Expectations are interesting. You expect superior appointments, service, space, food and more at an expensive, upscale resort--after all, you can get a room anywhere but an experience is what you're paying for.
Salamander Resort & Spa is lovely. It looks warm, comforting and expensive all at the same time...not an easy thing to do. The staff was, for the most part, exceptionally nice without being cloyingly sweet. The room (ours was a double queen on the first floor) was amazingly spacious with a bathroom that, in some hotels, might qualify for a single room...scrumptious! And the property building and grounds are wonderful--I spent mornings in front of the fireplace with coffee and newspaper followed by a stroll around the grounds. Those are the superlatives that are included in the experience we were looking for...nice.
The mediocre included the restaurant (definitely need more training for staff). We only had breakfast and, judging from that small sampling, the menu might need a few tweaks. Also ok was the spa experience. It is a beautiful addition to the property but not yet destination-worthy. Taken as a part of the weekend it was good but Red Door Spas have been more relaxing and soothing. Note: the tiled heating beds were fantastic! The questionable staff includes the concierge (she might have just been overwhelmed but we knew more about the area than she seemed to) and the porters who were enthusiastic but a little rough around the edges and, as the first people greeting guests, can set the tone for the entire trip.
Things like lights not working, tv cable trouble, phones (we never did get our phones to work)...I'm confident the resort will work out those little details that, while annoying, we know are part of the opening pains. We chose to go early knowing there would not be perfection that will, I'm sure, be attained with more time and experience.
So set your expectations to the upper part of the scale for the Salamander but give a bit of room for improvements.