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A Day at the Main

October marked six months since the opening of the Main in Downtown Norfolk. The Main, a Hilton branded hotel owned and operated by Gold Key PHR, is making waves as the newest hotel and conference center in downtown. Already, TripAdvisor has named it number one hotel in downtown Norfolk. But what would it be like to spend a day as a conference attendee and overnight guest at the Main?

A huge bronze mermaid tail greets you as you walk through the revolving door at the front entrance. The lobby walls of the Main are adorned with works of contemporary art – large lavish sculptures and paintings that seem to change color as you walk around them. The lobbies act as an ever-changing gallery space for a genuinely unique experience. The gentle noise of the fountains sets the mood in the open-air lobby. The Main truly is a welcoming place.

The Main Norfolk 2

Every day at the Main starts with breakfast at Varia, one of the many restaurants in the Main, but breakfast here is anything but routine. Featuring breakfast dishes such as the Crème Brule French Toast and Deviled Crab Benedict in addition to all your favorite breakfast treats, you’re sure to find the perfect way to start your morning. In addition to breakfast, the modern-style Italian trattoria serves the finest lunch, dinner and tapas. You can even dine in a private room hidden behind a secret bookshelf door. If you’re still not convinced by the freshly made pasta that’s hand cut daily, surely the wine vending machine might sway you into giving this place a try.

Your conference kicks off its festivities in the Main’s largest ballroom, appropriately named “The Main Ballroom.”  Over 18,000 square feet by itself, the Main Ballroom takes up almost the entirety of the fourth floor. Depending on its use, the Main Ballroom can host up to 2,000 people. Altogether, the Main offers around 50,000 square feet of multipurpose meeting space. 

Lunch, catered by the Main, is served in the Granby ballroom, located on the third floor. The Main’s Catering Services will accommodate any party from the smallest boardroom luncheon to an extravagant gala event. Breakout sessions followed into the smaller salon and board rooms and your conference concludes with a presentation in the Paul D. Fraim Center for Excellence – a stadium style classroom on the fourth floor. The conference is over for the day, but there’s much more to explore at the Main.  

The Main Norfolk 1

Your stay wouldn’t be complete without dinner at Saltine, the Main’s seafood restaurant on the first floor. Saltine features fresh seafood, a locally-sourced menu, and an open-air concept. During mild weather, you’ll find the glass garage-style doors open wide to allow the fresh breeze to flow through the restaurant. The menu at Saltine stays as fresh as the seafood – changing depending on what is in season. Enjoy a signature cocktail from the expert mixologists at the Apothecary Bar, dine from the comfort of a secluded booth, or soak in the sights and sounds of the city as you eat dinner on the outside patio.

A local craft beer at Grain follows dinner as the sun is setting over the Elizabeth River. With water views of the river and downtown views looking down Granby Street, Grain is the only rooftop beer garden in Downtown Norfolk. It boasts dozens of local craft beers on tap along with signature craft cocktails and a small bites menu. Grain offers live music several nights a week, and a DJ on the weekends. With a firepit, a free photo booth, and plenty of games to play, you’re likely to stay for more than one drink.

You end your night by sinking into a deep sleep in your comfortable king-sized bed in a room that overlooks the river. The Main offers 300 guest rooms, including 11 luxury suites, all with unparalleled river and city views. However, the best thing about falling asleep about the Main is knowing that you get to do it all again tomorrow. 

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