News & Politics

Dream Weekends: Freemason Inn

A hotel in the city near museums and nightlife


A rough-around-the-edges Navy town a decade ago, the "new Norfolk" oozes hipness, with martini bars, opera, and art.

Within a short walk of it all, the Freemason Inn, restored and opened in 2003, stands unabashedly Victorian.

Sunlight through floor-to-ceiling windows bathes a dining table set with fine china and antique linens. The chef serves a gourmet three-course breakfast. Upstairs, the four suites have high-poster beds piled with down pillows and 360-thread-count linens, and three have a jetted tub and gas fireplace.

A left out the front door leads into Ghent, a neighborhood of restored brownstones. Catch an art film at the Naro after window shopping. Another path wends its way into an Asian-inspired pagoda park bordered by the Elizabeth River. The renowned Chrysler Museum of Art is nearby.

Voila, an elegant French restaurant, is a stone's throw from the inn, as are a dozen other restaurants along Granby Street.

Bottom line: Sleep pampered in gentility, while the action of one of the South's up-and-coming cities is just outside your door.

Freemason Inn, 757-963-7000; Rooms range from $145 to $245 a night.

Don’t Miss Another Big Story—Get Our Weekend Newsletter

Our most popular stories of the week, sent every Saturday.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.