In the News
A Tradition of Elegance and Luxury
Throughout its fascinating history, the Historic Cavalier Hotel & Beach Club has welcomed ten presidents and dozens of noted luminaries from F. Scott Fitzgerald and Liz Taylor to Jimmy Buffett and Pusha T. Following a 4-year, multi-million-dollar renovation, the hotel gives nods to both the past and present, offering guests all the comfort and tradition of a bygone era, along with today’s contemporary amenities and technology.
In the News
THE REBORN CAVALIER HOTEL: AN IDEAL BASE FOR EXPLORING VIRGINIA BEACH’S VAST NATURAL HABITATS
In 1607, the very first Europeans who arrived on the Eastern Seaboard did so at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. The exact location is now aptly known as the First Landing.
Nearly twenty miles of trails and walkways in First Landing State Park are right in Virginia Beach… [+] city limits. Virginia Beach’s historic and newly renovated Cavalier Hotel lies just a few miles from that very spot. Back in the 1920s, the Cavalier (covered in this earlier post) was the bee’s knees and today makes for a great launching point for local history, as well as for soft adventure jaunts.
WHERE TO EAT IN VIRGINIA BEACH, A CITY OBSESSED WITH FRESH AND LOCAL FOOD
As the original landing spot of those who would go on to settle Jamestown and, ultimately, the English colonies that would become the United States, you could say Virginia Beach has the oldest American history of any destination. But, while there’s plenty of historical heritage to uncover here and in the surrounding region, that’s hardly the only draw. Today, Virginia Beach feels anything but old and is, instead, a bustling hub of modern culture with a vibrant art scene, a star-studded musical festival launched by hometown hero Pharrell Williams and an inspirational culinary scene marked by a laser-like focus on local, fresh ingredients with innovative preparation. From nibbles on the go to full-scale feasts, taste your way through town with these top recommendations that will help you discover the city’s most invigorating neighborhoods along the way.
HIT THE BEACH
Pack the sunscreen, flip flops, and cover ups: the warmth of the rays you’ll find at these summery locales is matched only by their hospitality and welcoming vibe. Whether you crave a zillion diversions, – or need nothing more than lounge chair and good book – you’ll find it in the U.S. coastal spots offering a shore thing.
Exploring Virginia Beach by Plate and Park
Baltimore’s central location offers residents many opportunities to take quick trips by train, plane, and car in just a few hours. But how do you decide where to go? And—most importantly—how do you decide to get there, where to stay, and what to do? We spoke with the experts of Visit Virginia Beach, who shared some advice on making the perfect itinerary for a fall weekend getaway in the coastal town of Virginia Beach.
THE CAVALIER HOTEL IN VIRGINIA BEACH GARNERS ITS 8TH PRESTIGIOUS AWARD
Iconic Property Acknowledged for its: Renovation & Restoration, Construction, Hospitality & Service
Virginia Beach, VA; November 7, 2018 – Virginia Beach’s iconic resort property, The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club, continues to garner accolades with its 8th award since re-debuting in April 2018. Bringing back a level of sophisticated travel and stellar service once synonymous with the mid-Atlantic destination, The Cavalier has once again created unparalleled travel experiences earning national media attention along with accolades from hospitality and travel peers. The eight awards recognize the property’s excellence in: renovation & restoration, construction, hospitality, and service.
The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club has most recently received a Stella Award from the Northstar Meetings Group for Best Hotel Renovation in the Northeast Region. Competing with over 500 properties from across the country, the award spotlights the nation’s best hotels along with noteworthy travel industry organizations and businesses. The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club project has also been recognized for its dedication for preserving a historical property from the prestigious Historic Hotels of America naming it the 2018 winner for Preservation Success Story. The Cavalier was also chosen from qualifying projects located throughout the MidAtlantic region to receive an Award of Merit for Renovation/Restoration from ENR MidAtlantic MagazineRead More
CELEBRATE BOURBON HERITAGE MONTH WITH 15 MUST-TRY BOTTLES
ENR MidAtlantic Magazine
September is Bourbon Heritage Month, a designation passed unanimously by the U.S. Senate in 2007 (back when the Senate was capable of doing such a thing).
The point is to celebrate bourbon, the indigenous American spirit that continues to be wildly popular both here and around the world.
Here are 15 bottles you should try to get your hands on and drink right now, from an almost 30-year-old release to an affordable, new blended bourbon.
TARNISHED TRUTH 3 YEAR HIGH RYE BOURBON
Tarnished Truth Distilling Company is a small distillery located in the Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club in Virginia Beach. They’ve released two bourbons sourced from MGP, a nine-year-old single barrel release and a three-year-old high rye bourbon. The distillery, which opened this past March, claims to be the only one operating inside of a U.S. hotel. At the moment, the bourbon can be purchased onsite or at retail outlets through Virginia. $63Read More
CHECK IN: THE CAVALIER HOTEL
It’s time to go bonkers for bourbon.
The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club
Big-band ensembles, a gilded lobby, and a golf course with holes modeled after Scotland’s greatest greens – The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club once had all the trappings of the Gatsby era (F. Scott Fitzgerald was even a guest). Almost century later, the Virginia Beach gem was destined for the wrecking ball until a group of local investors stepped in. Their restoration ushered in larger, more luxurious rooms, three new dining concepts, and Tarnished Truth Distilling Company, the first hotel distillery in the nation. Book a tour or tasting and raise a glass to new beginnings.Read More
VIRGINIA BEACH’S CLASSIC CAVALIER HOTEL SHINES AGAIN
Ninety-one years after its debut, The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club reclaimed its well-deserved reputation as a luxury destination in Virginia Beach when it reopened its doors earlier this year.
Built over the course of 13 months from 1926 into 1927 to a tune of $2 million, The Cavalier was so-named as a result of a local newspaper contest, and it quickly became the place to be upon opening. Its private train depot welcomed guests non-stop from Chicago, and limousines ushered guests from the rail station, as well as from arriving steamer ships.Read More
-BECCA RESTAURANT & GARDEN- POPULAR RESTAURANT AT THE CAVALIER HOTEL ENLIVENS THE VIRGINIA BEACH DINING SCENE
Already a Virginia Beach dining destination, Becca, a modern restaurant inspired by farm-to-table practices, is the culinary essence of The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club. Featuring bright and inspired cuisine using only the freshest local ingredients, Becca, under the direction of the hotel’s skilled executive chef Dan Elinan, demonstrates a true commitment to sustainable cooking.
Elinan and his culinary team capture the spirit of summer with an ever-changing menu dependent on seasonal produce and seasonal catches. Serving lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, diners enjoy exquisite tastes while surrounded by Becca’s lush gardens and stunning ocean vistas.
Chef’s current features include Chilled Summer Squash Soup with Mountain View Creamery Feta, lime basil, beniseed cracker, and bright salads like the Arugula & Pickled Strawberry Salad with Goat Lady Goats Cheese, shaved fennel, espelette sunflower seeds, and lemon miso vinaigrette and the Grilled Baby Gem with pickled toy box tomato, shaved pecorino, garlic parmesan dressing, and sesame semolina crumble.Read More
WHERE TO EAT BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DINNER IN VIRGINIA BEACH
Southwest: The Magazine
By Candy Sagon
The grand reopening this spring of Virginia Beach’s historical Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club, following a four-year, $85 million renovation of the 91-year-old oceanfront landmark, is a fitting symbol of the city’s booming tourism business and rapidly changing culinary scene. The latest state tourism data shows that the last five years have brought record numbers of visitors to enjoy the city’s pristine beaches and family-friendly atmosphere, but the biggest changes have come from a coterie of young, innovative chefs determined to shake up the city’s staid eateries. In the laid-back Vibe district, just blocks from the busy beachfront, one can find new craft coffee shops and farm-to-fork restaurants worthy of big-city neighbors. The Cavalier is also capitalizing on the national love for craft spirits with its own working distillery for making bourbon, rye whiskey and vodka — a throwback to the hotel’s Prohibition days.Read More
YOUR NEXT HOTEL MAY HAVE AN ATTACHED BREWERY OR DISTILLERY
Capitalizing on a growing love of craft beer and spirits, more hotels are adding on-site breweries and distilleries to lure travelers into destination trips and longer stays.
By Elaine Glusac
June 18, 2018
Today’s trendiest hotel amenity is an operational brewery or distillery on site, and it means guests won’t have to worry about a designated driver after a flight of craft beers or carefully-distilled whiskey.
Following the path blazed by winery inns and microbrewery hotels like McMenamins, a chain of hotels in Oregon, a new crop of American hotels offers not just a comfortable bed and a leisurely stay, but also adult beverages you can’t get anywhere else.Read More
The Washington Post
VODKA WITH A LOCAL TWIST
The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club, a Gold Key | PHR property and Marriott Autograph Collection member in Virginia Beach, Virginia, is the first U.S. hotel with an on-site distillery, producing three kinds of whiskey (guests can barrel their own batch) and a plan to distill gin. It also distils vodka: When Andrew Yancey and Josh Canada proposed opening the Tarnished Truth distillery in the hotel to CEO Bruce Thompson, he insisted on it. “If you go into a liquor store, there’s more vodka than anything else so it’s hard to compete in that realm,” Yancey says, ” but if we’re doing local stuff, might as well do everything we can.”Read More
2018 TOP HOT SPOTS FOR WINTER EVENTS
NEW YORK TIMES
GULF SHORES, Ala. (May 15, 2018) – After a review of our entire 16 state coverage area, our editorial team selected an elite group of ten hot spot cities for winter events. We then asked our readers to vote for the hottest meeting sites within these hot spots, determining the “Hottest of the Hot”. Please see winners below. The July 2018 Issue of ConventionSouth will showcase the below sites with an editorial spotlight:
The Founders Inn & Spa
Oceanaire Resort Hotel
WE PLANNED THE PERFECT WEEKEND IN VIRGINIA BEACH
By Tracey Minkin
The historic Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club, a grande dame that’s welcomed 10 U.S. presidents, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, and other luminaries since it opened its opulent doors in 1927, has reopened in 2018 after a four-year renovation. With much of the historic detail restored, new pleasures have joined the fun, including an on-site distillery, a full-service spa, and a reimagined Beach Club opening on Memorial Day. Rates for the 62 rooms and 23 suites start at $189.Read More
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE VISITING THESE 31 POPULAR TRAVEL DESTINATIONS
Consider yourself armed for your next big adventure
April 16, 2018
Planning a trip can be a daunting task. Curating the perfect itinerary for a short getaway while avoiding the ever-present fear of tourist traps and gaffes can ruin a trip before it even begins. Being aware of activities and sites to skip is just as important as making time for the secret can’t-miss spots. Below are 31 destinations, with insider tips to match, to take the pain out of planning.
VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA
Experience the historical side of Virginia Beach in the newly renovated Cavalier. Playing host to ten presidents, as well as celebrities including Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, and more, this waterfront icon was built in 1927 by architect Clarence Neff and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Treat yourself to a tour of the hotel’s private onsite distillery or a game of billiards in its historic Raleigh Room and be transported to a glamorous Art Deco fantasy.Read More
CAVALIER HOTEL REOPENS AFTER $81 MILLION RENOVATION
March 29, 2018
by Paula C. Squires
Hospitality executive Bruce L. Thompson once told the Virginia Beach City Council that he didn’t want to be “the guy who tore the hotel down.”
These days, Thompson and his business partners are being praised as the group that saved the iconic Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club. After nearly five years and $81 million in renovations, the historic Virginia Beach hotel officially reopened March 7.
“It could have had 3,200 units on it,” Thompson, CEO of Gold Key| PHR, a Virginia Beach-based hospitality company, told a large gathering that attended the property’s ribbon-cutting celebration.
Thompson was referring to other developers who wanted to demolish the hotel and put up high-density residential projects after a judge ordered that the property be sold in 2012. The order was aimed at resolving a lawsuit over minority shareholder rights that had been filed by warring factions of the Disthene Group, the hotel’s owner at the time.Read More
10 MUST-SEE SIGHTS AT THIS HISTORIC UNDER-THE-RADAR GEM
Jennifer Franklin, for Visit Virginia Beach
Virginia cities like Williamsburg and Richmond have a reputation for being historical gems, but Virginia Beach boasts a robust history all its own. Paired with a thriving arts scene and, of course, outdoor experiences on the beach itself, this coastal city is packed with history to engage every member of the family. Consider this your primer. Here are the top 10 historic sites to see on your next trip and help you start planning your own Virginia Beach itinerary, which will check all the must-have boxes on your next vacation.Read More
THE CAVALIER HOTEL REVEALS EXTENSIVE RENOVATIONS
Will Speros • March 16, 2018
The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club has returned to Virginia Beach following a four-year, $85 million renovation by Norfolk, Virginia-based Hanbury Architects.
The entrance has been restored with its original four-column portico and brick porte-cochère leading to the lobby, which channels the Jazz Age of the Roaring Twenties with historic elements, including soaring ceilings, sparkling fixtures, and ornate architectural moldings. Anchored by a central fireplace, the Raleigh Room merges modern style with classic Southern charm, serving as the main salon with seating, drink carts, and gaming. The indoor-outdoor eatery Becca features intimate garden seating as well as contemporary interiors, while the distillery and tasting room Tarnished Truth and the Prohibition-inspired tavern the Hunt Room serve as additional social and convivial lounges. The Hunt Room also boasts a fully rebuilt, oversized hearth that was a key fixture of its original design.Read More
FIRST LOOK: VIRGINIA BEACH’S CAVALIER HOTEL
A storied seaside hotel returns to its Jazz Age glory
By Elizabeth Hutchinson
March 15, 2018
Muhammad Ali, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, and Bing Crosby all partied in the famed Crystal Ballroom at the circa-1927 Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club in Virginia Beach. Designated trains from Chicago and D.C. deposited glittering guests feet from the front door of the brick neoclassical tower perched on a grassy hill overlooking the Atlantic. Ten U.S. presidents soaked in the hotel’s claw-foot tubs outfitted with extra spigots to draw restorative salt water baths. A Prohibition-era speakeasy and casino reportedly operated out of the basement. Perhaps juiciest of all, Richard Nixon allegedly burnt the White House tapes’ missing eighteen-minutes in the fireplace of the hotel’s subterranean Hunt Room lounge. But by the early twenty-first century, the once-regal Cavalier was embroiled in a family feud and had deteriorated to the point that Stephen King’s Jack Torrance would have been right at home in its musty near-empty halls. Then in 2013, the folks at Gold Key PHR, a local hospitality and real estate management firm, purchased the aging grande dame.Read More
PRESIDENTIAL STAY: HOTELS THAT HOSTED THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF
Garden & Gun
By Susan B. Barnes
Reopening in March 2018 after three years and more than $80 million in renovations, The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club in Virginia Beach has hosted U.S. presidents including Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon. In fact, Nixon was seen burning papers in the hotel’s oversized fireplace late at night in the middle of summer during Watergate. His daughters made some friends at the beach and invited them back to Washington, D.C. to tour the White House.Read More
8 AMERICAN CITIES MAKING BIG IMPROVEMENTS IN 2018
Pharrell brings waves of energy to the Oceanfront Dome
By Matt Meltzer
VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA: SURF PARK
Pharrell brings waves of energy to the Oceanfront Dome
For more than 20 years, the former site of the Oceanfront Dome music venue in Virginia Beach has sat as an oceanfront parking lot. The city views its development as the lynchpin in making VB a year-round tourist destination, and musician Pharrell Williams thinks he has the answer: a surf park. Last year, he and his partners entered into a deal with the city to develop a $20 million park as part of a $300 million retail development, where surfers can catch 6-foot artificial waves, 30 per hour.
Beyond the surf park, Virginia Beach has seen some other attractive new developments. The historic Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club reopened this year, and after a $75 million restoration also opened the first distillery completely set in a US hotel at Tarnished Truth. Plans for a new 880-foot concrete pier jutting out from 15th Street are also in the works, complete with a Ferris wheel. Look for Virginia Beach within a few years to be considered a primo American beach destination, a jewel on one of the country’s most underrated stretches of coast.Read More
COUPLES CELEBRATE VALENTINE’S DAY AND GET A FIRST LOOK AT THE CAVALIER HOTEL’S RENOVATIONS
By Stacy Parker
As Julie MacKinlay walked her dog along the brick pathway to The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club during the landmark’s years-long restoration, she couldn’t wait to see what it would look like.
Would the ballroom where she and her husband celebrated their wedding 53 years ago be as grand as it once was?
On Wednesday, she got her answer.
About 75 couples, including the MacKinlays, attended “The Cavalier Unveiled,” a Valentine’s Day celebration at the Oceanfront icon.Read More
CAREER FAIRS CONTINUE AS CAVALIER HOTEL GEARS UP TO REOPEN IN MARCH
Virginia Business Magazine
Gold Key | PHR is looking to hire more people for the March 7, reopening of the The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club in Virginia Beach. Two career fairs will be held on Jan. 5 and Jan. 6 at Gold Key’s Career Center at 313 Laskin Rd., Suite 103, in Virginia Beach.
Gold Key said it already has hired 125 people and still has nearly 100 associate positions available. The Virginia-Beach based hospitality management company said The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club is looking to hire experienced hospitality workers from managerial full-time employees to bar and wait staff, culinary professionals, banquet servers and housekeeping staff.
While some employees have started work, all 225 associates will begin employment at the hotel by Feb. 5, in time for its reopening the next month.Read More
CAVALIER HOTEL IN VIRGINIA BEACH HOLDING JOB FAIR TO FIND 225 WORKERS
By Stacy Parker
The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club at the Oceanfront is looking to hire workers as it gears up for its grand opening.
Gold Key | PHR will hold a job fair on Tuesday for 225 hospitality positions, including full-time managers, bar and waitstaff, culinary professionals, banquet servers, housekeepers and more.
Salaried positions will pay $48,000 to $80,000. Front desk agents will make $12 to $15 an hour, and a room attendant will earn $11 an hour, according to a Gold Key | PHR spokesperson.Read More
RENOVATIONS ROUNDUP: THESE HOTELS LOOK BETTER THAN EVER
By Nancy Trejos
The hotel industry is thriving, with new properties popping up all over the USA. As a result, existing properties are renovating to keep up. This month, USA TODAY takes a look at notable hotel renovations.
The Cavalier in Virginia Beach
Ten U.S. Presidents and celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, Doris Day, Muhammad Ali and Frank Sinatra have stayed at The Cavalier. (Photo: The Cavalier)
The Cavalier, a historic hotel in Virginia Beach, is set to complete a $75 million-plus restoration.
Built in 1927, the design of the hotel was inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
It played host to 10 U.S. presidents and celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, Doris Day, Muhammad Ali, and Frank Sinatra. It was also a venue for performances by Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller of the Big Band era.Read More
CAVALIER’S TOP CHEF A FAMILIAR FACE
By Patrick Evans-Hylton
As the much anticipated reopening of The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club approaches, work is finalizing on many details, like, what’s there to eat. Dining at the historic Oceanfront hotel, which opened 90 years ago in 1927 includes a number of properties. Overseeing them all will be Executive Chef Dan Elinan.Read More
RECLAIMING THE CAVALIER: A DISTILLERY TAKES SHAPE INSIDE A FORMER LAUNDRY ROOM
Town & Country
By Stacy Parker
Bright lights illuminate an interior room on the ground floor of The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club. It used to be where the hotel’s laundry was washed. Now something much different is taking shape: think Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory with shiny copper machinery, pipes, gauges and thermometers. But instead of candy, this equipment will make spirits – vodka, bourbon, gin and rye whiskey. It will be one of the only craft distilleries in the world operating inside a hotel.Read More
19 PRESIDENTIAL RETREATS WHERE YOU CAN VISIT AND STAY
The Cavalier Meticulously Restored to Its Original 1927 Glory After $75 Million+ Renovation
By Nadine Jolie Courtney
Soon after President Trump won the election, it was reported that membership initiation fees to his private club Mar-a-Lago doubled from $100,000 to $200K. Many people clamor to walk in the footsteps of a President and this one has the rare-if ethically murky-ability to capitalize on that.
While many of the former so-called summer and winter White Houses have been turned into museums-like Harry S. Truman’s Little White House in Key West, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Little White House in Georgia, or Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Virginia-a slew of presidential playgrounds exist where the public can actually stay.Read More
THE CAVALIER HOTEL: A MODERN AMERICAN ICON
Garden & Gun
A Virginia icon, The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club will reopen its oceanfront doors in late 2017 after a massive $75-million+ restoration. Developed by Gold Key | PHR, the newly reimagined property will become the latest luxury class member of Marriott’s distinguished Autograph Collection bringing unparalleled accommodations and dining to the mid-Atlantic.
Successful Meetings Online
By Jennifer V. Cole
Across the South, historic hotels are regaining their former grandeur. Modeled after Jefferson’s Monticello, this brick-and-stone tower opened in 1927 as a neoclassical playground for the rich and famous, catering to everyone from Bing Crosby to Elizabeth Taylor to Washington power players. Railways deposited guests just feet from the hotel, where amenities included tubs with an extra spigot to draw saltwater baths and a broker on-site with a live ticker tape from the New York Stock Exchange. Its heyday ended during World War II, when the navy took over the hotel for radar training. But this summer, the regal Cavalier is scheduled to ride again after a $75 million restoration, with special attention paid to preserving the original design elements (exterior pedestals and finials, portico columns, terrazzo floors, painted ceilings).Read More
VIRGINIA’S CAVALIER HOTEL TO JOIN AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION AFTER MASSIVE RENOVATION
By Matt Alderton
The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club has been a fixture in Virginia Beach, VA, since 1927, when it opened just steps from the Atlantic Ocean. Ninety years later, the hotel that once hosted famous guests such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and Elizabeth Taylor — not to mention at least 10 U.S. presidents, from Calvin Coolidge to Jimmy Carter — is preparing for a rebirth: In December, it will unveil the fruits of a $75 million renovation and restoration when it reopens as a member of Marriott International’s Autograph Collection, it announced this week.Read More
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.
CAVALIER HOTEL SEARCHING FOR 84 COUPLES WHO WERE MARRIED OR HONEYMOONED AT THE HOTEL TO RETURN & RENEW WEDDING VOWS WITH ONE COUPLE SAYING “I DO” FOR THE FIRST TIME
The Virginian-PilotRead More
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.
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: ON THE ROOFTOP
The Virginian-Pilot: Inside Business
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.
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.
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.
FOR THE CAVALIER, A FACELIFT TRUMPS THE WRECKING BALL DEVELOPER BRUCE THOMPSON TAKES ON RENOVATION OF ONE OF HAMPTON ROADS’ MOST BELOVED HOTELS
VIRGINIA BEACH’S 87-YEAR-OLD HOTEL UNDERGOES A 5-STAR RENOVATION
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.Read More
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.
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.