Pack a Bag: Airlie, Part I

Airlie hosted my husband and myself for the first night of our cross country road trip. Staying in Virginia was ideal, as we knew it was the farthest we felt comfortable driving from Philadelphia. The fact that it is a historic hotel is a cherry on the top of the sundae and I love me some ice cream.

The hotel initially hit my radar when it was announced as a Historic Hotels of America Awards of Excellence nominee for the Sustainability Champion category. Sustainability is an interest of mine not just in the clothing industry, but also the architecture and engineering industries. I have my LEED BD+C and ND accreditation and am always learning about green building techniques but, as studied at length throughout the first two years of graduate school, the greenest building is one that is already built.

Being a historic property, the long standing buildings of Airlie are inherently sustainable. Airlie goes above and beyond in the implementation of green initiatives and this consequently, is what makes Airlie stand out among its peers in historic hospitality.

  • The property includes a farm and Community Garden. I loved that Harry’s, the on-site restaurant, incorporates produce and meat from its own farm in its menus. The farmhouse even has off-the-grid solar panels.
  • The site forgoes the use of fertilizer in order to avoid contamination of the local water source.
  • The Pavilion is new construction and used for large scale events. The structure is LEED Certified Gold.
  • The Airlie parking lot has dedicated electric car parking spaces, all of which have car charging stations. Have Tesla, will travel.
  • Guestrooms include a dual recycling / trash bin. I realized while throwing out waste, how much I could (and did!) throw in the former.
  • Rather than an aggressive bar of soap, the guestroom toiletries included a ring of soap.
  • While our guest room was average in terms of size, the layout of the guest room was so functional. I loved that there was a window in the bathroom; most hotel guest rooms have bathrooms that require light bulb power. During the daytime, there was no need for turning on any lights.
  • Bonus Fact: During a 1969 conference, United States Senator Gaylord Nelson announced the concept of Earth Day while at Airlie, which was celebrated for the first time the following April 22.

While there are 149 guestrooms on the property, 122 are available to book. The Carriage House recently underwent a refresh; currently the accommodations in the Farmer’s House is undergoing a refresh. In addition to the Carriage House and the Farmer’s House, guestrooms are also located in the Groom’s Collage, Lodge, Silo House, and Lake Cottage.sDSC07215sDSC07234

Sincerest thanks to Airlie for sponsoring our stay.

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