Hotel at a Glance: The Omni Homestead Resort
Since it first opened in 1766, The Omni Homestead Resort has enjoyed a reputation as one of the country's most luxurious resorts, with a prestigious guest book that includes more than 20 US presidents. Golfing legend Sam Snead honed his game on the resident Old Course, and the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts once strolled the grand halls and gaming lawns. Today, The Omni Homestead Resort—set on 2,000 acres in the Allegheny Mountains—is as grand as ever. An outdoor water park was recently added to the property, and in 2011, 2012, and 2013, the resort was named one of the world's best by Travel + Leisure magazine, which called the resort "the uncontested grande dame of the Allegheny Mountains."
The resort’s popularity has always been influenced by its proximity to natural mineral springs. Take a soak in the healing waters that Thomas Jefferson claimed to be “of the first merit” at the Jefferson Pools, where the mineral content is so high that you’ll float with ease. Other presidents, including William Howard Taft and Dwight D. Eisenhower, favored the resort’s golf courses. Play a round on the Old Course, which dates back to 1892 and boasts the oldest tee in continuous use in the nation.
The property's mountain environs make it an ideal base for outdoor recreation. Catch a glimpse of waterfalls and edible plants on a guided hike along the Cascades Gorge trail, or cast your line into a stream stocked with rainbow trout during a fly-fishing adventure.
The Omni Homestead Resort’s eight restaurants and bars include Sam Snead’s Tavern and the Main Dining Room, which draws a sophisticated dinner crowd with fine dining and live music. At night, you'll retire to classically furnished guest rooms, decorated in a traditional Virginian style. In the morning, you can enjoy pancakes, pastries, and cooked-to-order omelets at the breakfast buffet.
Bath County, Virginia: Warm Mineral Springs amid Allegheny Mountains
Bath County—a highlands region in western Virginia—is so named for its wealth of natural thermal springs that can reach temperatures upwards of 100 degrees. Since the early 1700s, visitors such as George Washington have traveled to Bath County to soak in the hot springs, whose healing properties are said to promote mental and physical well-being.
This area is also known for its unspoiled scenery. Spend an afternoon hiking the trails that wend through forests next to freshwater streams. Or, hop in your car for a scenic drive on country roads that crest over the Allegheny Mountains.
Bath also supports a prolific arts community. Just 3 miles from the resort, at the Garth Newel Music Center, you can enjoy an intimate concert followed by a gourmet meal with the musicians. The center also hosts festivals and champagne brunches throughout the year.