Expansive Georgian Resort with Colonial Period Decor
With its orderly rows of windows and symmetrical chimneys, The Founders Inn and Spa’s stately exterior references Georgian architecture, a style named after the four Georges who ruled 18th-century England. But the resort's interior pays tribute to one of the biggest thorns in the side of the third King George—colonial America. Oil paintings of the Founding Fathers peer out from gilded frames, and colonial-era furnishings sit around roaring fireplaces. The hotel is on the grounds of and owned by Regent University, a Christian school founded in 1978 by evangelical broadcaster Pat Robertson, who remains its chancellor.
The resort continues the historical theme throughout its guest accommodations. The fireplace rooms feature gas-burning fireplaces and Colonial-style quilts atop two- or four-poster beds. As its name suggests, the Presidents suite was designed with heads of state in mind, so you’ll find elegant chandeliers, oil paintings, and a parlor for entertaining. A set of french doors opens onto the private veranda, which overlooks the English gardens and grounds; the patio is large enough to accommodate up to 35 guests.
Bacon-wrapped Virginia beef, pork belly with local peaches, and other colonial-inspired dishes send taste buds back in time at the award-winning Swan Terrace Restaurant, one of two onsite eateries. The following morning, the same space holds a breakfast smorgasbord on linen-draped tables stretching outside onto the brick-inlay terrace. Nearby, use your spa credit at the Flowering Almond Spa— there’s an onsite hot tub and relaxing body treatments that soothe muscles sore from arm-wrestling redcoats.
Hampton Roads, Virginia: Naval Center near Virginia Beach
The inn is located on the outskirts of Regent University in an area noted for its proud naval history and proximity to the Atlantic. Just north of the inn, the Naval Station Norfolk's piers and aircraft hangars form one of the world’s largest naval complexes. Navy personnel lead guided bus tours and harbor cruises, narrating details of the station's battleships, submarines, and elite squadrons of rubber duckies.
To the east, the 3-mile Virginia Beach boardwalk meanders past public statuary, grassy park areas, and a fishing pier. Throughout the year, visitors take advantage of the boardwalk’s bike lane and walking path.