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“A halcyon place, worthy of remark”
Review of Clifton Inn

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Clifton Inn
Ranked #23 of 35 Hotels in Charlottesvill...
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 January 2014

I never write reviews. This makes me feel guilty, because I rely on them often. But the Clifton is special and I will try to right my many wrongs by doing it some justice here (I will likely fall short; the place is just outstanding). My wife and I fell in love there, got engaged there, and count it as our most favorite place in the commonwealth. It's a beautiful place. The property is just right: the roaring Rivanna River, a placid private lake, rolling hills, tremendous Birch trees (lit just right at night), a truly special pool (the view), and genuine history in every direction. But it has something more than all this, too. The staff is awesome -- smart, funny, patient (we have been going for five + years and brought our one year old along last time). The house and the secondary buildings - our favorites - exude character and comfort. The food is tremendous. It's 10 pm right now and I just started thinking about the Clifton breakfast and became incredibly hungry. And eating said breakfast on the back veranda, with the best of views, makes one feel like time just needs to stop fast and let you hold on a little bit longer... before going off on an all day Charlottesville adventure and then returning for a drink at the bar, meal set next to the Chef's station and a final stroll through the grounds. We always meet interesting people at the Clifton. The conversation tends to be as clever as the grounds. The only hesitation I had in writing this review is that it may limit availability on our next escape to one of the very finest countryside properties.

Room Tip: Try a few; they're all unique and wonderful. We love the livery.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Shane E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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147 - 153 of 356 reviews

Reviewed 4 January 2014

This is a beautiful place, but what really makes the experience is the staff. From helping plan hikes, to advising you on about a working cheese farm, to where to find the best Chardonnay, the staff went above and beyond. Thank you especially to Ann and Nile for making this a wonderful experience.

Room Tip: Ask questions about the rooms- some are off the parking lot or kitchen. Front of the house was quiet...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank lynnlabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2014

Clifton Inn is a Relais Chateau property in the countryside of Virginia. We stayed 2 nights, and will surely return. What makes this Inn outstanding in the staff, from receptionist to waitstaff to hotel manager. They knock themselves out to ensure their guests enjoy their stay. Also worthy of accolades is the dining experience. Dinner dishes without fail are superb, with quality ingredients and excellent preparation. The afternoon tea, accompanied by scones, is well worth sampling and offered at no extra charge. The setting is lovely and private. Still, Clifton is not perfect, ergo the 4 stars, not 5. Our room, actually a small suite, in an outbuilding away from the mansion, was cosy and the bed comfortable. We enjoyed the quiet. However, the suite was drafty and cold due to inadequate weather insulation. The bathroom, which is large, is without its own source of heat, making it cold particularly in the morning. The floor was always cold. No slippers were provided. (Our stay was in late December, so our complaints would not apply most of the year given Virginia’s temperate climate.) On our next visit, if in winter, we shall surely stay in the main building.

Room Tip: In winter, avoid “The Livery."
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank John G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
___027, General Manager at Clifton Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 9 January 2014

Thank you for raving about Clifton Inn. We agree with so much of what you said, we do have knock out staff, superb dishes in the restaurant all in a lovely setting.

We also listen carefully to all of our guests, the bathroom now has heat, and we are looking carefully at adding radiant heating and are currently getting samples of slippers to upgrade our guests experience.

We hope that you will return soon.

Niall Reid
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 December 2013

My Father and I took my Mother to Clifton for her birthday to enjoy the afternoon tea service. I’m surprised that the tea isn’t advertised in a more aggressive manner. We only happened to find out by chance after trying to make reservations at Keswick a little too late and coming across a web article mentioning that Clifton served an afternoon tea.

Our experience was a good one. We were greeted at the door, and offered our choice of taking tea in the dining room or enclosed porch, as the living room had been set up for a gingerbread making workshop (her birthday is just a few days shy of Christmas). When reading other reviews I’ve heard complaints about the lack of tea selection, but I found that for someone who is not a regular tea drinker the selections weren’t overwhelming and seemed well thought out, and the three of us all enjoyed our choices. We ordered the optional sandwich platter to go along with the normal goodies regularly provided with the tea. The fruit was fresh and the scones were tasty, as were most of the sandwiches. The only complaint was the white bread on the turkey sandwiches was a bit dry.

The members of staff we encountered were all pleasant and courteous. They engaged us in conversation and took the time to explain the food items we ordered.

We took a little tour of the interior of the inn after tea (it was raining the day we went, so we didn’t explore outside) and found it very charming. The wine cellar was beautiful, and the restrooms were clean. It is true that the overall feel at the Clifton is “old charm” so someone who is used to hotels with a completely modernized décor may describe it as outdated. However, for someone who grew up in the rural Virginia countryside the beautiful and slightly creaky wood floors feel just like home. The only oddity was the aluminum and vinyl porch covering that is over the back veranda. It seems so out of place, and I would love to see a permanent roof erected that fits in better with the rest of the inn.

Overall we had a lovely visit, and I would absolutely come back for an overnight stay.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank J M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 December 2013

While expensive the Clifton Inn has a lot of charm. We enjoyed our time there and stayed in the Farm House, the staff is very friendly and helpful and directed us to many nearby points of interest. Location good - but totally away from the hustle & bussel of town life. The
Farm House was a bit dated - it was like stepping back in time - which many would enjoy - lots of patina and comfy rooms to just relax.
Enjoyed the tasting menu but do believe we would have enjoyed the dinning service instead. One must be into experiencing the unusual and different tasting to truly enjoy all that is presented. Consider your options and ask questions to make your decision.

Room Tip: Farm house would be great for a group - check out bedding to determine if appropriate. Most rooms...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank mdcarr151
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2013

We're were welcomed with "we've upgraded you" a good start and the benefit of visiting midweek in December! Our whole reception check in was excellent -the place is so nice we decided to spend some time in Clifton - we had lovely coffee with complimentary scones. Our room - the Martha Jefferson (room 4 in the main house) was spacious and decorated tastefully. The ensuite had a good shower and twin sinks but no bath (so check in advance in you want a room with a bath).

Our reception was so warm and the Clifton comfortable we decided to eat there. The menu was novel - it will not be to everybody's liking - if you want burgers /steaks you may be disappointed -it has a European twist. The meal was excellent - not perfect, the chef is clearly thinking and trying new ideas - the pumpkin soup and the tortellini were two stand-outs. We had a night cap in the bar - a great place to sit.

Niall the manager was very helpful and gave us good advice on how to spend our day in Charlottesville.

We felt more like house guests than residents in a hotel. The hotel is chic - not perfect but the folks who run it clearly know what they are doing.

The "stink bug" issue which other reviews noted was not a problem - we saw 4 - all stationary! Stink bug is not an attractive name - the Americans do have a way with language - I've gotten over it!

Clifton - we hope to be back.

A great place for a romantic break or meal.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank Donald F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2013

The Clifton Inn is a wonderful place for rest and relaxation and excellent food. We stayed there for the weekend after a hectic week and were well rested when we left. Our room was the Thomas Hunt Randolph suite (Room 2) which was large and spacious with a comfortable king bed. The bath had excellent amenities and a soaking tub and shower. My only complaint is that there needs to be a small shelf over the sink to accommodate bath items. The service throughout the Inn is exceptional.

Room Tip: The Thomas Hunt Randolph suite (Room 2 in the main inn) is a large corner suite and is spacious and...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank NCSmokey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Clifton Inn

Address: 1296 Clifton Inn Dr, Charlottesville, VA 22911-3627
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Virginia > Charlottesville
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Family Hotel in Charlottesvill...
#9 Romantic Hotel in Charlottesvill...
Price Range: £203 - £258 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Clifton Inn 3.5*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The internationally renowned Clifton Inn, named the "Best Hotel in Charlottesville," and one of USA Today''s "10 best Southern fine dining restaurants" boasts 17 stunning guest suites and five unique dining venues. Relax by the fireplace with a speciality cocktail, escape to the wine cellar for a private dining experience, or enjoy casual a la carte dining on the veranda. Situated on 100 acres of rolling hills just 7 miles east of downtown, the dramatic infinity edge pool, miles of walking trails, and lake front views make Clifton the most desired hotel, dining, and special event choice in Charlottesville. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Clifton Hotel Charlottesville
Country Inn Charlottesville
Charlottesville Country Inn

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