This Grand Hotel, unlike those in Philadelphia, Baltimore, or Wilmington, is two miles from the central business and cultural area, just off Route 1. The advantage from this small distance is that parking is very easy. The Jefferson Hotel is within walking distance of two major sites, the Virgina Museum of Fine Arts and the Virginia Science Center. The science center is the one time Pennsylvania Railroad Broad Street Station
The Jefferson Hotel is on two levels. The smaller upper level has the check in counter and a beautiful marble statue of Thomas Jefferson facing the entrance. At Jefferson’s left side is the main restaurant, Le Maire. Edward Valentine sculptured Thomas Jefferson from marble in 1895. The statue itself stands six feet two inches, TJs actual height, on a five foot pedestal. Jefferson, of course, loved French cuisine and right off bat he wants to dine at his restaurant. Jefferson served haute French dinners in the White House and at Monticello. The break with tradition is that now you are paying.
The staircase at Jefferson’s right is the model used in Gone With the Wind. I always felt dignified just walking down these stairs. They lead to a spacious lower lobby. There are tables and sofas where customers can have cocktails and light fare. Every day there is afternoon tea, with three price levels. The lobby also has an extra long bar on the north side. I can’t speak for the restaurant but this lobby had everything right, with tasty scones, four varieties of tea, substantial cocktails, and good cold draft beer.
The Jefferson Hotel, on both levels, also has some beautiful pictures of prominent Virginians, Revolutionary and Civil War battles in Virginia, and the state’s beautiful countryside.
The Jefferson Hotel is a must see in Richmond.