How difficult must it have been to navigate a horse and wagon through the Allegany Mountains to Hot Springs, Virginia when Thomas Jefferson made the trip in 1819? I thought of this as I made the winding drive to this historic world-class resort.
The Omni Homestead Resort dates back over 250 years, and has hosted dozens of presidents and dignitaries, including Jefferson who found the natural hot springs to be a comfort to his rheumatism. The original resort was an 18 room hotel was built on this property by a war Colonel who was deeded that land by George Washington, and it’s had an amazing history filled with a variety of owners and expansions over the centuries. You don’t need to be a history buff to appreciate The Homestead, which was purchased by Omni in 2013. Like all of the Omni’s resorts, it is a unique property that reflects the regional heritage. Today’s resort boasts 482 rooms, conference and banquet halls, and offers virtually every activity you can think of! The Omni Homestead caters not only to wellness-minded travelers seeking the warmth and relief of the area’s natural springs, but it’s also ideal for families.
I was able to visit the Omni Homestead for 2 days and was immediately enchanted. The entire 2,000+-acre property begs visitors to slow down, offering comfortable places to sit and lovely views from any angle. From the overstuffed furniture located near bookshelves, games, and pianos inside majestic rooms the many benches, hammocks and lawn chairs on the grounds, guests will find it hard not unwind and take a break. You’ll find yourself walking a bit slower to take in all the charm of America’s First Resort.
If it’s activity you’re after, there is no shortage of things to do at the Homestead. Hiking, biking, golf, tennis, fly fishing, canoeing, kayaking, archery, falconry, an equestrian center, water park, Segway Tours, and even a treetop adventure course are available enabling you to enjoy the fresh mountain air. An adult only, full-service spa and Serenity Garden is ideal for the weary parent. The spa offers multiple fitness and yoga classes, plus pools and three of the natural springs found on the property including this reflexology walk.
The Omni invited me to try an activity, and wanting to try something new, I chose skeet shooting. The Homestead shooting club has been in existence for over 100 years, and you’ll want to browse the many photographs inside the clubhouse. It’s available to members 365 days a year, or day visitors like me. The shooting club offers various skeet, trap and stand sporting courses offering gorgeous views no matter which way you look. Courses run through the woods and around the club simulating different types of bird and small game, and I loved the natural rustic settings. I had never handled a gun before and began with an overview of the sport from one of the club’s 7 National Sporting Clays Association Certified Instructors as I was outfitted with all I needed. I then headed to a private lesson with Club Manager David Judah. David is a master teacher in a sport that has the challenge of relying on individual perspective. For newbies like me, he has a knack for finding a way to link shooting to something his students have some experience with, which in my case it was golf. Within minutes to my amazement, I was actually hitting clays in the air! I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed skeet shooting and The Shooting Club, and I hope to take my husband this summer for another lesson with David.
Trying something enjoyable and new is really what the Omni Homestead is all about, and why they offer so many activities. The Omni Homestead has a message for families this summer- they want us to slow down and connect and have developed a program called The Great American Family Vacation. In addition to regular resort programs including nightly movies, hayrides, and a Kid’s Club, this summer guests can enjoy very special offerings from Memorial Day through Labor Day. They include fireworks and s’mores, lawn games, puzzle competitions and even petting zoos and family yoga classes. They make it easy to try something new and connect with one another with a variety of activities, many of which are included at no extra cost for resort guests. Daily rubber duck races will be held in the water park’s lazy river and Southern Social hours are offered each afternoon. And to help capture it all, family portraits will be available in the hotel lobby.
If you need to slow down and want to step back in time, consider a stay at the Omni Homestead. You can learn more about the Omni Homestead and summer programs HERE.
Insider Tip: Join the Complimentary Loyalty Club for special offers including free wifi and earning free nights.
I was a guest of The Shooting Club for the purpose of this review, but no other compensation or consideration was provided.