No matter which way you swayed yesterday, I’d say we all could use a little bit of R&R today, right? This year has been particularly stressful for those of us over in my neck of the woods—my dad’s stroke, SVV leaving his job to come work with me, my work schedule in general—so our 48 hours of kicking back at the Omni Homestead Resort together last month was just what the doctor ordered.
No really, if I saw a psychiatrist, I’m pretty sure he would have told me this is what I needed to reset my mental health.
Given the number of friends we have in Charlottesville from my Semester at Sea days, I’ve been hearing about the Homestead for years. In fact, my baby sister even visited it before I did, and I’m glad that everything she talked up was true: There’s nary a more relaxing place to getaway in Virginia for a few days.
After Andrew and Jane’s wedding, we had three days to kill before our project in Lexington started, and once I saw how close Bath County was to Keswick, I knew exactly where we’d be spending that in-between time.
For those of you who don’t know the Homestead, it was established 250 years ago—in 1766, for those of you doing the math—and is most famous for being a favorite retreat among presidents; in fact, since the 18th century, it’s played host to 23 of them. Thomas Jefferson, in particular, was a fan of the hot springs, which is why you’ll find plenty of things in these parts named for him.
The property spans 2,300 acres, which includes nearly 500 guest rooms, a pair of 18-hole golf courses, four tennis courts, movie theater, a few pools (one with its own lazy river and water slides!) and one seriously awesome spa facility, thanks in part to a $25 million renovation completed two years back.
You could easily spend a week at the Homestead and never need to leave. For one, it’s surrounded by mountainous, wooded land, perfect for hiking, running, exploring.
For another, it’s got a handful of restaurants on property to enjoy. On our first evening, we dined at Sam Snead’s Tavern, which is exactly the casual pub experience we wanted after a long weekend of socializing.
However, we did get to experience the Main Dining Room for breakfast each morning, and I loved the diversity of food offerings available—the buffet had everything from oatmeal and donuts to hash and eggs Benedict. I sampled a little bit of everything, no big surprise.
The Homestead is one of those rare finds that’s well-suited for both honeymooners and families alike. Its entrance is as elegant and Old World-like as the outside might suggest with plenty of staff around to wait on you hand and foot.
The rooms, on the other hand, are a bit more on the modest side, though still perfectly comfortable and modern.
In addition to Jefferson’s Restaurant, the Main Dining Room and the Lobby Bar, the sprawling ground level also boasts a market and a series of shops that included a kids’ boutique, women’s clothing, outdoor gear and even a candy store (you can guess which one I was drawn to…).
We arrived fully planning to take advantage of all the activities on-site (30, to be exact); what really happened is we camped out at the pool for two days straight (while furiously pounding away on our laptops, I should add, but still).
But don’t worry, we also found time to hit up the Hot Springs Spa (obviously).
Access to the spa facilities and Serenity Garden run at $85 per person or $160 per couple, which may sound steep without a treatment, but this also includes lunch and access to the Aqua Thermal Suites.
Then you end with a punch of aromatic steam to open your lungs and infuse them with healing essential oils.
It’s truly a magical experience.