In today’s fast-paced world of wedding planning, staying ahead of trends and discovering uncommon destinations is vital to helping planners create enchanting experiences for their clients. Destination Weddings by ALHI works closely with our Member properties, bringing together industry professionals to embark on magical discovery trips across the globe. Tailormade itineraries are designed to enable wedding planners to experience unique properties and collaborate with like-minded individuals.
We recently partnered with The Omni Homestead Resort, a storied and opulent resort in Hot Springs, Va. Nestled amid Virginia’s Allegheny Mountains, the historic property has been welcoming guests since the 18th century. Renowned for its timeless grandeur, “America’s First Resort” has hosted more than 20 U.S. presidents and over the decades became a favored spot for the elite.
This was the stage for an extraordinary experience as 20 wedding planners from the Washington, D.C., area had the opportunity to get a sneak peek at a recent $150 million renovation. The mountain destination, known for its healing hot springs, provided the perfect backdrop for a haunting journey that was filled with inspiration and whispers of romance, and paved the way for newfound friendships.
The heart of any discovery trip lies in a well-planned itinerary. Upon checking into their stately guestrooms, guests were delighted with a mini trio of wedding cakes to ensure a sweet kickoff to their adventure. Once everyone had a chance to settle in, a short shuttle ride took the group up a winding road to the Mountain View Pavilion. Sweeping views of the surrounding valley and a magical sunset set the stage for a culinary experience: the use of fresh and locally sourced ingredients coupled with incredibly unique menu made it evident the property prioritizes in creating unforgettable gastronomic experiences for couples and their guests.
The setting was most definitely apropos for the confectionary delight that capped off the evening. Guests were treated to a gourmet “Create Your Own S’mores” bar that featured everything from Bourbon flavored marshmallows to sea-salt dark chocolate and decadent ginger snaps and chocolate chip cookies. It’s safe to say that nobody went to bed hungry that night.
Famed Spa and Bath Houses
After an ample breakfast the next morning, the group was given a tour of the historic grounds, exploring newly renovated event spaces which are a combination of classic elegance with well-preserved architecture. The tour transported everyone to a bygone era where you could almost picture travelers that started visiting the warm springs in the mid-1700s. It was a haunting, awe-inspiring experience. According to legend, The Omni Homestead Resort was a place where socialites would visit with their children who were of marrying age in the hopes of having them meet someone, fall in love and get married.
The rest of the day was all about relaxation and rejuvenation. The spa and original bath houses with their healing waters provided sanctuary for an afternoon of rejuvenation. Planners indulged in revitalizing treatments, bespoke skincare rituals or just opted to take in the serene mountain air while soaking in the hot springs. It was the ideal way to rest up for what the evening had in store.
Spine-Chilling Ghost Tour
Dressed to impress, the group indulged in the epitome of opulence at the finale dinner event. Meticulously curated for the most discerning of guests, the wedding planners were immersed in a world of refined sophistication from the lavish décor to the exquisite table settings. The menu combined innovation with timeless flavors. The candlelit soiree was not just a dinner; it was an immersive experience that transported everyone back in time.
As the band played, the wine flowed and people danced before the group was treated to one final, unique surprise. We were introduced to a gentleman by the name of Damian “Max” Maiquez, who held a small briefcase. We joined Max and embarked on a spine-chilling ghost tour.
Shrouded in whispers of a bygone era, Max shared some of the untold stories as we traversed the dimly lit corridors of the hotel and were allowed into abandoned sections of the property that hold secrets that our expert guide was well-versed in. Whether you’re a skeptic or a believer, the ghost tour provided an unforgettable evening of supernatural encounters at a property with a haunted past. I’m not sure if anyone got much sleep that night, but what I do know is that it was an experience none of us will soon forget.
The enchanting evening marked the conclusion of a journey that was filled with immersive experiences, inspirational stories and newfound friendships. We had the opportunity to witness firsthand the magic and meticulous planning of the team at The Omni Homestead Resort. From touring the stunning grounds, including a private, hardhat tour of the new Old Course Pavilion Hall, every detail of the experience showcased the magic that is The Omni Homestead Resort.
Destination Weddings by ALHI is available to assist with any wedding planning needs at the property. If you would like additional information about the hotel or be considered for future trips and events, please contact ALHI Weddings.