Salamander Resort And Spa
What We Love
- Opened in August 2013, the hotel was designed by Sheila C. Johnson
- The on-site Harrimans Virginia Piedmont Grill serves locally inspired fare
- The state-of-the-art equestrian center
- Treatments in the 23,000-square-foot spa
What To Know
- Located 20 miles from Dulles Airport and 40 miles from Capitol Hill
- Pets are permitted at an additional cost of $90 per stay
- A $29 per night resort fee will be collected at the Jetsetter checkout
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Sprawling over 340 acres of rolling foothill outside historic Middleburg, this is Horse Country’s blue ribbon steed, with a 168-room French manor hotel, a splurge-worthy spa and a state-of-the-art equestrian center. Salamander Hotel & Resorts CEO Sheila C. Johnson was personally involved in every detail, from the manicured entry to the clubby Gold Cup billiards room to the spa’s infinity pool terrace, which is based on the one on her own estate (just down the tree-lined country lane). Her boldest statement is the formal parlor, where a classic French aesthetic is updated with bright robin’s egg–blues, pops of sunny yellow and sleek wood and leather furnishings bracketed by white stone fireplaces; a wall of three French doors opens onto the Grand Lawn and the hills beyond. The clubby, equestrian vibe works well in the guestrooms and suites, too, with leather chairs, rich wood furnishings and pops of baby blue. Dinner is served at Harrimans Virginia Piedmont Grill — the name is a nod to the estate’s former owners, and the menu is an ode to the countryside, with local meat, fish and cheese, and many vegetables grown in the property’s garden, just outside the window.
In the Area
These foothills host more than 400 equestrian events throughout the year, including polo matches, steeplechases, horse shows and the world-renowned Gold Cup. Start your equine escape with a trail ride that meanders through the property’s woods and fields. If you loved dinner at Harrimans, make a reservation at the resort’s cooking studio, where visiting chefs teach classes ranging from Pasta Making 101 to The Art of Frozen Parfaits. A number of top-notch golf courses ring Middleburg, and guests get preferred tee times at the Club at Creighton Farms, Evergreen Country Club and Bull Run Golf Club.
How to Get There
Went for Fourth of July weekend with our two young granddaughters.
They completely botched the July 4 Barbecue. After charging $32 each for the girls, one of whom was not yet two years old, there was no kid friendly food on the buffet -- and they had he nerve to have a stand set up where you had to spend $5 extra to get a hot dog. Then, even the adult food was sparse. There was supposed to be chicken, brisket and ribs. There was never a time when all three were available - people were standing around in groups waiting for the food to be replenished. The dessert table was completely empty the first time we tried. All of this for almost $80 a head. Nobody seemed to be in charge - there was no way to register at the site of the BBQ, which was 200 yards from the main hotel, so after walking down there we had to walk all the way back to get our arm bands to allow us to enter the buffet line which then had little food. Just a disaster.
The kid-friendly pool is also a hike from the main hotel. Our room was way at the far end of a four section hallway from the lobby. There was a kids' sing-along and we had to guide the staff on appropriate songs.
Just one disappointment after another from what holds itself out as one of the finest properties in the country.
Beautiful location, excellent service everywhere, disappointed both pools were noisy (adults not kids), spa was noisy, restaurants were noisy. Halls at night were noisy. Just not restful for me. 4th floor rooms have balconies without cover. None of the balconies are private. No inroom safe? Watch out for pointy corners on bed frames. Good luck with tv. Outdoor pools are heated,so no cooling off on hot day. Both pools surprisingly small for hotel and grounds size.
We celebrated my husband’s 75th birthday with family over a weekend. The building, grounds, staff, amenities and food were exemplary, Each staff member greeted each of our party at every encounter. Due to limited time, we could not take advantage of all the offerings but most were extremely well done. Our only encounter that did not meet the standards of all others was the art for children. That could have been the fact that our children were six and two-year old twins with a wide variety of capabilities. Jason Reeves, the pastry chef, created an incredible birthday cake that would have exceeded anyone’s expectations. It was disappointing that the owner’s suite did not have more non-food items in the kitchen but staff was very willing to supply what was requested. Again, that could have simply been a function of our needs not being what would have been typical for others. Pretty minor negatives in an otherwise wonderful weekend.