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The Virginia Cliffe Inn

The Virginia Cliffe Inn

The Virginia Cliffe Inn has been owned and operated by the Clifton family since the time they first purchased the acreage in 1950. Janice Clifton, the current owner, took over the business after the passing of her parents, and she has continued to own and operate the bed and breakfast. The inn currently offers a total of seven guestrooms, divided among three buildings on the premises. Each morning, a three-course breakfast is served to all patrons of the inn, offering dishes such as omelets, pancakes, and crepes. With regards to events, weddings are frequently held at The Virginia Cliffe Inn, and Janice remarks that weddings are her primary job outside of the lodging business. Beyond the weddings that visitors come to the area to host, one of the most prominent draws for tourists to the area is Washington D.C., which is about a two-hour drive north of the property.


The Virginia Cliffe Inn is located on an expanse of six acres in the eastern region of Virginia. Three buildings are situated on the property: The main inn—which features five bedrooms—the cottage—containing one large bedroom; and the guesthouse with one bedrooms. In addition to the guestrooms, each of the three buildings includes several common areas that are available to visitors during their stay. Two of these buildings are two stories high, while the other building is one story. Additionally, one of the lodging houses is handicap accessible. A few of the amenities that can be found in each guestroom include coffee makers, hair dryers, cable TV, individual thermostats, and a private bathroom.

The surrounding environment that encompasses the guesthouses is relatively "spacious and wooded," as described by the owner, Janice Clifton. Some of the characteristics of the grounds include a gazebo, pond, and flower garden with a fountain. According to Janice, a fair amount of swans have been spotted on the premises. An air-conditioned, enclosed garden pavilion built with glass panels can also be found on the grounds. Visitors can have a picnic in the yard, fish in the pond, or walk to the cultural arts center in the backyard, which features several art displays.

A three-course breakfast is served to all patrons during their stay. The first course starts with fruit and a type of homemade bread, and then the main dish is comprised of a type of protein with homemade bread, as well as different kinds of coffee and tea. Other options include omelets, pancakes, and crepes, to name a few. Breakfast is typically served between 8:30 AM and 9:00 AM in the dining room of the main inn; however, Janice mentions that the serving time is flexible to change, depending on guests' preferences. The main inn has two dining rooms, one of which is relatively smaller in size and can host up to 14 people, while the other is bigger and can host 25 individuals. For visitors who have dietary needs or restrictions, Janice mentions that these can be accommodated. The owner asks about such allergies and dietary restrictions about three days before their arrival.

A fair amount of visitors who stay at The Virginia Cliffe Inn come to tour the area. The property is in close proximity to the city of Richmond, Virginia, located about 10 miles north of the property. This city is a notable draw for tourists, presumably due to the many historical sites and restaurants that can be found there. Janice comments that a few concerts are held in Richmond as well. Other attractions that tend to receive a number of guests are the sports centers, biking trails, parks, botanical gardens, beaches, and the mountains that are located about an hour and a half away from The Virginia Cliffe Inn. Northern Virginia is also home to battleship sites, as reported by Janice. One of the most prominently well-known attractions that is nearly two hours away is Washington D.C. With regards to nearby places to eat, Janice recommends her guests visit Little Angela's, an Italian family-owned eatery, Bonefish Grill, which primarily offers seafood cuisine, and, finally, Hondo's, a steakhouse restaurant.


The Virginia Cliffe Inn is known for holding several weddings on the premises. Occasionally, some visitors also host family reunions or other similar events, though weddings are the most popular. The owner, Janice Clifton, considers weddings to be her primary job outside of the lodging business. During the Christmas season, the property hosts an event of its own called Christmas at the inn. Even before becoming a bed and breakfast, the Cliftons had been hosting this Christmas-themed event for many years.

A few notable policies are in place at The Virginia Cliffe Inn, which visitors must abide by during their time at the property. Pets are prohibited from staying inside the lodging area of the main house; however, they are allowed at wedding ceremonies in the yard area. Regarding smoking, an on-site area that is designated for smoking is available to guests, and smoking must be done exclusively in the designated area. Furthermore, quiet hours last from 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM each night. It should also be noted that the inn itself contains several heirlooms of the Clifton family, and the hosts ask their patrons to be cautious and respectful of these items, as they are of great value to the Cliftons. 

Janice remarks that she wants her guests to feel "very important and very welcome." One of her goals is to try to spend time with visitors in hopes of progressively building a relationship with them. Janice considers breakfast to be the best time to try to achieve this goal as she has the opportunity to sit with her patrons and get to know them. "They show us pictures of their kids and ask for places to go," Janice comments. She continues to explain that the service provided at The Virginia Cliffe Inn is "more of a personal service compared to what you would get from a bigger institution." Janice also mentions that many guests are different from one another when it comes to interacting with her; for example, some visitors want to interact frequently with the owner, while others are more reserved. Considering this, Janice tries to "leave it up to the guests" to decide how much they want to engage in conversation.

"Continual hard work" is what Janice attributes the success of the property to. As the establishment is open year-round, the inn's busiest season most commonly occurs during the month of October. This particular month is typically when many weddings are hosted. Regarding the general demographic of those who visit The Virginia Cliffe Inn, Janice mentions that most visitors are between the ages of 30 to 40. She also sees a number of repeat guests annually.


In 1950, the property was first purchased by James and Margaret Clifton. The Cliftons utilized the property as their permanent residence to raise their family. James and Margaret were led to the lodging industry because they had always wanted to open a bed and breakfast, and they also loved meeting new people. It wasn't until the year 1997 that the establishment was opened to the public as a bed and breakfast. The home on the premises had been remodeled by James to resemble George Washington's former military headquarters in Newburgh, New York, according to The Virginia Cliffe Inn's official website. 

After James and Margaret passed away, the property was then passed down to their daughter, Janice Clifton, the current owner, who became what she calls the "continued owner." Janice mentions that taking over the business gave her the "opportunity to continue the family business and get to meet a lot of cool people." Janice remarks that one of her favorite parts of operating the inn is "meeting lots of people from all over the world." Some of the updates to the establishment that have taken place include adding a few staff for assistance and landscape improvements. As for future plans, Janice mentions that they want to add an on-site restaurant that serves southern cuisine.

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2900 Mountain Road
Glen Allen, Virginia 23060
United States


Bed and Breakfast


Janice Clifton

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