On Aug. 29, Sheila C. Johnson cut the ribbon on her latest venture, the Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, Va.
“I am so extraordinarily thankful for everyone’s patience, perseverance, and fortitude,” said Johnson, the resort’s owner, and founder and CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, at the grand opening. “In addition to its courageous traits, the salamander serves as a symbol of renewal, which is especially meaningful to me today.”
Sited on 340 picturesque acres on the edge of the village of Middleburg, the resort incorporates a luxurious resort and spa as well as a full-service equestrian center. Visitors to the resort can take advantage of the 22-stall stable, ThorTurf riding ring and nine paddocks. There are miles of trails on which riders can easily spend a full day. Equine enthusiast guests even have the opportunity to board their own horses. Lessons are also available, and clinics with world-class riders are planned.
The resort has 168 rooms and suites and the spa features 14 treatment rooms. The locker rooms include vitality whirlpools, aromatic steam rooms, stone Tepidarium chairs and experiential showers. Capping the spa’s offerings is a tranquil outdoor courtyard, featuring an infinity pool, private cabanas, whirlpool, fire pit and dining café. Dining options also include Harriman’s Grill, where the cuisine celebrates Virginia’s Piedmont region, including a robust selection of steaks, chops, fruits and vegetables. The Gold Cup Wine Bar, designed like a winery tasting room with brick floor and wood-beamed ceiling, features flites of wine from around the world and a creative menu that offers small plates inspired by the Italian Piedmont. Just a few short steps away from the kitchen is a two-acre culinary garden, while the resort also features a state-of-the-art Cooking Studio with a retractable wall affording a view into the resort’s working kitchen and three video cameras.
Guests can take advantage of the outdoor pool, tennis courts and a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf experience at nearby Creighton Farms Estates. Activities planned for the resort include wine tastings, nature tours of the area and falconry.
One of the driving forces behind Johnson’s decision to build Salamander Resort & Spa was the relative absence of a luxurious and private meeting retreat in the greater Washington, D.C., region. Therefore, the resort features an array of facilities designed with corporate and association meetings in mind, as well as social functions and destination weddings. It’s only 35 minutes from Washington Dulles International Airport and only an hour’s drive from downtown Washington, D.C.