We were invited to stay at Mayhurst Estate during our visit to Orange, Virginia. This is a 19th-century plantation-turned bed and breakfast. Whether I was enjoying breakfast, chatting with the other guests, or hanging out with the estate manager’s children and petting goats, it felt like a home away from home.
Looking for an intimate space to call your own in Virginia? Here’s your guide to staying at the Mayhurst in Orange, Virginia.
[This post on Where to Stay in Orange, Virginia Mayhurst Estate Review was originally published in September 2021, and updated September 2022.]
Getting There to Mayhurst Estate
While Mayhurst is in the town of Orange, Virginia. A white sign along the main drag (James Madison Highway) is the only indicator of the historic home’s presence. The sign leads visitors down a gravel road under a canopy of trees. Visitors are greeted by the stately white historic home greets when they reach the end of the gravel road.
Mayhurst Estate History
The Mayhurst Estate is only two miles from James Madison’s Montpelier estate. The Willis family owned 50 enslaved African Americans, one of which was, Fanny Gordon, the wife of Paul Jennings. Jennings, who was also enslaved, was the personal servant of President James Madison. Jennings, who later purchased his freedom from Madison’s wife, wrote a book about his experiences in the White House. The book, titled A Colored Man’s Reminiscences of James Madison was the first White House memoir.
About the Property
Built in 1859, the Mayhurst Estate has had a layered past. It was first constructed as a plantation for Colonel John Willis, a great-nephew of President James Madison. The property is located near four homes of former presidents. The marvelously restored grand home now operates as a Bed and Breakfast and has 8 guest rooms with private baths and 12 fireplaces.
The Mayhurst Estate Rooms
The entire property, from top to bottom, is beautiful. We stayed in the Piedmont Suite, which is two rooms divided by a bathroom on the third floor. Our suite had a queen bed with a fireplace, along with a daybed and twin bed in the adjoining room, which was perfect for our family of four. There was also a window overlooking the courtyard.
Dining at the Mayhurst Estate
Breakfast is included each morning and they are amazing. For our first morning, we enjoyed cinnamon pancakes, with sausage. On our second morning, we enjoyed French toast with the most delicious bacon, I’ve ever tasted. Breakfast is paired with house-brewed coffee and orange juice. It was a wonderfully scrumptious start to each day.
Visitors can enjoy indoor or outdoor seating during breakfast.
The estate’s current owners and estate keepers, Jason and Casey Cashell, have continued the restoration efforts that were started by the previous owners. The result is the beautifully preserved historic elements, mixed with a lovely blend of luxury, charm, and comfort. In addition to the ambiance of the historic estate, the estate keepers themselves are a huge draw. The Mayhurst is a family-owned and run B&B. Their charming and hospitable children can be found throughout the property doing chores and offering insight into the history of the property. They showed our kids around the estate and even entertained our little ones one afternoon, teaching them how to feed and play with the goats on the property.
During one of our many conversations with the estate keepers, we were excited to learn that they’re working to find the descendants of the enslaved people who once lived and worked at Mayhurst to help add to the history of this home. I can’t wait to learn more about the enslaved people who once lived and worked at the estate.
My Thoughts on the Mayhurst Estate
All in all, I was blown away by the hospitality displayed, the savory breakfasts provided, and the remarkable beauty and history of the estate. We would certainly stay here again the next time we’re in Orange, Virginia.
If you want to experience the Mayhurst Estate for yourself, be sure to book well in advance. They have a limited number of rooms and book out in advance.
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Thank you, Visit Orange Virginia for hosting us! All information and opinions presented are my own.
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