When visiting the hotel at Smithfield Station, guests will enjoy gorgeous views, luxury accommodations and amenities, and an award-winning restaurant onsite – a vacation to remember!
Ron and Tina Pack were on a boat cruise with friends in the upper Chesapeake Bay in early 1983 when it became apparent that their newly adopted town of Smithfield was every bit as nice as the popular upper bay destination points. Their dream to provide an exceptional experience for guests and to establish Smithfield as a historic destination with as much appeal as neighboring waterfront communities quickly became a reality.
The original hotel and restaurant were built entirely over the water and sits on 110 pilings that are 88 feet long. This building was modeled after the old Coast Guard life-saving stations that populated the coast of Virginia and the Outer Banks of North Carolina, hence the name “Station.” In November of 1986, the Pack family completed construction on the main building and opened the award-winning restaurant, hotel, and marina featuring a 150-seat dining room, 15 hotel rooms, and a 27-slip marina.
In 1994, Ron and Tina created what was soon to become an icon in Smithfield, The Light at Smithfield Station. The Light is a reproduction of the Hooper Strait Light in Maryland, which is now a part of the Maritime Museum in St. Michael’s, Maryland, and protected the delicate oyster beds of the upper bay for years. The Light at Smithfield Station is the only lighthouse on the East Coast that offers overnight accommodations in two beautifully appointed suites and is a must-stay for any lighthouse enthusiast.
In 2001 and 2003 respectively, a new generation of Packs – Randy and Brian – became fully involved with the business and with their ongoing commitment to quality, made plans to transform one of the dining rooms into The Inner Banks (IBX). This informal bar has become a favorite watering hole for locals and visitors alike. If you haven’t had the opportunity for Ms. Pat to make you a drink, you haven’t fully experienced Smithfield. Named the Best Dock Bartender on the Bay by Chesapeake Bay Magazine, Ms. Pat is a gem in her own right, and no visit is complete without dropping in to say hello.
With the inclusion of these two brothers, there seemed no better time to once again plan to expand Smithfield Station with the creation of The Lodge. In 2007, 22 deluxe luxury rooms were added to the hotel in a brand-new free- standing building named “The Lodge” effectively doubling the size of the hotel. Designed to be a world-class lodging experience, these new guest rooms featured hand-crafted cherry wood furniture, upgraded bedding and linens, oversized bathrooms (some featuring double whirlpool tubs), electric fireplaces, granite accents, and most with private walkout balconies. In addition to the guest rooms, The Lodge building also added a much-needed hotel lobby, as well as boardwalk retail shops, conference rooms, an elevator, and additional marina slips.
The Great Recession of 2008 hit just after The Lodge opened – less than ideal timing, but the Pack brothers were not discouraged. They continued to focus on creating highly-desired hospitality experiences within their existing business and pursue new ways to deliver the ultimate travel experience for their guests at home, too. They constantly evaluated and upgraded the amenities, services, and facilities to guarantee the best that historic Smithfield, VA could offer. The Pack brothers opened Pagan River Wine Merchants in 2015, and celebrated 30 years of business in 2017.
Randy and Brian also began exploring other opportunities in the region to expand their footprint. They searched from Charleston, SC to the Outer Banks of NC, to Jamestown, VA, in an effort to continue growth. Ultimately, in the winter of 2018, Surry County approached the Pack brothers about taking over The Surry Seafood Company, and they were all ears – never before having considered Surry County as a location for expansion. Here was a property close to their home that offered hotel rooms, a marina, and a great seafood restaurant! On May 1, 2018, Pack Brothers Hospitality was officially formed and took over operations in Surry, VA. In the spring of 2023 Pack Brothers Hospitality purchased the building from the county.
In addition to the incredible indoor and outdoor seating this prime sister-property location offers, The Surry Seafood Co. also has a marina with gorgeous floating docks providing 45 boat slips, a fueling station (both gas and diesel), and a boaters’ bath house on Gray’s Creek just off the James River. The restaurant offers 100-seat indoor dining with a bar and 54-seat outdoor deck, as well as four hotel suites above with terrific views of the creek and marshes.
In March of 2020 Covid struck the US and the hospitality world was upended with unprecedented restrictions. Smithfield Station and The Surry Seafood Co. were not immune to the pandemic and fought day and night to stay afloat while restaurants were not allowed to accommodate diners indoors. However, they came out on the other side better than they went in, learned lessons that they would not have otherwise learned, and streamlined their businesses in ways perhaps they would not have before.
So Randy and Brian said, “Why not keep expanding?” Their current project is located at Ft Monroe, VA on a national monument. Pack Brothers Hospitality plans to bring a 300-slip world-class marina, two restaurants, outdoor bar, a 90-room hotel, and a conference center to the historic fort in Hampton, VA at the confluence of the James River and Chesapeake Bay. 37 North at Fort Monroe, as the newest project is named, is in design now and slated to open in the spring of 2026. Check us out on Facebook or follow our website, www.37northva.com, for updates!
Smithfield Station will always be Randy and Brain’s home, pride and joy. The new projects are built to complement the existing and provide growth opportunities for the employees who have been so incredibly loyal to the Pack’s vision and added to their success. Additionally, Randy and Brian hope to bring their own children into the mix if and when the time is right continuing the family tradition started with Ron and Tina. Thank you to all of our customers for your support and encouragement through the years. We hope to see you at one, or all, of our properties soon and that you leave nothing less than delighted!
Our elegant rooms, welcoming common areas, and on-site amenities guarantee you an unforgettable hospitality experience.