The Experience

The Inn at Little Washington

Created by Patrick O’Connell in 1978, The Inn at Little Washington was the first establishment in the Mobil Travel Guide’s history ever to receive 5 stars for its restaurant and 5 stars for its accommodation, and is the first Inn ever to receive AAA’s highest accolade, the 5 Diamond Award, for both food and accommodation.  Patrick O’Connell abandoned his dream of becoming an actor for the love of cooking and the “living theatre” of the restaurant world. Just an hour’s drive from Washington DC, this sumptuous hideaway, nestled at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains is a world renowned destination for connoisseurs. The menu spotlights O’Connell’s spectacular Refined American Cuisine, such as the Pepper Crusted Tuna Pretending to be a Filet Mignon Capped with Seared Duck Foie Gras and a Burgundy Butter Sauce. The Inn’s princely suites and opulent lounges transport one to an idyllic fantasy world.

The historic Town of Washington was founded in 1769 and surveyed by George Washington.  It is the quintessential American small town, serving as the seat of government for Rappahannock County. Many of the buildings date back to the late 1700’s. In addition there are art galleries, sophisticated shops and theatres to visit.

The Inn’s eighteen bedrooms and suites are sumptuous hideaways created by Joyce Evans, a London stage and set designer, for whom The Inn has become a life’s work.  Many of the furnishings were purchased in England, numbered and shipped to Virginia to be assembled on site like a giant jigsaw puzzle. The Inn offers a range of accommodations from well-appointed rooms to luxurious, two story suites many with balconies and garden views.

Mayor’s House – One of the oldest structures in town, parts of this cottage date back to 1740, it was at one time the residence of a Mayor of the Town of Washington.   The house has a formal sitting area with a gas fireplace. The bedroom features a king sized four posted bed and a massive fieldstone wood burning fireplace. The bathroom is decorated in blue and white, hand-painted Portuguese tile and has a double vanity, jacuzzi tub and separate shower.   There is a private walled garden, perfect for afternoon tea, a small wedding ceremony or any type of celebration.

Gamekeeper’s Cottage – In its previous life, the Gamekeeper’s Cottage was a simple appendage to the Mayor’s House, the romantic 1740’s suite which fronts Main Street.  By adding the folly of an outdoor dining pavilion where one can have breakfast while gazing out at the view, the “appendage” has taken on a new life. Guests tell us they feel as if they are on safari as they watch the deer come to eat the apples from the trees all around. The enormous sense of serenity and closeness to nature extends to the interiors as well. Done in what we refer to as “elegant rusticity” with wood paneling, a gorgeous stone fireplace, and loft bedroom with a second bath, the place feels like an adult’s fantasy of a tree house. The amazement of it all is that it’s just a few steps away from our main building — yet so far removed.

The Presidential Cottage – The Claiborne House is a 3200 sq.ft. “cottage” just a stone’s throw from The Inn’s main building. Overlooking a newly created herb and cutting garden, the residence features two bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, a living room, dining room, media room and library. A two storey veranda overlooking a private garden in the rear offers additional space for outdoor entertaining.

Dining at The Inn: Dining at The Inn has been likened to a performance with the guest always playing the star role.  The Inn’s dining rooms are pure fantasy – a wondrous cocoon of luxury. Rose-colored, silk lampshades float above each table creating a private, romantic world below. The Chef’s creations arrive at one of the 30 intimate tables as if served by invisible hands, course after course more dazzling than the last. From the award winning 14,000 bottle wine cellar, which includes the finest offerings from Bordeaux, Burgundy, California and Virginia, the Sommelier plays matchmaker between you, your dinner and the wine.  

The late Craig Claiborne of The New York Times called it “the most magnificent inn I’ve ever seen, in this country or Europe, where I had the most fantastic meal of my life”. Patrick’s approach to cooking, while paying homage to the lawmakers of Classical French Cuisine, reflects a belief in “the cuisine of today”, healthy, eclectic, imaginative, unrestricted by ethnic boundaries and always growing.

Meetings & Events: Lets us customize an opulent event for you in one of our many private spaces to include magnificent floral designs, sublime food and our world-renowned wine offerings, superior service and exquisite surroundings. Our historic Ballroom boasts ample space for private dinners for 36 guests with receptions for up to 90 people. Enjoy a cocktail reception in our Art Gallery or Rear Veranda with majestic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Weddings on the Back Lawn or your private garden suite will make a picture perfect setting for your lifetime memory. Whether it is an intimate wedding, a reception and dinner or an executive board meeting, The Inn at Little Washington has a special place for you.

Awards & Accolades: Through the years The Inn at Little Washington is fortunate to have been honored with numerous awards and distinctions.

Terms & Conditions

Rates & Reservations:

All Saturday night stays are $245 additional, Fridays are $145 additional and all Sundays are $75 additional. All nights from April 15th – May 31st and the month of October are $100 additional per room per night. These rates do not include holidays or extended holiday periods, for rates at these times please call our Reservations Department.  Room rates are per night and include Afternoon Tea Service and a House Breakfast for two persons available from 8:00am to 10:30am. A third person in a Suite is $50.00 additional.

Seasonal Closures: We will be closed from January 6-15, 2014.  Other than that, The Inn is open year round every night, except some Tuesdays.

Cell Phones: Please note that we are located in a very rural area of Virginia, and as beautiful as it is, we have very limited cell phone coverage within a 30 mile radius of The Inn. Unless you are with Sprint, you probably will not have a cell phone signal.  However, we have phones and voicemail in all of our rooms and we can transfer any incoming calls to you or to the Front Desk.   This limited coverage will also impact cellular based GPS systems.

Dress Code: The Inn has no official dress code, however most gentlemen guests tend to wear a jacket and tie and the women are generally in dresses or suits.

Dinner Reservations: Hotel, Dining Room and Kitchen Table reservations are taken up to one year in advance. Please bear in mind that The Inn’s telephone operators routinely field hundreds of dinner reservation requests for any one particular evening, so we suggest prior planning whenever possible. Dinner reservations are guaranteed for overnight guests.

Small-town Americana meets the international culinary stage at The Inn at Little Washington. Proprietor Patrick O’Connell abandoned acting for the “living theatre” of his renowned farm-to-table restaurant, one of the world’s first. The Inn’s 24 bedrooms and suites, individually appointed by London set designer Joyce Evans, are equally dramatic; many feature balconies and serene garden views. Those looking for the ultimate in seclusion and amenities choose The Claiborne House presidential cottage. Take one of the complimentary bicycles out for a leisurely ride into the surprisingly sophisticated historic town, founded in 1769.
In the Know
Aspiring chefs should take part in the Stagiaire program — two or three days of fascinating, hands-on experience working next to Patrick O’Connell and his talented team.Distance from Washington, D.C. Airport (IAD): 60 minutes Guests Receive:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Continental breakfast daily, for up to two in room guests
    • served in restaurant
  • Welcome cocktail
  • A copy of celebrity chef Patrick O’Connell’s
    • Refined American Cuisine cookbook
  • One of the hotel’s signature Dalmatian aprons
  • A selection of chocolates and sweets upon arrival
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