How it Started
I was living abroad running a travel blog when I was presented with the opportunity to move to Virginia to help open a bed and breakfast in the small town of Culpeper.
Building the Dream
The business owners purchased a 6 bedroom home situated on 10 acres flanked by a cow pasture. The property boasts a heated pool, a stocked pond, a home movie theater and a massive barn to host weddings and events, everything guests could want for a luxurious stay.
After a whirlwind 3-month-long renovation, the B&B opened in May 2015.
Culpeper is a small, rural town in Central Virginia.
Visitors to Culpeper come for hiking, antiques, historic sites and small town charm.
But they're also looking for craft breweries, local wineries, fine dining and romantic outings.
It’s also a popular wedding destination, but often loses potential events and visitors to nearby Orange and Greene counties which feature similar attractions but better accommodations.
Culpeper visitors are looking for nature during the day and luxury at night. Walden Hall is specifically designed to meet that need.
This insight not only informed the overall guest experience, but the branding of Walden Hall.
Name and Logo
The green and gold represent the combination of nature and luxury. "Walden" evokes a natural oasis while "Hall" implies grandeur and speaks to the fact that Walden Hall is a gathering place for events and celebrations.
Voice and Messaging
Consistent descriptions help maintain the brand's image. The following description appears across all digital and print materials.
"Inspired by Thoreau’s Walden, Walden Hall is a luxury Bed and Breakfast and event space nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This beautiful home sits on 10 acres of rolling farmland in the tranquil countryside of Reva, Virginia; the perfect setting for a romantic getaway, family gathering or memorable wedding."
The guest experience begins before they book, and the website is designed to showcase all aspects of a stay.
Walden Hall's websites and social profiles showcase both luxury and proximity to nature. Photos are always professional quality and copy is consistently aspirational, but approachable.
Partnerships and Offerings
Strategic partnerships helped raise brand awareness and re-enforce the luxury status of the brand. We worked with high end wedding planners and vendors, established local wineries and breweries, and the best restaurants in the area.
Handmade breakfast was supplemented with farm-fresh ingredients and local baked goods (and eggs from the property’s very own chickens).
Weddings & Events
The competition is tough, but Walden Hall carved out a unique niche by offering full weekend packages including wedding party accommodation. The ability to host receptions, ceremonies, rehearsals and welcome parties all on one property allowed our event packages to offer the ultimate luxury: worry-free wedding weekends.
Walden Hall has received a number of accolades and awards. Here are a few from its first year in operation.
Named a Best B&B and Wedding Venue in Central Virginia by Virginia Living Magazine
Ranked #1 Bed & Breakfast in Culpeper
Published in a variety of media including Virginia Bride and Washingtonian.com
Naming, logo design, business strategy, sales, guest relations, digital strategy, cooking, housekeeping, event planning
I ran Walden Hall in partnership with a General Manager and a part-time Innkeeper/Housekeeper/Life-saver.
Creating a hospitality business from scratch was quite a journey, not to mention building a wedding and events program at the same time.
I created event packages, pricing structures, managed leads, served as venue coordinator during events and generally put out a lot of figurative fires. All while cooking and serving breakfast to 12 guests in the morning and flipping 5 bedrooms in the afternoon.