Plan a weekend in Virginia or Philadelphia, or check out a new shopping and entertainment complex
Set in Virginia’s heartland near Longwood University and Hampden-Sydney College, Hotel Weyanoke sits in the center of Farmville, a college town that has an abundance of small-town charm. Opened last May, the 70-room boutique hotel occupies a historic brick building and a new “Cumberland” wing. All guest rooms and suites feature midcentury modern furnishings, Kingsdown mattresses, downlike mattress pads and blankets, and oversize showers. The 43 Cumberland wing rooms also include a full-size desk, hardwood floors and a private balcony. Several rooms in the historic building, while smaller, overlook Longwood University’s elegant brick buildings.
Catbird, the rooftop bar, offers cozy outdoor seating and sweeping views of town and Longwood University. Sassafras, a gourmet coffee shop, and Effingham’s, an eatery with coal-fired pizzas, panini and salads, are also on the property. The wine bar and modern Italian fare at Campagna make for a lovely date-night dinner.
You can walk or bike (rentals are available in the lobby) a few blocks from the hotel to an entrance for High Bridge Trail State Park that leads to the iconic High Bridge, a converted rails-to-trails bridge that spans the Appomattox River and is part of the 31-mile trail. Other nearby offerings include Longwood Center for the Visual Arts and the Green Front Furniture market (housed in four former tobacco warehouses and several North Main Street storefronts), where you can purchase the same furnishings and mattresses found in the hotel. Rates begin at $129 per night for historic rooms; $139 for the Cumberland wing.
Hotel Weyanoke, 202 High St., Farmville, Virginia; 434-658-7500; hotelweyanoke.com
Located in Philadelphia’s Midtown Village, the residential-style Independent Hotel makes for a refined home away from home that’s within walking distance of boutiques, coffee shops, trendy bars and some of the city’s top cultural and performing arts institutions. A thorough renovation of the property that was completed in January includes a living room-like lobby with games, and walls adorned with the work of local artists, much of which is available for purchase. The Independent Hotel’s 24 guest rooms and suites are a variety of sizes and feature hardwood floors, an espresso machine, HDTV and posh bathrooms with floral and peacock-patterned blue wallpaper. Some rooms have exposed brick walls and tin ceilings. The two-story Locust Loft Suite offers a queen-size bed, full-size Murphy bed, lounge area and 1½ bathrooms.
A breakfast basket stocked with fruit, juice and pastries is delivered to guest rooms each morning. Bud & Marilyn’s restaurant, located in the building, is an homage to chef and co-owner Marcie Blaine Turney’s grandparents and their Wisconsin roots. It serves creative cocktails and innovative takes on American comfort food, such as warm buttermilk pretzel rolls, butternut squash agnolotti and short-rib stroganoff. Pet-friendly amenities include doggie treats and embroidered dog beds. Rates begin at $199.
The Independent Hotel, 1234 Locust St., Philadelphia; 215-772-1440; theindependenthotel.com