This Charming Virginia Inn Sits on 80 Acres Near Shenandoah National Park — and Feels Like the English Countryside

Perched in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Virginia Wine Country, Blue Rock is the definition of a cozy retreat — fireplace included.

Exterior of hotel inn Blue Rock in Washington, Virginia

Courtesy of Blue Rock

Washington, Virginia has long been associated with the Inn at Little Washington — a hotel and restaurant that was awarded the state’s first Michelin stars in 2016. Although the property continues to maintain its reign in Rappahannock County — receiving another three stars in 2021 — it’s not the only reason visitors should spend a long weekend in historic Washington and the surrounding area.

Front exterior view of Blue Rock hotel/inn with mountains in the background in Washington, Virginia

Courtesy of Blue Rock

Just 90 minutes from Washington, D.C., the Virginia region is dotted with wineries, breweries, and several charming inns and bed and breakfasts — one of which opened its doors in October 2021 after undergoing a total renovation. Halfway between Washington (also known as “Little Washington”) and nearby Sperryville sits Blue Rock, a “new take on the classic country inn," with a five-guestroom inn, tasting room, and a 34-seat restaurant led by head chef Bin Lu (previously head chef of D.C.'s Pineapple and Pearls). There’s also an on-property farmhouse available for private rentals. 

If the name rings a bell, it might be because Blue Rock has served on and off as an inn for several decades; its new owner, entrepreneur Nick Dowling, has led the property into its current intimate and decidedly stylish era. While the rural setting is close to the nearby Shenandoah National Park, Blue Rock sits directly off Route 211. The location might give you pause as you turn into the gravel driveway, but not to worry: All hesitations vanish upon entering the lobby. Reminiscent of an English countryside hotel, there’s a working wood stove, images depicting bucolic scenes donning the walls, and muted neutral fabrics complementing the reclaimed wood, white walls, and equestrian decor. It’s “cottagecore” at its finest. 

Autumn foliage seen from the lawn area of Blue Rock in Washington, Virginia

Courtesy of Blue Rock

Equally pleasant tableaus are found around every corner in Blue Rock — from the snug library with a stone fireplace to the outdoor patio and Adirondack chairs overlooking the vineyard and the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Each of the five uniquely decorated guest rooms — all of which are accompanied by en-suite bathrooms — is just as idyllic. Crisp linens and whimsical wallpaper serve as common themes throughout, and they’re well-stocked with luxurious touches, including Molton Brown products, fluffy bath robes, and Nespresso machines.

Wide angle view of guest room interior at Blue Rock in Washington, Virginia

Courtesy of Blue Rock

View of outdoor dining patio facing a pond and mountains at Blue Rock in Washington, Virginia

Courtesy of Blue Rock

As half of the draw to Blue Rock is Chef Lu’s culinary offerings, participating in the four-course dinner is a prerequisite for getting the full experience. Although, it should be noted that the restaurant is only open Thursday through Sunday. Served in the formal dining room, the prix fixe menu (with the option of a wine pairing for an additional cost) is rooted in fresh, local ingredients but avant-garde in its approach. In the morning, guests can also choose to have a light breakfast (yogurt, fruit, pastries, and coffee or tea) in the same space, or opt to enjoy it from the comfort of their room.

Whether you’re looking for a countryside escape, somewhere to enjoy a bottle of red wine by a fireplace, or accommodations with easy access to both Washington, D.C. and Shenandoah National Park, Blue Rock is the perfect cozy, quaint getaway for all types of travelers. Rooms at Blue Rock start at $349 a night, and reservations for the inn can be made at Restaurant reservations are available on Tock.

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