Virginia’s Historic Omni Homestead Resort Makes A Grand Return

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It’s nan sheer brightness that strikes you astatine first. From nan infinitesimal you measurement into nan Great Hall pinch its sixteen soaring Corinthian columns, a caller achromatic connected achromatic courses throughout—on done nan shopping arcade, from 1 lounge, café and eating abstraction aft another, and each nan measurement up to 483 rooms. As you research nan immense wings and far-flung outer houses of Virginia’s monumental Omni Homestead Resort successful nan Allegheny Mountains, you quickly recognize what stunning results a $155 cardinal rehabilitation tin person connected a National Historic Landmark.

The Omni Homestead Resort arsenic seen from adjacent nan property's Old Course Pavilion.

Credit: Werner Segarra Photography Inc.

To observe nan completion of a immense task that Omni first contemplated erstwhile nan edifice group acquired nan spot a decade ago, nan Homestead conscionable put connected a immense mid-October statement pinch a monolithic fireworks show and plentifulness of unrecorded euphony complete respective days.

Wimberly Interiors, who person worked connected a big of luxury properties astir nan world, collaborated pinch nan Virginia Department of Historic Resources connected nan rehabilitation. As eager projects everyplace person gone these days, nan pandemic ended up providing conscionable nan region needed to get moreover much structural and creation specifications right, and to excavation up and showcase ever much creation and artifacts from nan property’s bones that spell backmost much than 250 years.

The adult-only Spa and Casino (a societal club, not a gambling hall) are nan only buildings that remained aft a 1901 blaze destroyed nan first Homestead. The imposing signature main Tower you spot today, whose destruction has urns and moldings made of copper that were a situation to restore, is simply a precocious 1920s summation to nan (mostly) ceramic Homestead that followed nan contiguous post-fire rebuild.

The Omni Homestead Resort's Great Hall.

Credit: Werner Segarra Photography Inc.

Inspired by Virginia’s birds and flowers and different plants and fauna, nan 100-foot-long Great Hall lobby rug—hand-tufted successful thirty-five colors successful India—includes depictions of ferns, dogwoods, butterflies and 2 cardinals that adorned nan original carpet. Most of nan hall’s beautiful mini alabaster stained solid clerestory windows person survived nan past century.

You tin perceive astir each kinds of these creation specifications and humanities tales connected nan nosy informal tours fixed by nan Great Hall Maître d’hôtel Anthony Pusey, a celebrated and irrepressible 27-year seasoned of nan property, who for illustration galore unit members comes from a family that goes backmost generations astatine nan Homestead.

You mightiness not cognize otherwise, for example, to cheque retired nan Commonwealth ballroom for its restored 1957 murals of section scenes, aliases nan information Jefferson Parlor whose walls are covered by much precocious painted murals of Virginia figures.

Previously dark, nan Omni Homestead Resort's Washington Library is now a agleam and cheerful space.

Credit: Werner Segarra Photography Inc.

The Homestead has welcomed plentifulness of world dignitaries and astatine slightest 23 U.S. presidents who came to play golf, return nan waters and flight nan worries of nan world. As you sip drinks complete a crippled of pool, you’ll spot portraits of each of them successful nan speakeasy-style Presidential Lounge, on pinch aged ledger books connected show that were recovered successful nan attic.

Also refreshed, yet retaining a beforehand statement of its original seats, nan property’s 1923 Theater is wherever you tin watch, say, “Casablanca” complete drinks from its Prohibition-style cocktail bar.

A boutique successful nan shopping arcade, nan Virginia Wine Experience besides organizes tastings and vino events. Jefferson’s Taproom serves plentifulness of Virginia trade brews on pinch its patient pub food. Martha’s Market serves café nutrient that you tin bask successful nan adjacent Washington Library pinch its vibrant patio style furniture. In nan aged Casino connected nan expansive lawn, you tin bask your meal connected a picnic array aliases connected nan structure astatine nan casual Pioneer Picnic venue.

The Audubon Dining Room astatine The Omni Homestead Resort has original chandeliers and a bid of ... [+] Audubon prints connected display.

Credit: Werner Segarra Photography Inc.

With nan Homestead interior nan size of a mini town, nary astonishment that nan unit makes up overmuch of nan organization of mini Hot Springs, Virginia. And pinch much than 2,300 acres to nan property, you are going to beryllium heading retired often for adventures. The Sam Snead Highway retired beforehand is named of people for nan locally-born golfer of legendary mid-century fame.

Of nan Homestead’s 2 title play courses, nan Cascades is ever classed among nan apical 100 successful nan country. Its pro shop and upstairs Rubino’s edifice and barroom return up a “cottage” that is successful reality a immense Italianate mansion that an eponymous note vivant stockbroker built successful nan precocious 19th century.

The Homestead has its ain equine stables arsenic good an alpine skis edifice astatine an elevation of 3,200 feet to spell on pinch archery, clay pigeon shooting, and falconry activities. A simpler pleasance is conscionable to stroll nan ace pet friends spot pinch your pooch.

Above all, beryllium judge to return nan celebrated Cascades Gorge hike pinch nan erstwhile section schoolhouse coach turned naturalist who goes by conscionable Cooper. She will masterfully and humorously uncover a full rich | situation unto itself complete nan gentle and easy two-mile climb that takes you complete respective ft bridges spanning waterfalls. She’ll explicate really Virginia is bringing riparian character screen backmost to trim power connected creek h2o that has had a devastating impact connected trout, and she’ll show you wherever to look connected boulders for seashell fossils from nan Paleozoic past. She’ll explicate really woodpeckers’ crazy agelong tongues curl backmost successful their head, and stock really arborvitae cedar trees supplied vitamin C to settlers, and uncover nan useful properties down moss and mushrooms. Cooper knows wherever to spot mini crawdads and snails down successful h2o pools; wherever there’s a carnivore den precocious up successful a tree; and, really earlier you connected nan hiking way a carnivore had clawed distant astatine a fallen character trunk seeking bees successful their hive. And different chewed character trunk you spot hangs connected by a thread only because your hiking group apt conscionable startled nan engaged beaver backmost into his den.

In different $4.6 cardinal preservation enactment that has received a lukewarm invited passim Bath County, Omni resurrected nan beloved section Warm Springs Pool. With a limestone guidelines laid successful 1761, nan serene woody octagonal building pinch an oculus was erstwhile named for Jefferson who precocious successful life visited successful alleviation of his rheumatism.

Rubino's Restaurant Bar astatine The Omni Homestead Resort is supra nan Cascades pro shop successful a Gilded Age ... [+] summertime "cottage."

Credit: Werner Segarra Photography Inc.

The Homestread’s immense walk-in closets person been kept nicely intact to punctual you possibly really fortunate you are that you aren’t walking pinch a bevy of aged steamer trunks for your frocks, greeting coats, apical hats and riding boots. You tin conscionable ideate Gilded Age swells changing successful location to spell relax connected your tremendous terrace’s lounge furniture.

The property’s halls are filled pinch vintage photos of those aforesaid folks surviving it up and play station cards and advertisements for air-conditioned Pullman cars that for decades took guests there.

Outside nan Washington Library hangs a awesome postulation of forty scenery lithographs from German creator Edward Beyer’s 1858 “Album of Virginia.” The Audubon eating room pinch its original chandeliers and Brazilian wood creation level is truthful named to bespeak nan bid of exquisite first-edition prints from nan maestro ornithological illustrator’s The Birds of America.

All these treasures and much make it nary wonderment that nan Omni Homestead Resort is simply a personnel of Historic Hotels of America. For each nan scatter that a $155 cardinal rehabilitation and renewal tin produce, sometimes it’s nan subtle things that battalion nan astir punch.


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