Charlottesville KOA [Charlottesville]

If you are in Charlottesville and looking for a budget-friendly place to rest your head, I suggest checking out the Charlottesville KOA. Located about 10 miles from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, the Charlottesville KOA is the place to go to experience peace and quiet in the mountains. This campground is a small one but don’t let that stop you. The staff was fabulous when we checked in (very helpful – even providing us with a great map of the area) and the facilities are very clean.

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Even though the pool normally closes on Labor Day, it was still open because of the heat. The water was certainly nice and refreshing! The pool was surrounded by trees and since we were the only ones in there, it felt like our own private oasis. There is a laundry/game room which we checked out (but never utilized – even though we had talked about playing a game of pool or air hockey), as well as a playground.

There’s also a fishing pond/nature trail you can check out on the property. I really liked walking the nature trail and the fishing pond was nice to gaze upon. Now keep in mind that there is a poison ivy out there. I did find several good sources of jewelweed however, which is known to help soothe poison ivy (as an herbalist, it tickled me to find so much jewelweed).

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There are three different types of cabins you can book: a one room cabin, a two room cabin, or a cottage. For our one room cabin (which sleeps up to 4 people – and provided us with plenty of room), it cost only $65 a night when we booked. We did have to bring our own linens, but the cabin provided us with a cable tv, AC/heat, electricity, and a ceiling fan. The larger cottages have their own bathrooms attached but since all of the cabins were located right near the restroom (and like I said, this is a smaller campground), that wasn’t an issue.

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One of the nicer perks was free wireless internet on the campground as well as free cable tv. All in all, this was a great campground and provided us with a nice and relaxing place to stay.

Charlottesville KOA
2016 Season: Open March 11th – Close November 13th
3825 Red Hill Rd.,
Charlottesville, VA 22903
434-296-9881

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel [Williamsburg]

Back in July, I found myself in Williamsburg, Virginia at the Scares that Care Weekend Convention. Held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, this was a 3-day horror charity convention that I had elected to attend as a vendor with The Southern Belle’s Garden. I decided to do a little write-up on the hotel/the hotel’s food for the blog as it might help some of my readers when they are in Williamsburg.

My lovely little booth. I’m already making plans on how to make it even better when I return next year.
My lovely little booth. I’m already making plans on how to make it even better when I return next year.

It took no time to check in and the cookies they gave us were probably the best thing I ate the entire weekend. The biggest issue with checking in had to do with our room keys. There were 4 of us in the room and every time I used the Digital Key feature through my phone’s app to unlock our door, it deactivated their card keys. If they got a new card key, then it deactivated my digital key. After about 4 or 5 trips, we all went down at once and had our keys activated at the same time and had no further issues. The staff was very helpful during this whole process.

The food was hit or miss as was the service from the staff. When I arrived on Friday, I elected to have a quick lunch at Pitchers (one of the in-house restaurants). The restaurant had maybe a dozen people dining at the time but it ended up taking over a hour and a half for me to receive my food (the food was just okay and my alcoholic beverage was not my taste so I stuck to water or Corona the rest of the weekend). Our original waitress forgot to place my order. The waitress that ended up waiting on us after our first one bailed was fantastic though.

I have to say that the staff worked really hard to make this a great weekend for the conventions attendees, even going so far as to have special food/drink menus themed around horror and wearing costumes. With the exception of that first waitress, I would give the remaining staff a round of applause. I know that the staff was tired. I could see it in their interactions, but that’s okay. We all get tired – I know I certainly was – and they are having to deal with hundreds of guests at once. It looked like the same group of staff members were the only ones working all weekend. I don’t know when they even had time to grab a nap.

For dinner on Saturday night, I had originally wanted to go out to one of the restaurants in Williamsburg (perhaps the Blue Talon) but ended up staying in the hotel so that I could dine with friends at Harvest Grille. We went for the all-you-can-eat prime rib (for $24.95). While it was worth it to spend time with friends, I do really wish I had been able to experience more of Williamsburg.

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The hotel gave us $2 off the breakfast buffet coupons that I took advantage of on Saturday and Sunday morning. While it was still pricey for breakfast, the food options were decent. The problem with me and buffets is that I can never eat enough though to justify the cost.

All in all, this hotel was worth it, especially if you are going to Busch Gardens (which was minutes away). The rooms were clean – what more can you really ask for? For two nights at the convention rate, it cost me $119 a night. I would recommend dining somewhere else however to get more of a feel of the town.

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Williamsburg
50 Kingsmill Rd.,
Williamsburg, VA 23185
(757) 220-2500