Travel Inspiration By A Pro Trip Designer

Greenbrier: the Definition of Glamour

Travel Tips

Jul
17
2011

July 12-15th

White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia

The Greenbrier North Entrance Facade

The Greenbrier North Entrance Facade

This past week I went down to visit the fabled, Greenbrier Resort. A bastion of American old-world glamor with enough pink, greens and floral prints to make Lilly Pulitzer feel like a knock-off. Designed by the beloved American designer and born Aristocrat, Dorothy Draper, the Greenbrier has a distinct look and feel that can only be described with words like; bold, bright and indeed, beautiful.

Dorothy Draper Classic Design

Dorothy Draper Classic Design in the Greenbrier's north parlor

A guestroom in the Carleton Varney suite

A guestroom in the Carleton Varney suite

My guestroom in the 1-bedroom cottages

My guestroom in the 1-bedroom cottages

My visit fell just in time to witness the preparations for the upcoming, annual Greenbier Classic, a new stop on the PGA Tour. The resort is renowned for its Golf, drawing guests from around the world with three courses available to guests, including the tournament-worthy, Old White Course (pictured below). I took a short playing lesson with the new Junior Pro, Tully, who in typical Southern fashion, was ever the gentleman despite my errant shots.

The approach to the 18th green - watch CBS next week for live coverage

The approach to the 18th green - watch CBS next week for live coverage

Throughout my three-day tour, I was bombarded by the resort’s vibrant color scheme and intentional old-world ambiance (There’s even a roaming horse and carriage!). As current resident designer and Draper’s protogé , Mr. Carleton Varney told me, “the Greenbrier is a resort set in the past”.  He also implored me to look up the definition of glamour and promising me that all the adjectives found in said definition directly apply to the Greenbrier.

The lobby staircase

The lobby staircase

With 710 guestrooms, the Greenbrier is an enormous, sprawling Estate filled with roving guests of all ages. It is well suited equally for families and the mature set with its array of activities; tennis, golf, swimming, horseback riding and lawn sports such as croquet and shuffleboard.  Plus, there’s a constant roving shuttle bus ensuring no one ever has to walk too far.

The Resort's West Virginia wing (the bunker is housed below)

The Resort's West Virginia wing (the bunker is housed below)

Ultimately, though the Cialis Online Greenbrier strikes a certain fondness for those who lived through the Cold War given its now, world-famous, Bunker. Originally built as the fallout shelter for the government during the late-50s, the once top-secret Bunker is a huge draw for guests and offers hour-long tours that allow you to enter into the 112,544-square-foot bunker. Now used as a storage facility for confidential files of various Fortune 500 companies, access to the entire bunker is highly restricted along with the ability to take photos. Nevertheless, the tour is highly informative. Moreover, there are many other types of tours available, including one with the Resort’s resident Historian, Dr. Bob Conte, a gregarious fellow.  Known as “America’s Resort’, the Greenbrier has its fair share of historic lore, including housing many a visiting US President, as well as various elected officials and Dr. Bob knows it all. He is quick to compliment the Resort’s new owner, local West Virginian magnate, Jim Justice, calling him the “one-man stimulus plan”.

Dr. Bob Comte, the Resorts Historian

Dr. Bob Conte, the Resorts Historian

The heralded Mint Julep

The heralded Mint Julep

The Greenbrier’s multiple room options make it a favored as a destination for multi-generational family reunions or group family vacations. Ranging from guestrooms in the hotel of three different categories to 1-bedroom cottages and Estate homes with 2 to 3 bedrooms, the possibilities for large groups are considerable. It’s no wonder there must have been three different corporate retreats along with a multi-generational family reunion during my quick stay.

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And from what I could tell, it makes a great spot for employee-bonding. After all, where else can you lose money in Roulette alongside colleague? That’s right – the Greenbrier is also home to a year-old, in-house Casino.

The Greenbrier Dancers do their nightly waltz at 10pm at the entrance of the Greenbrier Casino

The Greenbrier Dancers do their nightly waltz at 10pm at the entrance of the Greenbrier Casino

So, whether its historic intrigue, a love of bright rhododendrum-pattern interiors or the beloved Mint Julep (legend says the libation was invented at the Greenbrier), America’s Resort maintains its position as one of the country’s most sought-after and fulfilling vacation spots for those in need of something singularly grand.

One of the guestrooms in the new Estate Wing

One of the guestrooms in the new Estate Wing

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Published by Meg, Sunday, July 17, 2011 No Comments

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About Meg

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Meg is the founder of luxury travel consulting company, Friend of a Friend Consulting. Her three books, Italian Hideaways, Caribbean Hideaways and England's Hideaways are published by Rizzoli. Passionate about travel, hotels and wine, she continues to write freelance travel pieces and is currently pursuing a Masters in Wine through the WSET.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are solely my own and do not reflect separate business relationships with the subject. Whenever posts are supported financially, they are designated as such.