For my husband's parent's 40th Anniversary, they wanted to celebrate with both their boy's families. It was early spring and my mother-in-law struggled to find a venue that would work, but she found the perfect vacation spot for all ages to enjoy at The Homestead in Hot Spring, Virginia. In the winter it is a winter sport resort and in the spring and summer it is an outdoor haven. The Homestead was actually rated #12for "The World's Best Hotels for Families," out of 52 hotels in Travel & Leisure Magazine in 2010.
The guests rooms are gorgeous and very spacious, and the staff was very accommodating to little ones. Upon arrival, they stocked our rooms with cribs, microwave, a DVD player and also had Wireless Internet access in guest rooms. I tried to find a picture of the room, but the below is the best I had. Trust me, gorgeous room and the bathroom--to die for!
All the restaurants were kid friendly and you can add a meal plan on to your package which was very affordable.
We dined at the more casual dinning places and I didn't feel too stressed while dinning with our then almost two year old. I am stressed dining with him at home sometimes though... Now that I think about it, he probably wasn't that bad, it was just the first time mom in me over-reacting and being jumpy. Anyhow, it was great and we felt very welcomed when we walked in with our little ones. The great hall was just what we needed when our son finished eating before we did. One of us could just take him out of the restaurants and let him go. I am certain we may have worn down that carpet for as many times as he and his cousin ran back and forth, back and forth.
We did go out to a nicer dinner when the grandparents watched the kiddos one night, and there is fine dining there as well, but we didn't do that while we were there, though I am sure it is delish.
Although there were so many activities to keep us busy , we spent most of the time just letting the kids run around the beautiful grounds. There is a wonderful play area on the grounds that we visited multiple times a day, as well as many trails on which we could let the kiddos run wild. The spring-fed indoor pool, a game room, nightly movies in the theatre, a bowling center, horseback riding, stables to visit, hayrides and afternoon tea also made this venue a perfect place to visit with the kids in tow and I never felt like we didn't have something to do. In the summer, there is a kid's club. I don't have an info on in though, as it was closed when were were there, but it looked mighty fun when we peeked into the windows. Did I just say, "might fun?" Oh well, not sure where that came from, but it did look like the kids would have a blast if it had been open. And there is a babysitting service, where they would babysit in your room. We had the grandparents there, so we didn't need that service and I am sure they would have been greatly disappointed had when even thought of letting someone else watch our kiddos.
For the older kids, there is archery, paintball, group horseback riding, canoe and kayaking, mountain biking, gorge hike, and Homestead history tours.
For the adults there is access to the fitness center, located on the fourth floor of the spa building, and equipped with Cybex equipment as well as treadmills, steppers, cycles and elliptical trainers. Open 5:00am-10:00pm daily; fresh towels and water provided complimentary. There is also a lovely spa, golf lessons, tee times, biking and the use of the historical Washington Library. For the more adventurous adult, sporting clays, skeet, rifle range, falconry, fly-fishing, and off-roading. I only participated in the spa and my husband and the guys did some golfing, so I can't give a review of the other outdoor activities besides hiking around with my son and looking at the horses. One of my girlfriends did try out sporting clays and she said it was a lot of fun, but involved her kiddos just covering their ears as they watched and laughed at them missing.
Of course, had we gone in the winter, there would have been skiing, ice skating, all kinds of winter sports with smores and hot cocoa by the fire. Now that sounds delightful just about now!
One thing to note--there is NOTHING nearby if you plan on going off the resort. We did eat at a pizza place across the street from the high school, but that was about it as far as the town goes.
Writing about The Homestead makes me want to go back this spring! Let me know if anyone else has gone and tried out any of the other activities.
The Homestead Resort
Hot Springs, Virginia
7696 Sam Snead Highway, Hot Springs, VA 24445