The rich history of the Meander Plantation has passed through several chapters since Col. Joshua Fry first patented the plantation in 1726. Col. Fry discovered this beautiful setting while surveying and mapping what would later become the State of Virginia. He most likely experienced the same feeling that our current guests describe as “Meander Moments”… the feelings that arise when coming up the driveway from the scenic road between Culpeper and Charlottesville, taking in the stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and strolling the banks of the Robinson River that flows through the plantation. Over the next 295 years, the Meander Plantation’s chapters would be defined by the many important guests that would visit the plantation, including Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, as well as civil war troops from both the Union and Confederate armies.
The most recent chapter for the Meander Plantation began in 1991 when Suzie Blanchard and Suzanne Thomas recognized the potential of converting the manor house and cottages into a luxury and romantic bed and breakfast near Washington DC. They worked tirelessly for over two decades, sharing the plantation history and creating an exceptional guest experience by making guests feel at home on the plantation. Their dedication to historic preservation, excellent cooking, guest satisfaction, and Virginia agriculture and wine helped the Inn receive many accolades, including:
- Feature in Fodor’s Travel Guides as “One of the south’s best Bed and Breakfast Inns”.
- Rating of “Most Elegant Bed and Breakfast” by Arrington’s Book of Lists.
- Designation as one of the top 15 Bed and Breakfasts in America 3 years in a row.
The two women worked hard to put into practice the following vision:
Take care of the guest and deliver “wow” moments, while supporting the conservation and celebration of the plantation’s heritage and local community.
They lived up to these standards by sourcing from local farmers, wine makers, and community service providers and connecting guests with the numerous things to do in Culpeper, Orange, and Madison counties. Guests continued to enjoy romantic weekends from Washington DC and Richmond, while discovering the nearby Montpelier estate of James Madison, historic main streets, Civil War battle fields, Virginia wineries, and the Shenandoah National Park.
After 25 years, Suzie and Suzanne decided it was time to slow down their pace and retire and enjoy life in the same way they had helped thousands of guests experience life at the Inn at Meander Plantation. The challenge then became how to find a new owner that would be a responsible steward of the plantation and protect its heritage while ensuring superior hospitality and creating “Meander Moments” for the guests.
Through a twist of fate, Suzie and Suzanne met a group of tourism and hospitality professionals that were in search of a luxury bed and breakfast near Washington DC, in Virginia Wine Country. This team had set out to replicate a successful sustainable tourism model they created with the Bentwood Inn in Jackson Hole Wyoming, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World. The model used at the Bentwood Inn was aligned with the vision of the Inn at Meander Plantation and the decision was made; the ownership of the Inn at Meander Plantation would pass to the new Managing Directors — Dan Austin, Chris Seek, and Keith Sproule.
Under this new chapter for the Meander Plantation, offering a romantic bed and breakfast experience for couples to celebrate that special occasion will continue to be a priority. However, the next chapter of the Meander Plantation will also strive to strengthen ties with our neighbors in the community by opening up the Inn at Meander Plantation for dinner, Sunday brunch, or private luncheons for groups. Families and groups of friends, including girlfriend getaways in Virginia, will be invited to use the Plantation for gatherings and special occasions.
Another exciting announcement is that the Inn at Meander Plantation will begin hosting weddings in the Virginia countryside and will continue to offer the perfect location for Virginia elopement destinations. Stay tuned for more information regarding wedding packages that are built upon connections with the numerous wedding vendors in the surrounding counties who will help ensure a perfect day for those momentous occasions.
Previous guests can be reassured that the new management will preserve all of the things they love about Meander, including many of the same staff that are considered more like friends. Many new enhancements are also being planned for the Inn at Meander Plantation in order to improve overall guest experience.
As a way of introducing the new management, the Inn at Meander Plantation is offering a special package for previous guests and locals to introduce them to the new chapter at the Meander Plantation. For those who have never visited the Inn at Meander Plantation, now is the perfect time to do so. View availability and make a reservation today.
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