Did You Know?
The Jefferson Hotel was supposed to open on November 1, 1895, but at the last minute it was realized that November 1 was a Friday, and it was considered bad luck to start anything on a Friday. So the hotel was opened on Halloween instead.
From the time the hotel opened until 1937, rooms were just $1.50 per night. A room with a private bath was $1 more per night.
The Thanksgiving Day Dinner at the hotel in 1949 cost $2.50.
When Elvis stayed at the hotel in 1956, he brought his own television and the hotel manager was shocked that Elvis ate his bacon with his fingers.
In the mid 1950s, the hotel had a pink limousine to drive guests throughout the city.
The Jefferson has been in several movies including My Dinner with Andre (1981), First Kid (1996), HBO's Ironed Jawed Angels (2004), The American President (1995) and the recently discovered Rock and Roll Hotel (early 1980's).
Alligators once resided in marble pools in the Palm Court Lobby. Richmonders would vacation in Florida and bring the baby alligators home as pets. As they outgrew sinks and bathtubs, residents would bring them to live at The Jefferson. Tour the hotel’s public area and see how many alligators you can find today!
Thirteen US Presidents, including Harrison, McKinley, Wilson, Coolidge, Taft, both Roosevelts (Theodore and Franklin Delano), Truman and Reagan, both Bushes (George H. W. and George W.), Clinton and Obama have been guests at The Jefferson Hotel.
Legend says that Bill "Bojangles" Robinson was discovered by his life-long agent while dancing across the dining room at The Jefferson Hotel.
Frank Sinatra once entertained guests in Lemaire at The Jefferson Hotel with an impromptu performance after enjoying his dinner.
Artifacts from over a century of the hotel’s history are housed in a museum at the bottom of The Grand Staircase, including a photo of Elvis at the hotel's old lunch counter.
The priceless statue of Thomas Jefferson that stands watch over the Palm Court lobby has only left his post on one occasion. In the 1902 hotel fire, he was rescued from the building only to have his head bumped on the cobblestones. He took a brief vacation to Edward Valentine’s art studio where his head was reattached.
The Grand Staircase at The Jefferson Hotel has long been rumored to be the staircase featured in the iconic film, Gone with the Wind.
The Jefferson Hotel is often cited as one of the finest examples of Beaux Arts architecture still in existence today.
The Jefferson Hotel Fact Sheet
The Jefferson Hotel, Richmond, Virginia
Overview: Since 1895, The Jefferson Hotel has been recognized by discerning travelers as Richmond's grandest hotel and one of the finest in America. Known for its genuine, friendly service, luxurious guestrooms, breathtaking architecture and elegant décor.
Featuring two signature restaurants, Richmond's most popular Champagne Sunday Brunch and afternoon tea service, The Jefferson Hotel has also been recognized for its' extraordinary dining and talented culinary staff.
With over 26,000 square feet of function space, The Jefferson Hotel is host to the region’s premier weddings, meetings and special events.
Location: Centrally located in the heart of downtown Richmond, Virginia, The Jefferson Hotel is just blocks from the state capital, historic Shockoe Slip, the Richmond Convention Center and the financial district. All of the city’s most popular shopping, entertainment venues, museums and restaurants can be reached using the hotel’s complimentary transportation.
Richmond International Airport is just 9 miles/15 minutes.
Guest Rooms: Each of The Jefferson's luxurious guest rooms and suites has recenlty been reconstructed and feature unusually high ceilings, tall windows and custom-designed upholstered furnishings and draperies. Thoughtfully and tastefully decorated with refined art work and custom-woven carpets, the look is richly residential.
The newly renovated marbled bathrooms provide a soaking tub, dual vanity, walk-in shower and water closet. Guests will enjoy the luxurious Molton Brown bath amenities, oversized bath sheets, plush bathrobes and television screen in the bathroom mirror. Iron and ironing board, lighted make-up mirror and umbrellas are available in the adjoining dressing area.
Amenities for our reconstructed guest rooms have been carefully selected for comfort and convenience. New mattress sets, luxury bed linens, plentiful pillows and soft throws provide a wonderful night's rest. An over-stuffed chair and ottoman for reading, HD large-screen television with premium cable, a fully-stocked mini-bar featuring locally-made snacks and a Nespresso coffee maker provide all the comforts of home. A large desk with chair, multiple dual-line telephones and complimentary local telphone calls and wireless high-speed internet access allow you to work confortably while away from the office.
Daily newspaper delivery, wireless high-speed internet access, fitness center access, evening turndown service, and local transportation service are offered as complimentary services to all of our guests.
Rates: Regular rates begin at $335 and suites range from $435 to $2100.
Dining: The new Lemaire Restaurant was introduced in July 2009 after a complete renovation. The new bar and lounge features an innovative cocktail list of classics with modern twists and a small plates menu perfect for sampling and sharing. Our extensive wine list includes a robust selection of bottles under $30 and more than 20 wines by the glass, half-bottle or quartino.
The menu celebrates the natural culinary bounty of Virginia, presenting a "farm to table" philosophy and a uniquely structured menu that allows you to customize your dining experience with small plates starting at just $5 and no entrée above $30.
The atmosphere is fun and casual and the décor is classic with whimsical nods to the alligators who roamed the Palm Court lobby until 1948.
TJ's Restaurant and Lounge is a charming bistro, offering Southern American cuisine for breakfast and lunch. Executive Chef Patrick Ehemann is also committed to featuring local organic produce, naturally raised meats and sustainably harvested seafood wherever possible.
Meetings, Weddings and Special Events:
The Jefferson Hotel features nineteen meeting rooms with over 26,000-square-feet of space. Original to the hotel are The Grand Ballroom, with its gold-detailed ceiling and elaborate crystal chandeliers; The Empire Room, with 30-foot windows and lavish draperies; The Flemish Room, with African mahogany paneling and genuine silk wallpaper; and The Rotunda, with its opulent ornamentation and monumental faux-marble columns.
The James River Conference Center is a self-contained meeting space constructed from a restored private residence attached to the hotel. This is the perfect setting for smaller groups requiring multiple breakouts and/or groups requiring added security.
Presidential Hallway includes a series of five meeting spaces perfect for breakout sessions or smaller meetings.
Two executive boardrooms offer seating for eight to ten guests in comfortable high-back leather seating with private restrooms and receiving areas.
All of The Jefferson's meeting space is connected to a high-speed wireless network and can accommodate a wide variety of audio-visual equipment and services offered by the in-house audio-visual provider.
Guest Services: A beautiful indoor swimming pool, complete with overhead skylights and an outdoor sun deck is the perfect place to unwind.
The 3,400 square-foot fitness center includes cardiovascular exercise equipment with personal flat screen televisions, weight training machinery, free weights, massage therapy rooms, showers and restrooms and is exclusively for guests of hotel.
The hotel provides 24-hour room service, complimentary transportation to downtown Richmond destinations and concierge service.
A full service Business Center and 24-hour access to computer workstations with printers and internet connection is available.
Gators Gift Shop & Newsstand carries a full line of Jefferson signature gifts, sundries, jewelry, swimwear and sandwiches, salads, beverages and snacks.
Blooms at The Jefferson provides hotel and local floral deliveries, special event centerpieces and wedding consultations and creations by floral designer Rick Lunsford. Bloom’s also features an eclectic selection of home and garden accessories and gifts.