Roaming Roanoke: Hotel Roanoke
Roanoke was a national trending topic on Twitter this week and it was not for this Roaming Roanoke blog. The tweetstorm centered around a 1970 clip of The Dating Game show where Karen Carpenter and her selected date won a trip to Roanoke with a stay in Hotel Roanoke. This clip led to A LOT OF TWEETS about Roanoke! Naturally, a blog titled Roaming Roanoke cannot let this pass by. This is Valentine’s week and Virginia is for Lovers, so let’s talk about one of the Star City’s romantic places, Hotel Roanoke!
Hotel Roanoke was actually our introduction to the area. When we found out we were moving here in 2018, we did not know much about the area. My husband and I came here for the weekend to research the area. We stayed at Hotel Roanoke. Our family has also visited Hotel Roanoke a few times since then, especially during the Christmas season to see the trees and decorations (we hate that the pandemic canceled the trees in the hotel this past year).
Hotel Roanoke dates back to 1882! It has welcomed millions of guests throughout the years. The Hotel Roanoke website (hotelroanoke.com) has its extensive past online and says of its visitors, “In addition to railroad travelers and businessmen, out-of-towners in the 19th century came to Hotel Roanoke to enjoy long vacations in mountain air. The Hotel’s deep veranda, concealed from summer sun by fragrant wisteria, invited relaxation. Since the time of the Hotel’s original guests have come Presidents of the United States, governors, millionaires, theater and sports stars, attendees for political and business conventions, and Miss Virginia competitors since 1953. Not as celebrated as these notables, but perhaps more important – since they have always formed the core of the Hotel’s business – are countless thousands of Roanokers.” (info from hotelroanoke.com)
The tudor style hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places. It may be more than 100 years old, but Hotel Roanoke is a modern hotel with a nod to its historic charm! It underwent a multi-million dollar renovation in the 1990s. The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center has the AAA Four Diamond Destination rating and it is part of the Curio Collection by Hilton. The website states,”The hotel is part of the exclusive Curio Collection by Hilton, a global portfolio of upper upscale, one-of-a-kind hotels and resorts all celebrated for their individuality.”
When we stayed there, we had a nice suite with a living room, a bedroom, and two large bathrooms. We were high enough to look out the windows for a view of downtown Roanoke. It has all of the modern amenities and more that you want in a hotel. It is definitely a nice place for a romantic weekend getaway at home or for family and friends to stay while visiting.
It has several dining options so you do not have to leave the hotel if you do not want to. We ate at the Regency Room. It is for reservations. It is more of dinner without the kids place. It was delicious! We enjoyed excellent service, live music serenading in the background, and a dance floor. This was all before the Covid pandemic. The website says the restaurants all take the proper Covid guidelines right now. There are other dining options inside the hotel. The Pine Room, 1882 Lobby Bar, STEAM Coffee + Eatery are open and serving daily per state guidelines. Hotel Roanoke is also in walking distance to most of the restaurants in downtown Roanoke as well.
I also enjoyed walking around the historic hotel and looking at the chandeliers, the decor, the historic items, etc. There are plenty of staircases and elaborate corners to take pictures as well.
Whether you are a notable dignitary or a local visitor, The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center can provide a romantic trip or getaway close to home. However, it is a nice place for families to visit too! We love taking the kids and seeing all of the decorated Christmas trees in December. It is one of the best spots in the region to take photos for Christmas cards! Our kids love seeing all of the decoration themes and activities that go along with it. When we drive by Hotel Roanoke on the interstate, one will even point it out and say that is where they love the Christmas trees. The hotel is also a nice place outside of Christmas to visit to see the decor and learn some of the railroad history of the area.
While love is in the air this Valentine’s week (and all the time since Virginia is for Lovers), I should mention they serve as a wedding venue too! My five-year-old daughter loves looking at the wedding dresses and wedding decor set-up near the wedding office! She says it looks like a princess area.
Whether or not the city and Hotel Roanoke were worthy of a romantic game show prize in 1970 is obviously up for debate on Twitter. However, the present-day Hotel Roanoke in this Star City is worthy of a visit now!
The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center
110 Shenandoah Ave NW
Hotel: 540-985-5900 Reservations: 1-866-594-4722
If you have any suggestions for Roaming Roanoke to visit, please let me know!
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- Roaming Roanoke: Hotel Roanoke