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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!

  • Twelve 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.) 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.

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Green Meetings

The Virginia Green Lodging Program

In 2000, The Jefferson Hotel established a Safety, Energy, Recycling and Accident Committee to actively monitor the Hotel's use of electricity, gas, water, and to develop ways to reduce waste and accidents within the hotel.

In 2007, the Virginia Green Lodging program was created by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, encouraging hotels and resorts to be aware of their impact on the environment and to take steps to reduce these impacts. In 2008, The Jefferson Hotel became a charter member of the Virginia Green Lodging Program, continuing the Hotel’s commitment to minimizing its environmental impact wherever possible.

The core initiatives maintained by the Hotel and offered to meeting and overnight guests of The Jefferson Hotel include:

  • Optional Linen Service: Guests have the option to forego daily replacement of sheets and towels in their guest room, using an in-room card to notify Housekeeping.
  • Recycling: Guests are provided with the opportunity to recycle during their stay, both in the public areas and meeting rooms. The hotel's staff is committed to reducing waste in offices and back-of- the-house areas and follows strict recycling procedures.
  • Water Conservation: Daily maintenance and inspections on all equipment and use of low flow faucets allows for the minimization of water use.
  • Energy Conservation: The hotel uses new technology and equipment, staff education and general conservation procedures to ensure that energy is conserved without sacrificing the safety and comfort of our guests.
  • Green Events, Conferences, & Meetings: The Jefferson Sales, Catering, Convention Services and Banquet Managers work with groups to minimize the footprint created by their event. Visible and accessible recycling, use of china, glass and silver versus disposable items, food and beverage ingredients sourced from local purveyors and the use of sustainable food products whenever possible, all are part of our consistent effort to accommodate groups who want "green" events.

Thank you for allowing us to assist with your conservation efforts.