Hilton Norfolk THE MAIN Sets New Tone For Tidewater

Hilton Norfolk THE MAIN

Photos Credit: Hilton Norfolk THE MAIN

The newly opened Hilton Norfolk (Va.) THE MAIN is a sparking waterfront property with commanding views of the city, its waterside, the Elizabeth River, and The USS Wisconsin. THE MAIN is a versatile tower, replete with artistic and design elements from owner Bruce Thompson, CEO of Gold Key/PHR Hotels & Resorts. The establishment hosts guests, meetings and conventions in state-of-the-art spaces, and offers the newest in industry innovations. The Cruvinet at Varia features a 24 bottle enomatic wine studio for evening respite, or a segue to dinner at THE MAIN's Varia. Swipe your wine studio card here to try pours. Sommelier Bethany Morris is on hand to consult on selections to your preference, or new choices. Here and throughout the 21 story hotel, details such as the library theme selected by Thompson, or artsy photos in dark wood oval frames, lend to the boutique experience. 

Hilton Norfolk THE MAIN

THE MAIN's 10,000-square-foot rooftop beer garden Grain, would be at home in Aspen or Park City, with its motif an integration of forest and lounge. Grain is the place to be in downtown Norfolk, and boasts an endless beer selection, including local and national crafts. From Grain, many guests and patrons transition to the night life and music of historic Granby Street. For healthy daytime fare, sample the fast casual organic offerings or fresh juice presses of Fruitive, on THE MAIN's first floor. Seafood or sushi lovers will find Saltine a hip little first floor restaurant.

Meeting and conference planners will note THE MAIN's 42,000 feet of convertible space, including a 18,382 Grand Ballroom which accommodates 2,000 people, the largest in the state. What distinguishes these spaces are the unconventional design, more swank and cozy than officious, with plenty of seating, breakout areas, and laptop lounge sofas between the larger rooms.

Visitors to downtown Norfolk should tour the USS Wisconsin, which was in service from World War II until The Persian Gulf War. One may tour independently, or with a guide. Norfolk is a city of uniformed personnel. Nauticus museum on the waterside expands this aspect of the experience, with Naval lore and maritime history and dedications. At nearby Glass Studio on Duke Street, catch an entertaining demonstration of creative glass blowing and art. On Memorial Place, the Chrysler Museum is current home to a large, impressive exhibition of the varied works of Henri de Toulouse-Latrec. 

Hilton Norfolk THE MAIN

Only 20-25 minutes from Norfolk, Virginia Beach is a fun day trip, where tourists may swim Chick's Beach, stroll the Boardwalk, one of the longest on the Eastern Seaboard, grab lunch at Mahi Mah's, or visit the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Later continue the craft beer quest at friendly Back Bay Brewing on Norfolk Ave., savor hand crafted vodka's or rum's at Chesapeake Bay Distillery on Virginia Beach Boulevard. Should dinner time find you here, Catch 31 is an excellent choice. The historic Cavalier Hotel will re-open here in fall 2017 (some of the original property's chandeliers at inside Varia in Hilton THE MAIN). When The Cavalier opens, Rachel Blake will help introduce patrons to craft cocktails which recall The Roaring Twenties.

Hampton, Portsmouth, and Newport News are also accessible if business, wedding, or tourism brings one to downtown Norfolk. THE MAIN is expertly staffed, aesthetically pleasing, and its glassy structure affords views from every perspective. The new Waterside District across the street adds even more entertainment venues to this locale. Whether it's history, fine cuisine, music or meetings on the agenda, THE MAIN has all the ingredients.

Bijan Bayne

Bijan C. Bayne is an award-winning Washington-based freelance columnist and critic. Bayne's travel articles have appeared in AAA Horizons, Family Digest, Atlanta Goodlife, Ohio magazine, Arrington's Inn Traveler, and Hotel Executive, and his book reviews have been featured in Washington Post Book World, The Boston Herald, Wild River Review, and The Crisis. He has served as a consultant for film, t...(Read More)

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