One of my favorite hotels in the world—and of course, in Virginia—is the five-star, five-diamond Jefferson Hotel in Richmond and I am so excited that they have finally reopened, just in time for the holidays! This is where Santa would stay if he was in town!

Treat yourself and your furry friend to a special getaway at this five-woof historic hotel. You’ll pay an additional per night pet fee, but the hotel has no weight limits and welcomes all canine guests with true Southern hospitality. The hotel goes all out for the holidays with hundreds of poinsettias lining the grand staircase, garland and twinkle lights wrapping the grand columns, railings and banisters and a stunning 30-foot Christmas tree in the lower lobby. And I always stop in the Blooms gift shop to pick up a unique ornament to take home for my own tree!

Built in 1895 by Lewis Ginter, this Beaux Arts gem has hosted presidents and royalty for over a century, including “the King”, Elvis Presley. The life-sized Edward Valentine statue of Thomas Jefferson commands the Palm Court Lobby, which is ringed with Louis Tiffany windows, and is the location of a formal afternoon tea on weekends. The grand staircase leading to the lower lobby inspired an urban legend that “Gone With the Wind” movie-makers used it as their inspiration for the famous Rhett-Scarlett scene, and a mini-museum in the lower lobby tells these and other stories of the historic hotel.

Several safety measures—in addition to rigorous cleaning regimens—are in place this season. Lemaire is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with hotel guests receiving preferred access to reservations. Public access to The Jefferson will be limited to those with a reservation for an overnight stay, Lemaire, Afternoon Tea, Salon Vivace or a private event.  Sunday Champagne brunch has been suspended until further notice and reservations are currently closed for all future dates. The hotel’s complimentary local limousine service has also been temporarily suspended.

Check the hotel’s holiday packages to book your own staycation or Christmas escape!

Photo credit: [The Jefferson Hotel]