The newest dorms, Balz-Dobie and Watson-Webb, are hotel dorms. Seriously.
This is my fourth year at UVA (hello class of 2012), and it took my four years to get air conditioning. Of course when the air conditioning comes with the free room, which is your stipend for having serious responsibilities like crisis control, administrative paperwork, and human management, you realize that things in life aren't free.
Unless you live in Balz-Dobie or Watson-Webb.
Now again, to be fair to the prospective students and parents who are gasping with horror, they aren't the only dorms that have air conditioning. In fact, most of the dorms that have recently been renovated or built have air conditioning. (My building probably got built in the 40's or 50's... or earlier.) However, BD and WW provide so much more. When dorms start to "[offer] modern amenities" and promise to "[foster] intimate, secure, close-knit communities"(Housing), you start thinking about high end hotels, gated communities, and country club residential areas. Furthermore, when it is announced that "Romer said the structures will also exclusively house the Echols and Rodman scholars," because "these scholars, who used to live in Webb and Maupin houses, are placed together for programmatic reasons" (UVA Today), you wonder.
I have personally been in BD and it is a hotel. The toilets flush up and down (up for #1, down for #2), have motion-sensitive lighting, and beautiful lounges. I believe they are LED-certified buildings, and this statement makes me jealous: "The air handler has an energy recovery wheel that captures the heat from exhaust air and recycles it, and the whole precinct is fed by steam from McCormick Road and chilled water from the Aquatic and Fitness Center." It's like the environmentally-friendly version of caviar and Perrier.
So what can you do to get exclusive rights to enter BD and WW? Well you heard the man! Romer said that you can be an Echols or Rodman scholar. For those of us who aren't trying too hard, Housing has a secret sauce that is almost equivalent to that of Google's search. Good luck!