Little Washington, Virginia, has been a hot draw for travelers both local and far-flung for decades, thanks to the acclaimed Inn at Little Washington, which boasts luxurious rooms upstairs and in several nearby restored buildings, and whose restaurant—number one on our 100 Very Best list this year—serves dinner every evening. Due to the cost and the limited availability, not everyone can stay at the inn—but the town offers several options for lodging, including the newest: the just-opened White Moose Inn. If the Inn is Little Washington’s venerable grand dame, the nearby “Moose,” as it’s called, is the contemporary—dare we say “hipster”—alternative.
The Moose offers a relaxed vibe from the moment guests enter through the bright-yellow front door to be greeted by manager Christina Luke, who offers wine, whiskey, and even M&Ms. The front room, with its white-painted wood floors and white beamed ceiling, is adorned in shades of beige and gray with boldly patterned seating or the choice of a furry or leather ottoman. Over the fireplace is a custom-made white moose head, illuminated from within. Nearby is a self-service bar with water, sodas, and a Keurig coffee maker. On a sunny day, light streams in through the windows.
The dining area, adjacent to the front room, hosts complimentary breakfast each morning, sourced from the Red Truck Bakery in nearby Warrenton. The round breakfast table is also used for occasional guest-chef dinners—this past weekend, Seasonal Pantry’s Dan O’Brien was behind the meal—and the fee for dinner also includes a room for the night. The Moose serves no other meals, but there are other restaurants nearby, including the Inn at Little Washington just a short walk up Main Street.
I was there as a guest of owner Jim Abdo, the Washington developer who bought and converted the old Heritage House. I stayed in room three, also known as the Suite, which features a king-size bed with plush white linens and four big windows that look toward the mountains; a bedside device quietly lowers the shades at the touch of a button. For a quiet night in, there’s a TV offering the full range of Comcast channels and free Netflix; there’s also free wi-fi.
The bathroom features rustic tile flooring, piles of white towels, and bath amenities from L’Occitane. Manager Christina likes to point out that embedded in the shower head is a device that enables a guest to use Bluetooth to access the music on a smartphone. Still, don’t expect to make a lot of cell-phone calls; the cell signal in Rappahannock County is limited at best. The room includes a landline phone.
Adjacent to the main building, which has five rooms, is a converted ice house known as the Cottage, a romantic one-bedroom with a bay window that looks out on Main Street. We checked room rates online, and for a random Friday in May prices range from $675 for the Cottage to $375 for the Mountain or Piedmont superior rooms. Every room has its own bathroom. The Cottage also has a fireplace and a flagstone terrace.
It’s worth noting that the Inn at Little Washington recently expanded its existing inventory of 18 rooms, adding six in the newly renovated Parsonage, which is across the street from the inn itself.