Cavalier Hotel

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Cavalier Hotel
The Cavalier Hotel (4665105594).jpg
The Cavalier in 2010
Cavalier Hotel is located in Virginia
Cavalier Hotel
Cavalier Hotel is located in the United States
Cavalier Hotel
Location4200 Atlantic Ave., Virginia Beach, Virginia
Coordinates36°52′09″N 75°58′58″W / 36.86917°N 75.98278°W / 36.86917; -75.98278Coordinates: 36°52′09″N 75°58′58″W / 36.86917°N 75.98278°W / 36.86917; -75.98278
Area5.41 acres (2.19 ha)
Built1927 (1927)
Built byBaker & Brinkley
ArchitectNeff & Thompson
Architectural styleRenaissance Revival
NRHP reference #14000239 [1]
Added to NRHPMay 19, 2014

The Cavalier Hotel is a historic hotel building at 4200 Atlantic Avenue in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The seven-story building was designed by Neff and Thompson with a Y-shaped floor plan and was completed in 1927. Most of its hotel rooms featured views of the Atlantic Ocean, and all had private bathrooms. The hotel also featured dining facilities and opportunities for shopping, as well as amenities such as swimming pools that are now common features of modern hotels.[2]

Entertainment, sports figures, and other celebrities who stayed at the Cavalier included F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda Fitzgerald, Bob Hope, Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, Doris Day, Bette Davis, Muhammad Ali, President Harry Truman, and President Jimmy Carter. Other U.S. Presidents staying overnight at the Cavalier included Herbert Hoover, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, and Lyndon Johnson.

On Memorial Day weekend in 1929, shortly before the stock market crash, the famed Cavalier Beach Club opened on the oceanfront at the bottom of the Cavalier Hotel and drew big dance bands such as Benny Goodman, Cab Calloway, Glenn Miller, and Lawrence Welk, and other performers, including Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald.[3][4]

The hotel was built during the period of prosperity known as the Roaring Twenties, and was a major element of the development of Virginia Beach as a resort area. The hotel was operated successfully until 1942, when it was commandeered by the United States Navy as a training center during World War II. It was returned to its owners in 1945, but the lost years hurt the business. The property was used as a private club for a time in the 1950s and 1960s, and eventually reopened as a hotel.[2] The hotel was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014.[1]

The hotel property was sold in 2013 under court order and the new owners began an extensive renovation and restoration of the structure with an anticipated opening of summer 2016. Due to unanticipated repairs, the owners announced in April 2016 that the opening would be delayed until 2017. The additional demolition and work added $24 million to the original $50 million estimate.[5] Work completed in late 2017 and the facility opened in spring 2018 with 62 rooms and 23 suites, down from the original 135. The hotel also retained 21 of its original 350 acres (140 ha).[6]

On what had been vacant land north of the hotel, the owners constructed a housing development.[7] In 2015, they demolished the Cavalier Oceanfront Hotel, across Atlantic Avenue, and began constructing a new hotel, scheduled to open in 2020. They also have plans for a third hotel in the complex.[8][9]

The Cavalier Hotel officially opened Wednesday, March 7, 2018, with a "Grand Reveal" event at the historic property.[10] The Virginian-Pilot reported that "About 100 people gathered at dusk on the brick pathway as lights illuminating the hotel were switched on. After four years of restoration work that cost $81 million, the “Grande Dame” is back."[11]


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  1. ^ a b "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 8/20/12 through 8/24/12. National Park Service. 2012-08-31.
  2. ^ a b "NRHP nomination for Cavalier Hotel" (PDF). Virginia DHR. Retrieved 2014-06-05.
  3. ^ Slipek, Edwin (July 31, 2019). "Lord of the Beach: Closing in on a century, the renovated Cavalier Hotel is still a thrilling place-maker by the sea" (Volume XXXVII, No. 31). Style Weekly. pp. 19–20.
  4. ^ "Virginia Beach's classic Cavalier Hotel shines again". USA TODAY. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  5. ^ Parker, Stacy (April 28, 2016). "Cavalier Hotel restoration in Virginia Beach costing $20 million more than planned". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  6. ^ DiJulio, Betsy (March–April 2018). "The Cavalier Hotel Reopens". Costal Virginia Magazine. Retrieved March 17, 2019.CS1 maint: date format (link)
  7. ^ Parker, Stacy (October 15, 2016). "New Cavalier Residences begin to take shape around historic hotel in Virginia Beach". The Virginian-Pilot.
  8. ^ Mitchell, Becca; Preston, Ian (April 27, 2015). "Oceanfront Cavalier demolition begins". WTKR News.
  9. ^ Parker, Stacy (November 9, 2018). "New Virginia Beach Oceanfront hotel will feature rooftop restaurant". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  10. ^ Oseid, John. "Cavalier Hotel: A Virginia Beach Landmark Comes Back To Life". Forbes. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  11. ^ Parker, Stacy. "Five things to know about The Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach". Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved 11 August 2019.

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