The Clifton Inn, Charlottesville, Virginia
Only 10 minutes from downtown Charlottesville, the Clifton Inn, a member of the esteemed Relais & Châteaux, places its guests in the best of both worlds; the intimacy of a small inn, layered with the exquisite comfort and luxury of a world-class hotel. With 17 beautifully appointed rooms and suites, in a spectacular 100-acre setting, floating in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains; the Clifton Inn Drive feels more like you are in Kentucky, than Central Virginia. The rolling hills and fenced-off pastures resemble classic horse country estate.
In recent years, as Charlottesville's restaurant scene has gone upscale, Virginia's inns have also embarked upon a culinary race, and the Clifton Inn has kept up, and perhaps even set the pace, with the latest cooking weaponry. Its restaurant, inside a white-pillared Gone With the Wind-style southern mansion, offers a design-your-own tasting menu featuring local ingredients. Dinner for two with wine is about $150 and reservations are essential.