Yesterday – There was a time when luxury was a novelty and only a few took vacations. During this time an Inn was being planned to sit on a high knoll in Luray, Virginia. Before the Inn was built, this piece of ground was used as an Army encampment, and the previous building housed a hospital during the Civil War. Perhaps the history, the times, and the contour of the land inspired the owners, Mr. Henry and Elizabeth Mims, to create such a one-of-a kind place.
The Mims family owned and operated the Laurance Hotel and Mansion Inn located on Main Street in Luray. The Mims brothers also worked as managers for fine hotels from Florida to Chicago. It was sure; the Mims knew hotels and their vision to create a grand inn required experience and special construction materials commissioned from around Virginia. A coal-fired steam shovel was brought in from Richmond to begin excavating in February of 1930. The brick is oversized tapestry made in Glasgow. The joints are flamingo from Riverton, the slate for the roof was quarried in Buckingham, and the bathroom tile brought up from Roanoke. The doors of red gum and redwood were finished in hot linseed oil. The window frames were made on site by a local blacksmith, and the first Schlage locks used in town were installed at the Mimslyn. JR Mims, Sr. designed the winding staircase, the Inn’s most renowned feature and an architectural masterpiece.
On Friday, May 22, 1931, The Mimslyn Inn welcomed its first guests. The local newspaper, the Page News & Courier, ran a story about the afternoon “housewarming” and told of the “beautiful structure of luxurious appointments opened for community inspection”. The public was invited and over 700 guests enjoyed dining and dancing as they looked in wonder at the Mimslyn’s modern facilities.
Today – Vacations are a necessity and guests expect luxury. The Mimslyn Inn has continued to operate and delight thousands of visitors for over 80 years.
In November of 2005, Mr. and Mrs. Erwin Asam and sons, Christian and David, purchased the Inn. The Asam family has owned and operated the Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown, West Virginia for 28 years. Like the family before them, the Asams appreciate quality and elegance. A multi-million dollar restoration was complete in 2008. Brickwork, interior finishes, paint, windows, and floors have all been retouched, repaired, and modernized. The full unfinished basement is now home to a restaurant and bar, spa, and fitness room. The imposing brick building remains very much like a grand Virginia estate, with its huge Doric columns and beautiful setting. It sits back from the road surrounded by acres of lawn and formal gardens.