Checking in with Oakhurst Inn

Posted on May 30, 2014 by

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Whether you’re vacationing to Charlottesville, or looking for an in-town stay-cation, look no further: the Oakhurst Inn will act as your perfect home away from home. The Oakhurst Inn, Charlottesville’s newest boutique hotel, provides an experience that is both cozy and luxurious, wrapped in that comforting sense of community.

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DSC_1405I had the chance to sit down with Phillip St. Ours, General Manager of Oakhurst Inn, and he gave me the low-down from the very first guests at the Inn, to everything that we have to look forward to experiencing at the Inn in the near future.

Phillip and Bill Chapman launched the idea of creating this boutique hotel about seven years ago. Their choice of the perfect location on Jefferson Park Avenue, right near UVA and UVA Hospital, pulls together the different personalities of Charlottesville’s community. “This location brings in the most interesting people from our town, as well as from outside of our community,” said Phillip.

The Oakhurst Inn opened in January 2014, welcoming their three very first guests, including two ladies who chose Charlottesville as their spot to reunite after decades of not having seen each other. “They were very excited to be our first guests, and they were incredibly sweet and understanding,” explained Phillip.

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By February, the Inn hosted over forty guests, and by March, they hosted over three hundred guests. This cozy corner-side accommodation is rapidly growing, both physically and in occupancy.

There are four buildings that make up the Inn. The very first building, Building 100, consists of eight rooms and suites. This building was previously used as a student rental property. “The building needed a lot of renovation,” said Phillip.

“This spot just needed something fresh, something unique to our city, something that embodied both new and old Charlottesville: a boutique hotel.”

Building 102 has sixteen rooms and suites, and Building 104 contains beautiful, independent apartments, that are leased month-to-month. These apartments have been primarily leased by professionals, such as guest lecturers at the University, on-call surgeons at UVA Hospital, and visiting families for patients at the hospital.

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Apartment Building 104

The fourth building is the Oakhurst Inn Café, which is the Inn’s most recent development. The Café serves breakfast from 7-10am on weekdays, and 7-11am on weekends, but the coffee bar is open until 2pm every day. They are “tip-toeing” into expanding their Café hours, as well as their grab-and-go item selection, which is soon to include muffins, cookies, sandwiches, and more.

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Oakhurst Café front

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After enjoying a cozy night’s stay, I meandered down the pathway behind the Inn, down to the Oakhurst Café. Its sunny entrance and the smell of freshly brewed coffee welcomed me into the brand new, contemporary bistro. The menu, designed by executive chef Jeanette Peabody, consists of unique takes on Southern classic breakfasts, as well as deliciously hand-crafted cocktails.

With advanced notice, the Café can be reserved for private groups or dinner events.

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When asked what he enjoys most about being a part of the Inn, Phillip explained his love for the family dynamic that makes up the Inn. The Inn is run with the help of various couples: Justin (Director of Operations) and Lacey (Director of Housekeeping and interior designer), Bill (General Manager) and Jeanette (Executive Chef), Katie (chief barista) and Alec (valet and concierge), and Hannah (Phillip’s fiancé, designer of printed products, and front desk staff trainer). Phillip’s brother, Sam, is a Front Desk Clerk, and his sister, Anna, is the Assistant Manager.

When asked how the Oakhurst received its name, Phillip explained, “Well, it’s kind of historic in nature; the oak is specific to its location. It represents strength, shelter, and a quality experience.”

The Oakhurst Inn has grown immensely since opening its doors in January, and this is just the beginning. The café continues to expand its hours and its menu, the apartment complex being built next door is almost complete (which will provide a conference room for professionals who stay at the Inn), a parking garage is being built, and the landscaping of the park in the center of Oakhurst Circle will provide the perfect spot for picnics, and even weddings!

“The environment of the Oakhurst Inn is something that we all know; we welcome our guests into our home and show them as much hospitality as we can give them. We are selling an experience, not a product. We provide a level of services that creates a hand-crafted experience. Our boutique hotel has all of the qualities of a home away from home.”

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Words and photography by Shannon Gillen

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Posted in: New to Cville