9.14.2020 – 9.17.2020 || White Sulphur Springs| West Virginia
The main attraction in White Sulphur Spring, WV is the Greenbrier. Known as America’s Resort, the Greenbrier is a National Historic Landmark and spans 11,000 acres. We spent three nights at the Greenbrier and left the property for a couple of meals in the nearby town of Lewisburg, WV.
Where we stayed:
There are plenty of choices when it comes to selecting your room. The Greenbrier has over 700 rooms, including suites, cottages, and estate homes. After reviewing the options and taking into account the ability to adhere to social distancing guidelines we opted for one of the cottages. This provided a direct entrance to our room and was adjacent to the main hotel and plenty of the outdoor activities.
The guest rooms were decorated in Dorothy Draper’s signature style with floral patterns, bold prints, and a lot of color. The room was a bit worn, in need of a renovation, and next to a loud HVAC that reminded me of what it felt like trying to snooze on a plane when you are seated near the engine. Remember that feeling? The room was not a highlight of this trip but worth calling out that we did enjoy the extra space and distancing from other guests and crowds in the main hotel. I would not recommend Paradise Row, Cottage 8.
Where we ate:
There are 20 restaurants at the Greenbrier, however, we only ate at two of them due to a lack of outdoor dining options and a few promising recommendations in the nearby town of Lewisburg.
- Sam Snead’s at the Greenbrier – We ate here the first evening for dinner. After driving over four hours to the resort we didn’t want to get back in the car. Sam Snead’s is named after the first professional golfer at the Greenbrier and offers a variety of choices including steaks, seafood, pasta, etc. The best part about the meal was the view of the sunset over the golf course.
- Tree Tops Café at the Greenbrier – Poolside dining overlooking the outdoor infinity pool. We ate here twice during our pool reservation.
- Hill & Holler Pizza in Lewisburg – Offering craft beers and gourmet pizzas with expansive outdoor dining.
- The French Goat in Lewisburg – THE BEST thing we ate in West Virginia so it deserves a few pictures. Offering classic French dishes with a modern twist, a quality wine list that happened to be half price Wednesday, and a beautiful garden to dine al fresco.
What we did:
Over the course of our stay we enjoyed playing tennis, hiking on the trails, learning to play croquet, shuffleboard, relaxing at the pool, and a tour of the former top secret Congressional bunker beneath the Greenbrier.
We recently started to play more tennis as the courts were one of the first things to open back up after COVID-19 quarantine. The tennis facilities at the Greenbrier were excellent and offered clay courts outside. We played the first full day of the stay and also took one lesson with the tennis professional, Jenny. She was amazing and within an hour she offered so many tips and suggestions to correct our form and improve our game. This was my favorite activity at the Greenbrier.
We picked up a trail map from the concierge and walked the two mile loop around the property, mostly loops around the golf course. We also walked up into the mountains, taking one of the shorter trails off the two mile loop since we brought out hiking boots.
We didn’t see anyone else play croquet during the entirety of our stay and decided to give it a shot on the last evening of our stay. This was not part of the daily resort fee and required a reservation. It was my first time playing croquet and while it can be incredibly frustrating when you have no idea what you are doing, it is also pretty rewarding to knock your opponent’s ball out of the way for the win! I somehow won the best of a five game series, 3-2! Some minor cheating may have been involved. 🙂
The outdoor pool was part of the daily resort fee and required a reservation for a 2-hour block. It was in the mid-60s to mid-70s during our stay but it was one of the better views and another outdoor activity with limited people in the surrounding area. Champagne pours in a wine glass were pretty solid too.
And finally, the bunker tour. This required us to go indoors grouped with almost 20 other guests for a 90 minute tour. This was not part of the daily resort fee and required a reservation. The bunker, a former U.S. Government Relocation Facility, was a top secret of the Cold War and designed to accommodate both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives in the event of a national emergency. Planned by President Eisenhower and built between 1958-1961, it was maintained in a state of constant readiness for more than 30 years until 1992, before the Washington Post published a story effectively exposing it. It was fascinating to learn about the facility buried 720 feet into the hillside under one of the wing’s of the Greenbrier. No phones were allowed beyond this point so these are the only pictures at one of the entrances, disguised by Dorothy Draper’s signature design style.
We only covered a fraction of the activities and dining options that the Greenbrier has to offer but that is how we spent our time at the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia in a social distancing kind of way.
Question: Have you been to the Greenbrier? What season is the best time of year to visit?