The culmination of a more than $150-million renovation, along with a centennial milestone, make now the perfect time to visit this historic golf resort
For more than two centuries, The Omni Homestead Resort has drawn dignitaries and discerning travelers to the Allegheny Mountains of western Virginia. Nearly two dozen presidents and former presidents have visited the property, including Thomas Jefferson, who, in 1818, frequently soaked in the resort’s mineral-rich Warm Springs Pools. Almost a century later, William Howard Taft paid equal attention to the fairways and greens of the resort’s Old Course, which opened for play in 1892.
Omni Hotels & Resorts acquired The Homestead in 2013, and since the fall of 2021 has invested more than $150 million to both restore and renovate the historic property. This summer, the final phase of that renovation project was completed—the modernization of all 483 guest rooms, 28 meeting spaces, the resort’s 100-year-old theater, and other public areas. This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the Cascades Course, a William Flynn design that has hosted eight USGA Championships, with two more to come by decade’s end.
1) Legendary Footsteps
A round on the Cascades Course is a chance to walk in the footsteps of Sam Snead, who learned the game here and called it his home course for his entire professional life. He still holds the course record, a 61 that included nine consecutive threes on the back nine. Routed across undulating terrain, the course showcases the beauty of the Allegheny Mountains. Just don’t expect many flat lies or level stances.
2) A Good Soak
Make like Thomas Jefferson and book yourself a 50-minute soak at the resort’s Warm Springs Pools, where the mineral-rich geothermal waters remain around 100 degrees year round and are known to promote relaxation, improve circulation, relieve pain, and soothe skin irritations. Make sure you spend a few minutes in the overflow area, where the rushing waters have a massaging effect.
3) Getting Over the Hump
Don’t pass up the wild game burger on the Jefferson’s Taproom lunch menu. The sandwich changes regularly based on the specific meat that can be sourced, including camel. Yes, you read that right. As it turns out, the camel burger is rich and robust with a slight smokiness, which is nicely accented with bacon and grilled onions.
4) Local Flavor
Through a variety of tasting flights, the resort’s Virginia Wine Experience introduces guests to the state’s top wines. Cabernet Francs produced only 50 miles away deliver elegant, terroir-driven Old World character.
5) Feeling Presidential
Step inside the new Presidential Lounge, just off the Great Hall, and whet your whistle with a great whiskey: We recommend the resort’s private barrel selection of George Dickel 15-Year. With a drink in hand, venture to the back room, where you’ll find a billiards table surrounded by oil paintings of the many Commanders in Chief who have tucked in at the resort.
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