Look Richmond, I think I owe you an apology.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven passed Richmond on my way to other destinations. Curiosity has always piqued my interest but since I live in Raleigh, NC, I never really thought to visit Richmond. It’s just too close, I guess. But boy, have I missed out! Located only 100 miles from Washington DC, this former Confederate capital is a decidedly Southern city with all the charm that comes with it and is celebrated for its centuries-old history. Southern heritage is definitely palpable in Richmond and no other place delivers southern hospitality like the Linden Row Inn. If you plan to visit Richmond and desire a stay that makes you feel at home while also delivering a bit of Southern luxury, the Linden Row Inn is definitely for you. Luckily, I teamed up with the Linden Row Inn to show you just what southern hospitality is all about!
Visit Richmond: Where is Linden Row Inn?
Linden Row Inn is a 70-room boutique historic hotel situated in the heart of Richmond, Virginia. It’s location makes it very convenient to walk to all the historic sites and excellent dining of downtown Richmond. If walking isn’t your thing, then the hotel offers a complimentary shuttle to all points within a two mile radius of Linden Row Inn. Linden Row Inn is a quick 20 minute drive from the airport making it a convenient choice when you visit Richmond.
Linden Row Inn Ambiance
One of my favorite aspects of the hotel is the way it is decorated. Of course, hotel decor really sets the vibe for your stay and if you choose Linden Row Inn, you are going to have that Antebellum experience of the Southern United States. The hotel is comprised of 7 row houses from the 1800s which have been restored to their original splendor but include all the comforts of modern amenities. To top it off, Linden Row Inn has made great efforts to furnish its guest rooms and parlour suites with Antebellum and Civil War era furniture and decor, most of which dates to the mid-1800s. All of this combined with historic Richmond really creates an environment harkening to a romanticized, bygone era of American history. It really helps set the mood when you visit Richmond and steers you into a more relaxed mindset ready to explore the city.
History of Linden Row Inn
The Linden Row Inn has a long (by American standards) and fascinating history spanning a period of more than 200 years. Originally the land where Linden Row Inn now stands was part of a 100 acre plot owned by a prominent businessman named Thomas Rutherford. The land was considered as the location of a prison, passed between a few hands, and eventually became the property of Ellis who used the property as a garden known for roses, jasmine, and beautiful linden trees.
In the early 1800s a young Edgar Allan Poe spent his time playing in this garden after being orphaned due to the deaths of his parents. According to legend, this is the enchanted garden mentioned in his famous poem “To Helen.” He’s also know to have met Elmira Royster, the love of his life, in the garden where the Linden Row Inn now stands.
The property later served as the location of a girl’s school until the early 1900s. In 1922, two of the row houses were destroyed to make way for the Medical Arts Building. Finally, in 1950, Mary Wingfield Scott saved the remaining eight houses from destruction. A notable architectural historian, she recognized the value of its pre-Civil War era architecture and used the property as her home while renting rooms to locals. Eventually, in 1980, she donated the property to the Historic Richmond Foundation. 8 years later Linden Row Inn was restored as a full-service hotel and it is considered the nation’s best surviving example of Greek revival architecture.
If you’d like to learn more about the history of the Linden Row Inn, check out the very thorough book available for purchase here.
Visit Richmond: LGBT Connection
Personally, I consider the Linden Row Inn a place of profound importance to LGBT History in the United States and the world. Mary Wingfield Scott, who saved the buildings from destruction, was a lesbian woman of prominence within the Richmond community of the 1950s. At a time when LGBT visibility was frowned upon, she held her head high and bettered society. When she purchased the buildings that now compose the Linden Row Inn, she opened the doors to whomever wishes to rent a place to live. As a result, the property became filled with wanderers, musicians, actors, and creative types. The general atmosphere was very family-friendly, bohemian atmosphere. Her love of Antebellum architecture and passion for historic preservation made it possible for us to visit and enjoy the Linden Row Inn among a number of other properties in Richmond.
Rooms at the Linden Row Inn
The rooms at the Linden Row Inn are designed to take you back in time while also making you feel perfectly comfortable according to our standard’s today. There are three types of rooms at Linden Row Inn which offer something for any budget including Parlour Suites, Main House Rooms, and Garden Rooms.
Parlour Suites: There are 7 parlour suites named after prominent people from Richmond’s history and situated in the row houses. Each suite is elegantly decorated with period furniture and is one-of-of-a-kind. With 12 foot ceilings, a parlour, large windows, gasolier lighting, king size beds, marble fireplaces, and more space than you’ll ever need, you’ll certainly enjoy your stay. Parlous suites are dive into southern luxury at its best. These are perfect for a romantic getaway or a wedding!
Main House Rooms: Slightly smaller than Parlour Suites, these rooms feature 12 foot ceilings, king or queen sized beds, period furniture, and access to the veranda.
Garden Rooms: These room are located in one of the two original carriage houses built in the 1800s. Featuring queen size beds and light colors, these rooms are perfect for relaxing in the peaceful garden.
I was lucky enough to stay in one of the Parlour Suites and, let me tell you, it’s one of the nicest rooms I’ve ever stayed in. As soon as I walked into the room, I knew I was having quite a special experience. It was like stepping back to a simpler time if I was a member of the upper society. The first thing that grabbed my attention was the size of the room with it’s two couches in the parlour, two fireplaces, and floor to ceiling windows. I felt like I was definitely having a true Richmond experience. The period furniture added to the overall ambiance of the place and our bed was super comfortable.
Linden Row Inn Garden
The garden at Linden Row Inn is a lovely, bricked space featuring its namesake trees (linden trees), a fountain, and tables and chairs. Try grabbing a coffee from the onsite cafe and relaxing under a linden tree as you contemplate the day ahead. It’s a great place to hang out and read a book or take a breather after exploring the city all day.
If you’re planning to get married and want to have that fairy tale wedding, why not throw your party at the Linden Row Inn. You can get married in the garden and crash in your beautiful parlor suite. An Antebellum style wedding is just waiting for you! The Linden Row Inn is a big supporter of love so it doesn’t matter if your LGBT or heterosexual. Love is love at the Linden Row Inn and they honor the great legacy of Mary Wingfield Scott who welcomed all people regardless of their walk of life.
Visit Richmond: Urban Farmhouse Market & Cafe
Another great feature of the Linden House Inn is the Urban Farmhouse Market & Cafe which offers low-key, no frills, tasty bites to eat as well as great coffees and other beverages. It’s really convenient to grab breakfast here in the morning and my favorite thing was ordering a delicious breakfast sandwich and a latte…the perfect way to start the day. You’ll enjoy the farmhouse kitchen atmosphere of the cafe too!
Visit Richmond: Why I Love the Linden Row Inn
I think you can kind of get a good idea as to why I love the Linden Row Inn so much, In essence, the hotel is really one of a kind. Preserved by a fierce lesbian woman, the hotel honors her by welcoming everyone regardless of their identities and that’s something I can definitely get behind. On top of that the Linden Row Inn helps preserve a number of buildings which represent an important part of American history. I really appreciate the historic nature of the hotel and the ways by which Linden Row Inn make the past more tangible to us today. It’s also luxurious and I love luxury!
Staying at the Linden Row Inn was truly a pleasure and a wonderful memory for us during our road trip to Canada. For a truly inspiring experience, I highly recommend you stay at the Linden Row Inn if you plan to visit Richmond.
To book your stay at the Linden Row Inn, visit their website.
History abounds in Richmond. Would you stay at the Linden Row Inn?
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