for the Washington Post's FW
There are reasons why some hotels rate five stars from Forbes. Like pulling up to a grand port cochere in a twenty-year-old pick-up, duct-tape patched and loaded with old house parts, and being greeted like her ladyship back from the hunt. (Which she was, Richmond has fantastic salvage yards).
Such a place is The Jefferson, exorbitantly gracious and luxurious to the tips of the terry slippers set out beside your turned down bed and the Molton Brown soaps and creams in the marble bath.
Built in 1895 by Colonel Lewis Ginter, a confederate officer and tobacco baron, who also designed the beautiful Ginter gardens on the edge of town, the beaux arts masterpiece immediately and forevermore became the centerpiece of Richmond's society events. Among the guests were twelve U.S. Presidents, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Charlie Chaplain, Elvis, and most of the cast of the recent hit movie, Lincoln.