Founded in 1766, the Omni Homestead rivals the Greenbriar. Remember these were both in Viriginia when founded as West Virginia didn’t become a state until 1861. A little less pretentious and right in the middle of town, we drove through a residential area (reminiscient of the Grove Park Inn) onto the grounds into a parking lot. the massive red-brick, Federal style hotel looked very Thomas Jefferson. The sun glistened on visitors sitting in rocking chairs on the front porch.
Come sit for a spell on the broad veranda
Inside, a large 2-story, classical lobby, also with palladium windows but not a zillion varieties of chintz, greeted us. At the far end, a more casual restaurant bar with more updated furnishings awaited.
Main Lobby at the Omni Homestead
We veered towards the right past Martha’s (like a Starbuck’s with coffee and pasty counter service) to the George Washington Library. Two women played a game of checkers. Pictures of famous dignitaries who visited the resort flanked the book-lined cases. On the other side, visitors sat on floral lounge chairs in a light-filled sunroom. This is the front of the Tower, which was built in 1929 as an addition to the property.
The George Washington Library
Photos of celebrity guests
Continuing along, we walked through rooms used for private events. Turning back around, we headed the other direction and walked past the arcade. Outside we saw the golf clubhouse and pool with water slide. A baby in a stroller cried. Kids ran by. The atmosphere seemed less pretenscious.
One of the Homestead dining rooms
The town reminded me almost of a ski town. We wanted to eat at Sam Sneads Tavern but it was closed for Sunday lunch. We settled on ___ and had hamburgers before departing.
Hot Springs, VA
We had another hour in Virginia and the towns just seemed to be a little bit better maintained. The scenery was beautiful as we were in the George Washington National Forest. For more information, click here.