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.
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.
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:
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!
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.
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.