Breaking Travel News Breaking US News Hospitality Industry Hotels & Resorts Travel Destination Update

Renowned country retreat undergoes dramatic transformation

Written by editor

Molly and Robert Hardie, owners of Keswick Hall, announced the resort’s multimillion-dollar transformation and partnership with globally renowned Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who will oversee the property’s culinary operations. The renovation will be unveiled in spring 2020 with a Grand Opening in fall 2020.

Enhancements will be made throughout the 198-acre resort’s public spaces and guest rooms. A brand-new guest wing will be built, including 42 additional guest rooms, bringing the number of rooms to 80. The property will also boast a new signature restaurant; a new spa and wellness center; the addition of a dramatic new infinity pool; and reimagined resort grounds. Renowned Architecture firm Hart Howerton and Lighting Design firm L’Observatoire International were tapped to transform the property, implementing thoughtful designs that reflect its classic American heritage and authentic Southern hospitality.

“With several new sophisticated spaces that reflect a timeless look and feel and a partnership with one of the most celebrated chefs in the world, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, we are delighted to announce the new Keswick Hall,” said Molly and Robert Hardie. “This world-class country retreat will delight guests with its impeccable design, distinguished cuisine, upscale amenities, warm, personalized service and distinctive offerings and we cannot wait to welcome back our loyal guests and showcase how we brought this storied, grand estate into a new era.”

“I love creating inspiring new restaurant concepts and menus and am overjoyed to be partnering with Keswick Hall to bring my vision for this beautiful luxury hotel to life,” said Jean-Georges Vongerichten. “By overseeing culinary operations for the new signature restaurant, in-room dining and all catering and events, I will be given the opportunity to share a wide selection of exciting new dishes with guests and members of this charming country community.”

“I have had the pleasure of working with Chef Jean-Georges previously and am delighted to bring his culinary vision and excellence to Keswick,” said John Trevenen, general manager of Keswick Hall.

Surrounded by a beautiful herb garden, the new signature restaurant helmed by Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, will be the focal point of the renovation. This bistro-like venue will feature both white tiled and wooden floor areas, custom-made light fixtures, ceramic-face bar, stone fireplace and vibrant outside areas. Boasting expansive views of the rolling Full Cry golf course with the Virginia mountains in the distance, the dining area will delight guests with a dazzling gastronomic experience. Comprised of 130 indoor seats, 20 bar seats and 70 outdoor seats, the cozy space will showcase regional cuisine with the freshest flavors. The restaurant will feature flavorful fare that’s organic and sustainable, sourced from local family-owned food suppliers and farms. A Pétanque court will sit just outside the restaurant, where guests can partake in a relaxing game in a bucolic setting, cocktail in hand, before enjoying dinner at the restaurant.

The hotel’s refined guest rooms will boast four signature suites – including a two-bedroom Presidential Suite and a one-bedroom Ashley Suite (as a nod to the man who originally turned the property into a luxury hotel) – in addition to 11 junior suites. All guest rooms will feature light colored woods, elegant furniture and classic upholstery, plush Duxiana mattresses and red flower bathroom amenities. Each high-tech room will be outfitted with smart televisions and Lutron lighting, enabling guests to set their room’s privacy settings and lighting with a touch of a button. Vibrant photographs that imaginatively juxtapose the guest room’s sophisticated style and reflect the property’s neighboring farms, will adorn the walls.

The lobby will house a retail area offering a selection of artisanal breakfast items, teas and coffees in the morning, as well as a range of sundries, distinctive bathroom amenities and other goods. The newly designed ballroom will feature a pre-function area and fireplace to accommodate 210 people. There will also be several new areas ideally designed for weddings, including a spectacular natural outdoor setting, perfect for ceremonies, in addition to outdoor tented areas that can hold events for up to 400 people. World-class landscape architect firm Nelson Byrd Woltz will create an enchanting outdoor environment that will tempt guests to explore myriad walking paths and beautifully restored resort grounds – all sustainable and reflective of the native Virginia landscape.

The new spa will house eight treatment rooms, a state-of-the-art fitness center and indoor cycling. Spa services will incorporate indigenous treatments and employ organic red flower products. Soothing water treatments and elements will also be incorporated.

An impressive infinity pool, adjacent to the hotel, will feature breathtaking views of the stunning Virginia countryside and serve as a hallmark design feature.

Keswick Hall, nestled in the heart of Virginia’s Piedmont region, among lush, rolling hills at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, will also offer exceptional local area experiences for guests. This peaceful and pastoral property will provide access and transportation to such extraordinary gastronomic and cultural experiences as visits to local wineries, craft breweries, distilleries and farms, as well as to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello plantation, James Madison’s Montpelier plantation and the University of Virginia.

Originally opened in 1912 and built as a country estate for Robert Crawford, this historic Virginia gem has gone through myriad chapters and uses over the past century — as a residence, a country club and five-star boutique hotel. With this major makeover and distinguished partnership with Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, the iconic destination is now poised to become Virginia’s premier luxury hotel and dining destination. Travelers seeking a relaxing experience in the country, complete with horse trails, walking trails, exceptional dining experiences and quaint local wineries, will delight in everything this retreat has to offer.

For more information, please visit

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the author


Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.