Rich dreams

Dear Ace: Where do celebrities stay overnight when they come to Charlottesville?—Steve “Papa” Razzi

Steve: What kind of celebrities do you mean? Famous local detectives prefer to take a load off at Miller’s, but only if someone forgets to check the men’s bathroom at closing. But if you’re referring to out-of-town celebrities like Jessica Simpson, who recently opened for Rascal Flatts at John Paul Jones Arena, she prefers the Omni on the Downtown Mall. How does Ace know this? Naturally he does some of his best investigative work on celebrity gossip websites, which is where he discovered a photo of the elder Simpson sister emerging from the Omni in all her big-boned, well-rested glory.

But it’s a sad fact that many A-Listers don’t stick around Charlottesville overnight to party with the locals after their shows. Sometimes musicians roll out in their tour buses before Ace even has a chance to slip them his phone number. A busy touring schedule frequently demands overnight bus rides to other East Coast destinations. Most of these tour buses are outfitted like five-star hotel rooms, however, so who can blame the celebrities for rocking and rolling? They’d be pampered in a parking lot. Who needs a quaint bed and breakfast when you have the Rock of Love Tour Bus?

Non-musician celebrities tend to get road-sick on tour buses, so they prefer the grounded quiet of sleepovers at the Omni, Keswick Hall, or the Boar’s Head Inn. Sometimes even at Ace’s two-star loveshack (continental breakfast included). But you won’t hear hotel staff spilling the beans on their famous guests. They are trained to stay conspicuously NOT starstruck. That’s the only explanation Ace can come up with for not being fawned over the second he steps into one of their lobbies.

You can ask Ace yourself. Intrepid investigative reporter Ace Atkins has been chasing readers’ leads for 20 years. If you have a question for Ace, e-mail it to

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