Historic Mimslyn Inn offers cottage lodging

By Posted on Jan 26 2016 | By

Upscale inn takes luxury to next level

Since 1931, The Mimslyn Inn has been a jewel in Virginia lodging. Situated on a high knoll in the town of Luray with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, its first guests were pampered in an era when luxury getaways were rare, especially during the Great Depression.

But such was the attraction of the hostelry that it prospered and attracted clientele from around the world. Of course, it didn’t hurt to be situated minutes from the world famous Luray Caverns.

In 2005, the Asam family purchased the inn and undertook an $8 million restoration project returning the establishment to its glory days. The Asam’s knew from lodging and dining having created the successful Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown in W.Va.

Mimslyn Inn

Mimslyn Inn

The Mimslyn’s 45 rooms were historically restored and updated to provide all the amenities expected by today’s vacationers. Fine dining was also a focus since the Asam’s philosophy is “food first.” The inn’s two restaurants serve both hotel guests and the general public year round.

Since 2008, the restored hotel has seen a steady increase in business under the leadership of General Manager Jim Sims.

The fortuitous hiring of Sims occurred because the hotelier was seeking a less stressful working environment after more than three decades in the hospitality business. The resume he brought to the Mimslyn was impressive having worked as a celebrity chef, major ski resort manager, CEO of the YMCA and other restaurant management positions around the country.

“I started as a bellman at Skyland in the Shenandoah National Park and managed the Park City ski resort in Utah among many other jobs. At Park City I had 36 restaurants under one roof,” Sims said.

While the Mimslyn job enabled him to throttle back, he acknowledges it took a serious commitment to manage the inn’s large public spaces available for weddings and other group events. There have been 27 weddings held at the hotel in the last two years alone.

Jim Sims

Jim Sims

Sunday brunches have proven successful with both guests and locals. The full service buffet brunch typically serves 150 people each Sunday. “We have folks from Culpeper, Warrenton and Winchester who regularly join us for the buffet,” Sims said.

Unique special events are held once a month. Dinner shows featuring Frank Sinatra, Elvis and other tribute acts are consistently sold out.

The town of Luray has also benefited from his success. In 2004, the hotel generated $27,000 in occupancy taxes. Last year, it totaled $72,000.

In 2011, Sims was named lodging manager of the year by the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association. Trip Advisor bestows the inn with a 4.5 star rating.

In an effort to further provide guests a quality lodging experience, Sims launched a cottage program in 2014. Today there are four cottages and a house for lease behind the hotel.

The six bedroom Manor House comes with a full service kitchen, fireplace, two dining areas that can accommodate up to 20 people, front porch with rocking chairs, pool, and Wi-Fi. The four cottages offer similar privacy and luxury accommodations.

“The occupancy rate of the house and cottages in the summer outpaces the hotel rooms,” said Sims. In March 2016, six additional cottages will be made available. Construction will occur during the winter months.

The cottages will feature a bedroom and living room design with heated tile floors and towel racks, mini kitchens and more. “All the luxuries you would expect in an upscale rental cottage will be incorporated in their design.”

Sims says tourism is up in Virginia and 2015 has been the best year The Mimslyn Inn has experienced. “It will continue. There is pent up demand, especially for visiting the national parks. It’s just the tip of the iceberg. Our guests are both local, regional and national.”

For more information on The Mimslyn Inn, its lodging rates and special events visit http://mimslyninn.com/


John’s pick of the month

Stags Leap Wine Cellars


$75 (Circa ’31 restaurant)

The Mimslyn Inn’s wine list is a diverse selection of quality wines. Given that chilly winter winds have begun to blow, a bottle of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is the perfect match for a December dinner in the Circa ’31 dining room. The wine is fairly priced for a restaurant selection.

International wine critic Robert Parker rated the wine 90 points saying it “offers delicious blackcurrant fruit…an attractive meaty, rich blackcurrant fruitiness, well-integrated wood, and hints of spice and oak. Fleshy and medium-bodied but also made in the elegant style sought by this winery, it should drink well for 10-15 years.”


Published in the January 14, 2016 edition of the Culpeper times.

Categories : WINE ARTICLES