Romantic Retreats: Let's Get Away From
by Audrey T. Hingley, Contributing Writer
When a bed and
breakfast in a hollow cozies up to a
mountain in its backyard, you know your
hosts have nailed that “room-with-a-view”
thing. In 1995, the innkeepers told the
architect that their planned getaway near
Charlottesville should include “lots of
windows.” The better to view the colorful
changes of Painted Fence Mtn. or the stream
that cascades past the front door toward the
So you and your loved one plan to escape the daily grind.
In Virginia, hundreds of getaways await, eager to entice you with canopied
beds, breakfast on porcelain, and tea and cake on arrival.
Where are these hideaways offering such luxurious
respite? Look to the Alleghenies and the Blue Ridge Mountains to lure with
upscale cabins, historic inns, newly built bed and breakfasts, and some
luxury resorts. An easy walk into the woods is a must, but so is the
availability of amenities like gas fireplaces, Jacuzzis, spa massages, and
Sports may be part of the getaway’s program, offering
everything from a zip line to snowshoeing. Or you may be inclined to play
tourist and visit nearby wineries, historic sites or hike a nature trail.
Book a spa appointment.
Diversity of architecture amazes. We found all styles:
from European-inspired timber-framed cabins to grand tree houses at an
Special offers and packages are available for holidays or
other occasions with offers from chocolate-covered strawberries on
Valentine’s Day to discounted rates. Be sure to request all information when
making reservations. Our list is an eclectic mix
with a getaway for everyone.
Iris Inn, Waynesboro
Do you have a yen to try a little
Zen in your life? If so, there’s no better place to meditate or commune with
nature than in the trendy, new cabins that perch mountainside among the
trees at the Iris Inn.
Walls of glass allow blockbuster
sunsets to entertain guests in six cabins cantilevered above views of the
Shenandoah Valley. Campers of days gone by wouldn’t recognize the rooms’
contemporary decor with amenities of gas fireplaces, rain-head showers, and
Still in the secluded mode,
separate from the main inn, are three cottages with similar appointments. In
accordance with the inn’s pet policy, two of the cottages are pet-friendly.
Nine rooms are in the main inn. Guests gather for breakfast and
end-of-the-day wine tastings in the two-story Great Room.
Inn at Vaucluse Spring, Stephen’s City
defines the setting of The Inn at
Vaucluse Spring, a
historically appealing romantic refuge near
the city of Winchester.
When you arrive at this romantic getaway near Winchester,
you feel as if you’ve stepped into a landscape painting by Constable,
bucolic and serene. Gently rolling hills create a backdrop for a manor house
and a cluster of historic stone and timber buildings. A limestone spring
with its mill house completes the picture.
The manor’s Federal roots have been lovingly restored by
the innkeepers. Colonial appointments blend with armoires and original
carved mantels; in the Winter Kitchen, accommodations have exposed stone
On the romantic meter, the ultimate choice among the
guest houses would be the Mill House studio that overlooks Vaucluse Spring,
so named in 1785 by the original owners, for the famous spring in France.
The sound of water rushing through the millrace soothes the soul.
For the key to exploring the Shenandoah Valley, first
visit the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in
Shadow Mountain Escape, Luray
at the edge of Shenandoah National Park,
Shadow Mountain Escape’s oak-timber-framed
cabins exude an old-world ambiance.
When the innkeepers created this unique hideaway in Luray
on the edge of the Shenandoah National Park, they rightly dubbed it an
“escape,” a romantic couples’ retreat in the woods. The authentic
oak-timber-framed cabins exude an old-world ambiance with furnishings of
antiques and collectibles, reminders of your hosts’ travels and years of
Cabin names reflect eco-friendliness. Bear Dance Lodge is
an activities hub for guests in Bumblebee, Dragon Fly, and Ladybug. Share a
nature trail with a whitetail deer or visit nearby wineries. Climb the inn’s
observation tower for panoramic views of the Skyline Drive and the
Shenandoah Valley. Explore Luray. Go underground in the caverns. Return to
your cabin for the warmth of a wood-stove fire.
Mountain Lake Lodge, Pembroke
Renown as the setting
for the 1987 box-office-hit movie “Dirty
Dancing,” Mountain Lake Lodge near Pembroke
has newly renovated front-lawn cottages and
rustic cabins dating to the early 1900s with
modern amenities and views of the lake.
The Allegheny Mountains resort will forever be remembered
for its role in the 1987 box-office hit, “Dirty Dancing,” when Jefferson
National Forest doubled for the Catskill Mountains; Mountain Lake Lodge
substituted for the New York set.
You can even book “Baby’s Cabin,” featured in the film.
Newly renovated front-lawn cottages and rustic cabins, dating to the early
1900s, have modern amenities and views of the lake. Additional rooms and
restaurant are in the main lodge. Snow fun includes sledding, tubing, and a
guided snowshoe tour.
Looking ahead, mark “Dirty Dancing” events on your
calendar. These special weekends in 2014 are May 30-June 1; June 20-22; and
Sept. 19-21. Find out if you have the moves of Jennifer Grey and Patrick
Primland Resort, Meadows of Dan
Primland Resort’s Golden
Eagle is nearly 2,700 feet above the Dan
If you missed not having a tree house in your childhood,
fulfill your dream by spending the night in the Golden Eagle. The leafy
retreat soars from an elevation of nearly 2,700 feet above the Dan River
Gorge. No worry about climbing up; a wooden bridge gives access to ultimate
Although literally “in the woods,” you’ll not be camping.
Luxurious Primland amenities include: flat-screen TV; complimentary
high-speed Internet; and nightly turndown service. Guests cite stargazing as
the best of the tree house experience.
Other accommodations at the Virginia Highlands resort are
in mountain chalets, in cottages alongside the golf course, and in rooms in
the resort’s lodge. Outdoors, choose mountain biking and hiking trails;
indoors, the spa offers a comprehensive wellness menu. On the Blue Ridge
Parkway, explore Mabry’s Mill where old-time skills are demonstrated.
The Inn at Sugar Hollow, near Crozet, offers
The Inn at Sugar Hollow,
When a bed and breakfast in a hollow cozies up to a
mountain in its backyard, you know your hosts have nailed that
“room-with-a-view” thing. In 1995, the innkeepers told the architect that
their planned getaway near Charlottesville should include “lots of windows.”
The better to view the colorful changes of Painted Fence Mtn. or the stream
that cascades past the front door toward the Moorman River.
Seven guest rooms offer stylish comfort in the main inn.
Privacy is the hallmark of the Farmhouse with the choice of three rooms and
the romantic Shenandoah Suite, a cottage-like addition with its own deck and
entrance. Across the lawn from the inn, the hideaway is a favorite of
honeymooners. A king-sized four-poster bed, gas fireplace, and TV and DVD
player enhance the amenities.
For additional ideas about romantic Virginia travel