Bon Voyage

And then there was Salamander: Past, Present, and Future . . . | By Jennifer | Old Town Post

We all know how perfect Old Town is for celebrating special occasions. After all we are one of the 5 most romantic cities in the country. And with that it makes it pretty easy for your significant other to plan a special night for you around town. Out of town can be a different story. A destination has to be pretty special to equal all of the fabulousness of Old Town. This year Miles was determined to celebrate my birthday weekend–also the 4th of July weekend–with an out of town surprise! So he booked a weekend for us at Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, Virginia. 11028015_942142632511587_5422035795647708293_n I was thrilled with the Salamander surprise. And by surprise I mean Miles told me about it two weeks before so I could pack appropriately! Salamander is a rather special place for us–we took Fefe to Middleburg on our first “family” day trip and stopped at the then brand-new Salamander to see what all the buzz was about. The place is flawless. Every detail thought out. The staff beyond helpful. It’s dog friendly! And it’s just over an hour away. Truly a perfect getaway in the past, present, and future . . .

Past . . .

Fefe_Massage

On our first trip we quickly discovered Salamander was not just dog friendly but very dog friendly! That’s important because, as you know living in Old Town, our pooches get use to feeling welcome everywhere they go. Salamander’s first level is a dedicated pet-friendly floor with private patios and a large lawn space that is easily accessible from the guest rooms. I would also be remiss if I didn’t point out that the rooms are spectacular and you’d never know they were “doggie” rooms. Everything in the room crisp and perfectly decorated for both the humans and the pups. They lay out a sweet little pet corner with a doggie bed, water, and special treat for your pooch upon your arrival. They also have a little “Please *PAWS* before entering. Dog in the room.” sign for the door. So cute! In addition, if you’re planning on leaving your dog in the room alone they have a pet-sitting service available at the resort.

A couple other interesting pet notes at Salamander are they have a doggie happy hour. “Yappy Hour” takes place on the Grand Lawn (Tuesdays, 5-7pm, May-September). Can’t make Yappy Hour? Salamander has a Doggie Dining section on the In-Room Dining Menu. You know, in case your pooch is craving local lamb, organic chicken, or beef tenderloin tail. Oh how we spoil our Old Town pups!

Above is a picture of Miles giving Fefe a massage over our Valentine’s Day getaway this winter. That’s only fair, right? After all, we had our own spa activities!

Fefe wasn’t the only one to get a massage that trip. Salamander Resort and Spa is a decadent destination. The whole resort exudes luxury and pampering. But the spa exudes a special serenity.  I confess I didn’t know I was a “spa person” until visiting Salamander.  My first experience at Salamander’s Spa was with the Couples Rasul. A unique sensual and pampering treatment of Moroccan inspiration. It’s you and your valentine covering each other in a remineralizing mud that performs magic on your skin. There is music set to a light show syncronized with a steam and shower treatment that dances around you in a private ceramic dome. Very intimate!

After experiencing the pampering of our Couples Rasul and massage treatments over the winter I was giddy to see what our Salamander adventure would be like this time!

Present . . .

With Fefe with her grammy and grampy for the weekend. We were free to celebrate the weekend on “Jiles” time (Jiles = Jennifer + Miles)! Off we went . . .

Salamander is as fabulous in the summer as it was in the winter! And I was looking forward to some spa time. This time I was pampered with a Crushed Cabernet Massage. I was greeted by my masseuse, Liz, in the relaxation chamber and led to the private massage room. The crushed cab treatment starts with a grape-rich scrub consisting of exfoliating grape-seeds, rich honey, softening brown sugar, and essential oils. I admit I thought I’d feel sticky with the honey but that wasn’t at all the case. Once the exfoliant is done being applied, you shimmy into an already running shower within the massage chamber and rinse off the scrub. Then it’s time for the massage.

Knowing I’d be writing about the treatment, I was asking more questions then one otherwise would but after about a minute I could no longer speak. I was so utterly relaxed I couldn’t do anything except be one with the blissful experience. Absolutely fabulous!

With a spa treatment comes spa privileges for the day. This you definitely want to take advantage of! The entire Spa exudes an aura of relaxation. Unfortunately, all the treatments were booked the day of my massage so we were unable to schedule anything for Miles. I’d suggest calling the Spa in advance of your stay if there is a particular treatment you’d like to experience–they seem to book up quickly.

Fortunately, we did find out that you can book spa privileges (no treatment but you do get to use the facility) for a fee and there were some slots available. It’s money well spent! Miles said he’d be very happy with a steam, sauna, and heated lounge chairs while I got pampered with my treatment. This eliminated any guilt I may have otherwise felt.

The plan was to meet at the spa pool after my treatment. I grabbed some fruit-infused water and walked out to Miles, juggling the two glasses along with my book and iPhone. The water at Salamander is quite delicious. It seems there is a different combo every day. Berries. And citrus. And apples. Oh my! The different combinations make for a refreshing treat. Remember how I said every detail at Salamander is meticulously thought out? Right down to the water!

When I got to the spa pool, I immediately felt the tranquility of area! I gave Miles a kiss and he said he had my order in. My order? Miles had gotten me prosecco! He knows me so well. Not only is the spa pool a serene peaceful oasis they have bubbles. Heavenly! I confess, I assumed it would only be antioxident-filled-fruit-infused water to sip on. Wine was a nice surprise.


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I’ve mentioned the water and wine–on to the food! Salamander has two main dining spaces: Harrimans and Gold Cup. For my birthday dinner as well as Sunday brunch, we enjoyed the fine dining at Harrimans. For our other nibbles, we dined at Gold Cup–a casual, relaxed establishment with a small bar, televisions, and a billiard table. Gold Cup also serves cheese and charcuterie in the main sitting area with a bottle of wine if you’d like a change in atmosphere.

Salamander specializes in local fresh ingredients. They have a culinary garden as well as farm to table sourcing from the Virginia Piedmont Region. I confess, I didn’t know what that meant until our visit. Evidently, we parallel the Piedmont region in Italy and the Virginia Piedmont Region also has high agricultural value.

We checked in to Salamander and never left. No need. The service is great. There is plenty to do. Lawn games. A stocked library. The grounds are beautiful to walk. Even going for a walk in the air-conditioning inside the resort is wonderful. Plenty of fabulous artwork to look at even down by the conference rooms–an area that is often ignored.

Salamander even has a sweet little boutique where you can buy nice trip treasures. Miles caught me admiring some bracelets that Nicole, who worked in the boutique, showed me. I never expected him to get me them after all the birthday bobbles he found at King’s Jewelry, the Lucky Knot, and the Apple Store. But after our Sunday Brunch we went out on the patio to read the rest of the paper. He said he’d be back in a minute and sauntered out with the bracelets. So sweet!

Future . . .

Miles and I are planning to go back to Salamander for a culinary and wine adventure in the fall. I’d always wanted to visit the vineyards in Middleburg and a wine weekend seems very “Jiles”! As a matter of fact, before this trip I reached out to Vanessa (Public Relations Manager), to see if she had some specific recommendations of what we should experience for our Old Town Post coverage. Among her suggestions was a trip to Boxwood Winery. Problem was neither Miles or I wanted to drive. While on our stay we learned from Jackie (Assistant Guest Services Manager), that Salamander has a complimentary car service that will take you anywhere within 5 miles of the resort. Perfect!

While we were all about the romance and relaxation, Salamander seems to have something for every interest. There is a state of the art equestrian center, gym, trails, and even a zip line if that’s the type of adventure you fancy. Being just over an hour away from Old Town makes Salamander Resort & Spa the perfect getaway! Miles and I are looking forward to our Wine Weekend in the fall to experience the magic of yet another season at Salamander!


All photos are from an iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Many thanks to Miles for taking so many pictures with your 6 plus. You’re a much better photographer than I am :-). Looking forward to our next adventure! XXOO


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609 King Street, Old Town, Alexandria, VA 22314

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King’s Jewelry | 703-549-0011 | Kings609@aol.com
609 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 | MAP
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2 replies »

  1. Great review of salamander Jennifer. It is so close to DC yet another world. It is a great getaway. Restaurants at excellent with great wine flights and charming service. Can’t wait for another trip.

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