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OPINION

Elegant Relaxation at Virginia's The Omni Homestead Resort

Elegant Relaxation at Virginia's The Omni Homestead Resort

The Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Virginia. (AFP via Getty Images)

Tamar Alexia Fleishman, Esq. By Tuesday, 20 February 2024 11:50 AM EST Current | Bio | Archive

We’ve all heard the saying — have probably even said it ourselves — after a getaway: “I could use a vacation from my vacation!” But I recently visited a place that however you like to relax, whether with the family, a romantic jaunt or by yourself, you’re going to leave pampered and refreshed. America’s first mountain resort,

The Omni Homestead Resort, has been welcoming people for over 250 years! They even describe themselves as “The Grand American Vacation.”

“The Homestead,” as it’s affectionately known, is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Hot Springs, Virginia. Native tribes were the first to discover the natural sulphur spring, which Thomas Jefferson enjoyed to ease his arthritis.

I learned lots of curiosities — including some local secret gossip of yore — from the excellent historic tour led by Great Hall Maitre d’hotel, Anthony Pusey. He’s a proud fourth-generation employee at the Homestead.

Certainly, lots of history has been made here and not all of it ancient. The Virginia Bar Association has met at the resort continuously for 132 years: during the pandemic, just a few came, to keep up the record.

Both Democratic and Republican caucuses gather and write laws in the stately meeting rooms. Amazingly, a week before it hit the news, Anthony overheard a legislator asking, “Did you hear about emails from Benghazi?” He says, “You can hear everything they were saying!”

The lobby is an especially long hall with sumptuous, yet delicately colored furnishings. Just like elegant homes, seating areas have intriguing and beautiful coffee table books.

Discreetly fitted into a wall opening is the Presidential Lounge: a clubby, low-lit bar conducive to talking. It hosts the portraits of all the U.S. presidents who have stayed at the resort.

They serve everything from high-end spirits to hard seltzers, along with Southern bar snacks.

The sporty will appreciate the range of activities. Golfers have two award-winning courses and the oldest tee in the nation. There’s also hiking and horseback riding trails, skiing and snowboarding.

Enjoy a sense of place in a relaxing way with the Virginia Wine Experience. Tucked into a cozy corner at the end of the retail shops is a tasting room featuring the best of the many vineyards in the Commonwealth.

Sommelier Quyhn Cohen brings a globe-trotting background to help people discover wines wherever they are on the wine expertise level. Pick from several flights to learn the range and nuances of the area.

With any vacation, the cuisine is always important. The Homestead has options from casual grab-and-go to classic Southern elegance. Mornings, an appetizing and sumptuous breakfast buffet is served in the Great Hall under the exacting standards of dining captain Oswald Anderson.

Amazing fruits that could be on a magazine cover, Southern favorites, smoked salmon and omelette bars, along with too-tempting pastries are offered. Whatever their secret is to their perfect coffee, it works!

Treat yourself the way the movie stars do, wearing business casual at a fine dining meal. Ahhh. Jefferson’s Restaurant flips the script on enjoying gourmet favorites done right.

With comfy chairs and tartan carpeting, there’s a homey feeling. Here, you can indulge in the finest cuts of steak, European-style sauces, as well as their decadent Maine Lobster Cavatelli & Cheese.

The very essence of The Homestead is to be found at dinner in the Great Hall. A pianist or other musicians play light pop tunes in front of a real dance floor. Maybe not every night, but people do actually get up and dance, bringing to mind the dreamy good ol’ days.

The elegant menu has distinctly Southern touches and charming tableside presentations. A must-order: their signature dessert, the Homestead Gold Brick. It features their own ice cream and 24kt gold!

Don’t miss the whole raison d'être for the resort: their world-class spa. Block off a significant amount of time surrounding your treatment, because with certain services (and a fee with others), you have access to the Serenity Garden: an adult-only oasis incorporating their natural mineral springs.

I was there on a delightful unseasonably warm day in November. Amongst the mountains and changing leaves in the background, everybody was in a good mood. With a hot tub, reflexology walk and therapy-warm infinity pool in the mountain air, you’re in for a treat.

There are all kinds of services available for your glow-up. I wanted to try something unique, so I had the “Hanakasumi” Japanese style treatment. It incorporates cherry blossoms, rice powder, shea butter and lots of reflexology and massage.

Even the locker rooms are pure luxe. Imagine experiential showers that recreate the sounds, lightning effects and water flows of different ocean showers.

Heated “potato chip” loungers face scenic videos. There are also several types of saunas and chill rooms, all included with your treatment.

Tamar Alexia Fleishman was the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's youngest female solo violinist. A world-traveler, Fleishman provides readers with international flavor and culture. She's debated Bill Maher, Greta Van Susteren and Dr. Phil. Fleishman practices law in Maryland with a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and a B.A. in Political Science from Goucher College. Read Tamar Alexia Fleishman's Reports — More Here.

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TamarFleishman
“The Homestead,” as it’s affectionately known, is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Hot Springs, Virginia. Native tribes were the first to discover the natural sulphur spring, which Thomas Jefferson enjoyed to ease his arthritis.
vacationing, travel
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2024-50-20
Tuesday, 20 February 2024 11:50 AM
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