The Hotels along with additional dormitories form the Range and function as a service armature to the Academical Village (in this sense operating much like the barchessa of the villa). Since the Range flanks the rear of the Pavilions and do not front onto the Lawn, their place in the hierarchy is designated by their simpler construction and rustic image. The Range is arcaded rather than colonnaded, and the Hotels lack the grandeur of the Palladian temple-fronts that grace the Pavilions. The west Range forms a kind of contrapposto to the Lawn, as it slopes in the opposite direction (up towards the south, rather than down). While Jefferson conceptually implied the linear extendability of the Lawn with the terminating dormitories, he understood in fact that any practical expansion would have to take place sideways, due to the topography. Jefferson originally designed the Range to face inwards toward the Lawn. In solving circulation and access problems he had to turn it around, but realized the advantage of being able to run a road on the outside: the Range could form the first striations of lateral expansion radiating out from the Rotunda. Echoing the processes by which the early villas gave rise to villages, the Academical Village could seed the growth of a “true” village.

In designing the Hotels as dining halls, Jefferson once again broke away from the pure efficacy of centralization in one building. Rather, he conceived of even eating as an opportunity for education. Each Hotel was to have a different theme based on a foreign country and headed by a professor, the dining experience giving the students a chance to learn about a foreign culture and practice the language. Jefferson also intended the Hotels as a model for entrepreneurship: each dining hall was to be leased out to a different business which would compete for the students’ patronage. (Jefferson reasoned that the competition would raise the standard of quality and benefit all, although in reality the businesses lured the students with gambling and booze).