I had never heard of the Tides Inn until I had to travel to Irvington, Virginia for an event last year. To be specific, I was going to see a friend sing in an opera at a winery in that area. Yes, you read that right. I searched for places to stay online and saw a few good options for bed
and breakfasts, but the photos of the views from the Tides Inn are what really caught me.
So, I booked a King room with a river view, and it was definitely the right decision. Irvington is a bit rural with a small downtown area, so you wouldn’t necessarily expect a luxury hotel to be tucked away there in the woods. I am so glad I found this hidden gem though because it is now one of my favorite places to stay. It’s elegantly rustic and nautical (lots of blue with several ship paintings/drawings), and it has a very down to earth vibe. You won’t be greeted by anyone with an attitude here. In fact, all of the staff members are incredibly warm and friendly. You will hear a lot of ‘Yes Ma’am’ and ‘Yes Sir’ for any request. In fact, one front desk girl said ‘Yes Ma’am’ so much, you could probably tell her the hotel was on fire and get a ‘Yes Ma’am.’
The views from this hotel are peaceful and stunning. You are right on the Rappahannock River, so you can easily get mesmerized by the sunrise or sunset over the river from various windows in the hotel (or if you book a room with view). The grass covered grounds are also
beautiful, and it’s easy to walk around and explore. You won’t see any alligators here like you do in South Carolina, so that’s a bonus in my book. I only like encountering animals that kill humans in photos-call me crazy.
You can park in the hotel lot, or you can pull up to the valet. I recommend using the valet to unload, but you can easily park the car yourself. The lot is about a two minute walk to the entrance, but it’s an easy walk without having to dodge cars or many other people. The
hotel never felt crowded even though it was almost full.
I love good breakfasts in hotels, and this hotel does it right. (You can eat here without being a guest by the way). They have omelets, oatmeal, griddle cakes, potatoes, grits, biscuits, and berries- you name it. They offer room service too if you feel like staying in to look
at the view a bit longer. Their brewed coffee is good. It’s not very strong, but it’s medium and good enough that I asked for more. They also have large Nespresso machines with various pods in the room (so good!). After having both the dark roast Nespresso and restaurant coffee, I was fully loaded for going to the nearby by store, The Dandelion. More on that store soon.
Stay in the main building to be closer to the main restaurant and front desk. I personally like to stay on the ground floor for the patio (have to request that). Check out the gift store for lots of cool items, including the excellent coffee mugs and awesome smelling soap (honestly my favorite soap) that they have in the rooms. If you just want a light lunch or afternoon snack, go to their Fish Hawk restaurant. In the morning, check out their View Room for a quiet place to read- or let’s get real, look at your phone.