With a simple snip of her scissors, Sheila C. Johnson cut through the equestrian-inspired ribbon before her and consigned a decade of planning into memory. Salamander Resort & Spa (and the newest member of the Salamander Hotels and Resorts Group) open, and one of the most anticipated hospitality projects of recent memory had become reality. Luxurious accommodations welcome you, reflecting the relaxed elegance of a fine Virginia estate. Salamander Resort & Spa features 168 luxurious rooms and suites, a luxury spa, full-service equestrian center, Virginia Piedmont-inspired dining, a dedicated cooking studio, wine bar, billiards room and a unique array of conference and banquet facilities.
“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. “In addition to its courageous traits, the salamander serves as a symbol of renewal, which is especially meaningful to me today.”
Located in the historic village of Middleburg on 340 picturesque acres in the heart of Virginia’s famed horse and wine country, Salamander Resort & Spa (1 Salamander Ln · Middleburg, (540) 687-3600 http://www.salamanderresort.com/) (features a previously unattainable collection of equestrian, spa, culinary, winery, nature and historic experiences for its visitors. The resort is only 35 minutes from Washington Dulles International Airport and only an hour’s drive from downtown Washington, D.C.
Designed to blend into the surrounding rolling countryside and respect the traditions of Johnson’s own nearby Virginia farm, which served as the architectural inspiration, Salamander Resort & Spa features 168 luxurious, spacious rooms and suites. Guest rooms measure 545–575 square feet and include a spacious sitting area, dining table for two, executive desk and marble-topped vanity table. All 17 suites and half of the guestrooms feature a beautiful gas fireplace, there are 40-inch flat panel television in each bedroom and a 19-inch LCD television in each bath; and private balcony or terrace for each room with two chairs, a cocktail table and expansive countryside views. Bath includes marble shower with body jets, pedestal tub, dual sinks and enclosed water closet. The plush bedding is accented by the linens and throws that have been personally designed by Sheila C. Johnson, incorporating hints of the seasons and the equestrian life. A refreshment corner with mini bar provides both anticipated favorites and locally unique offerings. Wired and wireless internet allows guests added security or the freedom to connect unencumbered.
All rooms feature Hypoallergenic duvets and pillows, an Hair dryer, thick terry-cloth bathrobes, Wired and wireless internet access**, Twice-daily housekeeping service, Multi-line telephone(s) with voicemail and conference call capability, All-news cable network, iPod docking station, CD player, Daily newspaper delivery, In-room safe, Mini-bar and refrigerator, and Coffee and tea-making facilities.
There is a full-service equestrian center and an array of programming that includes riding instruction and clinics from the area’s world-class riders. Just a short trot from the property’s 22-stall stable, ThorTurf riding ring and nine paddocks 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.
With treatments that incorporate the surrounding area’s rich bounty, the Salamander Spa features 14 spacious treatment rooms with private stone treatment terraces and fireplaces, Exclusive Couple’s Suite with private terrace, whirlpool, steam shower and pedestal tub, Deluxe locker rooms with grand whirlpools, steam room, heated stone lounge chairs and experiential water features, Secluded spa courtyard with infinity edge pool, fire pit, whirlpool and private cabanas, Salon featuring hair, make-up, manicure and pedicure stations, and Advanced fitness center including indoor pool, cardio and weight room and movement studios, sauna and outdoor terraces.
The culinary program is equally in tune with the surroundings. With Todd Gray, owner and Executive Chef of the acclaimed Equinox Restaurant in Washington, D.C., serving as Culinary Director, the dining experience at the Salamander Resort & Spa is equally as impressive. At Harrimans Grill, which features a soaring 42-foot-high ceiling and a panoramic view of the Bull Run Mountain Range, 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 wines from around the world and a creative menu that offers ( (and serves) an extensive menu of locally-inspired small plates throughout the day inspired by the Italian Piedmontan and an extensive wine list.
Market Salamander provides gourmet picnic baskets for dining on the Resort grounds, in the nearby vineyards and at local equestrian events. There’s outdoor 28-seat dining terrace with hilltop views and private dining room for up to 16. Afternoon tea and evening cocktails are served in The Living Room with piano entertainment. There’s also 24-hour In-Room Dining, a State-of-the-art Cooking Studio featuring daily culinary classes; and just a few short steps away from the kitchen is a two-acre culinary garden.
Amenities, Activities and Programs include an Equestrian Program with 22-stalls, practice ring, riding trails and instructional classes; Horse drawn carriage rides and shopping in the Village of Middleburg; Miles of walking and biking trails, Nature-based activities including bird watching and a sustainable garden, an outdoor pool area for families, Exclusive golf privileges at nearby Jack Nicklaus Signature Course at nearby Creighton Farms Estates, falconry, Bocce,
croquet, putting green and other lawn games; Tennis courts with outdoor pool complex, the Sundlun Library with a wide collection of current and historic books available, as well as board games and quiet areas, Tours of 50 Virginia wineries within 60 minutes of the resort, over 400 annual equestrian-related activities, including steeplechases, polo events, and some of the country’s most celebrated horse shows, Shopping and dining in the historic village of Middleburg, Historic area tours including Journey Through Hallowed Ground, cultural tours and activities in Washington, D.C., and Whitewater rafting, sporting clays and raceway within 45 minutes of the Resort.
For Conference & Event Spaces purposes, The Salamander Resort & Spa is already ahead of the pack and include the luxurious 5,000-square-foot-divisible Middleburg Ballroom, the 1,800-square-foot-divisible Bluemont Ballroom, the 1,000-square-foot Hospitality Suite with outdoor terrace, executive Boardrooms and breakout rooms, the 2,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom Foyer area that opens to a large outdoor terrace with spectacular countryside views, unique function spaces including the Stallion Barn, Equestrian Barn, Grand Lawn, outdoor terraces, poolside settings, Culinary Gardens, Library and Billiards Room; the 2,000-square-foot Presidential Suite with large entertainment balcony and Dining Room exclusively for group luncheons.
Guest Services includes–but is not limited to– Overnight Valet Parking ($15), Daily Valet Parking ($5), Self-Parking and for your convenience, a $25 per day resort fee that covers area transportation, internet access, fitness center access and much more. (Please see website for the full list.)