What We Love
- Variety of outdoor activities, including a world class golf course designed by Donald Steel
- The 1,800-square-foot spa featuring treatments that blend Native American healing techniques with European spa therapies
- Nightly stargazing tours at the Observatory Dome
What To Know
- Be prepared for digital detox: Cell phone service is spotty or nonexistent
- Exploring the local sights is expensive without a car
- The local staff is efficient and warm, but don’t expect fussy service
- Eco friendly
- Free WiFi
- Golf Course
- Room Service
In the Meadows of Dan, in southwestern Virginia, Primland is a sprawling 12,000-acre retreat abutting the Blue Ridge Mountains. Its LEED-certified luxury lodge houses 26 guestrooms, plus restaurants that use all local ingredients, including some from the six-acre chef’s garden. The Great Hall has cathedral ceilings with exposed beams, twin fireplaces and views of the pristine landscape in every direction. Natural stone and cedar create a rustic yet sophisticated ambience, and calming neutral tones don’t distract from the golf greens and Blue Ridge Mountains. The resort’s extensive art collection, which includes nature photography on canvas by Joann Dost, adds to the warm, homey vibe.
Bed and Bath
All 26 guestrooms have contemporary neutral furniture and automated Lutron shade and lighting dimmer systems. Mountain Rooms range from 518 to 800 square feet and have comfy beds dressed with luxe 400-thread-count Frette sheets and lush down duvets. Blue Ridge Suites are between 900 and 1,125 square feet, and some have balconies. Modern bathrooms are done up with European glass mosaic tiles and water-conserving Dornbracht fixtures, plus Bulgari amenities, Frette robes and Abyss & Habidecor slippers. On the 10th and 18th fairways of the Highland course, the three Fairway Cottages have Tennessee field stone fireplaces, private decks with valley views, kitchenettes and dining rooms.
Head chef Gunnar Thompson is at the helm of Elements, the resort’s fine dining spot, which uses all local ingredients and farm-raised organic produce. Try roasted local pheasant with a stuffing of wild mushrooms, carved off the bone and served with potatoes from the garden. Chef Thompson also leads cooking classes and foraging expeditions in the six-acre chef’s garden, where you can eat what you pick. The 19th Pub has a lively scene and serves draft beers, single malts and lighter fare. Offset any overindulgence with outdoor pursuits that range from hunting, horseback riding, mountain biking and ATV riding to hiking on a restored six-mile section of the Old Appalachian Trail. Or, for a dose of pampering, the 1,800-square-foot spa offers treatments that blend Native American healing techniques with European spa therapies.
In the Area
If you have a car, Blue Ridge Parkway is a scenic 10-mile drive. Just 20 minutes from Primland, Villa Appalaccia Winery offers winery tours and tastings. Chateau Morrisette produces 20 wine varietals and provides elegant dining in a relaxed Old World atmosphere. Floyd, Virginia, a popular stop along the Blue Ridge Parkway, is a 45-minute drive from Primland and features bluegrass music, arts and crafts. Or head to Mount Airy, North Carolina, which is the hometown of Andy Griffith and features a host of antiques shops.
How to Get There
Beautiful location and amazing views! Warning: RTVs are dangerous and expensive. If you have an accident on a Primland RTV ride while trying to keep up with the guide, be prepared to pay the full cost of all damages before leaving the resort. I was charged over $1,000 for RTV parts and labor and now have severe back pain and associated medical expenses. Unfortunately, my Primland trip was ruined by a RTV accident. I would suggest you stick with the spa.
We traveled to Primland as a long weekend getaway over the Thanksgiving holiday.
We stayed in the Pinnacle Cottages. The rooms were very modern and comparable to a Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton. Judging from the reviews on TA it looks like there is a broad range of quality in the various lodging options. The Pinnacle Cottages appeared to be very new and had modern amenities (no mice, mild, or mildew). You can wake up every morning to a sunrise over the mountains through a massive window. Or you can lower the black out shades and sleep comfortably till noon! The views were amazing from the room. We could see a water fall and there was a great little balcony to enjoy (when it’s not 30 degrees). The beds were comfy and we loved the sheets. The cottages were a short 5 minute walk to the main lodge, which was really nice. If I were to come back, I would def opt to stay in the Pinnacle Cottages again.
I agree with other reviewers that the food is just okay- not terrible but not as good as it could be. We had thanksgiving dinner in Elements. The service was top notch but the dinner itself was just meh (that being said, thanksgiving dinner in restaurants is never really as good as a home cooked meal). We ate all other meals at the 19th Hole Pub or room service. Our fave dishes at 19th hole were the the piquante peppers and the cheese puffs. Room service was also clutch- we opted to stay in one night and our room service was promptly delivered and set up for us, then later they came to clean up.
The bar service is just okay. From the cocktail menu and spirits and wine selection I expected a more sophisticated bar program. The bar set up seemed disorganized (the bar design was also poor) and very basic (i.e., making a manhattan with red maraschino cherries instead of luxardo cherries). Also, the bartenders seemed to be just barely keeping their head above water throughout the evening. One night we sat at the bar for about 3 hours watching football, I would guess that 30% of the cocktails they made came back to the bar because someone didn’t like them.
Most of the weekend it was raining and cold- which was okay with us. We spent a lot of time relaxing in our room or in the main lodge lobby. We had a fantastic spa experience. We booked the couples massage and the spa experience was really standout. I think we would’ve just stayed in the relaxation room all day if we hadn’t been starving after our services. The spa didn’t seem that large, so I would recommend making reservations in advance to be sure you can get a spot.
We also went fly fishing one morning. I can’t say enough good things about how great this experience was... and we didn’t even catch anything. Our guide Rick was fantastic! He got us quickly outfitted and we headed out to the river. It was cold (24 degrees!), but we were comfortable and the river was extremely peaceful that morning. Rick did a great job as both a guide and instructor. He really broke down the casting and a strategy for how to fish the river. I feel like we learned a lot. Our half day trip went by in a flash. I would highly recommend booking a fishing trip- even if you’re not really that into fishing.
We also did the observatory one night. I would recommend not booking this too far in advanced. Wait it out and see how the conditions are once you arrive at Primland. The night we went up it was a full moon and scattered clouds. Due to the conditions you really couldn’t see much, even with their super fancy high powered telescopes. We ended up really just watching a power point with better images than what they could pull up on the telescope that night. I can imagine on a clear, dark night that this would be a really awesome experience.
Above average service, food, amenities! Don’t miss out on this place! Staff goes above and beyond to make sure everything is perfect during your stay. Views are spectacular! Activities are great for fami. Food is exceptional! Can’t say enough good things about this place!
This is definitely a world class resort. If you do nothing but sleep and dine here it is well worth it. The activities offered though will keep anyone and all ages amused. What else is there to say but give it a try.
Our visit to Primland became one of our favorite trips this year. The resort has all the amenities of a large major resort with only a small number of guests enjoying these. The activities including golf, horseback riding, etc. are easily accessible and almost always available for everyone. The fitness center is outstanding with the usual aerobic equipment supplemented by a TRX system, a high end cable pull system and top of the line rowers. You won't get bored unless you want to, as there are many places to sit and relax without feeling crowded.
The rooms are appointed to match the landscape. Some of the rooms though on the third floor of the main building only have on small window as a result of the roof line. If you need 2 rooms or more, the outbuildings on the cliffs nearby are excellent with a common living space to share.
The cuisine is very flavorful and prepared well. The lunch and breakfast menus are somewhat limited in choices. The dinners are worth the experience.
The hotel has a very friendly and comfortable vibe to it between the staff and guests and among the guests themselves, The visit can be relatively expensive but is well worth it.