Hansel and Gretel would only dream of stumbling upon Salamander Resort & Spa. Seemingly out of a storybook, the luxury resort is a fairy-tale place where purses get their own seat during meals, yoga is practiced on horseback and gourmet s’mores are on the dessert menu.
After a three-day site visit of the Forbes Four Star-rated resort that opened in 2013, I left with a newfound appreciation for thoughtful service and attention to detail. From a take-home version of the essential oil used during my massage at the spa to the pecan scones left bedside during turndown each night, no detail was overlooked, and every resort employee I encountered met me warmly with a genuine smile.
Though it sits on a secluded, 340-acre lot in Virginia Horse Country near the tiny town of Middleburg, the Salamander is surprisingly accessible, I discovered. About a one-hour drive west of the distractions of Washington, D.C., the resort is only 35 minutes from Washington Dulles International Airport; plus, two private airports also are within a 30-minute drive, making it a major draw for financial, government, insurance and consulting groups.
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