Airlie Press Room

News & Updates

Welcome to the Airlie Press Room, where you can find updates from our hotel in Northern Virginia, Airlie in the news, and further details on upcoming events and happenings. For press inquiries, please Contact Us.

Airlie celebrates Labor Day with hit country band Midland - 09.05.2017

Warrenton (VA) Labor Day was a day of play at Airlie this year as the property celebrated their one year anniversary of American University ownership with family and friends and the hit country band Midland.  Showing off the beautiful landscape and grounds, Midland played their hit song “Drinking Problem” as guests enjoyed treats from more than 10 food trucks, local wineries and breweries and lawn games and a mechanical bull to round out the theme. Airlie grounds proved the venue is a perfect location for guests to enjoy a full concert experience. 

“Airlie had a great year of growth and change and we are excited for all the upgrades and growth we will execute in year two,” said Executive Director Chuck Smith.

With more than 28 acres of farm cultivated and producing vegetables for Airlie guests, American University as well as the local food banks, Airlie is currently producing more than 100 pounds of food monthly.  This fall Harry’s arrives as a new restaurant open to the public serving a fresh approach during lunch and dinner.  The interior is crafted by local artisans, and the food will largely be sourced by the Airlie Berkshire Farm. 

The guest room experience will also be renovated and upgraded with the design team of Hart and Howerton infusing the accommodations with new color and products that will ensure a comfortable stay for all. Renovations are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2018.

Airlie is planning for an active fall and holiday season as well.  Turkeys to Go, Holiday Open House, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve events are being planned and will be bigger and better than ever.  To make reservations visit our website at 

Airlie Continues to Grow by Adding Key Management Positions - 07.03.2017

Warrenton (VA) Chuck Smith, Executive Director at Airlie is pleased to announce the appointment of Christine McDaniel (left) as Director of Operations, Chris Ferrier (center) as Director of Food and Beverage and Tricia DeVine (right) as National Sales Manager. 

“We are excited about the growth of this beautiful destination property and adding seasoned hospitality managers will support our mission to convey our special message to the local and regional community,” said Smith. 

McDaniel joins Airlie with more than 15 years of experience in hospitality management. Prior to Airlie, McDaniel was with SP Plus where she managed the transportation operations for the opening of the MGM National Harbor.  Her prior operations experience extends to Harrah’s Metropolis Casino & Hotel, Metropolis, IL; Greenbelt Marriott Hotel, Greenbelt, MD; Bethesda Marriott Suites, Bethesda, MD; and Georgetown University Conference Center hotel, Washington, DC. 

“I’m thrilled to be part of the exciting change happening at Airlie,” said McDaniel. “Sharing my operations knowledge and joining a team of visionary hospitality leaders will help to strengthen and grow Airlie to a world class experience.” 

Ferrier joins the team as Director of Food and Beverage most recently from The National Conference Center where he served as Executive Chef.  With more than 28 years of Food and Beverage expertise, Ferrier has worked at well established brands such as Hyatt Lost Pines Resort & Spa, The Lodge at Pebble Beach, The Boar’s Head Inn and Grand Hyatt Washington. His passion for food and beverage includes a strong combination of culinary management experience coupled with creative menu planning and background in off premise, corporate, sports and social events. 

“I am excited to join Airlie at a time when sustainable practices and local sourcing are a huge part of the food conversation. This is a very special place and I’m honored to be able to be part of the growing team that will put it on the map,” said Ferrier. 

To round out the team, Tricia DeVine begins her new assignment as National Sales Manager beginning in early June.  Tricia brings to Airlie over 20 years of hospitality sales experience most recently with IHG in Reston Virginia.  “She has an excellent working knowledge of the DC marketplace and a new level of excitement the property is ready for,” stated Smith.  Tricia will lead the effort to expand market share in the DC sector.  

All three new team members are seasoned hospitality professionals that will be committed to taking Airlie to the next level in all areas of customer service.

Airlie to Celebrate Earth Week 2017 in Sustainable Style - 03.23.2017

Airlie, located in Warrenton, VA is the home of the first Earth Day more than 47 years ago when then Governor Gaylord Nelson presented a paper at Airlie about sustainable practices to protect mother earth. The week leading up to Earth Day, April 22, the property will invite employees and the community to celebrate with events that highlight leading a sustainable life and being good earth steward. 

The week will begin with the traditional raising of the Earth Day flag and dedication by Airlie senior management and all staff. Additional activities throughout the week will include highway cleanup, local elementary school PB Smith visit and organic garden cleanup and other earth focused events.

The public is invited to attend a garden party on Saturday, April 22 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. The property will team up with Rainforest Trust in the Airlie garden to enjoy activities with the whole family. 

The event is free, AND attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishable items, pet food, clothing and other items which will be donated to Fauquier SPCA, Fauquier Family Shelter and the Fauquier Food Bank. 

The morning’s activities will include garden tours, guest speakers, seed packet giveaway, activities for kids, fresh popcorn seasoned with Airlie garden herbs, recycled art on display and a raffle. The first 50 people will receive an Airlie Earth Day water bottle.

Airlie Turns up the Heat in the Kitchen with Culinary Talent and Flavor - 11.01.2016

Warrenton (VA) - Airlie Director of Operations, Courtney Roane, is pleased to announce the appointment of two key culinary positions for the property. They include Executive Chef Hector Cruz, and Garden Bistro restaurant chef Tyler Cannon. 

“We are thrilled to welcome these two fine chefs to the Airlie property as they each bring a unique flavor profile and diverse culinary experience to the table,” said Roane. “We will look forward to a busy holiday season where they will delight our guests with their combined culinary talents.”

Chef Hector Cruz, born and raised in Miami, FL is inspired by his Puerto Rican heritage and south Florida upbringing. Having spent time training with Johnson and Wales University and joining most recently from The Boar’s Head in Charlottesville, VA, Chef Cruz’s personality shines through his menus with bold yet approachable flavor profiles and creative use of locally grown products.  “I’m looking forward to working with our head gardener, Katey Wietor, and using the freshest ingredients straight from the 4-acre garden on property,” he said.

Chef Tyler Cannon brings a deep unwavering love for southern comfort food instilled in him from his family at a very early age. Hailing from Brevard, North Carolina, Chef Cannon started out small at a neighborhood BBQ restaurant. Bitten by the culinary bug he continued to climb through the restaurant ranks before working alongside Chef Mike Arrington at Virginia Tech as a student. His next adventure after graduation brought him to the Boar’s Head Old Mill Room restaurant and most recently joining Airlie from the Devil’s Grill at Wintergreen Resort.  

“My grandmother taught me about ‘southern hospitality’ and feeling welcome, said Chef Cannon. I’m thrilled to be a part of the Airlie culinary team and especially chef for the Garden Bistro where I will be able to be a part of our guest’s memorable occasions and life experiences.”

Airlie’s specialty restaurant is the Garden Bistro, located in the historic Airlie House. Open the evenings of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Brunch on Sunday. Garden Bistro is a quiet space overlooking the properties beautiful English gardens and serves modern Virginian cuisine centered on locally sourced and sustainable ingredients. Make reservations for the Garden Bistro online or call (540) 341-3299. 

American University Receives Gift of Airlie - 09.14.2016

American University is delighted to announce the generous gift of the Airlie Center by the Airlie Board of Directors. Airlie, located in Warrenton, Virginia, is a magnificent property that includes the historic Airlie House and village of guest rooms and meeting facilities set on more than 300 acres of verdant Virginia landscape featuring pastoral, lake, and wildlife views.

For over half a century, Airlie has been welcoming global leaders, heads of state, and diplomats who have convened at the storied Virginia estate, an hour from Washington DC, for conferences and programs dedicated to social progress, education, environmental research, and public health. Airlie succeeded in becoming a world-renowned meeting and conference destination, a place LIFE magazine heralded as "an island of thought."

Airlie was one of the first conference facilities of its kind in the country, a center where individuals and organizations could meet in a distraction­ free and neutral environment to candidly exchange ideas on issues, ignite thought and inspire collective action around shared interests, purpose and values. Early conversations among participants in the Civil Rights Movement established Airlie as a supportive venue for dialogue.

"The University is honored to have been selected for this wonderful gift. It is our intent to carry on the very impressive and important legacy of Airlie, while leveraging this marvelous facility for American University’s academic initiatives," said Neil Kerwin, president of American University.

“We are delighted that the pioneering vision of Airlie’s founder, Dr. Murdock Head, will live on under American University’s stewardship. AU’s commitment to Airlie’s founding ideals of the open exchange of ideas that can effect positive change and to responsible land stewardship through conservation and sustainable practices, will ensure a bright and exciting future for this historic place,” said Suzanne Hayden, president of the of Airlie Board of Directors.

From the Center’s inception, Airlie has focused on advancing positive social change and environmental leadership as core priorities.  Airlie was the venue for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s first annual conference in 1962; the place where, in 1969, Senator Gaylord Nelson made public his concept of Earth Day; the site of significant gatherings aimed at peace in both Northern Ireland and the former Republic of Yugoslavia, and the home of ground-breaking ultralight-led migration studies with Trumpeter swans and Canada geese that resulted in restoration programs for endangered whooping cranes and other species.

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.

Meredith Rizzo Joins Airlie as National Sales Manager - 04.28.2016

Warrenton (VA) Carol Smith, Director of Sales and Marketing for Airlie, is pleased to announce the appointment of Meredith Rizzo as National Sales Manager for the property.

Rizzo joins Airlie most recently from The Westin & Sheraton Baltimore Washington Airport as a Sales Manager and has an extremely strong history in hospitality sales. In her new role, she will be working with corporate and government organizations in the Washington D.C. region.

Previous positions include Rocky Gap Lodge, the Westin Convention Center, Pittsburg, and Hilton Alexandria Mark Center in Alexandria, Virginia.  She is an active member of SGMP, MPI and VSAE. Rizzo is a Radford University graduate.

 “We are thrilled to welcome Ms. Rizzo to the team. She has a strong understanding of the meeting planning community and with her connections and creative ideas we look forward to many successful new meetings at Airlie," said Smith. 

Airlie awarded Virginia Green Travel Star Award - 03.22.2016

Warrenton (VA) – Airlie is proud to announce that they are the recipient of the Virginia Green Travel Star Award from the Virginia Green program in recognition of outstanding commitments to green tourism practices at the third annual Virginia Green Travel Conference and Travel Star Awards Celebration in Arlington, VA.

Airlie was recognized as the Green Conference Center of the Year for its exceptional efforts to reduce the environmental impacts of its operation. Members of the Airlie Green Team received the award from Virginia’s First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe.

“We are extremely honored to be recognized with the Virginia Green Travel Star Award,” said Managing Director Kevin Carter. “Since the beginning, Airlie set the course of sustainability for the property as well as being good stewards to the Earth, which ultimately led to the first celebration of Earth Day and green practices.”

Airlie boasts a 4-acre organic garden with seasonal hoop house, composting area, recycling program as well linen reuse guestroom program, LEED certification, fuel-efficient fleet, and on-site car charging stations.

The Virginia Green program is run through a partnership of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, The Virginia Tourism Corporation, the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association, and the Virginia Green Travel Alliance.  The program encourages green practices throughout Virginia’s tourism industry, and nearly 1,700 tourism operations have self-certified their green commitments through the program.  The Virginia Green program helps its partners reduce environmental impacts and save money, while hopefully becoming more profitable through the support of green-minded consumers.

Dominion Construction Group Recognized for Excellence in Construction by Associated Builders & Contractors of Metropolitan WA - 09.12.2013

Airlie Center Partners with Leadership Resource Institute to Offer Turnkey Strategic Planning Solutions - 02.07.2013

What They’re Saying

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, January 21, 2012, “Airlie Center, a historic farmhouse turned conference centre an hour’s drive from Washington, in rural Virginia. Billed as an “island of thought,” Airlie is a sylvan retreat for American progressives.”

EXPERT BRIDAL CONSULTANT AIMEE HARDENBERGH OF TRUE WEDDING EVENTS, FOR CBS DC – “There are multiple location combinations to choose from to create your perfect wedding scene at Airlie. Airlie has it all: a lovely outdoor garden setting, new glass pavilion and multiple indoor ballrooms. If Mother Nature decides not to cooperate on your big day, Airlie offers peace of mind by providing indoor backup space if you decide to hold your ceremony and cocktail hour outside. Airlie also has cottages and sleeping accommodations on the property, making it perfect for keeping all of your guests in one spot and not having to provide transportation to the wedding.”

Sales Inquiries:
(540) 347-1300

Media Inquiries:
Carol Smith
(540) 341-3261