Salamander Resort — If you’re a fan of this blog, you understand that I am someone who enjoys fine living, food and general luxury experiences, and the sprawling resort, owned by noted African-American billionaire, Sheila Johnson, was a luxurious escape in the exact measure I enjoy.
Scarcely an hour outside of Washington D.C. in Middleburg, Virginia and set against a backdrop of lush, well-manicured hilly green fields, vineyards and a quiet small-town the quiet, yet indomitable, presence of the resort beckons to solicitors.
From the moment the porte-cochère came into view, it became apparent that this would be an elevated experience.
It all started with service, which began promptly after arriving. A bellhop greeted us at our car ready to handle bags; the supervisor directing and inspecting from a perch immediately inside the sliding doors.
The cozy main lobby provided access to two restaurants, a patio, the grand lawn, a common area, and check-in. My favorite area was the handsome rustic library adjacent to the main area complete with wood-paneling and a fireplace. During less-busy times it was a great place to work when a change of scenery was necessary.
Down the hall a bit, we found check-in, a small business center, the spa, and access to rooms.
All rooms at Salamander Resort have a patio area for viewing the gorgeous Grand Lawn, a defining feature of the resort. It is an out-sized, verdant field dotted with two large circular firepits (super cozy for drinking wine and conversing in the cool evening). The view evokes a sense of calm, and I was able to truly concentrate on my work in a way that can be tough in New York City at times (yes, I was working during a luxury getaway). Blackout curtains really earned their name as it was difficult to tell morning from night most days.
The bathroom was a nice size and very clean with an oversized tub and separate modern shower in the opposite corner.
The resort is very pet friendly; we have a small dog that we often travel with (to my chagrin at times). They provided us with bowls for food and water, a snack, and a large pillow for her to sleep on. The pillow was large and comfortable, but ultimately wasted as she prefers to sleep with the humans.
SALAMANDER RESORT ACTIVITIES
There are a plethora of activities to partake in, which are detailed here. During a previous visit, my girlfriend performed archery, axe throwing, and some equestrian activities. However the main activity for this trip was enjoying one of the wineries in the area. We decided on Green Hill Wineries and Vineyards, which turned out to be an excellent choice.
My overall experience with Salamander Resort and Spa was an excellent one. The ambience and the service are worthy of high marks. While I had to work for a good chunk of the trip, the stop was ultimately worth it.
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During these COVID-19 days of endless anxiety and videoconferencing, having a brief respite was necessary. YES we agonized over whether it was the right thing to do or not. As the resort was on the way back from an emergency trip to Georgia and broke up a 15-hour drive back to New York, we took a calculated chance. Taking every precaution by double-masking, driving instead of flying, actively staying away from others, and traveling with hand sanitizer and alcohol wipes gave us a sense of safety we wouldn’t have otherwise. The resort was taking these precautions as well. This was the only travel indulgence we allowed ourselves during these trying times.