These Regional Properties Provide Couples the Ideal Settings for Relaxation, Rejuvenation and Reconnection
Written by Katie Riley
Historic Southern Hospitality
Recently awarded the No. 2 spot for best city hotels in the U.S. by Travel & Leisure, The Georges hotel in Lexington, VA, combines big-city sophistication with comfortable Southern hospitality.
The Georges takes its name from two Georges who famously impacted Lexington’s history: George Washington and George Marshall, VMI’s most famous graduate. The hotel occupies three historic buildings on Main Street in the city’s picture-perfect downtown. All 18 rooms are outfitted with luxury Frette linens, custom furnishings and Gilchrist and Soames bath products. Many rooms offer views of House Mountain or the adjacent campuses of Washington and Lee University and the Virginia Military Institute.
Two dining options are offered on-site, and both are headed by Chef Valeria Castro, who trained with celebrity-chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten in New York City. TAPS, the hotel’s main bar and lounge, offers upscale pub fare, craft beer, cocktails and small plates made with the freshest ingredients. The more formal Haywood’s Piano Bar and Grill serves hand-cut steaks, local venison and Chesapeake Bay oysters, along with Southern favorites, like shrimp étouffée. Overnight guests enjoy complimentary continental breakfasts and afternoon coffee and refreshments during their stays. A weekend may not be enough time to explore Lexington’s rich history and cultural offerings. Downtown offers an array of charming boutiques, sophisticated fine-dining restaurants and local cafés, while the nearby George Washington National Forest has hiking and biking trails and outstanding fly-fishing. Take in a lecture or performance at Washington and Lee or tour the renowned Virginia Military Institute. Spend the afternoon visiting the birthplace of Stonewall Jackson for some Civil War history or explore one of the area’s dozens of craft breweries or vineyards.
English Country Tranquility
Just west of Raleigh, NC, surrounded by acres of rolling hills and manicured gardens, lies the Fearrington House Inn and Spa, an award-winning Relais and Chateaux property. Situated at the heart of Fearrington Village, a planned community built on a former dairy farm, Fearrington House Inn is reminiscent of an English country estate, with acres of manicured gardens and winding brick pathways.
Guests in each of the inn’s 32 rooms enjoy complimentary breakfast and port wine and chocolates at turndown service. Though every guest room is decorated differently, all have well-appointed English-country decor, Frette linens, featherbeds and Molton Brown bath products. Some rooms even have private gardens and fireplaces.
Gardening enthusiasts will love exploring the inn’s 60 vegetable and flower gardens; Audubon-certified bird habitats and dairy barn are home to goats, chickens and cows. The AAA Five-Diamond-rated restaurant is a destination itself, and the menu changes seasonally to include dishes like poached lobster with butternut squash or seared duck breast with medjool dates.
The restaurant’s renowned Valrhona dark-chocolate soufflé is always on the menu.
No visit is complete without a day spent exploring Fearrington Village, a charming storybook village adjacent to the inn, with its upscale boutiques, casual dining and the inn’s award-winning spa, which offers everything from massage and facials to relaxing body treatments.
Virginia Vineyard Retreat
If staying on the grounds of a vineyard is your idea of heaven, look no further than The Farmhouse at Veritas, a 50-acre winery nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains near Charlottesville. Nominated as one of the best wine-country hotels by USA Today, The Farmhouse at Veritas is an authentic 1839 farmhouse that welcomes guests with warm hospitality, fine dining and comfortable, luxurious accommodations.
British owners Andrew and Virginia Hodson have infused The Farmhouse and each of its eight guest rooms with classic English-country style. Rooms in the main farmhouse are all outfitted with sumptuous bedding, sitting areas and a complimentary bottle of the vineyard’s award-winning wine. Many rooms contain romantic four-poster beds, English antiques, heart-pine flooring, and all have either vineyard or pastoral mountain views.
Dinner at The Farmhouse’s restaurant is a white-tablecloth affair. Chef Daniel Zbiegien’s four-course menu with wine pairings features farm-to-fork dishes, like roasted cauliflower with Romesco and golden raisins, and duck confit with braised mustard greens. Overnight guests enjoy breakfast that starts with fresh baked goods and a sweet or savory main, served with a glass of Veritas sparkling wine.
The Farmhouse at Veritas offers an abundance of things to do, such as visiting historic Monticello and the area’s dozens of wineries, or one could easily never leave the property. Stroll through the vines, take a hike or visit the winery’s tasting room for small plates and a glass of Cabernet Franc or Viognier. Head winemaker Emily Pelton focuses on old-world viticulture principals that produce a balanced selection of red, white and sparkling wines.