Hotels & Resorts — 08 September 2017
Live Like a Legend at The Graduate Hotel in Richmond, Virginia.

By Renée S. Gordon

The newest hotel in Richmond, Virginia is distinctive, unique and sets a new standard for boutique accommodations. The Graduate Richmond is part of a new hotel collection of 10 properties nationwide that are located in college markets and celebrate each town’s local culture and history.

Like its siblings, The Graduate Richmond deftly blends local culture with state-of-the-art technology and nostalgic elements that nod to university experiences. The Graduate Richmond succeeds in part thanks to extreme attention to detail.

The Graduate RichmondThe hotel pays homage to past University of Virginia grads throughout its public and private areas with a special nod to Richmond native Arthur Ashe. Ashe was an educator, activist, author, scholar and consummate gentleman. He was the first, and (so far) only, African American to win the men’s singles at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, three Grand Slams, and also became the first African-American male to be ranked No. 1 in the world. Several iconic items associated with Ashe are used in the décor, most notably a chandelier fashioned from his signature eyeglass frames.

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. —Arthur Ashe




The walnut-paneled lobby is staffed by preppy-clad individuals in polo shirts and varsity sweaters. Two of the many quirky furnishings are an LED coffee table and an elevator carpet. The coffee table is programmed to electronically feature Richmond-centric quotes; a mirrored ceiling in the elevator foyer allows guests to read the message imprinted on the carpet below. A telephone number across the rear wall of the lobby, when dialed, introduces guests to Richmond’s punk music scene.

The Graduate RichmondThe Graduate RichmondThe Graduate Richmond









There are two dining options on site: Brookfield and The Byrd House. Brookfield, which is located in the lobby, serves American-style breakfast, lunch and dinner. Up on the roof, The Byrd House Bar offers light fare and cocktails plus panoramic views of Richmond and the James River.

Details are important here, so even the key cards are creative. Each one is a facsimile of a famous individual’s student ID card complete with picture and university information.

It’s time to go back to school!

  • 232 guest rooms and suites, each of which boasts modern amenities, state-of-the-art technology, designer linens
  • Located within walking distance of shopping, dining and most significant city sites
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Docking stations
  • Pet friendly
  • Complimentary bikes
  • 24-hour fitness center
  • In-room coffee maker with basic supplies
  • Malin & Goetz bath products
  • Odds of Encountering Children: Varies, but since it’s located near a college you can reasonably expect to see college-aged teens more often than toddlers.
More Information…

The Graduate Richmond
301 West Franklin Street
Richmond, VA 23220

Visit Richmond

Virginia Is For Lovers

– Photos by Renée S. Gordon

Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion.

Renee GordonRenée S. Gordon has written a weekly travel column for the Philadelphia Sun for the past 14 years and has published travel articles in numerous publications. Her columns focus on cultural, historic and heritage tourism and she specializes in sites and attractions related to African American and African Diaspora history. Renée serves as a consultant for educational trips and history-related tourist destinations. She considers herself a “missionary journalist” and as such she continues to promote heritage and sustainable tourism. She has been honored with several awards including the 2013 Recipient of African Diaspora World Tourism and Flame Keeper in Media Award for Travel Writing.


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