Monday, May 9, 2011

Green Resorts....The Homestead Review

 Recently I was afforded, via company trip, the luxury of staying a weekend at The Homestead in Hot Springs, VA.  I am writing this review to brag about the ways hotels and resorts, including historic resorts are going green.

We all have seen the lovely plastic signs in the bathrooms stating they will only take and replace towels left on the floor.  In addition to that they do not wash/change sheets except for new guests and every three days if you have a longer stay.  Of course the option exists to have your towels and sheets washed and exchanged daily if you prefer.

I was impressed that a historic facility offered recycling, yes on site recycling.  They had bins near most of their entrances/exits and one on each floor.  How often do you see a hotel that was built in 1766 offer green cleaning and recycling?  Well it was a first for me, thus this post.

Now a bit about this resort, they offer a first class spa, a mineral water feed indoor pool that is just beautiful and they have preserved it so well.  A great fitness facility, shops, and the dining, oh the dining.  We had dinner at their two main restaurants-both amazing, lunch at their cafe-fantastic, breakfast buffet-HUGE, and I must add their prices are not for the faint of heart of thin walleted.  Unless you are a rolling in the dough, I would suggest not getting the minibar key, a snickers bar cost $3.50 and a pack of M&Ms $2.50 and I can honestly say most of the adult beverage offerings were cheaper than the other snacks and juices. 

This picture does NOT do the pool justice, it is stunning!

They offer a wide variety of activities, historical and behind the scenes tours, horseback riding, kid's playground, awesome golf (according to my husband), shuttles, hiking, biking, I am not kidding, and they offer Kids Camp Monday - Friday and Parent's Night Out on Saturday night.  Our child had an in-room sitter one night and did the Parent's Night Out and had a blast.

If you are looking for a beautiful historic hotel with tons to do....this is the place...again, not for the budget conscious.

About four miles away you can find the Jefferson Hot Pools which are two spring fed, hot mineral pools. One is for men, the other women, and if you don't go during family hours you will see that clothing is optional.  The Homestead offers shuttling services to the springs but like all their activities the price is not included in the stay.

I don't know personally if I would want to go spend another weekend there, I am more of a beach bum if we are going somewhere for more than a few days, but this is a great weekend or for a few days. For me it was an 'OK, I have been there, seen that' type place but most of the people I talked to and overheard had been there multiple times with future visits intended.  The staff was amazing and most had worked there for ages.  Definitely worth at least one night stay to say you've been there and seen it.

Coming Wednesday...a challenge AND a giveaway!!!

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