What's New for Meetings in Virginia
In early 2022 (Jan-Feb), an additional round-trip Amtrak train to Roanoke will depart DC in the morning and serve Alexandria, Burke, Manassas, Culpeper, Charlottesville, Lynchburg, and Roanoke.
Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Arlington is nearing the completion of the $1 Billion “Project Journey” transformation – with a new 14-gate concourse and two security checkpoint buildings as well as new retail, dining and more. The new concourse opened summer 2021 with the new security gates opening in Nov 2021. The project is the airport’s most significant expansion of facilities in nearly 25 years and will substantially improve customer convenience, passenger connectivity and security standards.
For the first time since Dulles Airport opened in 1962, travelers have a fast, easy, inexpensive rapid transit option for getting from Dulles to points throughout Northern Virginia when the Silver Line Metrorail extension opened in 2021.
Coming in 2022 or later: Virginia voters approved casinos in 4 Virginia locations – Bristol (Hard Rock), Danville (Caesars), Portsmouth and Norfolk.
A new AKA luxury property will open in July 2022 in Old Town Alexandria at 625 First Street. Designed for longer stays, AKA balances the space and comfort of a fully appointed luxury apartment with the style and hospitality of an intimate hotel.
The Hilton Alexandria Mark Center began a $10 million renovation in November 2021, including enhancements to meeting spaces, guestrooms and more. The property is expected to reopen in early 2022.
George Washington’s Mount Vernon will unveil an all-new exhibit at the Donald W. Reynolds Museum entitled “Becoming Mount Vernon” in February 2022 that will take a broader look at how Mount Vernon came to be, from Native Americans through Washington’s ownership and into preservation efforts. New specialty tours include the Founding Flowers garden tour and the Hamilton: The Musical tour. Also new: a free app that pairs with virtual reality devices to give users an immersive tour of the property
The National Museum of the United States Army has officially opened to the public after decades of planning. This 185,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art museum is the first and only museum to tell the comprehensive history of America's oldest military service branch. These stories are told through the eyes of the U.S. soldier and the impressive museum features several interactive exhibits, a multi-dimensional theater, a Medal of Honor Garden experience, and a kid-friendly and G-STEM anchored Experiential Learning Center where guests can simulate the work of Army soldiers.
The Watermark Hotel is a 300-key, all-suite elevated residential-style property located at Capital One Center, the new entertainment complex at the corporation’s headquarters in Tysons, Virginia. The hotel has been thoughtfully designed with oversized suites, upscale furnishings and convenient access to Northern Virginia & Washington, DC’s amenities. The property’s lobby opens up to The Perch, a breathtaking village green soaring 11 stories above street level (which features a Biergarten, amphitheater, dog park, food truck experience, and mini-golf course). The Perch sits atop Capital One Hall, the region’s newest performance venue, which already has an impressive lineup of concerts, Broadway, holiday shows, and more. Additionally, The Watermark is home to Wren Tysons, a Japanese American fusion dining experience, which was already included in a round-up of the “Hottest New Restaurants Around DC” by Eater.
Tysons Corner Marriott recently completed a $25 million floor-to-ceiling renovation. Some of the enhancements included a new lobby, 400 fully transformed guest rooms, over 12,000 square feet of reimagined event space and two additional event spaces, a state-of-the-art fitness center with Peloton bikes, a refreshed dining space inspired by a sophisticated Gastropub, and the addition of a 24-hour M Club for Marriott Bonvoy members.
The Archer Tysons is a 178-room boutique hotel in Tysons, and only the seventh property for the award-winning boutique brand that places major emphasis on local discoveries, with a distinct nod to the destination each property calls home. The Archer Tysons greets guests with a spirit of casual elegance - lofted ceilings, exposed brick, and industrial-chic design – and hones in on the “Virginia is for Lovers” brand featuring an impressive variety of Virginia-focused art and products. Nestled in Tysons' up-and-coming neighborhood, Scotts Run, and adjacent to the new Capital One Center complex, The Archer Tysons also features a buzzy hotel bar called AKB, stylish event space, and unique design palettes.
Another brand new Archer joined Fairfax County’s hotel portfolio in December 2021 – the Archer Falls Church, which joins Washington, DC-area’s innovative retail and entertainment district, Mosaic, as its headquarter hotel property. This transformation of a former Hyatt House to the new Archer brand will feature chic new interiors, dramatic lighting, locally curated art and fabulous finishes, touches and trims, a new lively bar under the AKB brand, redesigned suites and guest rooms, complimentary amenities and thoughtful touches like turndown treats, bathrobes and slippers, and a drink + dine credit for direct bookings. The transformation began December 15 and the hotel will remain open for guests throughout the renovations.
Juicy Brewing Co., a new startup brewery, aims to open a small taproom in Herndon late 2021/early 2022 and will feature a mix of fruity sours to hazy IPAs.
George Washington’s Distillery & Gristmill, located 3 miles from the Mount Vernon estate, still produces Washington’s famous Rye Whiskey using his 18th century recipe and methods. While the site has begun doing limited spirits tastings, visitors will be able to enjoy a new, permanent tasting room on the property in 2022.
Bunnyman Brewing Co., which opened mid-2021, gets its name from a colorful urban legend and offers up a self-serve beer wall.
Honor Brewing Co. is dedicated to telling the stories of the servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice, in addition to making great beer. The Chantilly brewery finally opened its first taproom in mid-2021.
Herndon Biergarten, openend in late 2021, features a 2,000-sq-ft bier hall, 60+ drafts on tap, an 11,000-sq-ft outdoor patio and a rooftop deck – plus an extensive whiskey tasting menu.
Hotel Fredericksburg in Washington Square in Downtown Fredericksburg will be a 99-room hotel and meeting space.
Tru by Hilton in Ashburn is slated to open in January 2022. Guests will be welcomed into the brand new Tru by Hilton by a wall mural featuring Loudoun’s many local attractions. The property will have 125 modern and efficient sleeping rooms and be located at One Loudoun in Ashburn, which is a shopping/restaurant hub just about 25 miles from Washington, D.C. The Tru Hotel will include a coffee station and market, lounge, game room, pool, modern work spaces and more.
After opening in 2021, Flying Ace Farm Brewery will continue to expand in 2022. Located on a 55-acre working farm of a former Air Force pilot, Flying Ace is the county’s first farm brewery and distillery. Sample hops- forward ales and crisp craft lagers such as the Virginia Farmhouse Saison or the aptly named Air Boss Pilsner in the brewery before walking over to the hanger-like distillery – a vintage fighter plane on display – to try award-winning cask strength Blended Bourbon or three grain White Dog whiskey, the latter made using the farm’s own corn. In 2022, a restored barn on the premises is set to serve as an outpost of Purcellville-based Monk’s BBQ. Beer, bourbon and brisket – what more could you possibly need?
Prince William County
A new Hilton Garden Inn opened in Haymarket across from the town hall in August 2021.
The National Museum of the Marine Corps has completed its $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 has grown from 112,000 square feet to 200,000 square feet. The Legacy Walk Exhibit tells the story of the nearly 250-year history of the Marine Corps.
COASTAL VIRGINIA/HAMPTON ROADS
After completing a multi-million-dollar renovation, the Landing at Hampton Marina, Tapestry Collection by Hilton (formerly Crown Plaza and Hampton Marina Hotel) opens January 2021 and features 173 guest rooms and suites. The site will also feature Topsail for marina dining and Copper Barley Spirit Bar, highlighting Virginia-based spirits and breweries.
1865 Brewing Company, the first Black-owned brewery in Hampton Roads, opened in 2021. 1865 Brewing Co. is a micro-brewery with beers that will have clean crisp flavors that are not overly bitter and will be a broad range of styles to include recipes with coffee and CBD. The brewery will also feature a line of non-alcoholic drinks with a focus on “wellness” that incorporates probiotics and herbal supplements. It will also offer a full-service espresso bar and an assortment of pastries from a local Top Dessert Chef.
The Perry Glass Art Collection opened in 2021. This 4500 sq. ft. gallery features a private collection of over 65 glass art pieces from world renowned artists. The collection spans two floors in the Glass Light Hotel and will be rotated out to feature new artists. The Gallery is free to hotel guests and the public and with be open Tuesday – Saturday from 8:00am – 8:00pm.
Lost Planet Selfie Museum - What’s a vacation without a few selfies? Explore this new immersive museum designed specifically for your Insta feed with wacky landscapes and over-the-top props.
Chesapeake Bay Pedal Club - Ready to upgrade your spin class? Hop aboard the new 16-passenger Cycleboat pub with your crew and explore the waters of Rudee Inlet from April through October. Two-hour cruise tickets are sold by the seat for several daily sailings including the popular sunset cruise. Each pontoon boat is stocked with ice-filled coolers, bottled water, and room for your favorite beer/wine and picnic additions. Pedalboat captains are USCG certified, and the vessels also are available to rent for private outings and special events.
Delta by Marriott, Virginia Bayfront Suites opened February 2021. The all-suites property has 292 rooms along the Chesapeake Bay and offers over 13,000 square feet of meeting space.
New and renovated hotels in Virginia Beach opening in late 2020 and in 2021 include:
- Fairfield Inn Town Center
- Homewood Suites by Hilton
- Home2Suites by Hilton
- Hyatt Place Oceanfront
- Embassy Suites Hotel at Cavalier Oceanfront Resort
- Moxy by Marriott
In early 2022 (Jan-Feb), an additional round-trip Amtrak train to Roanoke will depart DC in the morning and serve Alexandria, Burke, Manassas, Culpeper, Charlottesville, Lynchburg, and Roanoke. More info: https://www.governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/all-releases/2021/may/headline-894911-en.html
Downtown Roanoke’s first boutique hotel, The Liberty Trust, will open in January 2022. The 7-styory, 54 room hotel has been elegantly restored from an early-20th century bank with features including a walk-in vault turned Tasting Room and the building’s original copper doors that were repurposed for the lobby on an episode of Salvage Dawgs (S11E10). There will also be a small number of pet-friendly rooms. More info:
Barrel Chest Wine & Beer opened their new 2,000-sq. ft. location in October 2021. In late November 2021, they will debut Roanoke’s first self-pour system for beer and wine. The new location is closer to Downtown Roanoke and features a sitting space, and full deli case for their cheese and charcuterie program. More info: https://www.wdbj7.com/2021/10/05/barrel-chest-wine-beer-open-new-location-plans-self-pour-wine-beer-taps/
The Keswick Hall resort went through an extensive, multi-year renovation, that included adding additional guest rooms, a new restaurant (Marigold) featuring world-renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and other luxurious amenities. The property officially re-opened its doors to the public in fall of 2021.
Clarion Pointe hotel (formerly LaQuinta Inn and Suites) is located on Rt. 29 and conveniently near the University of Virginia and shopping/restaurants on 29 North. This property was renovated and reopened under its new name/brand in 2021.
Holiday Inn Express will be opening a new location in early 2022 in the Pantops area of Charlottesville along US Rt. 250.
Woodspring Suites will open in the City of Lynchburg April 2022. Woodspring Suites is a collection of extended stay hotels where guests can find affordable rates, smartly-designed suites, and in-room kitchens. Woodspring Suites offers nightly rates, weekly rates, and monthly rates that cover necessities with add-ons available; a refreshingly different extended stay hotel experience and guest-first focus that makes visitors feel at home while staying with Woodspring Suites. Woodspring Suites will be located at 301 Border Street, right off of the Lynchburg Expressway and conveniently located near Liberty University.
Champion Brewing opened in November 2021 at 1021 Main Street in Downtown Lynchburg. Champion Brewing is Lynchburg’s newest craft brewery, joining Starr Hill on Main, and Three Roads Brewing. All three breweries are located within a couple of blocks of each other making opportunity for a perfect brewery crawl.
The Moxy Hotel, located in downtown Richmond, is set to open at the end of 2021.
The Richmond Marriott, which connects to the Greater Richmond Convention Center, recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation, which included renovations of all 410 guest rooms and improvements to the lobby and fitness center. The hotel also introduced their new restaurant in September 2021, Fall Line Kitchen & Bar, an upscale-casual restaurant serving comfort food, regional craft beer and creative cocktails. The name is a nod to Virginia's most prominent geological feature.
SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA - BLUE RIDGE HIGHLANDS/HEART OF APPALACHIA
The highly anticipated Sessions Hotel opened in 2020 as a Tribute Hotel by Marriott in Bristol on State Street. The 70-room, $20 million project includes Southern Craft BBQ Restaurant, indoor and outdoor music venues, rooftop space and a luxury spa - Vision Day Spa & Salon.
Nicewonder Farm & Vineyards in Bristol opened the Nicewonder Inn in Summer 2021. This 28-room luxury boutique inn will boast inviting common areas, a world-class culinary and wine program, and beautifully appointed rooms ranging from 325ft to 650ft, highlighted by a 1200 sq. ft. “presidential” suite, all overlooking some of the most beautiful scenery on property.
Burke’s Garden Hostel – Geared toward lodging for hikers along the Appalachian Trail
Augusta County’s newest hotel recently opened at the I-81/I-64 interchange and I-81 Exit 222. The Avid Hotel focuses on providing all the essentials at an exceptional value. Its central location provides easy access to our outdoor amenities, dining options, and more.
Hyatt Place Harrisonburg opened for reservations December 7, 2021. It is located at 1884 Evelyn Byrd Avenue. It will be the only hotel in Harrisonburg with a rooftop bar and with stunning views of the valley and George Washington National Forest.
The Atlantic Union Bank Center in Harrisonburg opened in November 2020 as the sparkling new home of the James Madison University men’s and women’s basketball programs, The 8,500 seat venue will also serve as a commencement center, concert venue and host to other events.
The 152-room Natural Bridge Historic Hotel & Conference Center in Natural Bridge became a member of the Trademark Collection by Wyndham hotel brand and is undergoing a $750,000 renovation including a complete guest room renovation in the Main Hotel along with some redesigned public spaces. Additional highlights will include exterior upgrades, the addition of a fitness center, and fully equipped 5-Bedroom Villa.
The Blackburn Inn in Staunton has announced the addition of a 2,500 square foot spa. The Spa at The Blackburn, located in the Wellness and Conference Center on the hotel grounds, is Staunton’s first spa and will offer facials, massage, reflexology, and nail treatments. The Wellness and Conference Center which opened fall 2020, offers just over 20,000 sq.-ft. and consists of one 6,000 sq.-ft. meeting/banquet room, plus several other private spaces of various sizes.
One of Virginia’s beloved coastal resorts, The Tides Inn, received a new look and restaurant. The new coastal eatery called Fish Hawk features outdoor oyster roasting, a raw bar and various seafood classics.
The Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville opened the Jean S. Adams Education Pavilion in October 2021. The Pavilion will offer education programs, interpretive elements and multi-use functionality.
FOR MORE EXCITING DEVELOPMENTS SEE WHAT'S NEW IN VIRGINIA