The Hotel Roanoke

The Hotel Roanoke quite literally bridges Virginia’s commercial and cultural hubs, offering a glass-enclosed walkway that brings walkers directly into Roanoke’s buzzing downtown from the historic hotel’s hilltop perch.

This is just one of many features that makes The Hotel Roanoke an ideal spot for both leisure and business travelers. If the Tudor-style architecture, spacious rooms and sweeping views aren’t enough, the elegant lobby (with a porch that boasts old-fashioned rocking chairs) or the hotel’s formal and informal dining options will certainly appeal. The property, built in 1882, is a good mix of the classical and contemporary architectures, with an emphasis on the classical.

The Victorian touches to the rooms, with dark wood accents and rich fabrics, dominate. The hotel's Penthouse suite (officially, the Governor’s Suite) will be completely remodeled and renovated by the end of August. It has a living room, two bedrooms, kitchen, dining room and balcony, and it is in demand for its panoramic view of the Roanoke Valley. (Other rooms overlook the Mill Mountain or the train track in front of the hotel, while the East wing has the St. Andrew’s Cathedral in its sights.)

The property's Regency Dining Room is a spacious, elegant retreat for elaborate, formal meals—serving breakfast buffets in the mornings and multicourse dinners in the evenings. The Pine Room Pub has a casual atmosphere, where guests unwind and play pool while enjoying a crab cake sandwich. Make it a point to try the crab cakes and its steak Diane, and don't miss out on the peanut soup and the spoonbread. Nice Touch: The restaurant's chefs will customize a menu for the guests. (They do need at least a week's notice, however.)

Spa services are mainly in-room, but two multifunction treatment rooms are available that can accommodate couples. Contact Susan Merryman (susan@onlocationspaservices.com; 540-853-8295) to arrange treatments. In-room group treatment, bachelorette parties, wedding parties, private rooms and buyout options. For kids, Merryman can arrange for “Pretty Parties,” in which kids can get their hair styled, put on light makeup and get manicures and pedicures. (We are told that Stephanie Hughes is the most popular massage therapist.)

Roanoke Regional Airport is three miles from the hotel, and limousines and town cars can be arranged.

For a truly amazing dining experience, be sure to book a window-side seat at Carlos Brazilian International Cuisine (www.carlosbrazilian.com) at sunset, and watch the Roanoke Valley turn gold with the last of the day’s light. The restaurant’s black bean soup is delicious, and for a true culinary challenge, try finishing the Brazil 2001, a combination of beef, pork, kielbasa sausage and chicken in a garlic merlot wine sauce with rice, black beans and collard greens—which is served with fried bananas. (After I had my go at a Brazil 2001, I didn’t have to eat through the next day. It’s that rich. Amateur diners need not apply.)

For more information on Hotel Roanoke, visit www.hotelroanoke.com.