The Homestead in Warm Springs, Virginia, is one of my favorite hotels. This striking resort is nestled among Virginia’s mountainous landscape and is engulfed by the lush green foliage. It's also the only place that I’ve broken my "stay at a new place every vacation" rule (we’re even planning another getaway there as we speak.)
The first time we visited was when my daughters were young, right after my son was born. We wanted a place to unwind and relax, a place to embrace nature and a place where my kids can run free. Essentially we wanted to escape and enjoy each other's company. What made the Homestead special for us (and why we like going back), are the people. One of the joys we really embraced during our first trip, was visiting Martha’s Market (which is located right off the front porch area) for an after dinner ice cream (the girls fell in love with raspberry sorbet that trip.) We had done it for a couple nights in a row, so we were forming a routine, and others noticed. I remember sitting with my family on the porch one evening, relaxing after dinner. That’s when one of the employees walked up and asked if she could buy the girls some ice cream. She mentioned that she had noticed the girls rocking with their ice cream, and thought this new routine was so sweet. This simple gesture, and the conversation that followed, was so special to me, that it will never be forgotten. I love going to the Homestead, and I hope this will inspire you to make your own memories there.
There are several different options for accommodations at the Homestead. The traditional rooms include either a king or 2 doubles and you can pick your view, whether it be mountain views or interior building views. You can then increase the room size moving up to a deluxe or premier room. These are larger options that vary in price based on view.
The next option would be to reserve a suite. The studio suite offers a little more room with a sitting area, while the executive suite provides a separate living space. In additional to these suite options, you can also chose from 3 large suite options: the Governor’s Suite, The Luxury Landmark Suites and the President’s suites. These options provide for the most space when traveling to the Homestead, some reaching 1,500 square feet (as large as my first house.)
We stayed in an executive suite during our first visit, which had a sitting area off the main room. This room had a couch and tv, so it was perfect for us. Since my wife and two girls all woke up at different times, it was nice to have everyone trickle into this space in the morning to watch tv and wake up. It was spectacular. It even had a porch with some comfy furniture to lounge. The forest views were so peaceful.
The second trip we stayed at an interior room. We overlooked a rooftop with a slight obstructed view. It was fine because we were less concerned about the view and looking forward to getting out and enjoying the property.
What I absolutely love about the accommodations is that they accept my family, and doesn’t try to gouge us because we are a group of five. Actually one of the huge pluses for Omni as a brand is accepting larger parties. Traveling around the country can be hard with five even worse in Europe, it’s beyond frustrating), so when I can make things easy on myself and stay at an Omni, I do.
I love the food here. They have several restaurants to visit during your stay:
Main Dining Room
The Dining room is a large formal space that serves breakfast (casual attire) and dinner (business casual.) The breakfast buffet is something that we absolutely loved. My kids have several food allergies which keeps them from really enjoying most buffets. There's a section devoted to food allergies (dairy-free and gluten free). When my daughter took a sip of the soy milk she lit up and said, “this tastes like home daddy.” As a parent, little winds like that can really make a trip. For me, I had more than enough options, and overate everyday.
Dinner here is a wonderful experience. I like the business casual dress, so it feels a little more formal. The food is amazing.
Jefferson is another restaurant that I absolutely love. Whenever we go, we always love eating outside on the balcony area. Since this space is elevated, you get a really good view of the grounds below. The inside of the Jefferson is modern and elegant, just like the food.
Woody’s a place to grab a burger or other pub-style food. It’s located in the casino building next to the main lawn.
Kober’s at the Mountain House
Kober’s serves outstanding BBQ in this family friendly location.
The Homestead offers a wide range of activities for all walks of life. Whether you’re a young kid or visiting with young kids, you’ll have options. You can spend your time at the pool, head to the stables, go for a hike, canoe, archery, golf, spa and more!
The Pool Area
The main pool area is awesome! There are three separate sections to the pool area. The main pool is a large rectangle which is 5 feet deep in the center and 3 feet deep on the sides. There’s a hot tub attached, which resembles a cave.
To one side of the main pool is a splash area for young ones. It has a few spray toys and an umbrella waterfall feature that my kids loved.
The last area is a lazy river where you can float on a raft and enjoy the warm sun. It’s a really cool experience for the kids. Right next to the lazy river are 2 large slides for someone looking for a little excitement. This is the area where you can rent a cabana for the day.
I love all the little touches around the pool. The abundance of towels so you never have to worry about drying off, as well as the ice water containers to keep you refresh.
There’s also an indoor pool for when the weather doesn’t cooperate. It’s huge, and I thought the water was the perfect temperature.
For golfers, the Homestead has a couple courses that you can play, enjoying the elevation changes of the surrounding landscape.
For those looking to explore nature, try the gorge hike. This 2.5 hour tour teaches you about the vegetation of the surrounding area, while leading you along a gorge trail. Embrace the beauty of the waterfalls along the way as you learn and exercise at the same time.
For the adventurous, you can try the zip line tour. This 2.5 hour adventure leads you through the forest.
The hotel has so many cool features that it's really overwhelming. Some of my favorites include: Archery, falconry, putt putt, tennis, mountain biking, kayak, canoe, play paintball, and fly fish.
The large playground area can entertain kids of all ages. It’s located right next to the kids club area. It has monkey bars, different levels and a couple slides. Speaking of the kids club, here the kids can go and do crafts and play games with counselor supervision.
At the stables, you can ride horses or go on a carriage ride.
During the winter months you can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, tubing, ice skating and mini snowmobiles for the kids.
The Spa at the Omni Homestead is a state-of-the-art facility that provides all a wide array of services. The spa offers facial treatments, body treatments, teen/youth services and a tranquil (adult only) garden area with a small hot spring-fed pool. Also at the spa are aqua thermal suites, which are European-style thermal cabins and aqua therapy environments. They also offer salon services.
Are you in the mood for a movie? Well, there's a theater which shows 2 movies each night. Additionally, the resort inflates a movie screen next to the pool so you can enjoy a movie under the stars. For my family, this was a big hit on our most recent trip. Our family got to swim and play with the other guests while enjoying the movie. I got to enjoy what the kids, the movie, and the stars with my wife. It was a moment I’ll hold onto forever.
There's an arcade area with several games, and even a small bowling alley. The games are a little pricey (and it can be a little loud), but it does provide a nice place to entertain the kids.
Right off the lobby, there's a long corridor of shops for the whole family to explore.
If you’re looking for an outdoor activity, you can head to the main lawn area. Here you can play corn hole, croquet or just run around. Also in the main lawn area, the resort lights a bonfire every night. You can simply sit by the fire, or you can buy a small s’mores kit from the front desk.
To sum up, I would say that the Omni Homestead is a perfect year round destination for all walks of life. Honestly, it would be an outstanding place for couples to begin their lives together as they have spectacular wedding options. I will be going back, breaking my own rule, because it’s that good. I hope you give it a try, and if you do, let them know I sent you!
(I’m not paid or compensated by Omni or the Homestead. Happy traveling!)