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March 11, 2024

The Omni Homestead: The Great American Encore

From the Great Hall to all 483 guest rooms, this timeless spot has been reborn.

By Elite Traveler

Tucked away in the Allegheny Mountains lies The Omni Homestead Resort, a destination with historical significance and character that’s only bested by its wellness credentials — just ask the 23 US presidents who have visited America’s first resort over the decades.

While this destination’s historic aura is palpable, it’s far from dated. In fact, the resort has just undergone a faithful $150m renovation — both preserving its cultural charm while bringing the property to the modern standards expected of a luxury resort. The designers followed five guiding principles: traditional, residential, lightness, sophistication and iconic. In doing so they have rejuvenated the property with signature homestead touches and nods to the flora and fauna of the local area.

From the Great Hall, to all 483 guest rooms and the iconic bathhouses at the Warm Springs Pools, this timeless spot has been reborn.

The Great Hall
The Great Hall / ©The Omni Homestead
The Omni Homestead
The Washington Library / ©The Omni Homestead

It was these springs that initially led to the hotel’s popularity. In 1764, Captain Bullitt and the Lewis brothers paid 30 shillings for 300 acres in these beautiful Virginia mountains. That land included seven natural mineral springs and, after two years of work, the area was cleared and an 18-room wooden hotel had been constructed.

Since these early homestead days, the resort has changed quite a bit. A fire in 1901 would prove the catalyst for major expansion. Yet wellness has always remained an integral part of The Omni Homestead’s offering. Focusing on five pillars — social, physical, nutritional, intellectual and emotional — this resort stretches far deeper than just spa and fitness.

The headline act, the historic Warm Springs Pools, remain a major draw, ticking the box in all five pillars while allowing visitors to truly experience history. Abundant nutrients like calcium and magnesium provide natural health benefits, while the warm water relaxes sore muscles, and a trip to the pools brings a noticeable feeling of serenity.

Indoor pool
The indoor pool dates back to 1904 / ©The Omni Homestead

It’s not all reflective relaxation though — there’s opportunity for physical wellness in spades. Two 18-hole golf courses span the resort; those looking to get the heart racing can spend the afternoon horseback riding, riding the ziplines, or skiing and ice skating (in the winter). Or, if a slower pace is needed, visitors can enjoy the Virginia Wine Experience, daily history tours or the chance to have a chat with on-site naturalist Brian La Fountain.

Over the last quarter of a millennium, The Omni Homestead has earned its reputation with a wellness offering that ticks all the boxes; with this refurbishment it looks set to continue excelling for the next 250 years.

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