Snowboarding At The Omni Homestead
The Homestead, its two golf courses, pool complex, natural springs, 400 plus rooms and plentiful meeting spaces and banquet halls acts as a massive time machine, transporting us back to an era when guests summered in mountain cottages, hit the gym in floor length skirts and dressed to the nines for afternoon tea. Even the newer wing, added in the ‘70s, has been redone to match the style of the older portion of the resort. The hallways are lined with black and white photographs of the grounds and interior as they appeared when The Homestead was built in 1766 and then as it grew in the decades that followed.
This year is The Homestead’s 250th anniversary. To celebrate, a different flavor cake is served each day of the year at tea time. A year-long birthday celebration for America’s first resort!
We visited the cold, snowy week before Valentine’s Day and the soft, peaceful blanket of white made the resort feel pleasantly sleepy, but we can imagine how the entire place must come to life in the summer and on busier weekends.
The historic aesthetic of the hotel continued into our spacious Junior Suite where tastefully striped wallpaper welcomed us. The room was outfitted with a seating area, desk, king sized bed and a surprisingly large closet. The several windows overlooking the pool and woods beyond filled the room with natural light during the day.
Family Suites are an ideal option for groups or families with two or three bedrooms, tons of windows, a sunroom and living room. The suites are named after presidents and feature murals inspired by their namesakes’ hobbies and lives.
The Homestead offers several options for dining (some seasonal). Among them is The Jefferson, an upscale bar and lounge on one end and elegant dining room on the other. Floor-to-ceiling windows along the length of the restaurant overlook the beautiful grounds. If you hesitate to order chicken because you think it might be boring, you should definitely try the chicken at The Jefferson. Incredible. And those deviled eggs were a perfect appetizer.
The next night we stepped off the property for dinner at The Golden Pig, a quick walk from our room. This small but upscale restaurant has a French menu and sommelier on staff to advise perfect pairings with your meal.
We enjoyed breakfast in our room both mornings so we could get an early start to the slopes. It arrived right on time and with friendly service both days. The dishes were served hot and were perfectly filling.
During the winter, much of the grounds are coated in snow. Some activities are closed for the season, but we hope to go back in the summer to enjoy golf, horseback riding, shooting, archery, and hiking. Indoors, you’ll have some options for shopping including a gift shop, candy shop and clothing boutique. Treat yourself to a spa package for ultimate relaxation and don’t skip the Aqua Thermal Suite with a steam room and experiential rains; access is included with a treatment.
We were probably most excited about snowboarding during our visit and we had a great time on the very manageable mountain. Kids and beginners can get off at midstation for an easy run to the bottom, while more experienced boarders and skiers can continue to the top. There are a few trails that split off to either side of the main trail, including one short black diamond run that Eric braved alone. This was only my fourth time ever on a snowboard and the first in about six years, so I found it plenty challenging.
The lodge is comfortable and clean with some typical bar food options (chicken fajitas, burgers, etc.) and a bar with some local beers and hot buttered rum. The staff were all cheery and helpful and held our gear for the next day so we could grab it and go. The lodge offers daily lessons, scheduled private lessons and bunny school.
If you’ve been lucky enough to experience The Homestead already, we recommend you head back during winter for a different kind of experience! We loved how relaxing and comfortable the entire property felt. I was impressed with the staff, all of whom seem to absolutely love where they work (How could they not?). The beautiful mountain drive up to The Homestead is well worth getting to this stunning destination.
- Visit the spa and indoor pool for some quiet relaxation
- Take a walk around the grounds to visit the many natural springs
- Winter is a beautiful time to visit! If you’re not a skier, you can still enjoy ice skating, some hiking and relaxing by the wood-burning fires in the Lobby
- For more information and to make a reservation, visit The Homestead online