The Homestead @omnihomestead resort’s natural hot springs have been a draw to the health conscious since opening in colonial times, and still are today. In a health plus hedonism take, today’s spa has the same curative allure only now in a luxurious setting. The spa is a little bigger than the numerous nooks and crannies found on The Homestead property, where you can create your own breakfast spot, curl up in a book cubby, or retreat to a secret space.
Since it opened, the @omnihomestead has attracted famous honeymooners, such as the Vanderbilts, as in Cornelius Vanderbilt Jr., in the late 1930s. Those honeymooners turned into frequent summer visitors, and they always considered The Homestead their “home away from home.” After visiting the Virginia-based resort, I understand its long-standing popularity.
Allow me to share some behind the scenes facts about @omnihomestead.
1. The Omni Homestead opened 10 years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
The Omni Homestead is perhaps the most historic of all the Omnis. The Homestead was completed and opened in 1766, 10 years before the Declaration of Independence was signed, and named in honor of the homesteaders — those who camped out and built the hotel. This historic, all-season resort has hosted many U.S. presidents along with many other dignitaries and famous faces who rejuvenate in the natural hot springs.
2. When established, The Homestead was considered a healing place, first and foremost.
For the 18th century traveler, particularly the lame and the infirm, the journey to the springs was a rigorous ordeal. The typical trip by horse and carriage could take five days from the north, or longer. Some of those rough trails that were barely passable certain times of the year. By the mid-19th century, however, The Homestead had become a destination for fashionable socialites and the ill alike. In response to the growing popularity, a “half the fun is getting there” journey through the state’s many mineral baths on smoother roads became an attractive part of the trip.
3. The Homestead gives its guests the opportunity to enjoy the valley in the colonial manner early visitors did.
Today, the Omni offers horseback riding, driving horses, and antique vehicles to explore the area. Riding lessons are available, too. It is possible to have a colonial reenactment experience while visiting. As a contrast, in 2020 we traveled to @omnihomestead from Washington D.C., by electric car and arrived in 3.5 hours.
Travel tip: You can recharge on the premises with their three Tesla destination chargers.
My take on an apéritif — sipping in seclusion in this snug retreat.
4. Did you know how many U.S. presidents have visited The Omni Homestead?
The answer is 23. Those lucky elected officials were treated to southern hospitality and charm, including homemade French pastries, such as macarons, crafted by in-house chefs.
5. Much to do @omnihomestead
Even in winter. If you are looking for more activity than cocooning, there is archery, golf (the resort does sit on Sam Snead way, after all), shooting, skiing, horseback riding, fly-fishing, mountain biking zip line, water sports, falconry … Almost any activity you can imagine is available at The Homestead.
Beginner-friendly and advanced skiers can take to the intermediate trails: The Glades, Escape, and Upper Main, while the most seasoned can test their skills on the Nose Dive or The Chute.
My favorite activity was spending the day at the spa. Perhaps, I will return and explore their other fun sport options in the Spring or Fall.
A perfect spot to read the afternoon away. The alcoves (image above) kept tempting me to curl up to the book nook, but I was determined to get to the spa ASAP.
6. Skeet Shooting
The skeet shooting range was definitely a blast. It’s certainly much harder shooting a moving target than a stationary one. All the employees and instructors at the shooting range were highly skilled and very eager to teach. We had no idea it could be so much fun.
7. Dining at the Jefferson’s Restaurant & Bar
I had the best Fried Green Tomatoes ever. A must order!
8. Spa heavenly
Prior to my spa visit, I had an annoying cough. My spa treatment remedied the chronic cough. I wouldn’t recommend getting a spa treatment while you have a cold (and, BTW, I did not have one during this treatment). I do recommend, however, the calming ambience of The Homestead’s spa and the topnotch treatments. Love the outdoor pool that is perfect all year ’round. Also love that all amenities are provided, no need to worry about bringing anything.
9. Calling all history buffs
If you love American History, particularly colonial times, this is the hotel to visit. The Omni’s pedigree dates to 1766, and some traditions of the passing eras have been kept, giving the feel of a living history lesson. The property is steeped in the past with every modern convenience. A fascinating place.
10. Stay with Omni. Help end hunger in America.
Omni Hotels & Resorts launched Say Goodnight to Hunger in 2016, making donations to Feeding America® by providing one meal for every completed stay, which has added up to close to 16 million meals. The nutritious meals are for food banks to feed children, families, and seniors in communities across the United States. Omni reports that all 60 of their properties participate in Say Goodnight to Hunger on the local level.
I have shared many of my travel stays on social media. For this particular visit; this property has received the most bookmarked of hotels to visit in the future per comments left on my Instastories and Instagram.
I am hoping to head back either in the Spring or Fall to highlight this historic property. You’ll be the first to know about my return trip.