It's know as the Star City and that's because there is a huge star that hovers over the city, over 1,000 feet to be exact, that lights up at night and is basically a symbol of the progressive spirit of the city. The city is Roanoke Virginia. This column will be dealing with an iconic landmark in town, the Hotel Roanoke, a Doubletree by Hilton Hotel.
It was originally built in 1882 as a railroad property of the Norfolk and Western railroads on land I can only assume at that time was a field. It was recognized as a centerpiece of the railroads development of the city. Over the years it has seen many renovations. It was closed in 1989 and given to the Virginia Tech Real Estate Foundation.
After a major renovation, that included the addition of a modern conference center, it re-opened in 1995 with $13 million from the city. Today it is a jewel in the landscape of the city. It is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and listed on Virginia's Landmark Register.
There are 331 rooms, an outdoor pool with hot tub and jacuzzi, fitness center, a pedestrian bridge that connects with downtown, business center, in room spa service, walking, jogging and bike paths, two restaurants and an Executive Level. One of the restaurants is the newly renovated, to the tune of $750,000, Regency Room.
I had four meals there and am ready for more. I think my favorite was the salmon, though, believe it or not, they have a mighty good crab cake. It's open for all meals and is the recipient of the Distinguished Restaurant of North America Award. There's entertainment every Friday and Saturday night.
Some of the hotel rooms are what they call Pure, as was my room. This means it has hypoallergenic qualities. I strolled down the halls when there was maid service to look in and found all the rooms to be very comfortable.
For more information go to hotelroanoke.com. Or call 540-985-5900. For information on the area go to visitvablueridge.com.