Set on 340 acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Salamander Resort & Spa resides in the heart of Virginia’s famed horse country with every bit the southern charm and luxury one would expect. We were there for the purpose of testing out the new 2017 Kia Cadenza, but at a place as gorgeous as Salamander demands attention of its own as well. With 168 luxurious rooms and suites, it’s remarkable that it still manages to look and feel like a sprawling Virginia estate rather than a resort.
Although it may look like a sprawling estate complete with vineyards and a full-service equestrian center, it’s still very much a full-service luxury resort. The rooms are equipped with refrigerators, minibars, and coffeemakers, as well as free WiFi and flat-screen TVs and some rooms also have fireplaces (ideal for those chilly fall mornings). Suites offer even more space with separate living areas and balconies, but with so much to do outside you will inevitably end up pulled from your room.
I’m sure that this spa is purposefully designed to make you never want to leave. There are 14 deluxe treatment rooms with either private outdoor treatment terraces or fireplaces. Let’s not forget grand whirlpools, steam room, heated stone lounge chairs and experiential water features – and that’s just inside. The spa also offers an outdoor oasis with a secluded courtyard containing an infinity edge pool, fire pit, whirlpool and private cabanas. If you’re there to sneak alone time with your spouse, the couple’s suite also offers a private terrace, whirlpool, steam shower and pedestal tub.
For those dedicated health nuts who convince themselves to workout on vacation, the fitness center has just about everything you need to work up a sweat including an indoor pull, a cardio and weight room, and fitness studios.
Everything about the dining experience at Salamander’s restaurants and wine bars is focused on creating culinary experiences that reflect the local region. The equestrian-inspired Harrimans Grill features a menu that is reflective of Virginia’s Piedmont region including entrees such as Flash-Fry Yohanan Farm Chicken, Chesapeake Blue Catfish and Mushroom Bolognese. Reservations are required.
Gold Cup Wine Bar and Billiards room is open throughout the day serving an extensive wine list and locally-inspired small plates. It’s the perfect place to relax in a comfy leather chair in front of the fireplace or take in one of the many games playing on flat screen TVs throughout the space. Tip: Gold Cup is open until 12am and serves dessert for those midnight cravings.
Things To Do
Salamander Resort offers a variety of onsite activities to keep you busy.
- Miles of walking and biking trails
- Equestrian Center with 22 stalls, riding arena and scenic trails
- Bird watching
- Bocce, croquet, putting green and other lawn games
- Tennis Courts
- Three pools
- Library with Board Games
But given its prime location, there is also so much to do off site as we discovered while road tripping with the 2017 Kia Cadenza. There are 50 Virginia wineries within 60 minutes of the resort and it’s just minutes from shopping and dining in the historic village of Middleburg. If you’re willing to go just a bit further, an hours drive will find you in the heart of Washington, D.C., with all of its many cultural tours and sight seeing activities.
Salamander makes the perfect home base for those who like to spend their day driving winding country roads, taking in the southern charm of small towns, tasting the local varieties of wine produced within the region and exploring the Virginia backcountry. Given it’s incredible amenities and beautiful setting, it’s no wonder Salamander Resort was recipient of Top 10 Best Resorts in the South by Conde Nast Traveler in 2015.
I was hosted at Salamander resort courtesy of Kia Motors America. All opinions remain my own.