A magnificent Viriginia horse country resort

The newest addition to Sheila C. Johnson’s Salamander Hotels & Resorts, the luxurious Salamander Resort & Spa is a quiet escape from the bustle of Washington D.C. Perched on 340 acres in the heart of Virginia’s Horse Country, you may think you’ve pulled up to an old Virginia Piedmont mansion — and in a way, you have. The hotel was modeled after Johnson’s personal home just a few miles down the road and designed to look as if it has been there for generations.

Step inside and you’ll be greeted with a large, yet somehow intimate, living room rather than a front desk, which you’ll find around the corner. The main corridor of Salamander Resort & Spa is meant to feel as if you’re arriving at a friend’s home rather than a 168-room hotel. On either side of the living room, you’ll find more hangout areas, including a library stocked with books that have been checked out by residents for years at the local library.

The elegant equestrian theme that you’ll find throughout Salamander Resort & Spa carries into the restaurants. Head to Gold Cup Wine Bar for a wine tasting from local Virginia vintners and some Italian Piedmont-influenced small plates. Be sure to save room for dinner at Harrimans, the resort’s signature steakhouse. Chef Todd Gray melds his background in Italian Piedmont cuisine with local flavors from the Virginia Piedmont region — including ingredients from the culinary garden next to the restaurant.

In the guest room wing, each floor is themed by season, with fall being on the fourth floor so you can get the best view of the vibrant foliage. Throughout the hallways and the rooms, photographs of the surrounding scenery (correlating to the seasons) by Sheila C. Johnson and other local artists adorn the walls. All of the guest rooms boast balconies and half of them (plus all suites) offer working fireplaces.

It’s hard to be bored during a stay at Salamander Resort & Spa. Whether you venture down to the 22-stall horse barn for a trail ride, embark on a treetop canopy tour or simply unwind in the 23,000-square-foot spa, there’s an activity for everyone.

DETAILS - Insider Information About This Hotel

DETAILS - Insider Information About This Hotel