The incident happened on Monday just after midnight at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel at 5700 Greenwich Road.
The man, identified as 41-year-old Matthew Stephen Kane, came up to the clerk on duty and tried to steal the hotel cash drawer.
After a brief struggle, Kane ran away without getting any cash.
He was not armed and no one was hurt.
Kane has been charged with attempted robbery. He is being held in the Virginia Beach Correctional Center without bond.