniature villages" of Colonial Virginia's plantations. Most houses are one- or two-bedrooms, with the notable exception of the 11-bedroom Market Square Tavern, where Thomas Jefferson used to stay while studying law under George Wythe. It's popular for family reunions, but if you fail to score the third president's lodging, you can always rent the Moody Kitchen and sulk.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Governor's Inn
506 N. Henry St.
Williamsburg , Virginia
23185
Tel: 800 447 8679 (toll-free)
Tel: 757 229 1000, x6000
cwres@cwf.org
www.history.org/visit/staywithus/governorsinn

Located on the west side of North Henry Street, and a little closer to the historic action than Woodlands, Governor's Inn is the bargain hotel of the bunch. With its 200 plain, serviceable rooms and its outdoor swimming pool (guests may also use the indoor one at Woodlands), it's really a good deal—even if it's not the most exciting choice.

Closed January and February.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hospitality House
415 Richmond Rd.
Williamsburg , Virginia
23185
Tel: 757 229 4020
reservations@williamhosphouse.com
www.williamsburghosphouse.com

A couple of blocks west of Merchants Square and across the street from the William & Mary campus, this ersatz 18th-century brick building is the de facto designated lodging for visiting parents of students. Recent renovations have spruced up the 296 rooms with blue carpets, toile bedspreads, Colonial-style wood furniture, and enlarged dressing areas; the public spaces and hallways are next in line for upgrading. Suites are double the rates but enormous, often with four-poster beds. There's a decent American restaurant that serves breakfast on the patio, an all-day grill, and an outdoor swimming pool.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Williamsburg Inn
136 E. Francis St.
Williamsburg , Virginia
23185
Tel: 800 447 8679 (toll-free)
Tel: 757 220 7978
cwres@cwf.org
www.history.org/visit/hotels/williamsburginn

Opened in 1937, the self-proclaimed "crown jewel" of Colonial Williamsburg hotels looks like a Southern mansion from the outside but is outfitted in full English Regency regalia inside, just as the town's latter-day founding father, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., ordered. In fact, they're not fibbing with that marketing slogan—this is far and away the top place to stay, especially since all cobwebs and threadbare patches of the 62 rooms were removed in 2001. If you want to play the lead roles in the Colonial drama, the main building is where to get into character. If you'd rather escape the history at night, go for the annex. There's also the 43-room Providence Hall House, which, though it trumpets its executive privacy, is not particularly distinguished. Main house and annex share the great facilities along with the other hotels: gym, tennis courts, 45 holes of golf, and a substantial freestanding spa that opened in July 2007. Queen Elizabeth II stayed here in 2007, 50 years after her first visit. We wonder if she noticed any difference.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Williamsburg Lodge
310 S. England St.
Williamsburg , Virginia
23185
Tel: 800 447 8679 (toll-free)
Tel: 757 229 1000, x4008
cwres@cwf.org
www.history.org/visit/williamsburghotels/williamsburglodge

Along with the premium Williamsburg Inn, this big—323 rooms—faux-Colonial complex was part of the original plan of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Now that the management has completed a several-year improvement scheme, it's also safe to stay at. The style here is more of-the-people than at the patrician inn, with furnishings from the Williamsburg furniture collection (made by 55 licensed manufacturers—and you, too, can buy it!). Pencil-post beds and rattan McGuire desks and chairs have been mainstays in the rooms for years, while some of the lamps, rugs, and artwork are copies of pieces from the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. Further cross-marketing opportunities are created by the sofa, pillow, and curtain fabrics, all of which you can buy from Merchants Square (but it's OK—remember, this is an educational nonprofit). Pre-renovation cypress walls, wooden floors, wing chairs, and Thomas Moser rockers remain intact.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Woodlands Hotel & Suites
105 Visitor Center Dr.
Williamsburg , Virginia
23185
Tel: 800 447 8679 (toll-free)
Tel: 757 220 7960
cwres@cwf.org
www.history.org/visit/staywithus/williamsburgwoodlands

This 300-room modern hotel next to the Visitor Center on the northern edge of the historic area is the newest of the five foundation-run options and the best for kids. Not only does it have its own swimming pool, it's also bordered by a 40-acre pine wood next to the nature trail, and there's a riotous family eatery with a faux-historic name, HUZZAH! (capital letters and exclamation point included), but distinctly nonhistoric burgers, pizzas, wraps, and pasta. Though there's a semi-Shaker vibe to its wood-beamed lobby-lounge, the Woodlands is practical rather than stylish.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.