I’m excited to bring this level of guest service, the newest technology and spa luxury to our market here in Virginia Beach
– Suzanne Garcia
Historic American hotel The Cavalier will reopen in early 2018 after a US$75m restoration.
Built in 1927 and overlooking the Atlantic on one of the highest hills in Virginia Beach, Virginia, the hotel was inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate.
The property is being redeveloped by Gold Key PHR and will become the latest venue in Marriott’s Autograph Collection.
Part of the redevelopment will include a 6,200sq ft (575sq m) spa with nine treatment rooms.
The SeaHill Spa will feature a hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room, Himalayan salt room and a Serenity Lounge.
A signature hydrotherapy room includes a Spa Capsule with heat, steam, light and aromatherapy, while another room includes a Gharieni MLX Quartz treatment table. There are also two couple's suites, including one with a soaking tub, a full-service salon and a spa retail boutique.
A Bourbon Tea Nutria Body Wrap and a gentlemen’s bourbon treatment will incorporate ingredients from the on-site distillery, and an Ocean Crystal Facial, which uses aquamarine crystals to connect guests with the healing energy of the ocean. Product lines include OSEA, Themae and Coola.
“I’m excited to bring this level of guest service, the newest technology and spa luxury to our market here in Virginia Beach,” said Suzanne Garcia, president and CEO of SeaHill Spa at The Cavalier.
The spa will use a neutral, warm-toned and satin-finished wood in its architectural detailing, which is designed to create a natural balance to the clear finish of milk-glass tile, limestone, historic ceramics and blackened iron of the historic pool railings. Curved lines are used to evoke a sense of relaxation.
The Cavalier’s restoration began in 2014 and has been overseen by Norfolk, Virginia-based architecture firm Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas.
The remodelling brings to life many of the original Neo-Classical features, including exterior pedestals and finials and a portico with classical columns. The original windows were hand-salvaged and, inside, the original plaster ornamentation, terrazzo flooring and painted ceilings were reconditioned to historical accuracy.
“The word ‘cavalier’ can refer to someone elegant and gentlemanly, or it can be used to describe a relaxed, carefree attitude,” said lead architect Greg Rutledge.
“As we started working on our plans for the hotel, we thought it would be exciting to play off both meanings. All of the careful restoration work we are doing will certainly bring back the property to its original charm and stateliness, but we’ve thrown in some modern twists into the design as well that we feel will make The Cavalier a sought-out, modern vacation destination once again.”
The original hotel design had 195 bedrooms, which have been reconfigured to create 85 more spacious rooms and suites, each of which has been individually designed with historically precise materials to reflect a famous guest or notable event from the hotel’s past.
The new distillery will include a tasting room, tours, and an opportunity for guests to create and distil their own barrels, as well as to purchase The Cavalier’s signature bourbon, gin and vodka made on site.