The spirit of a Virginia gentleman presides at the Jefferson Hotel, where a sculpture of Thomas Jefferson overlooks guests at check-in.
Faux-marble columns, presidential portraits, high domed ceilings, and stained glass evoke a museumlike aura, while modern upgrades include a health facility and free wireless Internet.
Chivalrous staff give the impression that a guest's every wish may be granted. All 264 rooms and suites are newly refurbished, with feather beds, Egyptian-cotton sheets, and marble bathrooms.
Walking through Richmond is a daytime pleasure. (The hotel does offer free car service.) West Franklin's brick sidewalk leads ten blocks to Capitol Square, Museum Row, and the governor's mansion.
Live music and scents of international cuisine spill from restored warehouses in Shockoe Slip and Shockoe Bottom, recovered from 2004 flooding. The Fan District and Carytown's fashion district offer stylish diversions.
Bottom line: Historic ambience in the hotel of choice for visiting presidents and one king–Elvis, that is, who slept here.
Jefferson Hotel, 800-424-8014; jefferson-hotel.com. Rooms range from $265 to $1,800 a night.