THE CAVALIER HOTEL ACCEPTED TO NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES

The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club, a Virginia Beach icon, has earned the distinguished honor of being accepted to the National Register of Historic Places. National Register properties are chosen based on age, integrity and significance of the property to the history of their community, state or nation.

Constructed in 1927 by architect Clarence Neff, the Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club is currently undergoing a 2-year renovation to be restored to its original grandeur by Gold Key | PHR Hotels & Resorts in conjunction with the architecture firm Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company and the general contractor W.M. Jordan Company.

The historic Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club will reopen in 2017 as a 5-star member of Marriott’s distinguished Autograph Collection. As part of the Autograph Collection by Marriott, the new Cavalier Grand Hotel will boast 90 guest rooms, an onsite bourbon distillery, a ballroom for lavish weddings and social events and a world class restaurant. The mixed-use plan for the overall site development also calls for an additional 85 homes, including estate homes, cottages and bungalows. These residences will be built on the expansive ocean-facing lawn of the Grand Hotel. For nearly a century, the Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club has hosted beach goers and celebrities alike including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Will Rogers, and Bette Davis. The rich history of the hotel, including hosting seven U.S. Presidents, has helped the Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club secure its place on The National Register of Historic Places.

“The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club is an iconic landmark. It’s no wonder it’s known as the hotel that ‘made Virginia Beach famous.’ We are honored to preserve the history while making the Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club a luxury destination for decades to come,” said Bruce Thompson, the CEO of Gold Key | PHR Hotels & Resorts.

The rooms in the Cavalier will be completely gutted and rebuilt bigger. The main floor will be renovated but will feature trappings common in the early-20th century, including crystal glass pieces and phonographs. The poolside vistas and loggias, those enclosed porches that can open up to sea breezes, will also remain.

The Cavalier’s sister hotel on the oceanfront will be rebuilt and called the Oceanfront Marriott Hotel. The oceanfront hotel sits next to the Cavalier Beach Club, which opened in 1929 and will undergo a $4 million facelift. The historic Cavalier is expected to reopen in 2017; the Oceanfront Marriott is expected to open in 2018.

THOMPSON PROPOSES $200M FOR CAVALIER HOTEL PROJECT

 
Developer Bruce Thompson unveiled a framework for what he’d like to do with the Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club properties to Virginia Beach city officials Tuesday, setting the stage for financial negotiations. Thompson told a room full of elected officials and appointees that he intends to put more than $200 million into the Oceanfront properties that include the 86-year-old Cavalier on the Hill. He mentioned that his firm would have to raze the old hotel if he couldn’t secure enough support.

FOR THE CAVALIER, A FACELIFT TRUMPS THE WRECKING BALL DEVELOPER BRUCE THOMPSON TAKES ON RENOVATION OF ONE OF HAMPTON ROADS’ MOST BELOVED HOTELS

By Elizabeth Cooper

After two decades of replacing outdated oceanfront hotels with upscale, contemporary buildings, developer Bruce L. Thompson is about to take on the biggest project of his life: a nearly $260 million plan that includes the renovation of one of Virginia Beach’s most iconic properties, The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club.

The founder and CEO of Gold Key/PHR Hotels & Resorts purchased the 86-year-old Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club earlier this summer. Sitting on a hill overlooking Atlantic Avenue with its name etched into a manicured lawn, the stately brick hotel had hosted an array of dignitaries before falling into disrepair.

2016 TOP STORIES | 4. HOTELS

By Sandra J Pennecke
 
“If you build it, they will come” is certainly the anticipated mantra with the rise of several new hotels taking shape throughout Hampton Roads in 2016. The city of Virginia Beach is undergoing a renaissance of its own with the restoration of the historic Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club Established in 1927, the iconic Oceanfront hotel, at 42nd Street and Pacific Avenue, has been visited by numerous U.S. presidents, celebrities and guests throughout its lifespan of almost nine decades.

CAVALIER HOTEL GROUNDSKEEPER IS THE KING OF CURB APPEAL IN VIRGINIA BEACH

By Stacy Parker
 
He’s a lawn maestro, a mulch master, the king of curb appeal. Meet Tom Corso, groundskeeper at The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club on the Hill. For 21 years, Corso has been responsible for the green space on the historic Oceanfront property. These days, he’s commanding what remains of it. In the fall of 2013, a court-ordered sale of the 22-acre resort threatened the hotel’s existence. The city provided the highest bidder with incentives to preserve it, including more than $2 million for public easements on the hotel’s lawn and entrance and for its serpentine walls.

RECLAIMING THE CAVALIER: ON THE ROOFTOP

By Stacy Parker
 
The roof of the seven-story hotel offers a panoramic view. But it also offers a close-up of its deterioration over time. Years of exposure to the Oceanfront’s elements – windblown saltwater, sun and rain – damaged the copper-domed bell tower; a room below it where ice blocks cooled the hotel water; and the decorative, stone railing – called a parapet – that frames the roof.

RECLAIMING THE CAVALIER: THE ENTRANCE AND PORCHES

By Stacy Parker
 
Among the trickiest challenges of restoring the 1927 hotel: repairing the entranceway’s structural problems while keeping its historical details intact. But when the project is complete, walking through the front door will be like entering the hotel during its heyday.

RECLAIMING THE CAVALIER: REBUILDING THE HUNT ROOM FIREPLACE BRICK BY BRICK

By Stacy Parker
 
Inside the ground floor of The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club, the air feels cool on the skin. The dark, cavernous space smells damp and musty. Sunlight sneaking in through an open doorway is overcome by shadows from exposed metal beams. An industrial fan blows against a sheet of translucent plastic hanging from the ceiling. A thick layer of sand and construction dust covers the Hunt Room floor. Imprints from the soles of many boots lead to the fireplace, where bricklayer Larry Ahlemeyer is wielding a chisel and a hammer.

TRANSFORMATIVE PROPERTIES? NEW AND UPDATED RESORTS WILL GIVE VIRGINIA MORE CONVENTION SETTINGS IN 2017

by Elizabeth Cooper
 
The new year will be a big one for Virginia’s hospitality industry in terms of openings. December saw the much-awaited debut of MGM National Harbor, a $1.4 billion casino and resort in Prince George’s County, Md., across the Potomac River from Alexandria. Two more properties, The Main in downtown Norfolk and a restored Cavalier on the Hill in Virginia Beach. All three properties promise the latest in amenities and luxury, and travelers and convention planners are checking them out and making reservations.