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“Though young, an excellent stay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Salamander Resort & Spa

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Salamander Resort & Spa
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   500 North Pendleton Street, Middleburg, VA 20117   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Middleburg
Arlington, VA
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Though young, an excellent stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013

I am in the luxury hotel business and have opened a new property before. Because of this, I very rarely will try a place in the first few months of opening. I made an exception with Salamander because I had an occasion that warranted such a property. To be honest, there were some rough edges on the service in several areas, but frankly, the overall service was better than I expected for only being open a week. Those individuals that had a little trouble still had a great attitude - friendly, warm, and most importantly, you could tell they cared and were trying. I'll give someone a pass any day in this situation. Now that I have that out of the way - the grounds and facility are beautiful. Well manicured, clean and comfortable. Our room was a suite on the Autumn (4th) floor and was beautifully decorated and spotless. The bed was comfortable, the shower good, the bath products very nice. The food in Harriman's was excellent - we had the onion soup and gnocchi to start, and both were very good. Strip steak and lentil stew for the mains were also excellent. Last but not least - the spa is amazing. Incredible, extensive facility - had a couples treatment - Kerry delivered a great massage, and my wife loved her facial. We will definitely return!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salamander H, Manager at Salamander Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 16, 2013
From one Hotelier to another, thank you for that warm review. We appreciate the support and acknowledgement of our staffs genuine care for the guest experience. We hope to welcome you and your wife back very soon.
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300 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (67)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Leesburg, Virginia
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

Let's stop piling on the Salamander Resort for service problems during its opening Labor Day weekend. As many reviewers have mentioned, we've also stayed in many fine resorts around the world, and we are certain that the Salamander Resort will be one of them. We spent two nights there over the Labor Day holiday. We witnessed the problems with the kitchen and the inexperienced staff that others have noted, but all these problems can and certainly will be fixed. With respect to the staff, all those we met were very proud and happy to be working there and said wonderful things about Ms. Johnson. The experience will come and the problems will disappear. The staff energy and enthusiasm is more valuable than perfection at this point.

Ms. Johnson has spent a reported $130 million to build what all agree is a stunning, tasteful resort. It's 20 minutes from our home, and we plan to be there many times over the next decade. When everything is functioning perfectly, I hope we run into Ms. Johnson and Mr. Perm Devadas (President of Salamander Hotels and Resorts). After complimenting them we'll mention that we were there for the opening over Labor Day weekend in 2013. I expect that we will share a good laugh.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salamander H, Manager at Salamander Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 16, 2013
Thank you for sharing your review with us. We are so happy that you joined us for our big opening!
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Conestoga, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

They only opened a couple of days before we began our stay so we expected some bumps. The pet policy needs to be reviewed. Some people are stuck with hiring "pet sitters at the rate of $40-$50 an hour to have someone sit with your pet while you go to eat dinner. Not a great thing if you are used to traveling with your pet and know that they will be fine in their crates while you are away. Maybe this should be an option instead of a have to .
The place is outstanding and everyone was very helpful. I would give them a couple of months to work out the bumps of a new hotel then try them again.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Salamander H, Manager at Salamander Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 16, 2013
Thank you for sharing your feedback with us. I have mentioned your suggestions about our Pet Program (PAWS) to our staff. We hope to welcome you (and your pets) back to the resort soon.
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2013

First, the resort is beautiful. The landscaping immaculate. I also found out that they are very dog friendly so next time we'll bring the dogs. We went for dinner approximately two weeks after the resort opened. All the staff members we encountered were extremely friendly, helpful and professional. The food was great, service superb, couldn't have asked for a better evening. Will definitely return. There is a large patio area outside that overlooks the grounds. So even if you don't stay at the hotel, it's a great place to just get away from the city and relax. Highly recommend.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Salamander H, Manager at Salamander Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 16, 2013
Thank you for your review!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montclair, New Jersey
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

My husband has been watching and waiting for the opening and we were delighted when we realized that the opening coincided with our back to school trip dates. What a beautiful place! The service was also fantastic with pleasant staff like, Theresa at concierge, who was super helpful and always wearing a smile, thanks for everything Theresa :). Also, Kari who helped us with our bike rental and Elena at the front desk. In addition to bonding by the fire pit, we rode through nature paths with our bikes, my thrill seeking 8 year old son thoroughly enjoyed this part of the vacation. This beautiful resort happens to be nestled in a quaint town of Middleburg featuring adorable shops and good restaurants. We found the Red Fox Inn to be especially delicious (we visited them on 3 occasions). We were sad to leave after spending 5 days of relaxation there. We have dubbed the Salamander our Annual Back to School trip destination and we even booked to return for the Christmas holiday.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salamander H, Manager at Salamander Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 16, 2013
We are delighted to hear how much you enjoyed your stay, and to hear we will be welcoming you back for Christmas!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern Virginia
Top Contributor
297 reviews 297 reviews
85 hotel reviews
Reviews in 94 cities Reviews in 94 cities
201 helpful votes 201 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

My wife and I spent a two-day stay just after opening. We anticipated some things would be a bit spotty, and we weren't disappointed in that regard.

First off, the property. It's a stunning place, in a lovely setting just on the edge of town. Easy to walk into Middleburg, though the walking path doesn't extend all the way to the hotel, so you have to either walk off-road or in-the-road for part of the trek. The common areas are quite attractive, but the traffic pattern is a bit odd. To get to the restaurant, you have to walk through the bar, then down a corridor that runs behind the bar to the restaurant. When the bar and corridor are occupied by people, that traffic pattern just doesn't work. In addition, it was the same hallway the staff used to schlep trash bags and such.

The staff were pretty uniformly friendly and helpful, even though they couldn't answer many pretty basic questions, such as ones about restaurants in town (i.e., a few blocks away). Those who normally interact with guests were better than the others. Some of the back-of-house staff didn't particularly want to acknowledge guests, let alone act friendly toward them.

The room was nicely furnished, bed comfy, A/C not bad (and quiet), drapes capable of blocking out nighttime light from the lawn in the rear, which has lights on the walking paths. So far, so good. Why, then, did I only give it three stars out of five?

Let's start with housekeeping. We checked into a room that had not been properly serviced, with some of the prior guests' trash still in the room. We vacated the room for most of the day the following morning, returning mid afternoon to find the room still had not been serviced. When it finally was, it was a 10-minute quick touch-up, with no vacuum, no restocking of the coffee service, and a few other things missing, such as clean glassware. And for a "resort" in a wine area, why is there neither a corkscrew nor wine glasses in the room? Do they expect you to order everything from them at hefty markups?

Food & beverage were a bit disappointing, too, particularly with a well-known DC chef involved. I think this was more a question of the service side than the kitchen side, but since I wasn't in the kitchen, that's just a guess. Certainly the traffic pattern mentioned above didn't help, since we were eating in the hallway off the bar, and the servers were completely overwhelmed and frequently invisible. Food quality was OK, but would probably have been better if the food hadn't taken so long. We're guessing it sat too long in the kitchen. Wine prices were high, so we brought our own in from town and saved 70-80%.

The spa was pretty disorganized, too. They forgot about appointments, mixed up therapist assignments, etc. All of this, of course, at premium spa prices.

Bottom line is a "wait and see" on the property. If they can fix their training issues and get things rolling smoothly, it could be a fun place to spend time in the horse country. If not, plan to spend your stay looking at the backside of the horse.

Room Tip: Rooms on the front face onto the drive and parking area. Rooms in the rear face a large lawn area w...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salamander H, Manager at Salamander Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 16, 2013
Thank you for taking time to share about your recent visit. While we are in our infancy, there is no excuse for the shortcomings you faced with housekeeping and dinning. We apologize for that part of your experience. We have shared your comments with our staff and department heads to learn from and improve upon. We truly value your feedback and we hope you will return again to see that we have made improvements in the areas you mention and across the board. Thank you again for visiting and sharing!
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

My husband and I spent the Labor Day (opening) weekend at Salamander Resort and are so grateful for the lovely experience and memories. It is an incredibly scenic, relaxing resort and the staff went above & beyond to make sure we were enjoying our stay!
Our room service was impeccable: delicious breakfast in bed delivered promptly at our requested time “on the dot” by a welcoming Hugo! Melody made our Anniversary Dinner at Harriman’s quite special, despite the lacking decanter. We even had a very special Anniversary Dessert (photo) given compliments of the chef! Being from DC, we weren’t expecting the food to match our options in the city, but it was outstanding!

The Spa was incredible! Every detail – sight, smell, sound, touch, taste – ALL done up in this lovely little slice of heaven. We did a fun “Couples Rasul” treatment, which was a very unique experience, and also a Couple’s Massage in the massive couples suite. We took full advantage of the Spa amenities and pampered ourselves in the Sauna, Whirlpool and Rain Shower. What a treat! We spent 90 minutes just indulging and before/after our treatments and relaxed by the beautiful Spa Pool as well.

The food and service was excellent overall, but as some of the other reviews suggest, I think the resort was a little overwhelmed this opening weekend (especially by the number of walk-ins on Sunday night). We did, however, enjoy our dinner at the Gold Cup wine bar despite the wait! Of course, there are some kinks that need to be worked out (no decanters in the restaurant, housekeeping schedule), but just about all of the employees there were eager to get our feedback every step of the way. They truly wanted to help and seemed dedicated to making Salamander the best!

Bottom line: The areas that could be improved upon should be easy fixes, while they over-delivered on the intangibles that you would expect from a five-star resort (a few of the doormen addressed us by our names after meeting just once, every housekeeper looked up to smile and ask how our day was, etc.)

Overall, I give this resort my 5-star rating based on the highs more than making up for the slow service at times. ;) Salamander is the perfect weekend getaway for us! My husband and I definitely plan on returning soon!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salamander H, Manager at Salamander Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 16, 2013
Happy Anniversary! We thank you for taking time to share your comments regarding your recent stay. We appreciate the time you took to mention your couple spa experience, the dinning options and our amenities. We look forward to your next vacation with us!
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Additional Information about Salamander Resort & Spa

Address: 500 North Pendleton Street, Middleburg, VA 20117
Location: United States > Virginia > Loudoun County > Middleburg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Middleburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Salamander Resort & Spa 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Salamander Resort & Spa offers the refined sophistication of a luxurious country estate in the Virginia's exclusive horse and wine country, just 40 miles from Washington, D.C. This luxury Virginia getaway brings together today’s sought after key elements of time-saving accessibility, authenticity of cultural and historical experiences, unique culinary and wine programming, and an innovative spa and wellness concept.Just 35 minutes from Dulles Airport, the 340-acre resort is located within the historic village of Middleburg, VA, which houses more than 100 unique shops, restaurants, surrounding wineries and equestrian fields and provides the backdrop for one-of-a-kind leisure and group stays as well as spectacular wedding and social events. ... more   less 
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