Primland Resort- A Luxury Retreat in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia
When it comes to travel I’m a woman of varied tastes. Sometimes I’m looking for a romantic getaway with Steve, complete with a beautiful room and spectacular views. Sometimes it’s all about outdoors adventure, whether it’s days spent hiking with stunning vistas as my reward or a leisurely morning exploring the woods on horseback. Sometimes I’m looking for a bit of pampering with an afternoon at the spa followed by a five star meal. Once in a great while I’m lucky to find all of this in one destination, with a stunning location deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwestern Virginia. This is Primland Resort.
Located a few miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway my first glimpse of Primland was the 20 minute drive winding through the crooked mountain roads of the resort’s 12,000 acres and then, rounding the corner, it came into view. A grand cedar and stone farmhouse-style lodge, with spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains in every direction. The lodge’s interior was equally as stunning, with soaring ceilings and modern meets rustic decor. I immediately had the feeling that the next few days were going to be special.
A quick introduction and overview of the property by our concierge revealed a number of different accommodations perfect for couples, families or large groups of friends. The lodge itself has 26 luxurious rooms featuring mountain and golf course views. For more adventurous souls a short drive away led to Primland’s most unique accommodation, their signature Tree Houses. Built in and around the trees perched high over the Kibler Valley, the Tree Houses offer a up a luxurious sky high retreat.
We were delighted to find out we had been upgraded to one of the Pinnacle Cottages located a short walk away from the main lodge (though the staff will happily transport you via the fleet of Suburbans that are used to deliver guests throughout the property). Walking into our suite I’m not sure what took my breath away first, the room or the view; Steve immediately asked if we could move in permanently. Our suite featured a living room with a large gas-burning stone fireplace and an expansive balcony while the bedroom had one of the most comfortable beds I’ve ever slept in. The bathroom was tastefully decorated with accents of wood and slate featuring a huge shower, soaking tub and Bulgari products. The interior alone made this one of the nicest rooms I’ve had the pleasure of staying in, but the real show stopper here was the view which was on display no matter where we were in the cottage. Stepping out onto the balcony I took in the sweeping vistas of the Pinnacles of Dan and the Dan River Gorge 2800 feet below. I could spend the next two days doing nothing but sitting on my balcony with a glass of wine in hand and have the best trip ever, but with 12,000 acres to explore I had to get out for some mountain adventures.
Primland started out as an outdoor adventure and hunting retreat and it surely hasn’t forgotten its roots, offering a wide variety of ways to experience this beautiful corner of southwestern Virginia. From its award winning mountaintop golf course to tree climbing and clay shooting there really is something for everyone at Primland. If water adventure is more your style you can spend a day fly fishing on the peaceful Dan River or try your balance on a stand up paddleboard on Primland’s beautiful reservoir. Steve and I opted to explore the resort’s wooded trails two ways- by ATV and by horseback. The ATV experience is one of the most popular at Primland and for good reason. We had a blast gunning up rocky trails and splashing through mountain creeks on the insanely fun Polaris ATVs. By contrast our horses Buddy and Daisy offered up a more leisurely way to explore Primland’s Blue Ridge woods.
The outdoor explorations don’t stop once the sun goes down, but they do take a decidedly heavenly turn.When is the last time your hotel had it’s own observatory? Housed in the dome of the lodge’s farmhouse silo, the astronomer led nighttime presentation allowed me close up view of far away galaxies like I had never experienced before. Later that evening on the terrace, with a small yet powerful telescope, I saw the rings of Saturn and learned a few new constellations as well.
Looking to relax and unwind after a day full of adventure? The Spa at Primland has got you covered. As one of the East Coast’s premier destination spas, Primland artfully combines Native American healing elements and European technique for a completely rejuvenating experience. I opted for the Native American Blue Corn and Honey Scrub, a signature treatment at the Spa at Primland. From the moment I entered the spa I immediately felt more relaxed; throughout my treatment and afterward in the relaxation room (with mint tea in hand and mountain views) I felt completely pampered and renewed.
Whether you’ve spent your days adventuring in the mountains or relaxing in the spa you’re going to be hungry, and that’s a good thing. With ingredients grown onsite or sourced as locally as possible the food at Primland is reason enough to book a trip. Mornings can start off healthfully, with organic yogurt and homemade granola; or a bit more heartily with pancakes, omelets or a breakfast buffet ( I highly recommend getting a biscuit with scratch-made apple butter, because this is the mountain south after all). The 19th Hole Pub serves up casual fare for lunch and dinner, the pimento cheeseburger will make you forget any other cheeseburger you’ve had before and the talented bartenders mix up a bevy of moonshine inspired cocktails. Also, I have two words for you guys. BACON CANDY. Just order some and thank me later.
Dinner at Elements, Primland’s fine dining restaurant, can go head to head with any Michelin starred restaurant I’ve dined at. Executive Chef Ryan DeRieux creates Appalachian classics re-imagined for the modern palate. The menu changes daily based on what’s fresh and in season, but highlights from my dinner included a softly poached egg with red grits, chanterelles and perfectly salty Virginia country ham; delicate heirloom tomato salad with an addictive pimento foam; and delectable Border Springs lamb served with heady summer truffles. You should definitely make sure you save room for dessert-the chocolate bombe, with layers of chocolate mousse covered in a rich dark chocolate ganache and topped with a benne seed brittle is one of the best desserts I’ve had in recent memory.
Where Primland really shines is its people. Whether exploring the wood with Carlton on the ATVs, saddling up with Morgan for a morning horseback ride or being pampered by Charlotte in the spa I was well taken care of. I also can’t forget to mention Seth at Elements, who is hands down one of the best servers I have come across in my travels. No matter where I went the staff was genuinely interested in how I was enjoying my stay and it was the people who truly made Primland a five star experience.
I was graciously hosted by Primland Resort but as always all opinions remain my own.