Having an 10 month old and a startup is intense. I freaking love both (human baby > startup baby). My wife and I hadn’t been away together (just us) since our son was born and we were looking to stare into each other’s eyes (longingly), eat, drink and relax.
Enter, The Omni Homestead Resort in Warm Springs, Va.
4 hours and 22 minutes. I hate I-81, but I love the windy hills of Virginia. During the trip, I crushed some outstanding podcasts: Tim Ferris with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Freakonomics on sleep, news and matching.
Our room was $220 per night on both Friday and Saturday night. Honestly, I thought this was cheap for The Homestead. I’m guessing that since Omni purchased the resort in 2013, they have more of a factory/scale mentality than a boutique mentality.
Additionally, I was worried that (a) they would nickel and dime us to death and (b) the food would be overpriced since there aren’t many options outside of the resort. The food was roughly 10 percent overpriced in my opinion, but I was expecting 30 percent, so it mentally felt like a good value.
Meh. Nothing good and nothing bad. Felt slightly old, but it was clean and I liked the separate double sink area outside of the toilet/shower area. The TV also had HD channels which made me happy when I need to watch College Gameday Saturday morning as my wife was getting ready. Other than the blow dryer not working right, the room was solid.
We didn’t do any of the fancy stuff like play with falcons, ride horses, shoot skeet, fish, golf, blah, blah. Just wasn’t the trip we were looking for.
My wife did a spa treatment (facial) and I met her at the spa pool afterwards. She liked the treatment and I liked the spa hot tub area.
As a golfer, I did salivate over the golf courses. I’ve actually played all three courses. If you like golf, you need to spend the extra money and play the Cascades Course.
We did find a random hiking trail just outside of the resort. We hiked to the sign that said “4 mile loop” then we decided to turn around and eat by the pool :).
Hotel Lobby Restroom: A+
Urinals that extend down to the floor are important to me. They speak to the old-schoolness of the establishment. Also, closed door stalls and cloth hand towels are just straight up classy.
We avoided the main dining room because it looked like the main dining room on a cruise ship. Awkward. Here is our meal line up. All were solid, but none blew me away.
Friday night dinner at Jefferson’s.
Saturday morning breakfast sandwich at Martha’s Market.
Saturday lunch at the Pool Bar.
Saturday dinner at Casino Restaurant (no, it’s not a casino, ugh).
Saturday dessert and drink back at Jefferson’s.
The Homestead seemed to have one foot in the door of exclusivity/fanciness and the other foot in the door of accessibility/value. I assume Omni knows what they’re doing from a financial model, but it does leave guests a little confused.
Agenda Travel Pro Tips
- Jefferson’s is the best restaurant. Eat there. Order the wedge salad. Also, the bar is outstanding for everything from high quality conversation to watching sports (massive TVs).
- Buy the $6 bacon, egg and cheese biscuits from Martha’s Market. Don’t buy the breakfast meal package.
- Don’t miss the free afternoon tea (it’s a big deal).
- Don’t order the Bloody Mary at the spa pool, it tasted like tomato juice and I threw it out.
- Order a cocktail from the lobby bar, sign your check, and take it out to the rocking chairs on the front porch. Peaceful and outstanding people-watching.
- Don’t be the person that buys things from the overpriced gift shop area (unless you are very wealthy, then buy stuff from the Orvis store and an overpriced Homestead coffee mug).
- Do the spa. It’s legit. If your spouse does the spa, don’t buy the $55 pass to the pools. I just asked somebody nicely and they let me into the spa pool area (not sure if they were supposed to or not).
- More kid-friendly that I thought it would be.
- Great place for a group of young couples to get away. Expensive, but not too expensive. Stuffy, but not too stuffy.
- The grounds are beautiful (coming from a guy that never notices this stuff), so make sure to walk around the entire resort.
- The pool is new and it’s nice. Go.