After our visit to Mount Vernon, George Washington's beautiful plantation home, we continued on to Richmond Virginia. In Richmond, we had a very special lunch at the lovely Jefferson Hotel. The Jefferson is one of only a handful of hotels in North America to receive both the coveted Five Star and Five Diamond award. This is a building that has, perhaps more than any other, become an integral part of the social and cultural history of Richmond.
The hotel was build by a man who was one of Richmond's most modest and colorful citizens, as well as, the wealthiest. Lewis Ginter was born in New York of Dutch imigrant parents and came to Richomnd in 1842 at the age of 18. He made his first fortune in the import business and lost it to the Civil War. He served in the Confederate Army, then returned to New York, where he made a second fortune in the banking industry and lost it to a recession. At age 50, he returned to Richmond and entered the tobacco business. He made millions marketing the pre-rolled cigarette and became a civic leader and philanthropist. When he sold his interest in the tobacco compnay he entered his fourth career, land development. He dreamed of giving Richmond the "finest hostelry in America." And, he did!
The hotel was built incorporating Renaissance and other forms of architecturere that he admired. Ginter named the hotel for his hero, Thomas Jefferson, America's third president. Ginter supervised every detail and the details are amazing. Even the bathrooms are picture worthy!