Weyanoke Hotel Ribbon Cutting

Just in time for two major weekends on campus, the Hotel Weyanoke, which for years housed students just steps away from the historic center of campus, is officially open for business as Farmville’s first boutique hotel.

At a grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday morning, the dignitaries on hand hailed the preservation and revitalization of the landmark hotel, first opened in 1924, and its storied past as a hub of hospitality in southside Virginia.

“We are so excited to bring back this iconic hotel,” said Kimberly Christner, president and CEO of Cornerstone Hospitality, the firm that is managing the Weyanoke. “It’s a game changer for Farmville.”

There’s an energy about this project and the community that we’ve experienced on the job here every day that’s unlike any other that we’ve experienced elsewhere.

Ross Fickenscher, a co-owner of the hotel Tweet This

The 70-room hotel will be open during this coming weekend’s Mega Reunion Weekend festivities, as well as for Longwood’s graduate and undergraduate commencement exercises on May 18-19.

“There’s so much momentum and so many good things happening in Farmville,” Longwood President W. Taylor Reveley IV said, noting the expanded restaurant options are further enhancing the cool vibe downtown. “The vitality is real.”

Interior of Effingham's Coal Fired Pizza
Interior of Effingham's Coal Fired Pizza

The hotel houses three new restaurants: Sassafras, an upscale coffee and sandwich shop; Effinghams, a coal-fired pizzeria; and Campanga, an Italian restaurant and wine bar open for dinner only. Catbird, the rooftop bar, offers a selection of cocktails, beer and wine, as well as small plates. Menu items from the hotel’s other restaurants can be brought to the rooftop as well.

The new hotel features five different room layouts: queen, double queen, king, junior suite and two-room suite. Other amenities include valet parking for guests, adjoining individual rooms, walk-in showers and two elevators.

In his remarks, Reveley noted that he has a personal connection to the hotel: his mother’s uncle, Lynchburg-based architect Stanhope Johnson, did a lot of the early work in designing the hotel. He also recounted that Dr. Joseph Jarman, who was Longwood’s president when the Weyanoke opened and a member of the local Lions Club, was instrumental in the push to bring a hotel to Farmville.

Mayor David Whitus ’83 called the hotel’s restoration “a great milestone” for Farmville and noted that its opening marks several firsts for the town, including the first boutique hotel and first rooftop venue—offering spectacular, panoramic views of the town and Longwood.

The hotel features several nods to partnerships with local businesses. The coffee mugs in each room were made by Mainly Clay, the furniture was purchased at Green Front, and guests can rent bikes provided by The Outdoor Adventure Store.

Ross Fickenscher, a co-owner of the hotel, said that from the beginning he and his team felt something special in Farmville.

“There’s an energy about this project and the community that we’ve experienced on the job here every day that’s unlike any other that we’ve experienced elsewhere,” he said before cutting the ribbon and welcoming community members and guests inside.

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