My husband and I live 40 minutes from Middleburg. We went to the Salamander for an overnight getaway and were not disappointed. The resort itself is beautiful. We were greeted by several staff members. The check in process was easy and smooth. Our room was ready when we got there (at 3pm). Two bellman (very young boys/men) escorted us to our room and along the way explained various features of the resort. They also showed us around our room, clearly using a canned, rehearsed script. I thought it was overkill to have TWO people taking us to our room, but perhaps one was training the other. Either way, we appreciated the attentiveness. The room was very lovely. Beautifully furnished, very large, and very comfortable.
Throughout our stay, EVERY staff member that passed us anywhere on the property was friendly and helpful. Particularly at the fitness center where they remembered our names each time we were there (3 - 4 times during our 36 hour stay). We checked in on a Friday and, unlike other people's experience, had no trouble booking a spa treatment for the next day, Saturday. We did the couples razul - a mud treatment - and it was very nice. The spa itself is lovely, and use of the infinity pool area was a nice bonus. Despite the rain, we were able to relax under cover on very comfortable lounge chairs for a couple hours. But because of the rain, they had stopped food service for the day and, although we were able to order a cocktail there, it took about 40 minutes to arrive. In their defense, we were told it would be a while.
The main area of the resort / lobby area is spacious and beautiful. Plenty of comfortable seating areas. The library has lots of books and board games (monopoly, chess, scrabble, etc) for people to enjoy. There is a piano in the center lobby area and on Friday night there was a piano player and singer. The Gold Cup bar also has lots of comfy seating, TVs, a pool table. Very welcoming and comfortable.
With everything being only 1 year old, the condition of the resort is exemplary. But we could not help but wonder... if we come back in 5 years, will everything still be as nice? Time will tell how they keep up with maintenance and updates.
As some other reviewers wrote, we did have a small problem with our bill at check-out. They double-charged us for the drinks we had at the spa pool. They took care of it no problem, but only after I was fairly insistent that we could not have possibly had two charges of exactly 35.94 on the same afternoon (YES, 2 cocktails at the pool were $35.94 -- pricey!). Be sure to check your bill carefully.
I would give the resort overall a B+/ A-.
The grounds, a B. Not many walking trails as we expected. Family pool a short walk from the hotel and seems a little disjointed. As another reviewer wrote, the back of the resort looks like it could be the back of a holiday inn.
The service a B+. As other reviewers have written, the service is a bit unpolished, but some of that is probably due to the age of the staff (so many youngsters -- maybe a summer thing), along with the newness of the resort. But everyone is very friendly and attentive, nonetheless. They're trying hard!
The food, a B. Our dinner at Harriman's was over $300. And I would say the food was not up to that price. The steaks were just ok. Appetizers just ok as well. I actually sent back a shrimp appetizer that was not acceptable because of a fishy smell. Everything seemed to be very saucy and a little on the salty side. I think they're trying to be an A+ restaurant, but they fall just short. The breakfast buffet was great. Again, though, pricey -- $90 for two for breakfast! Luckily I had purchased the breakfast package so we ended up getting it for only $40 extra.
Overall, despite the price and a very few missteps along the way, we had a lovely time there. As my husband said, however, when we are together, we always have a lovely time.
Given the price ($450+ for the room), I would say this is B+/ A- resort experience at an A+++ price.
We really did enjoy our time. Would we go back? With so many other places to visit, not sure we would race back there. Maybe we would visit the spa for the day, eat dinner in Middleburg and drive back home. $450/night is just so overpriced.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Salamander Resort & Spa offers the refined sophistication of a luxurious country estate in the Virginia's exclusive horse and wine country, just 40 miles from Washington, D.C. This luxury Virginia getaway brings together today’s sought after key elements of time-saving accessibility, authenticity of cultural and historical experiences, unique culinary and wine programming, and an innovative spa and wellness concept. Just 35 minutes from Dulles Airport, the 340-acre resort is located within the historic village of Middleburg, VA, which houses more than 100 unique shops, restaurants, surrounding wineries and equestrian fields and provides the backdrop for one-of-a-kind leisure and group stays as well as spectacular wedding and social events. ... more less
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