Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants to Open Its First On-Campus Hotel at the UVA Darden School

05 April 2022

New Charlottesville Boutique Hotel to Open in Spring 2023

Today, the University of Virginia Darden School Foundation and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, part of the IHG Hotels & Resorts’ Luxury & Lifestyle Collection, announced a groundbreaking partnership through which Kimpton will open its first hotel in a university setting at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business in Charlottesville.

Set to open in spring 2023, the new Kimpton hotel will provide a world-class hospitality experience on the Grounds of one of the world’s leading graduate business schools. The five-story boutique hotel ─ surrounded by a five-acre botanical garden and arboretum ─ pays homage to both the University of Virginia and Charlottesville’s longstanding traditions, commitment to community, and creative, innovative and forward-thinking spirit.

An Inspired Venue for the Charlottesville Community

The hotel’s 199 sophisticated guest rooms, 12 suites with sweeping views, and 11,500-square feet of state-of-the-art meeting spaces and classrooms will provide a backdrop for educational experiences, corporate conferences and social events, including concerts, private parties and destination weddings. The hotel’s 6,000+ square-foot ballroom has the capacity to host a 425-person seated reception. Kimpton will invite guests to experience the bounty of the mid-Atlantic region through a ground-level restaurant with a large outdoor terrace and a lively taproom, both complemented by a well-appointed wine cellar.

Owned by the University of Virginia Darden School Foundation, an independent and nonprofit corporation, the hotel is Kimpton’s first destination on the campus of a university. “We have found kindred spirits with the team at the Foundation as well as the entire University of Virginia community at large,” said Kimpton CEO Mike DeFrino. “Kimpton is a brand known for its constant pursuit to create meaningful human connections, and we know that’s been a pinnacle for the UVA and Darden communities since their founding. We have exciting things in store, and we’re eagerly counting down to next spring.”

“It’s great news that the Darden School Foundation will partner with IHG and Kimpton, some of the most respected names in the hospitality industry, to present this unique property,” said Darden School of Business Dean Scott Beardsley. “Darden is globally renowned for its outstanding faculty and transformational education experience, and, with Kimpton, we are confident we will deliver an equally world-class hospitality experience to our guests. Everyone from the Darden, UVA and local communities will be welcome, as will anyone visiting Charlottesville who is looking for a great place to stay, dine or host an event.”

A Sustainable Property That Bridges Indoors and Out

The property reflects a commitment to sustainability and will meet LEED-certified and green building standards. The arboretum and botanical gardens, which connect to the Rivanna Trail, will create special spaces for outdoor collaboration and events, and signal the priority of health and wellness. A pond, stream, outdoor amphitheater, walking trails and globally themed gardens will form part of the Virginia forest that also connects Darden to the UVA School of Law and Judge Advocate General’s School. Athletic and concert venues, including John Paul Jones Arena and Klockner Stadium, are within walking distance.

The project is made possible thanks to generous donors, including lead donor Frank M. Sands Sr. (MBA ’63) who provided seed money as part of his transformational gift to Darden in 2019 — the largest in School history.

Principal founding sponsors of the hotel, arboretum and botanical gardens include: Martina Hund-Mejean (MBA ’88), board chair of the Darden School Foundation Board of Trustees; George Tahija (MBA ’86); Dick Crawford (MBA ’74); Altec/Styslinger Foundation; the Hugin Family; Steven C. Voorhees (MBA ’80); and Donald E. Morel, Jr. Ph.D. (TEP ’97).

“We are incredibly grateful to the founding sponsors and all donors who have already stepped up to bring the vision to life. We invite others to look at some of the amazing spaces inside and out that are still available to name,” said Michael Woodfolk, president of the University of Virginia Darden School Foundation.

“This distinctive property, with its design-forward and sustainable approach, will be a one-of-a-kind destination in Charlottesville. Plus, a portion of the proceeds received by the Foundation from the project will support faculty and student excellence at the Darden School,” said Hund-Mejean.

Architects Cooper Carry Inc. designed the exterior in the Jeffersonian style, while the interior was designed collaboratively by the Kimpton Design team, Looney & Associates and Beleco Design, along with the UVA Office of the Architect.

“We thank our talented partners, including the construction crew that we recognized at a ‘topping out’ celebration when they raised the roof over the five-story residential wing,” said Ashley Williams, who oversees hospitality for the Darden School Foundation in her roles as CEO and CLO of Darden Executive Education & Lifelong Learning and leader of the Sands Institute for Lifelong Learning.

“Between the Darden and Kimpton brands and their shared commitment to service and hospitality, we are confident this hotel will deliver an outstanding experience for everyone,” said Williams.

Click here to view renderings of the hotel, and click here to view outdoor spaces.

Leisure reservations will open up in the coming months. For event inquiries or information regarding group bookings, contact

For information on making a gift to the University of Virginia Darden School Foundation to support the hotel, restaurants, arboretum and botanical gardens, please contact Samantha Hartog, interim vice president for Advancement,

About Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is the original boutique hotel company, which pioneered the concept of unique, distinctive, design-forward hotels in the United States in 1981. Anchored in one-of-a-kind experiences, Kimpton now operates more than 60 hotels and 80 restaurants, bars and lounges across urban locations, resort destinations and up-and-coming markets in the United States, Canada, Europe, Caribbean and Greater China. Kimpton spaces and experiences center on its guests, offering inspiring design that evokes curiosity to forward-thinking flavors that feed the soul. Every detail is thoughtfully curated and artfully delivered, so that guest experiences remain meaningful, unscripted and ridiculously personal.

Kimpton’s employees, empowered to provide heartfelt service and experiences, have built a highly regarded workplace culture that appears consistently on FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. As a result, Kimpton has been awarded, “Highest in Guest Satisfaction Among Upper Upscale Hotel Chains” by J.D. Power three times.

In January 2015, Kimpton became part of the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) family of hotel brands. For more information, visit

About the University of Virginia Darden School Foundation

The University of Virginia Darden School Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports the Darden School of Business by promoting philanthropic support from alumni, friends and corporations; managing endowment funds for the School’s exclusive benefit; and operating Darden’s top-ranked Executive Education program, the Darden hotel and hospitality. Darden’s elected board of trustees oversees the Foundation’s strategies and gives time and advice, providing an important link between the academic and business communities.

For more information, visit

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business prepares responsible global leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences. Darden’s graduate degree programs (MBA, MSBA and Ph.D.) and Executive Education & Lifelong Learning programs offered by the Darden School Foundation set the stage for a lifetime of career advancement and impact. Darden’s top-ranked faculty, renowned for teaching excellence, inspires and shapes modern business leadership worldwide through research, thought leadership and business publishing. Darden has Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C., area and a global community that includes 18,000 alumni in 90 countries. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Press Contact

Molly Mitchell
Associate Director of Content Marketing and Social Media
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia