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“The Effects of Architecture” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Omni Homestead Resort

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The Omni Homestead Resort
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   7696 Sam Snead Highway, Hot Springs, VA 24445   |  
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Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Hot Springs
Certificate of Excellence 2014
GreenLeadersBronze level
Durham, North Carolina
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“The Effects of Architecture”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014

The grand spa/sanatorium/resort emerged in the nineteenth century and early twentieth centuries. Accounts of hygienic retreats from Mary J. Windle’s 1857 description of Life at the White Sulphur Springs in West Virginia to Thomas Mann’s powerful evocation of a Swiss sanatorium in Magic Mountain indicate something of the social force of these formidable retreats. They were large, luxurious, distant and elevated. The height and remoteness of the site facilitated a sense of being removed from the routines of daily life and lifted above them. Time, affected by distance, also shifted its rhythms and responsibilities. Guests and patients settled in for weeks or even months. Routines were transformed. Rather than being determined by obligations to the outside, to the home or the business, habits were generated by the self. The body and its rhythms—what it took in, what it discharged, how it was rested and how it was exercised—were the subject of regulation and source of conversation.
Many of the great spas of the pre-World War I epoch survive. Their originating function has not. Wellness depends now on pharmaceuticals, not cleansing. Built for purposes of health and hygiene, these spas now are refurbished as entertainment. The Omni Homestead in Hot Springs Virginia offers an example of such repurposing. Since the mid 18th c., accommodation was available at Hot Springs for those wishing to drink and to bath in the mineral waters there. The present impressive Neo-Georgian main building with its grand Ionic porch was built by Elzner and Anderson of Cincinnati in 1901. Diagonal extensions to the East and West wings of the core were introduced in 1914. An impressive tower, added by Warren and Wetmore of New York in 1929, contributes to the engaging asymmetry of the façade. Embraced by the mighty East and West wings of the hotel is a generous lawn bordered two late 19th c. buildings: the Casino golf club and restaurant and the indoor pool and spa. The lawn is quaintly adorned with white gazebos, marking the locations of the mineral springs where earlier guests would gather to drink their doses of sulphur water. Happily well-hidden is the Brutalist addition of guest rooms and conference spaces added to the south of the hotel in 1973.
The magnificent building complex, perfectly landscaped and framed by mountains, appears unchanged in its sprawling gentility. The interiors of the principal interior spaces equally suggest another epoch: the entrance hall with its Corinthian colonnades, the main dining room in its Ionic elegance, the apse-ended indoor pool lighted by arched windows and covered with open coffers. The secondary spaces and guest accommodations of the older parts of the hotel as well as their furnishings and lighting, unfortunately, also seem to come from an earlier era. The rooms of our “Luxury Landmark Suite” were generous in their height and floor space, but comfortably shabby in their accouterments. The mattresses were, nevertheless, excellent.
The architecture of the Omni Homestead retains its originating promise of relaxed opulence. But society and the corporation conspire to frustrate that promise. Highways get us to the site in hours rather than days—there is no time to slough off one world in preparation for another. No guest, apparently, comes for the season; vacations are parceled out in weekends. The pressure is on even before you arrive, via email, recommending that you engage the hotel’s vacation planner to make the most of your visit. And despite the $160-a-day resort fee added to the room bill, it seemed as though everything except the afternoon tea served in the main hall, the swimming pool, weight room, internet and view involved a substantial increment in the reckoning. The resort fee made the place feel a little bit like Las Vegas as did the children’s electronically cacophonous game room. But take the six-mile trip to the Jefferson Pools in Warm Springs, now owned by the Omni Homestead. The octagonal Men’s Pool, built in 1761, is the oldest surviving bathing structure in the country. The Women’s Pool was added early in the nineteenth century. The unadulterated affect of history bubbles up around you in the crystal clear hot waters of the primitive bath house. Momentarily at least your attention is diverted from the daily scramble of obligations and focuses on the effects of nature on your body. The new General Manager of the Omni Homestead, David Jurcak, is apparently now working with the Friends of the Pools to save them from further decay. Hopefully the site’s unpretentious, un-Disney-like character, as well as its architecture, will be preserved.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (455)
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English first
Raleigh, North Carolina
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

We stayed at the Homestead for our anniversary. A nice get away without the kids. So glad I got surprised by my husband with this quintessentially southern treasure! The property is gorgeous. It is steeped in charm. We got to stay in the older section of the hotel and ate the Saturday buffet breakfast. It was overpriced but would do it again. I have never seen a breakfast buffet so encompassing. My husband loved the smoked salmon. I loved all the homemade jams and jellies that I found out are made on the property. (Even the pickles are canned fresh there. The fish are caught not far from the property. That is part of their tradition.). The pools at the water park look great for younger kids. We went to the original Hot springs which were really an experience. The buildings were historical but in very bad shape. As a southern girl, I think all who love tradition should check it out!!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida, United States
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

Went to this grand resort this past week with my family, and it was a special place. On checking in we were upgraded to an amazing suite and the room was beautiful. The drive up to the hotel is something out of a movie, and you can just imagine how amazing it was when guests arrived on horseback when the hotel opened in 1766. The lobby is so classically southern and is like something out of a movie as is the entire resort. The inside though is a great balance of classic elegance and modern amenities such a great big arcade for the kids and mini bowling alley. The kids had a great time in the kids club one day and loved the mini golf, water slides, lazy river, and hiking. Mom and I enjoyed the world class restaurants, spa, golf, and hiking trails as well. We even did a Falconry class with our eight year old and having a hawk land on your arm from a hundred yards away is definitely something we will never forget. Each night we spent sitting on the rocking chairs on the porch watching the sun set on the day. Overall it is an experience I would highly recommend the homestead to any family or couple looking for a romantic and special travel experience.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Triangle
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

I originally purchased our tickets on Travelocity for $460. a night but my husband found a Groupon special at $135. a night. I ended up canceling the Travelocity reservation and confirmed the purchase on Groupon. Every year we go somewhere different for our anniversary so this year, we wanted to go somewhere historic and in the mountains. The Omni Homestead did not disappoint. Upon reading the reviews from guests who stayed there previously, I called in advance to request the East wing and a higher level to celebrate our 13 year anniversary. The East wing was closer to the amenities and the upper level gave us a nice view of the mountains. When we checked in, we were greeted with a complimentary upgrade which was not expected! We were pleasantly surprised and
grateful. Upon arriving to our room, we were greeted with a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries to celebrate our anniversary! Our room had a patio which was part of the upgrade. The hotel staff were professional and helpful. We truly enjoyed our stay at the Omni Homestead.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roanoke, United States
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

Beautiful Hotel. Rooms were nice. Lighting in the hotel and rooms was not very good. The grounds were beautiful and very well maintained. Spa was very clean and accomodating. Staff in some areas seemed very unorganized. Over all very nice. The food was very good.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with Omni Hotels & Resorts

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

We love this place: the old Southern charm and hospitality in a perfect marriage with modern amenities. The purchase of The Homestead by Omni has been an asset. The new water park, updated restaurants and other activities are welcome additions. And Omni Corp. was smart: rather than installing its own staff, it retained many of the loyal staff who have been part of the Homestead family for generations. This place is so special, and it looks like it will remain that way.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with Omni Hotels & Resorts

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

The spa was awful we book three appointments far in advance which were canceled. We were not told until we went to receive our spa services. There is nothing to do in the area other than at the hotel. The spa staff was unwilling to correct the situation or provide another service. We specifically picked this location due to the spa to spend time together as a family relaxing.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with Omni Hotels & Resorts

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Omni Homestead Resort

Address: 7696 Sam Snead Highway, Hot Springs, VA 24445
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Virginia > Hot Springs
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Hot Springs
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Omni Homestead Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 483
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Open since 1766, The Omni Homestead is one of America's most storied resorts, offering unparalleled hospitality and southern charm in a 2,000-acre setting within the Allegheny Mountains of southwestern Virginia. Renowned for its natural hot springs, The Homestead is distinguished by 483 luxurious guest rooms and suites, 72,000 square feet of meeting space, a wide array of fine and casual dining choices, an expansive spa, championship golf courses that include one of the nation's finest mountain courses (The Cascades), Allegheny Springs, a two-acre family-friendly water attraction complete with lazy river, water slides and water play zone. The resort also offers the South's first downhill ski area, an Equestrian Center, top-rated Shooting Club, archery, canoeing, falconry, Segway tours and a wealth of other recreational attractions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Homestead Hotel Hot Springs
Homestead Hotel Hot Springs
Homestead Va
Homestead Hot Springs Virginia
Homestead Hot Springs Va
Homestead Resort Hot Springs

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