As some of you may know, the mister and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary last week. We have never traveled for an anniversary, so you can imagine my surprise when the husband instructed me to pack for at three-day, two-night getaway. Further still, he refused to tell me where we were going which kind of drove me crazy. In our relationship, I’ve really been the “planner” up until now. I’m starting to accept the fact that my husband is just better at it, and this weekend solidified that.
“Primland is a luxury resort set on 12,000 acres amid the Blue Ridge Mountains in southern Virginia. Accommodations here are spread across several buildings, and guests have the choice of staying in rooms, suites, cottages or houses. Lodging options are uniquely decorated and feature varying floor plans, but all include beds with Frette linens, BVGLARI toiletries, coffee makers and wet bars. Plus, staying here grants you access to The Lodge’s plethora of amenities, including the private movie theater, the observatory dome, a book and DVD library and a game room with video game consoles and billiards tables. Guests looking to unwind can head to the spa or pool, or work off stress at the fitness center. Meanwhile, more active types will appreciate the variety of outdoor pursuits at the property, which range from mountain biking and hiking to tennis and horseback riding…” (U.S.News.Com).
I had heard of Primland previously because Doug (husband) had visited a few years prior and raved about the experience. However, I was not ready! An experience is the best way to describe it. From the moment we set foot on the property, customer service was on 100! Everybody (and I do mean everybody) was so accommodating. I don’t think I encountered one employee the entire weekend who didn’t have a smile or end an interaction with “my pleasure”. My favorite part is that they remembered our name and always\ greeted us with a Mr./ Mrs. Hyman. I felt like a whole married adult this weekend! Nevermind the mortgage and kid back home, right? Lol!
We jumped right into it when we arrived with an accidental sunset horseback ride. Accidental because we got there over an hour late for our appointment. Luckily, we were the only ones scheduled, so we got a personal, guided horseback tour through the property. For anyone who knows me, you know how much I love animals. Pretty much anything with fur can get all the love from me, so this was right up my alley. Even though Doug didn’t say what we’d be doing, he did mention that I’d love every minute of it. He was right! Whew! I was excited and nervous because this was my very first time horseback riding. Throw a mountain in the mix and I was downright anxious. The horse I rode, Gypsy, was a feisty girl for which I have much respect. A few times during the ride, she wanted to pass the other horses she she began to gallop…up a mountain side *insert wall slide*. Thankfully, I kept my composure, remembered the instructions on how to guide her and we all lived. Sorry for the grainy pic, but there was no way I was taking my expensive camera on a horseback ride through the mountains.
The cottage was an experience in itself. It was beautifully appointed with all the comforts (and more) of home. Despite the fact that we opted to stay in a cottage as opposed to the lodge, we still received 5-star hotel quality service. There was maid service in the mornings and turn down service in the evenings (turn down service!) complete with a cookie! The cottage was loft style with a full kitchen, living room space and a private porch overlooking the golf course. The bathroom was just as amazing with a porcelain tub in addition to the shower.
After we got settled into our AMAZING cottage, we enjoyed dinner at the resort’s Elements Restaurant. We both ordered the tenderloin with which we were not disappointed. It was perfectly seasoned, and the sauteed vegetables and potato au gratin were the perfect compliment. Plus, the restaurant was fancy so I got to dress pretty. That’s always a plus in my book!
Though the food was absolutely wonderful, the customer service was 5-star! Doug mentioned to our server that we wanted to stargaze, though we hadn’t planned for it. Our server hopped right on getting it scheduled. I mean! Talk about team work! Scheduling activities for guests I’m sure was not in her job description, but there were no questions or hesitation. After dinner were made our way up to the observatory which sits atop the lodge. The super cool thing was the construction of the observatory. The ceiling is a dome with a “slice” removed for gazing purposes. The slice is intended to keep as much light out as possible to enhance the gazing experience. The dome roof moved around so that we could see different parts of the sky. I’d never stargazed, so I was excited despite the drop in temperature. To put it into context, there had been an ice storm the day before and much of the ice was still perfectly intact around the property. It was cold, BUT so worth it. The guide was super knowledgeable and actually rocked my whole world. For all of my life, what I thought to be the little and big dippers turned out to be Orion’s Belt *insert ugly cry*. Lolololol! I was like woooooord! We also got to see a number of other stars and constellations magnified through a high powered telescope and broadcast on a large flat screen monitor. It was a pretty magical experience. My favorite was the up close and personal shot I got of the moon through one of those telescopes. Take a look.
While there, we also RTV’d through the property which was so much fun. I’ve ATV’d through the mountains of Costa Rica during our honeymoon, but I’ve never RTV’d. It was a little intimidating at first after learning that those vehicles are fairly easy to topple as they’re top heavy, but once I got my groove I was zoom zooming. I even had another driver compliment my skills, so holla atcha girl if you need professional driver services.
Driving up and down insanely steep inclines, many times along side a cliff giving way to a deep ravine,was such an adrenaline rush and the views were absolutely spectacular. Whoo! Primland really strives to maintain the natural beauty of their property and it shows. I can’t wait for the next opportunity!
We spent most of the time holding on, but we did get some quick clips of the ride.
For our final night there, we spent time in the lodge. In the evening, there was a reception offering complimentary drinks and small bites. We decided to cancel our reservation at the fancier restaurant and instead have dinner in the pub. As the name suggests, the menu offered pub style fare. BUT, just as in the fancier restaurant, the food was amazing. The lodge was fun because it was kind of where everyone staying on the property hung out. Imagine any movie set at a ski resort where all the guest congregate in the lodge for hot cocoa and board games; it was just like that except without the snow. We struck up conversations with people visiting from all over, with the furthest place being California. In addition to the other guests, we also got to know the staff over the weekend. The most striking thing about just about every staff person we met was that they all lived roughly 50 minutes to an hour away. That says something about the way Primland treats their employees if they’re willing to make that commute on a regular basis, and actually be happy about it. Again, we didn’t come across one person working there who wasn’t extremely helpful while also having a great attitude.
Since the food was great and the service better, we decided to stay for Sunday brunch. Brunch was menu style, but the continental breakfast came complimentary with your order. There were pastries, fresh fruit, yogurt and a full omelette bar among other goodies. The omelettes were the most perfect I’d ever seen and just as good!
In addition to the huge omelette we split, Doug had the steak and eggs while I had the duck hash. We fancy y’all! (Not really).
This was hands down one of the best trips of 2018. Even better, it’s right around the corner from where we live. I sincerely hope that we make our Primland vacation an annual tradition. There was still so many other things that we didn’t get to do on this go around, so we must get back. I hear New Year’s Eve there is amazing! Have you ever traveled to Primland? If so I’d love to hear about your experience. If you haven’t, does it sound like a place you’d be interested in checking out? Let me know in the comments!
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