• What's New for Meetings in Virginia for 2016


    AMTRAK Virginia – Passengers can enjoy a single-seat ride from Lynchburg, Richmond, Norfolk, Newport News — and soon Roanoke — to Washington, DC , as far north as Boston or across the Commonwealth. Check www.AmtrakVirginia.com for stop off and stop over suggestions.

    Washington, DC area Metro subway’s new Silver Line Phase 1 with service to Reston, Virginia is now open. Phase 2 will extend service all the way to Washington Dulles Airport and is expected to open 2018.

    The Virginia Railway Express is planning a train stop between Rippon and Quantico to be completed by 2017.

    Northern Virginia

    Historic Old Town Alexandria is breaking ground on its first waterfront hotel, a Hotel Indigo, opening in 2017.  The new property will add to the bustling development of Alexandria’s riverfront district, which includes a new Waterfront Market and a new water taxi service linking Alexandria to the monuments and museums of DC’s National Mall.

    Westin Crystal City has completed a $16 million dollar refurbishment to ensure guests will enjoy a whole new experience while conveniently located one mile from the Ronald Reagan National airport and next to the Crystal City Metro Station. The renovation includes a complete rejuvenation to the hotel’s 220 guest rooms, lobby, 16,000 square feet of meeting facilities, and additional public spaces.

    Fairfax Marriott at Fair Oaks recently underwent a complete renovation, including adding a new restaurant. The renovations included an addition of six guest rooms, an indoor patio area with fireplace, and the new dining spot, 703 bar + kitchen. The renovation featured a newly-redesigned 5,000 sq. ft. atrium and a vastly expanded concierge lounge. Updates were made to all of the existing guest rooms and public space, as well as to the 9,000 sq. ft. of banquet and meeting space.

    The new Marriott Ranch Farmhouse opening spring 2016 will feature five bedrooms with private baths, a living room, kitchen and boardroom. The Inn at Fairfield Farm is an historic bed & breakfast with seven guest rooms. The Farmhouse will bring the total to twelve guest rooms in the center of the Marriott Ranch's 4,200 acre working cattle ranch. The Marriott Ranch also serves as a premier Northern Virginia outdoor event site hosting company picnics, executive meetings and retreats, weddings and other social events.

    The 296-room Lansdowne Resort is embarking on a multimillion-dollar renovation to celebrate its 25th anniversary. The project at the 476-acre property will redesign all the guest rooms using an earth-toned palette, to be completed spring 2016. The décor will reference the resort's proximity to Northern Virginia's wine country and will bring a modern, refined look to the property. Among the property's offerings are 45 holes of championship golf, a full-service spa, five pools, a state-of-the-art health-and-fitness center and several dining options. For groups, there is 55,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, a 9,525-square-foot grand ballroom, a 3,293-square-foot terrace ballroom and a 126-seat amphitheater. 

    The National Museum of the Marine Corps has launched a seven-year $100-million project to document the service’s history from the end of fighting in Vietnam to this generation’s conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.  The facility will grow from 112,000 square feet to 200,000 square feet by 2020.  The expansion will come in stages and feature the addition of an IMAX-style movie theater, Marine Sports Hall of Fame, refurbished aircraft and combat vehicles along with a host of new exhibits.

    Tysons Corner
    The all new Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner Center hotel opened April 2015.  It is connected via covered walkway to the 300+ stores and restaurants of Tysons Corner Center and close to the new Metrorail Silver line connecting Fairfax County with everything that the National Capital Area has to offer.

    Coastal Virginia/Hampton Roads

    Newport News
    In a nod to the Battle of the Hampton Roads, the Ironclad Distillery is Newport News’ first and only operating distillery. Founded in 2015, Ironclad distills, ages and bottles small batch bourbon out of a century-old former dry goods warehouse near the site of the famous battle between the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia (also known as the Merrimack). Tours are available now but currently offering no tastings as the Ironclad Bourbon is aging inside charred oak barrels until fall 2016.

    The Main is downtown Norfolk's newest world-class, $147 million, mixed-use entertainment, meeting, dining and hotel destination coming in 2017. It will feature a Hilton Hotel, an IACC Conference Center and three world class dining venues. The Exchange includes 50,000 square feet of state-of-the-art classrooms, centers for leadership and tiered conference rooms. There will also be two ballrooms in the Hilton, the largest will accommodate groups of up to 1,500.

    Virginia Beach
    The historic Cavalier Hotel is undergoing renovations and will reopen in 2017 as a 5-star member of Marriott’s distinguished Autograph Collection with 90 guest rooms, an onsite bourbon distillery, a ballroom for events and a world class restaurant.  The Cavalier's sister hotel on the oceanfront will be rebuilt and open in 2017 as the Oceanfront Marriott Hotel. The next door Cavalier Beach Club will undergo a $4 million facelift.

    The Yorktown Victory Center will welcome visitors in a brand-new 80,000-square-foot building, marking a major milestone in the site’s transformation into the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.  The building encompasses visitor amenities, classrooms, and a theater and exhibit space.  Work continues on development of permanent gallery exhibits, an introductory film, and outdoor living history areas, all planned for completion by late 2016, when the name change takes effect. 

    Coastal Virginia/Eastern Shore

    Construction is underway to transform the former Sunset Beach Inn & Grille into anything but an ordinary destination on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. The existing hotel, RV campground and restaurant in Kiptopeke will open in summer 2016 as Sunset Beach Resort. The hotel will undergo a complete remodel with new designs and furnishings for all 72 rooms and the lobby area. New amenities to be included in the hotel are a fitness center and six “high end” suites with Whirlpool bathtubs. The existing outdoor pool will also be upgraded. Beyond the pool will be the Jackspot at Sunset Beach, the sister restaurant to the Jackspot on Chincoteague, which opened in 2014.

    Coastal Virginia/Eastern Shore & Chesapeake Bay

    The Commonwealth has created the Virginia Oyster Trail, a major tourism development project connecting travelers to Virginia oyster purveyors, raw bars and restaurants, and the watermen culture throughout Coastal Virginia, the Northern Neck, Middle Peninsula and Virginia’s Eastern Shore.  The first portion of the trail opened in late 2015, giving Virginia visitors the ideal way to experience the Virginia oyster in 2016.

    Virginia Mountains

    The upscale Hampton Inn & Suites Roanoke-Downtown is opening in June 2016 is set in the heart of downtown with sweeping views of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains.  Only ten minutes' drive from the airport, 1200 sq. ft. of conference space and steps away from more than 60 restaurants and Elmwood Park - host to the cities' best special events.

    The new Roanoke Pinball Museum is an interactive museum, with over 45 machines with production dates ranging from the 1950s to the 1990s, dedicated to the science and history of pinball. Admission to the Roanoke Pinball Museum allows patrons to play at their leisure, but also to learn. Pinball players, young and old, are introduced to the history of pinball, the science behind the game, and have an opportunity to appreciate the color, composition and overall design of the backglasses and playfields.

    Clifton Forge
    The recently-opened Hill Crest Bed & Breakfast in Clifton Forge, Virginia has 24 rooms on four levels, with approximately 5,800 square feet of finished living space, a 40,000-gallon in-ground pool and beautiful gardens. All seven guest rooms offer beautiful, private historic or spa retreat bathrooms, feather down pillow top mattresses and fine luxury linens. A daily gourmet three- to five-course silver service breakfast; afternoon wine, cheese and sweet service; and nightly turn-down service with night cap and chocolates are included with every reservation.

    Central Virginia

    Opened in July 2015, the Rockfish Valley Inn is located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains just outside of Charlottesville and offers a total of 7 units with 10 bedrooms. The rooms range in their options and amenities from king beds, queen beds, day beds and pull out sofas, with extras such as a wet bar, refrigerator, coffee maker, private patio or a gas fire place.

    A brand new luxury hotel recently opened its doors on the property of Trump Winery.  Albemarle Estate offers guests the opportunity to stay at one of the most prestigious and architecturally significant residences in history.  Designed by world famous architect David Easton, Albemarle Estate at Trump Winery is an impressive feat of architecture and style. 

    The new Graduate Hotel Charlottesville offers a unique experience to visitors, bringing to mind the days of college life, but with a few treasured extras, you probably couldn’t afford back then.  Part of a small university town hotel chain, Graduate pays tribute to the local college and its culture. 

    Oakhurst Inn, is a new beautiful boutique hotel located in the geographic heart of Charlottesville in one of its most historic and prestigious residential neighborhoods. The hotel features twenty-seven modern guest rooms, five furnished apartments, a gourmet café and 750 square foot state-of-the-art conference room.


    The stunning natural beauty of Wild Wolf Brewing Company provides a truly unforgettable destination backdrop for your next event. Wild Wolf has multiple venue options: an enclosed pavilion (seating for 74) and a new event hall (seating for 146) – providing both indoor and outdoor seating.


    Dating back to the 1890s, Richmond’s Leigh Street Armory housed the First Battalion Virginia Volunteers — Virginia’s first African-American regiment.  Now the armory is under renovations to become the new home of the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia.  A $13 million project slated to open later this year, the museum's new location will give it more room and opportunities for larger exhibits.

    Richmond’s first-ever, design-driven, art-centric lodging property, Quirk Hotel, opened September 2015.  Located in the historic J.B. Mosby & Co building, the property has undergone a comprehensive transformation.  Local art is showcased throughout the hotel, including in individual rooms. The culinary experience at Quirk Hotel focuses on artisan cuisine, sourced locally with an emphasis on regional culinary traditions. Coming soon will be a rooftop bar/lounge.

    Opened January 2016, the new Homewood Suites by Hilton in downtown Richmond boasts a fantastic rooftop lounge and restaurant, offering stunning views of the James River and both indoor and outdoor seating. Energize in the contemporary fitness center, or refresh in the heated rooftop swimming pool. Organize a seminar, conference, training session or wedding with 7000 sq. ft. meeting space, including a 3000 sq. ft. ballroom with ample pre-function space.

    The new Hampton Inn & Suites Richmond - Downtown opens February 2016 and offers the perfect resting spot for business travelers and convention attendees. This modern Downtown Richmond hotel shares the building and excellent on-site amenities with the Homewood Suites.

    The world’s premier collection of Confederate artifacts at the Museum of the Confederacy and the region’s premier waterfront location at the American Civil War Center will combine on the historic Tredegar grounds to form the American Civil War Museum in Richmond.  The new museum is a $30 million project set to begin construction in early 2016 and will have more than 39,000 square feet of space for exhibitions and an experiential theater. 


    The Cider Barn at High View Farm offers remarkable indoor and/or outdoor settings year-round for weddings, receptions, special events and private functions situated in an incredibly scenic setting with panoramic mountain views. The Cider Barn offers 4600 square feet of covered space (3200 inside and 1400 on the covered patio), plus plenty of outdoor space.

    Devils Backbone Brewing Company has added private event space indoors and offers plenty of outdoor space surrounding the building for events.

    Blue Ridge Highlands

    The Millsap-Baker Estate, a Historic Queen Anne Victorian Manor House and grounds, has been completely renovated for weddings and special events upscale meetings (up to 300 people) and bed and breakfast accommodations (sleeps 4).

    The 1927 historic Bolling Wilson Hotel has been renovated and put back into use as a boutique hotel featuring 30 luxurious guest rooms, event space to accommodate 150, a restaurant featuring New Southern cuisine, outdoor dining and a rooftop patio that provides a 360 degree view of the mountains.

    The Sessions Hotel in Bristol, Virginia is slated to open in mid to late 2016 to early 2017.  The owners have taken a grouping of historic buildings and turned them into a boutique hotel just down the street from the site of the landmark “Bristol Sessions” of 1927 and the new Bristol Birthplace of Country Music Museum.

    Shenandoah Valley

    The historic Cassco Ice Plant complex is an original historic ice house restored and renovated into Harrisonburg’s Ice House, the latest entertainment zone featuring restaurants and coffee shops, a brewery, a variety of offices and retail space as well as Hugo Kohl’s Museum of American Jewelry Design.  The museum is committed to preserving and producing some of the most interesting jewelry designs ever conceived and features a very broad collection (over 3,000 pieces) plus one of the largest collections of antique jewelry making equipment in the world.

    The Georges occupies two historic buildings on opposite sides of Main Street in Lexington, Virginia, a special town steeped in history, in the heart of the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. The Georges features 18 unique decorated guest rooms. Indoor and outdoor meeting space for 20-80 people is also available in their Taps Lobby Lounge, Garden Terrace and Courtyard.

    Shenandoah Caverns

    American Celebration on Parade at Shenandoah Caverns has been updated, and can now accommodate large events and trade shows.  With over 9000 square feet of open space, the building can accommodate banquet seating for up to 600 people or theater seating for up to 1000 people or 52 10-foot vendor/exhibit spaces. It's one of the most unique event venues in Virginia with over 20 full-size parade floats throughout the rest of the building.

    Heart of Appalachia

    The Inn at Wise is nestled in the Appalachian Mountains of southwest Virginia, just off The Crooked Road and a stone's throw from Big Stone Gap. Step back in time in this 100-year-old landmark hotel featuring 49 newly-remodeled rooms, 8 luxury suites, on-site full service restaurant, tap room and 50s diner.