WHERE IS IT? Located on bustling Main Street, the hotel is in between the University of Virginia campus and downtown Charlottesville. The street is packed with great restaurants, shops and bars. In addition to the main building, the hotel also encompasses two original 19th century homes containing a popular coffee shop, hair salon and soon-to-open whiskey bar.
WHAT’S IT LIKE? The hotel opened in March, but only for two weeks before COVID-19 forced everything to close temporarily. It has reopened with the same energy and style as before, albeit with precautions in place. Staffers were cleaning the lobby, art gallery and public areas hourly, and the hotel is also using electrostatic sprayers and disinfecting tablets as part of its cleaning protocols. None of this can stop you from appreciating just how beautiful this hotel is though. It is really an enormous art gallery with paintings, murals and three-dimensional designs throughout the property from local artists. The dramatic lobby has curvaceous ceilings, minimalist furnishings and colorful art pieces that draw you further inside, where a bar and museum-style gift shop await. While there is a dedicated art gallery and screening room, there is permanent art on display everywhere throughout the hotel with information cards telling more about each piece. Exhibitions in the gallery will change regularly with kick-off events open to the public to celebrate the artists. Quirk Charlottesville is part of Destination Hotels, which participates in World of Hyatt, and it’s the second Quirk property to open following its sibling in Richmond.
ROOM FACILITIES Designers wanted to blend art and history, which is evident in the vintage-style furnishings and artwork. Huge beds are draped in soft duvets and long pillows monogrammed with the letter Q for Quirk. Signature pops of pink are everywhere from the hallways to the bathroom shelves and guest room chairs. Pink is a favorite color of the hotel owner, and she even designed her own shade of the color for the hotel. Each room floor has a different version of pink visible in its décor. Fabric-covered headboards feature the work of a local abstract artist who created them specifically for the hotel. The chic side tables hold round lamps, power and USB outlets, and even a pink sound machine to create white noise. Instead of a desk in my room, there was a side table with cushioned bench and chair. This means it can be used as a desk, dining table or for spreading out your belongings. I wish there were a bit more lighting, but the floor-to-ceiling window (with electronic shades) helped. Views are of the city and the distant Blue Ridge Mountains. The refrigerator and clothes steamer were two appreciated amenities. Bathrooms stock NEST toiletries, and the towels are enormous and soft. In addition to standard rooms, there are also several rooms with balconies as well as a loft suite.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS The Pink Grouse, which overlooks the hotel’s courtyard, will serve American fare with great craft beer and wine from the region. It was not open during my visit, but the menu looked great with dishes like turmeric rigatoni with Italian sausage ragout, shoyu honey-glazed cod, and roasted beet noodles with dill-horseradish cream. Quirk Café offers a light menu and coffee from Richmond’s Blanchard’s Coffee Roasting Company. While the whiskey bar has yet to open, the rooftop bar surely was with an amazing panorama overlooking the city from all angles and rolling hills in the distance. One of the hotel’s popular drinks is its signature French rose wine, which adds yet another pink touch.
LEISURE FACILITIES The fitness center is open and well-equipped, but for now, guests must make a reservation to use it. This allows staff the chance to clean it after each use. The hotel is pet-friendly, and Main Street is a great place to get some exercise while walking your dog. There are even water bowls for dogs at the front door.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES Wireless Internet is free, and the hotel features 10,000 square feet of meeting space. The art galleries and public areas are also ideal for receptions.
VERDICT There is so much character here with the art telling stories about the area while also feeding your soul with a little inspiration. You’ll leave feeling enriched even after one night’s stay.
HOW MANY ROOMS? 80 rooms and suites
PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS Modern and thought-provoking art everywhere and signature pink touches from the rooms to the rooftop bar
PRICE Internet rates for a traditional room start at $186.
CONTACT 499 West Main St., Charlottesville, VA, 22902, Phone 434-729-1234. destinationhotels.com