What service can you provide to groups that they normally might not receive?
The concierge staff can meet with groups at the hotel to provide a short orientation (seated) of the Historic Area of Colonial Williamsburg and can easily add information regarding the period 1769-1781 as requested by our guests. We lead Inn tours for our guests and arrange for tours of our Floral Design Studio, Interior Design Studio and culinary demonstrations. As concierge, we can easily arrange for ground transportation, hire historic interpreters, sell tickets for the Historic Area, arrange carriage rides, request and arrange private group curatorial tours of the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. We are pleased to assist with any amenity request – fresh flowers, spa appointments, room service meals, intimate ceremonies (renewal of wedding vows and small weddings), birthday celebrations and information on other attractions throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and Washington, D. C.
What are your bar/nightclub or after-dinner recommendations?
Evening programs abound in Colonial Williamsburg. We offer ghost tours, a witch trial, chamber music at the Governor’s Palace, African American storytelling; Civil War walking tours, to name but a few. Each program is an hour in length and many guests do two programs back to back.
Returning to the Inn, the Restoration Bar is a wonderful place for a nightcap.
Can you recommend a good place to take a stroll?
There is no better place to stroll then down the Duke of Gloucester Street any time day or night. There are beautiful gardens, interesting architecture, and plenty of opportunity for people watching. On cold winter nights cressets line the streets and people gather around bonfires to talk and listen to “people of the past” discuss the importance of independence from Great Britain.
Are there any quirky places we should check out?
Chowning’s Tavern for Gambols after 9 p.m. Guests experience an evening in an 18th-century alehouse; joining in rousing period sing-alongs while learning to play popular games of the day, while snacking on Virginia peanuts, light fare and local wines and ales.
What is an unusual request from a group you’ve had?
Recently I was asked at 8:00 p.m. to obtain a powdered wig and period costume for the CEO of a Fortune 500 company to wear at their closing breakfast meeting the following day.
A party of 12 wants to have dinner right away. What restaurant can accommodate last-minute requests of this size?
As guests of the Williamsburg Inn, every effort is made accommodate last-minute dining requests. The Goodwin Room would be an excellent choice. If the group preferred an 18th century dining a telephone call would be made to the Tavern manager to assist with the request.
What’s a unique event that has taken place at your property?
Since the Inn opened –75 years ago – it has accommodated 38 heads of state, 30 heads of government, six American presidents and 32 kings and queens. In fact we are the only hotel in the United States to have the honor of hosting Queen Elizabeth in 1954 and Queen Elizabeth II and The Prince Phillip in 1957 and again in May 2007. Obviously the Inn’s policy is to pamper every guest with royal treatment!
To discover more eye-opening insights from top concierges, just visit our Concierge Insights section!