We just completed a “southern swing” through Virginia and North Carolina, to shoot primarily for clients we’ve shot for before. It could not have been a more beautiful time to travel through that area, as a long-awaited spring was just beginning. It was a blast to see what  our old friends were up to–lots of new construction, renovation and redecoration. We have always believed that these types of changes, while disruptive and costly at times, are key to keeping your inn fresh and alive. Past guests are re-energized and excited to return to see the improvements. These changes often create buzz, garner press, and get more new guests to come and stay. We think it’s really worth it, and the numbers almost always bear this out.

First on our trip was Middleton Inn in Washington , VA. We shot this inn about 6 years ago and this was a follow up. As we arrived at the property we kept saying how we forgot how beautiful this part of Virginia is – especially in spring.

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The Middleton Inn’s hunt country-inspired parlor in Washington, VA

 

 

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A major advantage of Middleton Inn is the rolling pastures that surround it…this image highlights that advantage

 

 

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The breakfast at The Middleton Inn is memorable. Chef Sylvie keeps it local, organic and very tasty.

 

Next on the line was Goodstone Inn and Restaurant in Middleburg, VA. This was our first time shooting this inn, but we hope not the last. The property is magnificent. The inn is comprised of about 10 separate out buildings, situated on 265 acres of rolling wood and farmland in Northern Virginia horse country.

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The restored Carriage House houses the award-winning restaurant at Goodstone Inn in Middleburg, VA.

 

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The Dining Room at Goodstone features enormous windows overlooking rolling hills and woodland

 

 

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A hammock with a view, near the Manor House at Goodstone Inn

 

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This signpost helps you find your away around Goodstone’s 265 acres…but getting lost is more fun!

 

Our next stop was Iris Inn in Waynesboro, Virginia–a return visit. Dave and Heidi have made enormous changes, most notably the addition of six ultra-luxe “cabins”. We detailed it all in our last post from the road. Here is one picture, but be sure to check out the whole post:

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Bedroom in the cabins at Iris Inn, Waynesboro VA. Be sure to read our recent post on this project and see more of these awesome accommodations!

 

Next up was Afton Mountain Inn, just down the road from Iris Inn and near all the great sites of Charlottesville and the surrounding countryside. We returned to Afton to shoot a room redecoration and some food. The food was great (we got to taste everything we shot), but the room redecoration was a real show-stopper. What a difference it made when they removed the wallpaper and matching canopy, changed the bedding and painted the walls a soothing neutral…The room feels larger, more inviting, and less frilly…and we know it will start to sell more right away. Here’s a great example of updating w room without completely abandoning your inn’s overall aesthetic. It can be done–and it’s not that expensive!

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Before (left) and after (right) of the Goodwin room at Afton Mountain B&B. What a difference!

 

 

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A breakfast souffle at Afton Mountain Inn. Oh, how we love chasing those souffles before they fall!

 

Pinecrest Inn in Tryon, North Carolina, was next on our list. It’s just a short drive from Asheville, one of our favorite places to visit. It has been over 3 years since we last shot for Carl Caudle and his team. It was great to see all the changes and upgrades. Many of the rooms feature country-style knotty-pine walls and trim (it is PINEcrest, after all!) but it is interesting to see how they are now counterpointed with contemporary elements . We think it really freshens up the rooms while maintaining the vintage charm of this historic property.

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The verandah at Pine Crest Inn in Tryon NC is a great place to take in a spring breakfast surrounded by all those lush gardens

 

 

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The Devon Room at Pine Crest Inn in Tryon, NC near Asheville

The final stop on this whirlwind spring swing through the south was Whitegate Inn in the heart of Downtown Asheville, NC. This was our third time shooting for Frank and Ralph. Whitegate is a fabulous inn by any standard, but when you add the stunning gardens into the mix, it takes it to extraordinary. You have to see what Frank and Ralph have done with a relatively small plot of land–nothing short of incredible. We shot some garden images as well as a few rooms that have been refreshed and updated.

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A rambling stream, and various waterfalls can be discovered in the city gardens at Whitegate Inn in Asheville, NC

 

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The “white gate” at Whitegate Inn in Asheville, NC

 

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One of the many paths that meander through the enchanting gardens at Whitegate Inn in Asheville, NC

 

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Color is not limited to the gardens at Whitegate Inn in Asheville. This is the first room you see when you walk in the front door

 

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The facade and gardens of Whitegate Inn in Asheville, NC on a perfect spring evening.

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