WHERE IS IT? Just a few minutes north of the North Carolina border in southwestern Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Primland is an outdoor, eco-conscious paradise that will suit every type of visitor. It is just over an hour’s drive from the Piedmont Triad cities of Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem, and less than an hour-and-a-half from Roanoke. Once past the front gates, guests drive up nearly seven miles of winding mountain roads as they pass luxury cottages, scenic lookout points over the Dan River Gorge, and rolling hills to reach the cedar-lined, hilltop lodge.
WHAT’S IT LIKE? You feel like you leave the world behind once you drive into this wooded luxury lodge, which is part farmhouse-style and part Swiss-chalet, and was once an exclusive hunting retreat. It appeals strongly to outdoorsy travelers interested in golf, clay shooting and other al fresco activities, but also has a strong following with foodies, spa aficionados, and small group meeting planners that praise the top quality here. Once you step into the wood-beamed lobby, the aromatic wood scent fills the air. Sit-down check-in is swift although it’s hard not to be immediately drawn to the Great Hall’s big picture windows overlooking the hills and golf course. Two fireplaces and a dual-floor wine cellar complete this impressive lodge space.
COVID-19 protocols were in place including plastic barriers between guests and staff in many places. The staff handled these temporary changes with aplomb, and arrivals are greeted with welcome bags including masks to wear indoors, hand sanitizer bottles, and a homemade snack. Before entering the grounds, everyone has their temperature checked for safety.
ROOM FACILITIES There are a variety of accommodation options here including private cottages and mountain homes plus three spectacular treehouses. For those who prefer not to walk or drive their own car, the staff can drive guests in luxury cars between the lodge and their cottage.
In the main building, the experience is both “ritzy and rugged” (as the resort likes to say). Guests enter rooms with immense stone foyers leading to sizeable bathrooms with glass shower stalls, double marble and granite vanities stocked with Bulgari toiletries, and deep soaking tubs with sliding doors permitting al fresco views. I liked that I had a direct view of the mountains from the shower.
The bedrooms feature hardwood floors and accents, animal-themed artwork, and excellent lighting that could be adjusted to different settings; window shades were controlled electronically. The duvet-coated beds are enormous with pillow-topped mattresses plus Frette linens. They feature an iPad on one side and a fancy alarm clock with USB port on the other. Many rooms have furnished balconies overlooking the lush scenery, and my room had a desk tucked into the dormer window with prize-winning bucolic scenery. Small kitchenettes have a refrigerator, wet bar and Keurig coffeemaker while large closets hold robes and slippers.
Several suites in the lodge add even more space including the Pinnacle Suite, located in the lodge’s silo section, which has two floors and wraparound views.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS Elements is the main dining room complete with gorgeous golf course views and an interior fireplace to set the mood. The seasonal menu focuses on mountain-themed cuisine with plenty of southern comfort food using ingredients from local farmers. Expect tasty dishes like Blue Ridge mozzarella curds with tomato sauce, slow-roasted pork, and a club sandwich with Virginia ham, avocado and smoked turkey. The hotel’s famous Primland Pig Candy is a smoked bacon treat with Virginia maple syrup and cayenne pepper that people rave about when they’re here.
During seasonal weather, guests can dine on a three-course menu at Stables Saloon on top of the old stables. There’s also 19th Hole Pub, which has casual fare that can be enjoyed in the bar, the lounge or on the patio. The patio’s firepit is a popular stop for s’mores when the sun starts to set, and it’s easy to spot deer roaming across the golf course.
LEISURE FACILITIES You can do as much or as little as you please here. Most visible is the golf course with scenic holes that are both challenging and serene. There’s also horseback riding, clay shooting, tennis, hiking, fly fishing on the Dan River and archery. All-terrain vehicle (ATV) tours of the grounds are an especially active way to get out and explore, and these are very popular with guests. A weekly roster of activities is great for families, with features like movie nights on the lawn, stargazing, game and puzzle night, and kids’ yoga.
In the spa, Native American healing techniques are a running theme through the treatment list. There’s a list of gentlemen’s treatments as well as options for couples including a couple’s treatment room with private whirlpool and two treatment tables. Changing facilities feature steam and sauna areas, and the resort’s indoor pool and whirlpool are open to everyone.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES Wireless Internet is free throughout the resort, and the property is a favorite of small group functions. It has a variety of meeting setups including boardrooms and conference room designs, and social functions like weddings and receptions can enjoy a spectacular Blue Ridge Mountains backdrop. I imagine that buyouts of the main lodge are the ideal way to socialize among those you know and trust right now, all for the right price, of course.
Another unique venue is the observatory dome on the top floor of the silo attached to the lodge, which can be used for small functions with a circular wall of windows overlooking the trees and golf course. Guests can also come here for stargazing through the telescope or for nightly presentations from the hotel’s astronomy staff.
VERDICT At a time when travelers are looking for places to avoid crowds and be one with nature, Primland hits all the right marks. It is great for a quick road trip getaway, and now more than ever, its small size will appeal to corporate retreats looking to conduct business in more remote, yet amenity-packed, locales.
HOW MANY ROOMS? 26 rooms and suites in the main lodge, plus cottages and treehouses
PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS Luxury mountain lodge with Blue Ridge Mountain views, award-winning golf and spa, and a long roster of outdoor activities on 12,000 acres
PRICE Internet rates for a room in the lodge start at $340 off-season (Dec-March) up to $730 for an October stay.
CONTACT 2000 Busted Rock Road, Meadows of Dan, VA 24120, Tel. 866-960-7746. primland.com