When you have school-aged children, it's not always easy to plan a long family trip away during the school year. So as my birthday approached, I chose to take our celebrating on a short road trip and head to the Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, Virginia. Located about 30 minutes from Dulles Airport, it's an easy route from most anywhere in the Mid-Atlantic region.
As we drove up a curved tree-lined driveway, we arrived at the beautiful, welcoming resort. With a traditional feel, it's kept fresh and new. We couldn't wait to see what this 340-acre resort had in store for us over the upcoming weekend.
I was determined to check-in before 4:00 PM so I wouldn't miss the "Adult Hot Chocolate Station". During the winter, it's set up every Saturday in the regal Gold Cup lobby to enjoy rich hot chocolate with fun toppings and a splash of delicious liquor by the fireplace. We made it just in time! Although on this February day, the weather was pleasantly in the 60's and we were all a bit warm even before we drank the hot chocolate. Needless to say, it was absolutely delicious and perfect to sip in the welcoming ambiance of this gorgeous hotel.
How Are The Rooms?
Our next stop was to find our room. Our bellhop, Brandon, was terrific in bringing in our luggage, showing us around our new home for the next 2 nights, and seeing that we had everything we needed. And what a room it was! Our well-appointed Dressage Suite was located on ground level and is a perfect layout for a family. A huge sleeper sofa is in the spacious main living area and the private bedroom is enormous.
And just look at this spectacular bathroom! It's absolutely huge and the well-stocked, luxurious bath products and amenities are wonderful.
After settling in, a surprise arrived at our door. Along with our suite came a delicious bottle of champagne. And for kids, what is better than champagne? Milk and cookies!
I practically screamed out in joy when I heard they had turn-down service! One of the things that I loved the most was their attention to detail. After asking when you wanted turn-down service, they arrived at that exact time. They set up the kid's beds, left extra towels, dimmed the lights, set lovely music, and treated us to bottled water and melt-in-your-mouth butterscotch and pecan scones. How relaxing is that for a good night's sleep?
How's The Food?
Whenever our family goes on vacation, we are definitely the food critics. Better yet, we have four completely different palates, so it's not easy to always find something for everyone. However, we didn't run into that issue once and the dining throughout the Salamander Resort & Spa was incredible.
Our waiter, Evan, took terrific care of us at Gold Cup Wine Bar. (He also knows the best combinations to mix-in for the Adult's Hot Chocolate!)
Virtual Hint: Salamander Resort & Spa is completely family friendly. They are happy to make a "virgin" Adult's Hot Chocolate for the kids and all ages are welcome in the Gold Cup Wine Bar.
Hover over the photos for descriptions and additional details.
We purchased a s'mores kit at Gold Cup that came with the traditional combination of chocolate, marshmallows, graham crackers, and a long wood stick. It's the perfect treat and activity to enjoy at the fire pit.
Of course, we still had our eyes on the amazing desserts offered so we had to try a few later in the evening. Once we found out the kitchen doesn't close until 11:00 PM, we took full advantage.
If you stay over a weekend, or even live in the surrounding area, don't miss Sunday brunch at Harrimans. It's a traditional southern spread with a twist. Shrimp and grits, prime rib carving station, lobster stuffed deviled eggs, and a fantastic dessert table. It's a feast for all of your senses.
A highlight was Harrimans for dinner and is definitely special occasion worthy. (Although, I could easily eat there every night.) Chef Ryan Arensdorf recently joined Harrimans as Executive Chef and the farm to table concept, menu selections, and even plate decor, is incredible.
Our server Anna was meticulous with the perfect meal choices for everyone and she did a wonderful job at suggesting a delicious wine to accompany my meal.
Starting off with an amuse-bouche of sweet honeydew melon with crème fraîche, every course was beautifully presented and flavorful.
I never miss dessert...
Did I mention it was my birthday?! Don't forget to let them know when making your reservations if you will be celebrating a special occasion. They will treat you well and sometimes at more than one meal! At breakfast, our fantastic server Donna was so excited to bring a special birthday treat to our table.
What's There To Do?
Even in the wintertime, there are numerous activities to enjoy if you want to be active outside...think trails, ziplining, biking, putting green, and basketball.
Or relax with a drink and enjoy s'mores by one of the gorgeous fire pits.
Visit the Stallion Barn. Over 100 years old, it's one of the original structures on the property and refurbished to be used for private functions. In this picturesque setting, it's a perfect spot to host a wedding or intimate dinner party.
Head over to the stunning equestrian stable. For a nominal fee, you can ride one of the beautiful horses on a trail or in the riding arena. Plus, they love a photo opportunity!
You can also stay warm inside and play a game of pool, experience wine tasting from a local Virginia vineyard, take a cooking class or an art class, use the fitness center, or enjoy a lavish spa treatment.
The indoors is brought outside too. The steamy hot tubs outside the spa are incredible and refreshing all year long.
I only wish it didn't take me this many years to experience Salamander Resort & Spa. It's an ideal place for families or for a romantic getaway. The staff makes you feel special and warmly greets you throughout the resort.
It was our first visit but definitely not our last. I have a bucket list of things I must get back to do...a massage at the spa, participate in a cooking class at the Cooking Studio, taste the roasted prime beef ribs (Harrimans was not serving them the night we were there) and so much more. That might be for our next special celebration at Salamander Resort & Spa. Hopefully, we'll see you there!
Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way and all opinions are my own. I am just passionate about the Salamander Resort & Spa (and can't wait to get back!)
My Virtual Vacations Blog
About the Author
Thanks for cruising by! Along with creating this website and blog, I work in an office full-time and as a mom to two energetic teenage boys. With our family's busy work and school schedule, we look forward to traveling during holidays. Although it seems that our family can never agree on anything, we do when it comes to vacations. We typically travel on cruises or stay at luxury hotels. We enjoy upscale dining, beautiful decor, excellent service, and spacious accommodations. However, with a family including two teenage boys, we still need family friendly and comfortable.
Virtually escape and start planning your next luxurious cruise vacation on land or sea with My Virtual Vacations. Contact me for any specific questions or recommendations. And don't forget to keep checking back for the latest blog posts and information. There are always more family vacations in our future!
About the Photos
Our beautiful photographs are creatively captured by my talented freelance husband/photographer located in Baltimore, MD. Click here to explore more of his work.
Time flies! We are quickly moving into warmer months and that means summer is on the way. We are SO excited to announce we are planning some incredible summer adventures. First, we are heading to south Florida and then we'll be expanding our travel to luxury destinations in the west. Visits to Scottsdale and Sedona, AZ are in the works. If you have suggestions for My Virtual Vacations to visit, reach out to us on our Submission Form. We'd love to hear from you!
Be in the know!
Sign up for our email list and you'll receive a sneak peek when we have an update or new blog post.