Blue Ridge Mounatins, United States

Primland Resort

Price per night from$402.90

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD402.90), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Rocky Mountain High

Setting

Virginia's mountain mamas

Primland Resort, a slice of sweet-as-cobbler rural Americana high in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, contains multitudes. Unsurprising since its estate, now part of the Auberge collection, is just smaller than Bermuda. Among sultry peaks and forested valleys in cascades of colour, you might mosey along the Appalachian Trail, toss tomahawks, fly-fish, gee-up, go off-road, hike by deer and bears, or complete a clay-pigeon circuit. There’s moonshine for the sipping and bluegrass and barbecue at a stop on Virginia’s heritage-music trail, but also romantic nights spent stargazing at the on-site observatory, fine French wines and treehouse slumbering under custom Frette linens – plus world-class golf. Here, comfort and a Euro chicness hark the call of the wild.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

One free admittance each to the observatory for a stargazing experience

Facilities

Photos Primland Resort facilities

Need to know

Rooms

51, including 30 suites and three Tree Houses.

Check–Out

12 noon. Earliest check-in, 4pm.

Prices

Double rooms from £352.96 ($448), including tax at 11.3 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional resort fee of $50.09 per room per night on check-in.

More details

Breakfast isn't usually included in the room rate (from $38 a person).

Also

Primland is big: it takes close to half an hour just to drive across the estate. As you make your way through the main gates, you’ll see signs that introduce you to the natives: whitetail deer, wild turkeys and berry-seeking bears. There are some adapted rooms for guests with mobility issues and staff to help, but this expanse might make the trip a little more challenging.

At the hotel

Spa with Jacuzzi, indoor pool, sauna and steam room; alfresco yoga and meditation decks; guided hikes; indoor and outdoor gyms; golf course and pro shop; disc-golf course; two tennis courts; complimentary valet parking; wine room; kitchen gardens and trout-filled ponds; free WiFi. In rooms: TV, minibar, Nespresso coffee machine, tea-making facilities, and Bulgari bath products; some have a Tennessee-fieldstone fireplace, microwave or Lutron shade; and rooms in the Lodge have Dornbracht bathroom fittings. The fairway Cottages have a kitchenette.

Our favourite rooms

There are several cottages and lodges spread across the estate, all brimming with country charm, but we just can’t resist a tree house. The hotel has three – all impressively settled sturdy in the arms of strong old oaks without hammering in a single nail – made of fragrant cedar wood, placed to enjoy the most picturesque aspects of the Dan River Gorge, Roaring Creek and North Carolina’s Pilot Mountains – not to mention a multitude of stars – from expansive decks. And, they’re not for kids, made just for two and secluded away. Otherwise, we’d probably choose the Celestial Suite for starry, starry nights plus enough space to swing a horse, strokable custom Frette linens and sleek Dornbracht fittings in the bathroom. Note that, while sweetly styled to look like a traditional red barn or woodland cabin, the Fairway Suites were the first built on the estate and have slightly more retro decor than other accommodations.

Poolside

There’s a large serene chlorine-free pool in the spa, and there’s a bank of sunloungers to one side, and on the other, doors leading out to a view-blessed terrace with a Tennessee-fieldstone fire pit.

Spa

You might not be smudging out impurities or drumming away tension, but Native American wisdom has strongly informed the Auberge spa’s treatments, mixing their healing rituals and natural oils with modern techniques; try a Dragonfly anti-ageing facial, blue corn and honey scrub or seaweed body wrap, or a couples’ experience in the spa’s Unity suite (which has its own Jacuzzi) inspired by Cherokee hunter Kanati and Corn Mother Selu. Oh, and you’ll learn your spirit animal too. All treatments start with a steam and hydrotherapy shower, and there’s also a range of massages, combined detoxes and beauty treatments in the salon. More mindfulness comes in the form of yoga and moonlight meditation, strolls with a herbalist and healthful cooking lessons. The hotel has a fully-equipped indoor gym, and the Bootleggers outdoor gym and fitness trail too.

Packing tips

Those in thrall to the sporting life will need a trailer rather than a suitcase. Of course, all gear (and assorted animals) can be hired, bought or arranged on site, but if you have your own, bring rackets for the tennis court, sturdy hiking shoes and poles, golf clubs, a kayak, yoga gear, and even hunting dogs and guns. There’s storage for everything at the hotel.

Also

If you plan on returning – and we’re sure you’ll want to – you can get an annual membership for the spa.

Pet‐friendly

Four legs are equally good at Primland, and up to two pooches can stay in some Lodge rooms or the Fairway Cottages for $150 a stay. See more pet-friendly hotels in Blue Ridge Mounatins.

Children

This is basically your chance to become The Wild Thornberrys (albeit without leaving rural Virginia). Whole cottages can be booked to sleep families, extra beds and cots are free, there’s a kids’ club and tailored activities.

Best for

A lot of activities onsite are for children over eight; tweens and teens will have the most fun.

Recommended rooms

The Fairway Cottages can be booked as a whole to sleep four. And, we’re sorry kids, but the treehouses are adults-only.

Activities

Over the spring school break (11 to 14 and 18 to 21 April 2022), there’s a packed free programme for kids under 11. Gentle hikes, archery, nature-themed art classes, fishing, movie nights, kite-flying, and stargazing with s’mores will keep your little wildlings busy. And, year round, staff can arrange pine-scented family treks, fishing trips, golf lessons, stable visits (riding lessons for over-12s only), archery and air-rifle shooting (for over-6s), kayaking (for over-8s over 50 pounds) and spells at the on-site observatory. Over-16s can book a Teen Facial in the spa.

Swimming pool

Kids are welcome to use the spa pool.

Meals

Little ones get their very own menu at Elements, a simplified version of the grown-up one with pancakes and berry bowls for breakfast and PB&Js, chicken tenders, simple pastas and salads and the like for dinner. They’re welcome at Stables Saloon too (under-12s dine for $25).

Sustainability efforts

Rooms have eco-friendly lighting and water-efficient bathroom fixtures; many of the restaurants’ ingredients are grown on Primland’s vast tract of land; and there are water stations in the lobby. Plus its treehouses were ingeniously built without hammering one nail into wood and the wild animals here roam with abandon.

Food and Drink

Photos Primland Resort food and drink

Top Table

It's a toss up between finding the prettiest aspect or getting snug by the fire.

Dress Code

Prairie queen (and king) for Elements, blue-jean babies for Stables Saloon.

Hotel restaurant

There are four eateries, all working seasonably and sustainably and dipping into the kitchen gardens as needed. Elements at the Lodge is worshipful of the hotel’s great outdoors – and who could help it, with its hat-trick full-wall views of mountains, forests and fairways? They’re subtly saluted in the decor: lofty airy ceilings, earthy wooden floors, artwork with aquatic inspiration and a fire flickering behind a glazed floating wall (lit after dark). Take breakfasts both light and hearty (açaí bowls, goat cheese frittata, brown butter waffles) or a decadent dinner (elk loin with foraged mushrooms, scallops with sweet summer corn, filet mignon). Stables Saloon is a touch more rootin'-tootin' – it’s part of the Crooked Road (Virginia’s heritage-music trail), so throughout summer (June to October) on Fridays and Saturdays it fires up a laden grill with brisket and smoked pork shoulder, loads up the Southern sides, leaves the cobbler to cool on the sill and hosts exhilarating bluegrass gigs. The Woodland Grill, at the Outdoor Activities Centre, has a selection of gyros, wraps, hot-dogs and sandwiches served at picnic tables, and the 19th Pub serves stomach-liners of venison chilli with cornbread, blackened shrimp and grits, Blue Ridge brisket, s'mores sundaes and ‘pig candy’: bacon flavoured with maple and cayenne.

Hotel bar

Virginia’s rich bootlegging history is celebrated at the 19th Pub, where – if you so dare – you can crack open a jar of moonshine (easy now, it’s potent stuff). But, there are smoother spirits and beers that range from Bud light to a Georgian watermelon gose to locally brewed Bingo Brown Ale. Discerning cowboys (and pooped golfers) will feel right at home among the refined look of wood, leather and cow-hide, and it’s a convivial spot where cheer is doled out in as generous measures as the drinks. Or, follow your nose to the Schlumberger Wine Cellar, where up to 10 guests can enjoy an intimate tasting of worldly varietals, including bottles from Primland’s sister property Domaines Schlumberger in France’s Alsace region.

Last orders

Breakfast at Elements runs from 7am–11am, dinner from 5pm–8.45pm. And lunch at the Woodland Grill from 11.30am to 2pm. The Stables Saloon’s barbecue sizzles from 6pm–8pm Fridays and Saturdays, and the 19th Pub slings drinks till 11pm.

Room service

Spend more quality time with the view and have breakfast delivered to your door (7am to 11am), or lunch and dinner (11am to 11pm). The more slender menu is still loaded with Southern favourites.

Location

Photos Primland Resort location
Address
Primland Resort
2000 Busted Rock Road
Meadows of Dan
24120
United States

Primland Resort’s setting, near the border of Virginia and North Carolina, reads like the lyrics of a sweet country ditty: it lies on Busted Rock Road, near the Meadows of Dan, ensconced in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Planes

Choose from various hubs orbiting the hotel; the closest (both a 90-minute drive) are Roanoke Regional Airport and Piedmont Triad Airport at Greensboro, which serve domestic flights, largely from the eastern states. For international flights, touch down at Charlotte Douglas or Raleigh-Durham airports (both around two-and-a-half hours by car), and Washington DC’s Dulles Airport has routes running from major cities across the country. Transfers can be arranged from $350 one-way. Alternatively, pimp your ride and fly private; the hotel has partnered with Netjets, who’ll hook you up with a sweet ride. These can be chartered to land at Blue Ridge or Mount Airy-Surry County airports (both a 45-minute drive away).

Automobiles

Buckle up, it’s a wild – and long – ride to this swathe of rural Virginia. But, you do get to cruise along the Blue Ridge Pathway, one of the US’s great road-trip routes, which draws leaf-peepers, naturalists, soul-food seekers and American dreamers. As a guest, you’ll need to arrive at the north gate, which is for lodgers, golfers and diners (the south gate is for sport shooters, anglers and trail riders). Washington DC is around a six-hour drive, four hours from Richmond, two hours from Charlotte in North Carolina, and 90 minutes from Roanoke or Greensboro. There is complimentary round-the-clock parking at the hotel.

Other

If you’re arriving by chopper, the helipad is located at Primland's north gate; you can be transferred to the lodge free. And, it’s a little off-piste, but if you live fairly close by and have a street-legal RTV, you could pootle over in that, although it’ll need to be driven by a guide once on the property.

Worth getting out of bed for

From Primland’s vantage point, Virginia’s forest-cloaked Blue Ridge Mountains resemble a series of rearing waves in shades from periwinkle to sapphire, and with a foreground that changes from emerald to amber and citrine, to crisp white throughout the year, it’s the stuff that inspires many a wistful banjo whine. Alongside wild primaeval beauty, pulse-racing fun is folded into the peaks and troughs of this stretch of the Appalachians. Saddle up for a horseback trot through soaring copses and along stony ridges, canters through wildflower meadows and dainty brook crossings. Or (from March to November) test your own horse power on a mountain bike; follow trails that criss-cross the 12,000-acre estate, zip along part of the Old Appalachian trail, or follow a 20-mile loop along the prime road-tripping turf of the Blue Ridge Parkway – bikes and equipment can be hired onsite, or you can use and store your own. Join a fleet of Recreational Terrain Vehicles for a thrilling bumpy off-road ride along muddy lanes and uneven slopes (safety gear is provided). But to truly appreciate the majesty of the wise-old trees, azalea-lined paths, the glinting silver backs of trout shoals in forest streams, and to spy wild turkeys, shy deer and maybe even a black bear, then go it by foot. There are 18 miles of hiking trails to cover, from gentle and meditative, to runs with steep inclines, winding through Blue Ridge’s beauty spots and panoramic viewpoints: the Pinnacle Loop, Buzzards Roost, Lost Chestnut, Roaring Creek… There’s a lot of peace and harmony in these ancient climes, but if you’re seeking catharsis, maybe you’d like to shoot something. There’s an arsenal of air rifles, bows and arrows, and tomahawks for throwing – at a target, mind. The fauna’s left largely undisturbed unless you’re on one of Primland’s special hunting packages – plus a mile-long clay-shooting course, with decoy ducks and rabbits and skeet and trap practice. A trio of stocked ponds are filled with trout you can catch for dinner, or you can enjoy the rush of catch-and-release fishing in the mighty Dan River (at its most lively from May to November). Equipment and licences can be acquired onsite. And the placid, glassine Talbott Reservoir allows for soothing SUP jaunts or joy rides in an inflatable ‘fun-yak’; keep your eyes peeled for frolicking otters and beavers. The tamer fairways of the Highland Course (open from April to November) have been lushly landscaped, so playing its 18 holes becomes a scenic reverie in itself. Plus there’s a separate disc-golf course for those less serious about their handicap, and a soft-surface tennis court. The latter is floodlit at night, but the real after-dark light show can be found up in the observatory ($40 a guest), where you can gaze into infinity and beyond with high-powered telescopes. You might also be creatively spurred by nature’s largesse, so check to see which local artist has been invited to host a painting class (with wine) or learn how to solder a stained-glass suncatcher. 

Local restaurants

You’d need to move mountains – or at least take a long winding drive through them to get a meal elsewhere; the hotel and its cuisine are elevated several thousand feet above any other offerings within an hour’s drive. But, if you venture way yonder, then charming, century-old Mabry Mill cooks up comfort food, such as pecan pancakes with apple compote, biscuits with sausage gravy and grits, pot pie and strawberry shortcake. And the Longfin Grill cures and smokes meat and fish in-house and has a tempting selection of tacos, po’ boys, gumbo, and a grouper reuben. 

Reviews

Photos Primland Resort reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this up, up and away mountain lodge tucked remotely into Appalachia’s Blue Ridge Mountain range and unpacked their ‘pig candy’ and coaxed their Appaloosa out of the horse box, a full account of their bang-for-your-buckaroo break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Primland Resort, well off the beaten track in Virginia…

As you enter Meadows of Dan, a small rural community of wood cabins, historic mills and houses and a few small shops, you’re greeted by a sign bearing the legend ‘a simpler place in time’. And, way – wayy – out here, dwarfed by the land-before-time backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains and ombré cascades of forests, life does begin to detangle; the fresh air clears your head, the picturesque primacy of the landscape lifts your heart, and stresses appear to recede as far into the distance as the horizon. Primland Resort, set high above this Edenic hinterland, does its best not to intrude – and with 51 rooms set over a verdant 12,000-acre plot, an area just a smidge smaller than Bermuda, it can give you the full blast of the state’s natural beauty in luxurious style. Unleash your inner frontiersman, saddling up for scenic rides along ridges and o’er streams, hitting the Old Appalachian Trail, fly-fishing for rainbow trout in the Dan River, coming eye to eye with fallow deer and black bears (from a safe distance, that is) and tossing tomahawks hither and thither. The wilderness serves as your adventure playground here, whether you’re off-roading, completing the 14-station clay-shooting course or sport hunting pheasant. It’s not all mud-spattered boots and skeet traps though – now under the Auberge aegis and formerly developed by French billionaire Didier Primat (who also owned Smith stablemate Domaine des Etangs), there’s a slick European sheen to proceedings; the wine room serves bottles from sister estate Domaine Schlumberger in Alsace; rooms have Tennessee-fieldstone fireplaces, custom Frette linens and some with chic Dornbracht bathroom fittings; and the 18-hole Highland golf course is world-class, calling for your plushest plus-fours – and, yes, the 19th Pub serves authentic moonshine and wears cow-hide with pride, but with a snifter of sophistication. However, Primland hasn’t forgotten its roots, finding joy in the simple things: watching the heavens from the observatory, barbecue and bluegrass, and spending time in nature’s good graces.

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Price per night from $402.90