Some people might be surprised to learn that Virginia is home to a number of high-end vacation resorts despite the fact that it is not a tropical destination or one known for its skiing. In fact, the resorts that populate the state feature the same luxury amenities, gourmet dining and close proximity to local attractions that affluent travelers have come to expect elsewhere. Guests at these resorts predominantly look for attentive, first-class service, and they don't mind paying for it.
Virginia Beach Resort Hotel and Conference Center
The 295-suite Virginia Beach Resort Hotel and Conference Center overlooks the placid Chesapeake Bay and is close to the Virginia Marine Science Museum and First Landing/Seashore State Park, where visitors can bike or stroll through groves of cypress trees. Amenities include a full-service health club with free weights, treadmills, a whirlpool and sauna; indoor and outdoor swimming pools; professional massage service; and complimentary bicycle rental. Guests also can lie on a private beach or play tennis on one of 36 courts at the resort's club, voted by the United States Tennis Association as a "Club of the Year." The on-site Tradewinds Restaurant specializes in fresh local seafood and regional cuisines, with al fresco dining and an extensive Sunday brunch. Guests can choose between one- and two-bedroom suites, each featuring a spacious living area, private balcony, microwave, fridge and two cable TV sets. Interested parties should also inquire about the resort's whale-watching package.
The Homestead is a National Historic Landmark nestled in the scenic Allegheny Mountains, providing easy access to miles of hiking trails throughout George Washington National Forest. The resort is perhaps best known for its rejuvenating mineral hot springs, which Thomas Jefferson once enjoyed, as well as a spa and salon offering caramel and vanilla facials, 50-minute hot stone massages and a pear blossom body exfoliation. The property also features boutique shops selling everything from clothing to furniture to gourmet foods. Additionally, a golf package is available that includes unlimited greens fees on the lushly manicured 18-hole Cascade Course, a golf cart and use of the driving range. The elegant dining room is dressed in chandeliers and white pillars, with a menu that ranges from French fare to local Virginia trout. All 483 guest rooms are adorned with rich fabrics, hand-selected artwork and plush featherbeds with down pillows. Some suites also feature sun porches and working fireplaces.
The Lansdowne Resort in the Potomac River Valley offers easy access to attractions like the Breaux Vineyards and Heritage Farm Museum of Loudoun County. Guests can enjoy a fitness facility offering Cybex equipment, Pilates and yoga classes; a vast network of bike and nature paths; and basketball, volleyball, tennis and racquetball courts. In addition, the property's stunning aquatic complex features five pools (including a heated indoor lap pool), water slide, interactive fountain and casual poolside cafe. The 12,000-square-foot Spa Minérale contains 13 treatment rooms offering an array of massages, body treatments and salon services, and kids can engage in activities as part of the Resort Rascals program. Extensive on-site dining options include a casual tavern and an upscale signature restaurant featuring views of the Sugar Loaf Mountains. Guest rooms offer choice of one king or two double beds and amenities like Nintendo games, terrycloth robes and bath products from Gilchrist & Soames.
Boardwalk Resort and Villas
The Boardwalk Resort and Villas lies close to the Battleship Wisconsin, Busch Gardens and Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Guests are just steps from a three-mile boardwalk that runs along the white sand coastline, while on-site amenities include an indoor pool, state-of-the-art exercise gym, 24-hour front desk and concierge service to assist with securing discounted tickets to area attractions. Several boutique shops and galleries are just minutes away, such as 31 Ocean and Lynnhaven Shopping Mall. Dining choices include a seafood and sushi restaurant, pizzeria with brick-stone oven, and casual grill with open-display kitchen, while Neptune's Park next door offers seasonal nighttime entertainment. Accommodations range from studios to one-, two- and three-bedroom suites, all with stylish carpet, sofas and private balcony. Studios feature kitchenettes with refrigerator and microwave, while suites boast full-sized kitchens with cookware, dishes and large appliances.
- Trees in Rosslyn, Virginia image by dwight9592 from Fotolia.com