From moment you drive up to the front door and hand your keys to the valet, you are genuinely welcomed to the historic Greenbrier Resort. After a smooth check in, bellmen escort you to your room, pointing out the restaurants, bars, shops and activity desks that will be at your disposal during your stay. Every staff member that you pass, from maintenance to administrative makes a point of offering a pleasant comment, so you instantly feel at home.
With a legacy of luxury dating back to 1778, this timeless haven is a national Historic landmark. It has hosted distinguished guests for over 200 years, including five sitting presidents before the Civil War and many more since. Located in the Allegheny Mountains in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, it originally was a resort that provided relief from summer heat but over the centuries it has also been used as a hospital (Civil War and WWI) and military administrative post. Today, it continues to be a fashionable social resort and a favorite of the prominent and influential as well as anybody who appreciates luxurious pampering.
There is something to do year round at the 6,500 acre playground of a resort! Just a few of the many activities include: sleigh rides, ice skating, falconry, culinary demonstrations, hiking, mountain trail horseback rides, tennis, croquet, fishing, kayaking, paintball, laser tag and movie screenings. Afternoon tea has been a Greenbrier tradition since the 1930’s. Complimentary tea and cookies are served daily at 4:15 pm each day. Another fun ritual is the performance of the “Greenbrier Waltz” at 10:00 pm by dancers in vintage gowns and tuxedos.
There is a rich heritage of golf at the resort where some of golf’s most prominent players have played on the four 18-hole championship courses. The Old White course is currently the host of the PGA TOUR FedExCup event, but the courses are not exclusively for the professionals. The Golf Academy is available for anyone who wants instruction to improve their game and Junior Tees (1,000 yards shorter than normal tees) for beginners of any age.
The award-winning spa at the Greenbrier has been soothing senses for centuries. “Taking the waters” of the therapeutic white sulphur springs has been a favorite activity throughout the resort’s rich history. The restorative natural spring waters are said to cure everything from an upset stomach to rheumatism. Additionally, a wide range of spa treatments are offered to revitalize body and soul.
Another fascinating experience that is unique to the Greenbrier is a tour of the declassified Bunker. It is a cold war fallout shelter that is carved deep into the mountain that was once a top secret US government relocation facility for Congress in the event of a nuclear emergency. It is now open to the public for intriguing historical tours and is a must-see when visiting.
The recent addition of a 103,000 square foot casino had many wondering if it would change the elegant atmosphere of the esteemed resort, but it has the style, warmth and southern charm that only serve to enhance the overall character of the acclaimed property. Described as Monte Carlo meets Gone with the Wind, the Casino Club offers a complete array of gaming options, live entertainment, international cuisine and boutique shopping. It is only open to overnight guests of the resort and members of the Greenbrier Sport Clubs and a dress code is enforced after 7:00 pm.
Dining at the Greenbrier is truly a culinary experience. Ranging from formal to casually elegant, there are thirteen restaurants, cafes and lounges scattered throughout the property and each one meets superlative standards. The cuisine includes classic American, Asian Fusion, French bistro and Italian and every single bite is delectable.
From the colorful Dorothy Draper inspired interior design and the unfailingly exceptional service to the myriad of activities for every interest, it’s very easy to fall in love with the Greenbrier. After all, who doesn’t like beautiful surroundings where everyone pampers you and the most difficult task is to decide how you want to have fun each day. If you would like to join the ranks of the Greenbrier’s distinguished guests, contact Covington advisor Lydia Moneymaker who recently returned from a visit and would love to tell you more about this legendary resort.
Photo credit: the Greenbrier Resort.