Our new favorite obsession!
Good things come to those who wait. After a week at a trade show that spanned more than 12 million sq. ft. of showroom space, my need for revitalising rest was palpable. Thankfully Lansdowne - midway between High Point, North Carolina and Waterloo, Canada - was happy to offer their good things to me.
Recently, Lansdowne Resort, snuggled in the heart of DC wine country in Leesburg, Virginia, opened their doors to GoGirlfriend. Come experience our version of peace, love and understanding, they coaxed. Of course, we were intrigued and did some digging. It's is a four diamond resort and DC's only full-service resort. Known for their luxury Spa Minerale, 45-hole championship golf course, glorious views of the Potomac and proximity to shopping nirvana, they've also got some hidden treasures.
Truthfully, they had me at spa.
Arriving at Lansdowne, conference weary
Arriving at Lansdowne after walking non-stop for a week and then driving six hours through the mountains of Virginia, Mr. GoGirlfriend and I were tired - bone-weary tired. Turning off the main thoroughfare, we passed beautifully manicured lawns, gardens and a sprawling golf course overlooking the Potomac River.
We dropped our luggage off and sought out Stonewalls Tavern where we sank gratefully into the oversized chairs. The tavern, styled much like a British library but airier, was a hub of activity. We weren't the only ones seeking respite.
Mr. GoGirlfriend and I enjoy trying local beers from cottage breweries and as we debated which beer to try, we began to perk up. We both settled on the Flying Dog "Old Scratch" Lager (Fredericksburg, Maryland), a malty, smooth amber. Instead of ordering a proper meal, we selected a variety of things to nibble on - popcorn chicken, onion rings, a salad and crab cakes. It was the perfect end to a long week and the perfect beginning to a relaxing stay at Lansdowne.
Peace at Lansdowne
Very soon after arriving at Lansdowne, I began to feel like we'd entered a protected retreat, closed off from the rest of the world. With the resort overlooking the golf course and Potomac River, it's easy to see why breathtaking comes naturally here. But Lansdowne hasn't rested on their natural endowments - they have an embarrassing amount of awards to their name that range from range from exemplary service to leadership in ecological practices to wine, wedding and golf excellence.
From conferences and group gathering to family reunions and girlfriend getaways, it's easy to see why Lansdowne Resort is a favorite - there's so much for guests to do on-site. If you visit in the summer, their outdoor pool facility with 5 pools, waterslide and poolside bar service satisfies all age groups. There's also an outdoor (lighted) basketball court, a Robert Trent Jones designed golf course and walking trails along the beautiful Potomac.
During the winter, take advantage of their indoor lap pool, full service exercise facility and, of course the spa (but that's another post).
Writing about Lansdowne without giving ample space to the dining options would be like writing about Florida and forgetting to mention Disney. I don't consider myself a purist foodie but I like to eat and choice is important to me - maybe because I'm vegetarian and so often choice is outside of my reach.
Our second night at the resort I was hoping to try their signature restaurant, On the Potomac, but visiting during slow season and a weeknight cancelled that. I decided to sneak in and poke around, to get a feel for it for GG readers, of course. I didn't get away with it and the manager found me snooping through the menus and gazing wistfully at the view. I explained my disappointment and then he mysteriously excused himself for a moment. He returned to tell me the chef would be happy to make something and bring it to Stonewalls Tavern for me later that evening. Just to be clear, he didn't know I was there to write a story about the restaurant. The gesture impressed me as much as the mushroom risotto I dove into later that evening.
Along with the On the Potomac and Stonewalls Tavern, I suggest lunch at the Crooked Billet with a table overlooking the golf course and river. If you're rushed for time or want something more casual, opt for Pub 46 - just be sure to ask for the "Old Bay" potato chips. Trust us, you'll be glad you did.
For me, a resort blossoms when it embraces the local flavor while appealing to universal appetite. Lansdowne Resort is owned by a company with properties across the US, which makes this balance even more challenging. Here's what I think they do exceptionally well:
- Unique events - With celebrations like Thanksgiving on the patio and Friday night live music (local musicians) they never let you forget where you are.
- Front line happy & helpful - From my experience with the restaurant to chatting with staff in the hallway, people who work here like to work here. It shows.
- Standards of excellence - Achieving a four diamond standing is hard to achieve and harder to maintain. They make it look easy, which makes it easier for you to relax. Beautiful!
- Girlfriend friendly - We loved that they encourage large and small groups equally and bend the rules to make every experience special. After all, no two girlfriend getaways are exactly alike.
- Wine, spa and shopping - Let's face it, wine, spa and shopping are like oxygen to a girlfriend getaway. For our views on wine, visit our Loudoun County Wine Tasting post.
Check out others reviews of the Lansdowne Resort on Trip Advisor. To book a room, head to their Lansdowne Resort Accommodations page. Join in on the conversation (and check out their monthly signature recipe) with Landsdowne on Twitter.
To comply with the long list of regulating bodies, possibly even Geneva Conventions and in the interest of transparency, our Lansdowne Resort visit was sponsored by the Lansdowne Resort, but the commentary and perspectives are those of GoGirlfriend.