Sometimes kids say the most random things.  My son, whom I refer to as Mr. Cool on this blog because he is never without sunglasses, asked me from the backseat of our car last week: "When are we going to go to another hotel?"


Yes, he's starting to love a luxury hotel just as much as his mom. 

I gave the only answer I could because I don't like to reveal too much in advance to my children in case plans change.  "I'm not really sure. We're getting busy. Probably next year!"

I didn't expect to hear what came next. 


Roanoke, Virginia


He said. "In my writing workshop, I'm writing about our trip to Virginia and Hotel Roanoke. It's taking me awhile because I'm adding a lot of detail."  This is from a kid who is just learning to write and certainly can't spell.  His teacher will not even recognize the word "Roanoke."

I was really curious as to what he was writing, and I want to encourage his creativity and journalism skills even though I secretly hope he never chooses journalism as a career because the pay is not that great, unless he replaces Matt Lauer.  After all, they do share the same birthday, so you never know.

So I'm moving behind the scenes for my usual "Pack Your Bags" segment and putting an almost 7-year-old in the spotlight. He is going to have a little help from me, but the content will be his own.

The Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke, Virginia By: J. Hines

From Raleigh, North Carolina, it is a long, four-hour car ride to Roanoke, Virginia, but I'm pretty good in the car now thanks to my movies. My sister?  Well, she is a different story. 

I was very happy to finally make it to Virginia so my mom could meet with Roanoke Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau before checking into our hotel, which was just across the street from our meeting. They gave my sister and I train whistles, which my mom didn't allow us to play with in our hotel in fear of disturbing other guests.


Virginia's Blue Ridge/Roanoke Valley Visitor's Center


I wanted to walk through those gates and walk up the hill to our hotel, but my parents had other ideas.  They wanted someone to help us with the luggage and park the car.   We drove to the front of the hotel, and this is what we saw.


The Hotel Roanoke.  The Tudor-Style architecture is impressive.

This hotel has lots of history and once belonged to the Norfolk and Western Railroad.  Built in 1882, it was used as a luxury hotel for railroad passengers.   


The Hotel Roanoke was built in 1882. It was completely gutted and renovated in 1995.

I loved the elevator in the hotel. It was really old-timey, and our room overlooked downtown Roanoke.  Here's what I liked most about our room.  The beds were really comfy, and I liked the TV. After an afternoon of sightseeing, I got to watch a movie before dinner.  That was a real treat.  The only thing that would have made the evening more perfect was to order room service, but Mom and Dad wanted to experience the local flavors of Roanoke restaurants.


We stayed in a room with two double beds. The rooms are small, but are very comfortable. 

Mom said she thought the hotel had great use of space for a historic property.  We didn't have a built-in closet. And we got into trouble for playing in this one.

We walked everywhere we went while in Roanoke, Virginia, and didn't need a car for the entire trip.  The hotel has built a cool ramp to take guests over the railroad tracks into downtown Roanoke.  I enjoyed watching the trains, and during our trip, we walked a few blocks to the Virginia Transportation Museum, and I was able to learn more about train travel.


Breakfast at the hotel in the Regency Room was awesome. The hotel really had great food.  It was a very formal setting, too, and I got to have hot tea. Mom kept telling me to be careful with my china, but she just needed to relax a little.  She's taught me well. 


The Regency Room is an elegant dining room for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Hotel Roanoke had the best muffins and omelets made to order. I ate so much at breakfast that I didn't even want lunch.


Breakfast at the Hotel Roanoke was outstanding

The hotel was really pretty, and my only regret is that I didn't get to go swimming.


The pool area at the Hotel Roanoke is adjacent to the hotel's fitness center. 

I loved eating dessert on the terrace, too.  This brownie was so good. My mom devoured the cheesecake, and she talked more about that in her travel writing.


Sitting on the hotel terrace for dessert was a great experience.

The Hotel Roanoke is a Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, and with every check-in there are complimentary cookies. Oh, they were so good.  It really makes me want to stay at a Doubletree by Hilton again.

My mom told me that the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center is THE place to stay in Roanoke. I don't like to admit it, but my mom does know what she is talking about, especially when it comes to hotels. 

Between us, I'm ready to go another one.


Cookies and milk hit the spot after a busy day. Roanoke, Virginia makes a great destination for families.

Be sure to check out all the stories Mom wrote about our trip to Virginia for Skimbaco, the travel magazine she writes for weekly.

Fall Foliage Pit Stop: Roanoke, Virginia

Travel Insight: A Vacation is About Indulging; Not Calorie Counting

Want to Go:

Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center

110 Shenandoah Valley

Roanoake, VA 24016