9.09.2013

Pack Your Bags: A Traveler’s Look at the Williamsburg Lodge in Colonial Williamsburg, Va



If you want to immerse yourself in colonial life, be in the best location possible for a Colonial Williamsburg vacation, and stay in a family-friendly hotel that meets most of my luxury hotel standards, then there is no doubt in my mind that you need to stay in the Williamsburg Lodge.



Colonial Williamsburg has several properties for all budgets, but the true luxury hotel lover will probably be happy only in the Premium properties, which include the Williamsburg Inn, The Williamsburg Lodge, and the Providence Hall Guest Houses. 

There is nothing wrong with the other properties in the deluxe and value categories at all, but you know we talk about luxury here, and it’s important for me to tell you that there is even a big difference in luxury between the Williamsburg Inn and the Lodge, where I stayed.



The Williamsburg Inn (read about my private tour of the Inn) is going to have what most expect in a luxury hotel: turn-down service, robes, slippers, 24-hour room service, and marble bathrooms.  It falls into the real category of a luxury property, just as its founder John D. Rockefeller envisioned.  Also, as a Leading Hotel of the World property, there are certain expectations that the Inn maintains, and its nightly rate of more than $500 per night reflects this.

The Williamsburg Lodge, with its folk-art décor, has a more refined, casual, fun vibe. 



The Williamsburg Lodge Rooms

The rooms are missing plush robes, duvets, scales, and large luxury bathrooms that you typically find in the properties that I’ve visited for this blog, but these rooms are spacious and clean, they’re equipped with Keurig coffee machines, and bathroom amenities are from the Williamsburg Inn Spa.



It’s definitely conference-friendly, and the public areas give it more of a lux feel than the rooms do.  Rooms rival the amenities found in moderate to upscale national hotel chains, but custom period furnishings take these up a notch for theming and individuality. 

The Williamsburg Lodge furnishings transport you back to colonial days, but with some very modern conveniences like a fitness center, complimentary Wi-Fi, select hours of room service, and a full-service restaurant. 


We stayed in a lodge deluxe room with two queen beds in the Custis House.  Some rooms have hardwood floors. Our room had carpeting. The original lodge is a historic property built in 1939. Today, the hotel boasts 323 guest rooms and 45,000 square feet of meeting space.



The Lodge complex is made up of eight distinct buildings.  The Custis building is one of four buildings added in 2006.  The entire lodge facility is connected by a series of covered walkways for convenient access in any weather.  And we certainly saw torrential rains on our first evening there.

The Williamsburg Lodge is Best for Families who Like Upscale Surroundings

After touring the Williamsburg Inn, and staying in the Williamsburg Lodge, I’m going to stand by my opinion that the Williamsburg Lodge is the best place for families to stay if they like more upscale surroundings. 



The beds are comfortable.  The lobby is beautiful, and the food is delicious.  I had the three-cheese flatbread pizza in the Lobby Lounge on my first night there, and I thought it was exceptional.  The Lodge also has many Virginia craft brews on tap.

The hotel also shares an indoor lap pool and an outdoor pool with the Williamsburg Inn. 




The location of the Lodge cannot be beat.  The Fife and Drum corps pick up guests every morning and march them into the Revolutionary City.  You are just steps away from the action.

The Luxury Perks

The doorman greets with you a smile after your day of sightseeing, and the complimentary water is a great perk on hot days.  Staff will make reservations for you and help with your tour plans.




Staying on property at Colonial Williamsburg has many perks, including discount tickets, preferred reservations for dining and attractions, as well as complimentary shuttle transportation around Revolutionary City and other area attractions.   We took the shuttle to Busch Gardens, and it was a seamless process.  Colonial Williamsburg also provides transportation to Yorktown and Jamestown, seasonally.




And here’s another inside tip for you: If you do stay in a premium property, you will be the last pickup before the bus heads to Busch Gardens, and you will be the first stop on your return. You will be dropped off before guests staying in the Deluxe and Value Resorts. 

Room Service

We were busy while in Williamsburg, but we also wanted to have some downtime, too.  A hotel pool can truly be a highlight of a child’s vacation, so we opted for an early-evening swim followed by in-room dining.  




Room service prices were extremely reasonable, and I think a reason for that is there are only so many restaurants in the area that are owned by Colonial Williamsburg, and since this is such a family-friendly destination, I think it’s treated not only as a luxury, but also a necessity for families.  I ordered a delicious crabcake sandwich from the downstairs restaurant, Traditions, for under $14.

In HinesSight on my Stay

I would definitely stay at the Williamsburg Lodge again on a visit.  Would I splurge on the Williamsburg Inn instead since I love luxury so much?  Maybe so, if I were traveling with my husband for a special occasion, but not as travelers with young children.  The Lodge meets my traveling expectations.




I think a Bounce Package with tickets to the Revolutionary City, Busch Gardens, and Water Country U.S.A are definitely the way to go with this hotel for a family, and it’s reflected in the rates of over $350 compared to regular rack room rates. Busch Garden passes are expensive. One day is $72 for an adult, if bought separately. I think you definitely save money by getting a package, and you can bounce around from the water park, Busch Gardens, and Revolutionary City during your vacation. 





Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown are included in addition to the parks in the Williamsburg Flex package. I would not book the room-only rate for this hotel unless you already have tickets and passes.  Always take advantage of tickets. 

Packages with Tavern dining also would be a plus for you because Tavern dining is expensive.  It’s worth the expense, though.  I named Shield’s Tavern as one of my Top Southern Culinary Bites for Summer 2013 in an article for Skimbaco Lifestyle this month.




Typically, if you stay on-site, you will also get complimentary admission for one evening event that requires a special purchased ticket.





Fall and the Christmas holidays are a great time to visit Colonial Williamsburg and the Williamsburg Lodge.  For more information on travel to Greater Williamsburg, visit www.visitwilliamsburg.com.


FTC Disclosure:  I stayed at the Williamsburg Lodge while in Williamsburg with a combination of complimentary and special rates to produce this "Pack Your Bags" feature/review. Opinions about my experience in Colonial Williamsburg are my own. All food costs, including room service, on this trip were my own expense

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