Hotel Weyanoke, the newest boutique property within the Cornerstone Hospitality management company, has created several compelling new reasons to visit Farmville, Virginia. Since its fall opening, the 70-room boutique property has garnered accolades for breathing new life into a historic hotel, incorporating the region's artisanal spirit in its interior design and offering both hotel guests and local residents three exceptional dining outlets and a panoramic rooftop bar.
Located in downtown Farmville, home to Longwood University, Hampden-Sydney College and destination retailer Green Front Furniture, Hotel Weyanoke is the vision of Richmond-based developers Ross and Aly Fickenscher and Garrett and Nikki Shifflett, who are specialists in redeveloping historic properties. This $12 million project was their first hotel restoration and follows their refurbishment of a late-19th-century warehouse in Danville, VA into Ballad Brewing.
"Restoring the historic and legendary Hotel Weyanoke into the design-forward boutique property it is today was a huge undertaking and one we are immensely proud of," said General Partner Ross Fickenscher. "Hotel Weyanoke has been an integral part of the Farmville community since the 1920s and we took great care to pay our respects to the original building while adding a mid-century, modern touch. Between our contemporary Virginia-inspired design, three diverse dining venues, sophisticated rooftop lounge, host of amenities and range of attractions just steps away from the hotel, Hotel Weyanoke is an exciting addition to downtown Farmville and we look forward to welcoming guests and locals near and far."
Taking cues from Hotel Weyanoke's century-long history, the inspired design blends vintage touches with modern amenities and technology. With the interiors designed by Hightower Collaborative Design and Hunter Mabry Design, the hotel's interior style is rooted in elements that are locally inspired and sourced – a vision championed by the General Partners, who were also very involved in the design process.
The result is a distinctive integration of historic architecture and relaxed mid-century modern décor that creates a welcoming residential ambience. The light-filled lobby has high ceilings and features four original circa-1925 chandeliers as well as the original marble flooring and check-in desk. Deep channeled-velvet sofas in pale gray are complemented by modular settees in soft pink accented by downy throw pillows in an abstract print.
The design retained many of the hotel's original elements, including the tin ceilings in the coal-fired-pizza café and an expansive collection of trim-work, windows, and doors throughout the historic building.
In the guestrooms, neutral tones – blond wood flooring and beds, sculptural armchairs in textural light gray fabric with walnut accents, and woven area rugs – create a feeling of openness and proportion. The calming palette also showcases each room's unique artwork: paintings, drawings and metal sculptures inspired by Virginia's rich culture and history, as well as an arrangement of vibrant yarn spools in homage to the state's textile industry heritage. In keeping with the local connection, the property also offers locally crafted water tumblers and coffee mugs by neighborhood pottery store Mainly Clay. Additionally, some of the hotel's furnishings are sourced from Green Front Furniture, a one-million-square-foot complex of brick warehouses that has made Farmville a home-design destination.
Located just over an hour by car from Richmond, Farmville takes great pride in being a small town with a big personality – and being integral to this vibrant community is in Hotel Weyanoke's DNA. The property, a brick building located on High Street directly across from Longwood University, was celebrated in the late 1920s as one of the largest and most opulent hotels and conference center complexes in the region. Its guest roster encompassed several politicians and celebrities of the era including author and activist Helen Keller, who attended an annual Lions Club Convention hosted by the hotel in 1927. A picture of her visit is on display in the lobby.
More than 90 years later, community cooperation and supporting local enterprises are still very much at Hotel Weyanoke's core. Its gift shop is stocked with made-in-Virginia products ranging from jewelry and handbags to pottery and artwork. Guests can even order the handcrafted Kingsdown mattresses that were made exclusively for the hotel by the regional manufacturer.
Farmville's college-town vibe, regional craft beer scene – it's home to Third Street Brewing Company and the new James River Brewery – and location on the Appomattox River make it an appealing leisure destination for shoppers, history buffs and outdoor enthusiasts (75 percent of Virginia's forests are in the three surrounding counties). Visitors can hike or bike local nature trails (including the 33-mile High Bridge Trail that's within walking distance of the hotel), kayak the Farmville Blueway or head to the Robert Russa Moton Museum, birthplace of the Virginia civil rights movement.
What differentiates Hotel Weyanoke is artisanal detail paired with modern amenities, including a KeyPR in-room tablet-based guest concierge.
The 70 rooms and suites are housed in two wings. The original Historic Building has 27 rooms and a newly constructed Cumberland Wing, which features private balconies, has 43 rooms and suites. There are four categories – Historic Building Guestrooms, Cumberland Wing Guestrooms, Cumberland Wing Junior Suites and Cumberland Wing Two-Room Suites. All guestrooms feature a large walk-in shower, free Wi-Fi, 49-inch LG televisions with DirectTV, Gilchrist & Soames London towels and linens, down-like Zen pillows by Northern Feather®, a mini-fridge with complimentary water, a Hamilton Beach one-cup brewer and Counter Culture coffee, Boca bathrobes and Molton Brown toiletries.
Innovation and dedication to local sourcing extends to Hotel Weyanoke's four food and beverage outlets – two restaurants, a coffee shop and rooftop bar. Under the direction of executive chef Frank Paris III, these diverse venues have elevated the Farmville dining scene for visitors and locals alike.
For a morning pick-me-up, guests can head to Sassafras Coffee Bar for artisanal lattes, freshly baked pastries and on-the-go sandwiches and healthy snacks. There is also a take-out window for locals and an outdoor patio in which patrons can sip their drinks and enjoy the view.
Smoky, brick-oven-fired thin-crust pizzas topped with fresh, locally sourced ingredients are the specialty at Effingham's First Call, a casual cafe that is open for lunch and dinner. Diners can also enjoy regional craft beer on draft, bottled beer and wines by the glass or bottle with their meals.
Campagna, Hotel Weyanoke's fine-dining restaurant with an adjoining wine bar/lounge, is a modern Italian trattoria serving garden-fresh antipasto, handmade pasta and hearty meat dishes such as the Barolo-braised short ribs and a grilled veal chop. The wine bar offers a wide selection of reds, white, rosés and sparkling wines as well as small plates, cocktails, craft beer and dessert.
Guests can also enjoy the hotel's rooftop terrace Catbird, which serves creative small plates, wine, craft beer and artisanal cocktails, along with views of historic (and increasingly hip) downtown Farmville.
Hotel Weyanoke's rates start $149/night.
Logos, product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.