The Omni Homestead Resort, America’s first resort, is currently undergoing a property-wide renovation. WATG and interiors studio Wimberly Interiors is collaborating with The Omni Hotels & Resorts’ design team to honour the legacy and carry it into the future…
Welcoming travellers since 1766, The Omni Homestead Resort is one of America’s most storied resorts, offering unparalleled hospitality and southern charm in a sprawling setting within the Allegheny Mountains of southwestern Virginia. For more than 250 years, The Homestead has served as a welcome respite for visitors from around the world. In the early years guests would journey for days on horseback or in stagecoaches to ‘take the waters’ and enjoy the cool Allegheny Mountain breezes. Over time, the resort grew and by the late 1800s it was known as one of the country’s premier resorts where US Presidents, foreign dignitaries and business leaders would gather.
The 483-key property is currently undergoing a $140+ million renovation, which is scheduled to be completed towards the end of 2023. Drawing from the region’s natural beauty, the interior design will reflect a sophisticated, residential style while the new event pavilion will be a nod to the resort’s classic architecture and finishes. From the grandeur of the Great Hall to the dreamy comfort of each guest room, this charming oasis will be restored and revitalised for generations to come. The rich history and beloved traditions of the property are at the heart of this investment. Highlights of the renovation include façade improvements, balcony deck work, guestroom renovations, refreshed public spaces, a new event facility and associate housing complex and the rehabilitation of the Warm Springs Pools.
The first phase of the renovation includes the iconic Warm Springs Pools, an integral part of Bath County and Virginia history, which debuted in December 2022 following a 14-month rehabilitation. Fed by four natural warm springs, rich in mineral content, the 19th century bathhouses have been sought by travellers for centuries. The stone basin of the Gentlemen’s Bathhouse was constructed in 1761, making it the oldest spa structure in the country. Throughout the process, Omni worked closely with 3North, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and Lionberger Construction to ensure the project adhered to The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. The Warm Springs Pools project is considered a rehabilitation, as it acknowledges the need to alter or add to a historic property to meet continuing or changing uses while retaining the property’s historic character.
Moving indoors, tailored comfort designed to be both delightful and restful is the theme for the 483 renovated guest rooms. Each wing will feature a distinct colour palette that flows from the corridors into the guestrooms and exquisite floral patterns along with uniquely Homestead touches accent the décor.
The heart of The Homestead, the Great Hall is timeless and traditional. The custom-designed carpet, with a nod to the flora and fauna of the Allegheny Mountains, is accented with the trim of classic hardwood floors. Elegant up lighting enhances the welcoming ambiance and whimsical touches in this iconic setting. In addition, each of the resort’s 28 meeting rooms will be refreshed with a focus on architectural details and advanced functionality. Improvements from lighting fixtures and acoustic ceiling tiles to new carpeting and refinished hardwood floors will create a light, sophisticated retreat for meetings and events.
The theatre, a 1923 addition to the resort will receive a classic, yet modern update with the viewing area converted from theatre seats to comfortable sofa settees, lounge chairs and side tables ideal for a variety of events from movie nights to magic shows. New audio-video technology allows for the transformation of the projection booth into an elegant, signature cocktail bar.
The renovations will extend into the F&B venues include Pioneer Picnic, a fast-casual, family-friendly dining experience, Martha’s Market, the property’s grab-and-go café, the Lobby Bar, which will soon become a new speakeasy-style lounge, Jefferson’s Restaurant and Taproom, Rubino’s at The Cascades, and The Dining Room.
Sunny, light and bright describe the new bistro-style look and feel of Martha’s Market, the resort’s popular, all-day outlet with a design which flows seamlessly into the adjoining Washington Library. Lobby Bar is home to a stunning portrait collection of the resort’s presidential guests and expands into the Georgian Room. The bourbon and brandy colour palette creates a distinguished setting for enjoying top tier spirits, fine wines and even a game of pool. Pioneer Picnic is conveniently located in the Casino building and will provide a new casual, family-friendly dining experience that honours the cuisine of the region. The wrap-around porch and grand lawn invite guests to dine outside, surrounded by breathtaking mountain views.
Main image credit: The Omni Homestead Resort