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April 1, 2003

Williamsburg Inn Featured on 70th Annual Historic Virginia Home and Garden Tour April 22

The elegant and recently restored Williamsburg Inn, built by Colonial Williamsburg benefactor John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1937, will be featured during the 70th Annual Historic Garden Week in Virginia April 19-27.

Refreshed from a year-long renovation in 2001, the Regency-style 62-room Williamsburg Inn will open its doors to take part in the popular, statewide tour for the first time in its history Tuesday, April 22, 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. as part of the Williamsburg Garden Club Annual Home and Garden Tour.

Ticket holders will have the opportunity to see exquisite public rooms filled with antiques and reproductions personally selected by Mr. and Mrs. Rockefeller and visit five guest rooms enlarged and lavishly decorated during the renovation. Opened especially for the tour, the Williamsburg Inn floral design studio and Colonial Williamsburg floral design manager Clark Taggart will demonstrate examples of seasonal arrangements and explain what it takes to keep the Inn’s numerous fresh bouquets picture perfect.

Across the hall in the interior design studio, Susan Winther, Colonial Williamsburg director of interior design, and her staff will highlight the many considerations that went into planning and executing the pleasing renovation décor. Winther’s unique insight on Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s original vision for the Inn is a direct link to her apprenticeship with Eleanor Duncan, the Rockefellers’ original interior designer for the Williamsburg Inn.

Tour guests will meander along the Inn’s garden paths that overlook the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club. Back inside, they will visit the Regency Dining Room, which incorporates period design elements from the Royal Pavilion at Brighton, England, and the Inn’s new Restoration Bar with walls trimmed in hand-tooled, gilded leather from the Governor’s Palace and black lacquered, Regency-style bar chairs designed by Susan Winther.

Hans Schadler, executive chef and Colonial Williamsburg director of culinary operations, and his team will fill the Goodwin Room with culinary displays that include delectable Williamsburg Inn specialties, historic Inn memorabilia and a tasty parting bite.

For those who wish to savor more of the Williamsburg Inn experience, lunch will be available in the Regency Room from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. and a special Garden Week Afternoon Tea in the Rockefeller Room will be served from 2-5 p.m., reservations required.

The Williamsburg Inn is a member of Leading Small Hotels of the World and the National Trust for Historic Preservation Historic Hotels of America.

The Colonial Williamsburg Company, a subsidiary of the non-profit Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, operates a variety of hospitality businesses including five hotels, the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club and four historic dining taverns. Colonial Williamsburg is located 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For Garden Tour advance ticket sales until April 19, call (757) 229-4915 or 229-7516. For additional information and reservations at the Williamsburg Inn, call toll-free (800) HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s web site at

Media Contact:
Carol C. Godwin
(757) 220-7120