A year or so after college I met a couple that had been married for over 30 years. They had a lot of advice on the reasons they were still happy in marriage, but it was one thing they said that stuck with me. They mentioned that no matter what was going on in their lives, they took a vacation away from the kids every year. Just the two of them. The husband said he had to convince his wife it was a good idea to vacation without their children. She wasn’t too sure about it. But they went away anyway, and she told me it made a difference in their marriage. It kept them connected.
After we had Skylar, I wasn’t sure if I could ever leave her. I mean, come on! She’s my baby! But then the twins arrived. At that point I knew my husband and I would need to find a way to vacation together without our kids someday. Mostly for our mental well-being and sanity.
The opportunity to spend a weekend away came when my in-laws let us know they wanted to visit us for a week. And they wanted to visit us over our anniversary. So we asked them if they wanted all three kids for a weekend. They thought that sounded awesome. We did too.
We booked a weekend at The Omni Homestead for our 5 year anniversary. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous or anxious to be away from my babies. Because, I totally was. But I know time with my husband is important. So, away we went!
Where Is The Omni Homestead?
The Omni Homestead is located in Hot Springs, Virginia, in the middle of a small mountain town. It was a 3 1/2 hour drive away from our home, and part of what we enjoyed the most was just driving through the mountains.
Hot Springs has 738 residents, and the town is nestled within the Blue Ridge Mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountain Range. The Blue Ridge Mountains get their name from, you guessed it, appearing blue from a distance.
The Omni’s History
When we arrived I realized how much of an impact The Omni has had on US history. The Homestead is a National Historic Landmark and the original building was constructed in 1766. In 1832 it was purchased by Dr. Thomas Goode, who transformed it into a medical therapy facility. It featured hydrotherapy and homeopathic spa treatments…umm yes please! Sign me up for the spa!
In 1888 J.P. Morgan and other investors took notice of the medical facility and began transforming it to the resort and spa it is today. When the original building burned down in 1901 thanks to a fire in the bakery, they rebuilt it. The investors constructed the resort wing by wing, until it was completed as it stands today. What I noticed when I was walking through the resort, is that each wing has its own unique architectural style. It’s fascinating to me that as they built each wing, they differed slightly from the previous ones based on what was currently in style.
Since it’s inception, 23 Presidents (and counting) have stayed there, and quite a few prominent figures have visited as well. Billy Graham has hosted events in the ballrooms. The United Nations has held a conference on the grounds. And William Howard Taft has vacationed at the resort for months. The Homestead is a fixture in Southern Virginia!
So, how did we spend our time?
Enjoyed the Pools
The Omni has several pools on site, two outdoor pools and one indoor pool. We spent time at one of the outdoor pools and indoor pool. All three pools have fresh water pumped in from the nearby hot springs. The outdoor pool is located right next to the ice rink and has an outdoor bar and grill to order food and hang poolside. The hubs and I enjoyed our beverages and then realized it was a little too chilly for us outside. While the water temp was 105, the air temp just wasn’t warm enough for us. Unfortunately, the hot tub was closed while we were there, otherwise we would have braved the cold in the hot tub.
After giving the outside pool a shot, we headed inside to soak in the indoor pool. It was more manageable for us.
Ate Great Food
The Omni Homestead boasts 5 different restaurants to eat from, a coffee shop and a lobby bar. I mean, you literally can’t go a few hundred feet without smelling amazing food.
To cap off our lovely day date in the pools, Mikael and I had drinks at the lobby bar. We followed that up with a wonderful dinner at Jefferson’s Restaurant & Bar.
The next morning we lazily ate brunch at The Dining Room while staring out at the snow covered mountains. I mean, can you say perfection?? The brunch is all you can eat and we made the most of it.
Visited The Spa
We took a trip to the spa to unwind and relax, especially since we have 3 kids. After I found out that the resort used to be a medical facility specializing in massages, I couldn’t say no. And truly, there is nothing better than a massage this side of heaven.
The Omni spa also has its own heated outdoor pool called Serenity Garden that is only accessible for those who book a service. Worth it. I should mention, it is adult-only.
Other Things To Do
We took it pretty easy while we were away. Honestly, we just needed to breathe a little and enjoy our time as a couple. Oh, and not have kids crying for attention every few minutes.
But there is so much to do in any season at the Homestead! There’s skiing, ice skating, golf, an equestrian center, fly fishing, zip lining, and shopping. We thought about ice skating and then headed to the Lobby Bar. Ha!
While we ate brunch, we noticed quite a few people heading out to the ski resort after breakfast. The ski lifts first opened in 1959 and The Omni is the oldest ski resort in the state of VA. While we didn’t go skiing on this adventure, it is something we will do in the future with our kids.
I highly recommend visiting the resort if you ever find yourself in Southwestern Virginia. We felt like we had transported back in time for a few days, and the hotel gave us an experience we’ll never forget. I hope you get a chance to see The Omni Homestead! And if you do, share your experience with me. I would love to hear about it.