The Summer 2020 travel trend is discovering more, just beyond your backyard, which may be finding the joys in your own state or country. Driving trips are very much in vogue, as gasoline is at an all time low and clients feel more in control of their journey behind the wheel. Resort to Laura Madrid is certainly the expert on driving trips, and this journey took us from Atlanta, to fantastic resort properties in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina. I checked out Primland, the Greenbrier, The Inn at Perry Cabin and Fearrington House. I am happy to report below on what is happening out there.
Primland: Meadows-of-Dan, Virginia
Besides desperately wanting to get out of the house after being grounded for three months during the COVID19 lockdown, I was incredibly curious to see how each state and each property were handling re-opening amidst all of the new safety protocols. Overall, I was impressed.
“Porter” is our magical hound and he was a dream travel companion! He has declared road trips to be way better than flying! (wink, wink)
FAIRWAY COTTAGES – I loved the fairway cottages which are perfectly situated walking distance to the main lodge, overlooking the 18th fairway, with a convenient chipping and putting area to enjoy at the end of the day.
THE TREE-HOUSES are magical studios built above the trees. There are three of these adults-only units in the same area so perfect for three couples traveling together. There is a platform situated in the vicinity with magical views which can make for a wonderful venue for a celebratory lunch, dinner, or sundowners.
PINNACLE COTTAGES –
The Dan River Suites at the Pinnacle Cottages may be my favorite accommodations as they are very well-appointed, have huge decks and dreamy mountain views. They can connect to a second bedroom to take over an entire floor of one cottage.
MOUNTAIN HOMES –
The Mountain homes are incredibly rustic and while not for a luxury experience, they are great for a guy’s hunting trip or a large family looking for an authentic woodsy camping experience. They range from 1 to 8 bedroom homes and they are the original private dwellings of the land where Primland is located. Views are TERRIFIC!
HIKING at Primland is a must, along one of the many Blue Ridge Mountain hiking trails. The property’s vast and varied terrain is perfect for hikers of all abilities.
GOLF at The Highland Course at Primland showcases Primland’s breathtaking mountainous views at every turn. The 18-hole Audubon-certified all bentgrass greens course was carved from the natural landscape of the mountains by renowned golf course architect, Donald Steel. Ranked by GOLF Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Courses You Can Play.” Bring plenty of extra balls!!
FITNESS – The Brand New Fitness Trail is made entirely of trees! Primland was formerly a logging company but the 12,000 acres today are easily maintained and enhanced with the logging equipment and expertise.
ACTIVITIES – There is no shortage of activities at Primland from tree climbing, disc golf, Recreational Terrain Vehicles, Disc Golf on a mountain trail, stargazing, tomahawk throwing, sporting clays, tomahawk throwing, archery, mountain biking and PRO SPORT SHOOTING including deer, turkey, pheasant, quail or chukar. Primland has several events that I can tell you about!
To mask or not to mask, that is the question. All of the properties we visited throughout the trip had employees wear masks and requested guests to do the same when walking indoors. Most guests were happy to comply and thrilled to be out and about again!
In addition to the Pub and Elements restaurant, fun events like Moonshine tastings and Southern BBQs are served at the Saloon and smoked meats at the Cigar House.
The Greenbrier: Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
The Greenbrier is a National Historic Landmark that has been welcoming guests from around the world since 1778. The natural mineral springs that drew their first guests over 235 years ago continue to lure visitors to the 11,000 acre retreat today. With a guest list that includes 27 of our country’s Presidents, “America’s Resort” has long been a grand dame of resorts in the USA.
7-BEDROOM PRESIDENTIAL SUITE –
The find that I am most anxious to share with my clients is the 7-bedroom Presidential suite at the Greenbrier. For families that are wanting to get together in a convivial environment to celebrate the holidays, this might just be the answer. The Presidential suite is part of the exclusive Windsor Club area and the complimentary club lounge offerings can be set up directly in the suite for guests. Wonderful living and dining space for private family meals can be nicely arranged here. Of course, the family can then split up for a day of pursuing the personal activities that best suit them throughout the resort.
THE COTTAGES – The cottages are very quaint and many guests prefer the space of their own unit, with shared front porch space.
The Inn at Perry Cabin: St. Michaels, MD
LEISURE ACTIVITIES – abound at the Inn at Perry Cabin – bicyling, croquet and bocce, cornhole, kayaking and paddle boards, fitness classes, swimming, tennis and spa are just a few of the fun things to do on property. The Links at Perry Cabin is a gorgeous and fun golf course to walk and play, of course, this part of the world is all about boating!
St. Michaels is without a doubt the most popular destination on the middle Bay, a quaint Chesapeake town home to the world-class Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, shops, a winery, some great restaurants, and of course the Inn at Perry Cabin, a destination in itself!
The Chesapeake Bay, immortalized by so many writers, artists, sailors, and naturalists, is a truly magical destination along the coastal shores of the United States. It is by far the largest estuary with 11,600 miles of shoreline across six states. With wonderful maritime and historic towns, fantastic bars and restaurants, cafes and ice-creameries and abundant nature, a day on a yacht is simply not enough! (Hint, I have fantastic live-aboard, full crewed yacht charter to suggest as well!)
Perry Cabin has its own Marina and fleet of yachts for guests to enjoy for day sails, all of which can be catered on from the resort.
BLUE CRABS – One of my favorite reasons for traveling to the Chesapeake is enjoying a complete throw down of Chesapeake Blue Crabs and in St. Michaels the place is the Crab Claw.
The Fearrington House Inn, Chapel Hill, NC
Located on a historic farm just outside of Chapel Hill, NC, The Fearrington House Inn combines the luxury and charm you would expect from a Relais & Châteaux property in a pastoral setting.
Featuring 32 individually designed rooms and suites, paired with a destination celebratory dining experience, Fearrington is the perfect place to cap off a road trip, stay when you are visiting area universities or doing business in the Research Triangle area. Additional inclusions for hotel guests include a full, complimentary gourmet breakfast at The Fearrington House Restaurant, Taylor Fladgate Ruby Port and housemade chocolates at turndown!
The Fearrington House Inn is the perfect venue for lovers of good food, fine wine and exceptional service.
The Inn is situated in a Village Center that provides guests with access to dining options, a full service day spa, a seasonal beer garden and shopping. We suggest meandering through the paths and extensive gardens to get the full property experience.
Guided by seasonality, Executive Chef Colin Bedford’s cuisine interplays the legendary culinary traditions of the American South with his European training and a focus on local ingredients. Bedford’s menus have won critical acclaim and I could not think of a better ending to a grand road trip and to celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary than at the Fearrington House!
Our magical evening included a goat cheese tart, octopus, lamb, duck and halibut, each paired with a truly delicious wine!
If you enjoyed this road trip, watch for my July postings on social media as I head out West to explore the National Parks of Utah and the Big Skys of Montana while staying at Sorrell River Ranch, Amangiri and Triple Creek Ranch. While some international borders will be slow to open, don’t hesitate to contact me for trips within your travel bubble (this goes equally for my Australian and Canadian clients – I specialize in your backyards too!) Nothing is too small for my team to handle, remember we always have extra amenities and ensure you are VIPed all the way. If you are not staying in your own home, you ought to be Resorting to Laura Madrid. Remember you can’t VIP yourself. Travel safe and enjoy the start of summer!