The weather is finally giving way to spring-like temperatures, making it a perfect time to play your very own getaway to charming Alexandra, Virginia. Though there are no shortage of charming boutiques, antique stores, pubs, restaurants and coffee shops, hotels are not abundant in Old Town, but I have always been a fan of the Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa, which has just completed a $2.51 million redesign to the hotel’s 107 guest rooms – including 16 suites, signature outdoor terraces, hallway corridors, public areas, adjacent French brasserie BRABO, and 5,600 square feet of meeting, wedding, and event space. Situated along a charming brick-lined street amidst an array of the boutiques and fine art galleries, Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa brings a sense of tranquility to all of their guests. With its dedicated award-winning spa, newly refinished modern and elegant interior design, two culinary venues helmed by Executive Chef Sebastien Rondier, and unmatched service through heartfelt hospitality, the distinctly luxurious urban retreat is a destination in and of itself, while also offering easy access to the sights and attractions of Washington, D.C. and the neighboring Virginia countryside.
Old Town Alexandria’s premier boutique hotel reveals imaginative décor in one of Virginia’s most treasured locales…
Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa’s newly revealed design carefully blends Old Town Alexandria’s classic architectural details with contemporary, sophisticated twists, subdued colors and a touch of whimsy with the help of design firms MONOGRAM at BBGM, that led the guest room, corridor and suite design concepts, and David Hill Design, which refreshed the living room and event space décor. An ethereal color palette of calming purples, copper, greys, blues and greens adds a relaxed flair. Timeless furnishings with modern twists and poetic, tailored details adorn the reimagined spaces as playful layers of curious art spur imaginative thought.
Arriving at the hotel, guests step off bustling King Street into an inviting brick courtyard that flows to the hotel’s lobby, an innovative blend of classic and contemporary with Alexandria’s familiar red brick found in the flooring, juxtaposed with modern slate floors and a dramatic wall of artfully hand stacked slate. Past the oversized Queen Anne-style reception desk and cascading chandeliers, travelers can reunite and relax with friends and colleagues at the hotel’s hosted daily wine hour in the newly redesigned living room. The space’s modern-day furnishings that lend a nod to the past include varied seating, nesting coffee tables and warm and inviting art pieces that stand out among cool shades of lavender, blue and white to create an atmosphere that is refined, yet comfortable.
As guests travel upstairs, hallway corridors with heritage-inspired wall detailing, colorfully patterned carpet reminiscent of clouds sparkling in the light and interesting three-dimensional focal art guide guests to their quarters. Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa’s newly redesigned guest rooms feature a thoughtfully minimal, yet luxurious atmosphere where guests can retreat and rejuvenate from the day’s activities.
Keeping to the same ethereal color palette and layering traditional with playful, the focal point of Lorien Hotel & Spa’s new guest room design is an alluring Rorschach-inspired wallcovering meant to encourage visionary thought. One may see any number of interpretations in the metamorphic blue and green inkblot, which plays with the idea of whimsical dreaming. Below the graphic artwork, the bed features chic headboards with light wood, delicately tufted chevron panels, luxurious Frette linens accented with blue sewn throw pillows and built-in modern frosted glass lighting. Sophisticated colors echo throughout with airy geometric sheers, subtle eggplant carpets and modern furnishings such as grey lounge chairs and sand toned task chairs that settle up to custom concrete desks. Luxurious bathrooms are entered through oversized barn doors made of opaque glass, and feature contemporary grey stone vanities. Select bathrooms feature elegant claw foot bathtubs and Turkish rainfall showers.
The hotel’s signature Presidential and Diplomat Suites are designed for luxuriating, whether getting ready for a wedding day, prepping for a night on the town or even hosting a private meeting. The multi-room suites feature parlors with relaxing sectional seating, reading chairs, and oversized bathrooms with spa rain showers. The spacious Presidential Suite also features a contemporary dining set and built-in wet bar perfect for hosting receptions, bridal parties or meetings of up to 10 guests. Many suites, including the Presidential and Diplomat Suites, feature breathtaking spacious private terraces with sweeping views of Old Town, some as large as 700 square feet. The expansive outdoor spaces are outfitted with new and cozy overstuffed couches and chairs — ideal for stargazing, conversation and even private events, weddings and receptions of up to 60 guests.
Lorien Hotel & Spa is also the ideal venue for meetings and events with nearly 5,600 square feet of event space including access to private courtyards and terraces as well as French-inspired cuisine directly from Executive Chef Sebastien Rondier of the hotel’s adjacent restaurant, BRABO. This year, the hotel’s two dedicated function spaces also received décor upgrades with calming and neutral slate blue walls with a subtle Greek key patterned flooring that pairs well with any occasion.
The Liberty Room, the hotel’s largest space at 1,250 square feet, can be separated into two function spaces or used whole, accommodating up to 100 guests banquet style and up to 125 for receptions. The nearby Independence Room features plenty of natural light, with 730 square feet perfect for board meetings, breakout space for up to 20, and cocktail hours for up to 50 guests and leads directly out to the open-air Freedom Terrace, an intimate outdoor courtyard just outside hotel’s living room. The 756 square foot Freedom Terrace has a large ivy-covered trellis, chrome accents, oversized mirrors and a contemporary in-ground fire feature and is perfect for anything from wedding ceremonies to banquets of up to 20 guests and receptions of up to 45.
At the end of 2016, the hotel’s adjacent restaurant, BRABO, also expanded its bar to be double in size, accommodating the popularity of the French brasserie’s lively happy hours. Enhancing the brasserie’s modern comfort in historical Old Town Alexandria, loyal BRABO guests enjoy more seating areas and natural lighting, new furniture, copper-accented lighting fixtures, and locally curated artwork.
Alexandria makes an ideal weekend getaway this season. In addition to walking the streets and exploring the restaurant scene, I recommend making your way to Market Square on Saturday morning – home to the oldest farmer’s market in the country, and the location that has been hosting Old Town Farmers’ Market for more than 260 years. The fruit, vegetables, flowers and baked goods make it a must-visit while in Alexandria.
Learn More: www.lorienhotelandspa.com