Imagine stumbling across a serene glade in a dense forest—albeit a huge 12,000-acre glade carved out of the forests of the Blue Ridge Mountains—and that’s how it feels to finally reach the Primland Resort. To say that Primland is off-the-beaten path is an understatement. It’s not an easy place to get to and that is by design. After climbing miles on winding, forested mountain roads at a cautious deer-spotting speed, you’ll finally reach one of the two secluded entrances that will transport you into the world of the mountain resort. This a perfect destination for experiences solitude nature and an array of outdoor sports from high adventure to leisurely.
The main North Gate entrance near the Meadows of Dan is closest to the Lodge (six miles from the entrance gate), while the South Gate entrance near Claudville and the North Carolina state line is close to the sport shooting and trail riding areas of the resort. Seclusion is one of the primary selling points of this member of the Auberge Resorts Collection, second only to its impressive array of outdoor activities, luxury accommodations and outstanding culinary offerings.
Creating A 5-Star Luxury Mountain Resort
Designed by the late French billionaire, Didier Primat, to be an environmentally conscious retreat for the well-heeled to enjoy quintessential country pursuits like hunting, fishing, horseback riding and clay shooting, Primland sits atop a finger of the Blue Ridge at an elevation of 3,000 feet in the heart of the wilderness.
Rugged mountain pursuits aside, the five-star resort offers an abundance of creature comforts from fine dining to Frette linens, which is why Conde Nast named it the #1 resort in the Southeast. The soaring Great Hall is a study in modern mountain chic with twin towering stone fireplaces that warm up the space and offer cozy fireside conversation areas. Furnishings and curated art pieces are distinctly modern and are offset by the reclaimed wood flooring and architectural accents. At once rustic and refined, the aesthetic is decidedly upscale, yet unpretentious.
Types of Lodging & Amenities at Primland Resort
The array of accommodations—from Lodge rooms and suites to cottages, mountain homes and even treehouses at Primland—exhibit the same understated elegance and attention to detail with a mixture of wood and stone flooring, dark wood and leather furnishings and nature-inspired artwork. The 26 Lodge rooms and suites overlooking the golf course and Blue Ridge mountains feature private balconies, deep soaking tubs, Frette plush robes and slippers, Bulgari toiletries and 400-thread count Frette sheets.
The Lodge—a perfect choice if you want to be close to resort amenities— houses the Auberge Spa, fitness center and indoor pool, theater and game rooms, the observatory and two of the resorts’ restaurants, Elements and the 19th Pub, as well as a two-story wine room.
“Rugged mountain pursuits aside, the five-star resort offers an abundance of creature comforts from fine dining to Frette linens, which is why Conde Nast named it the #1 resort in the Southeast.”
If you prefer more solitude or need a larger space for families or groups, choose from one of the many cottages and mountain homes on the property: the Fairway Cottages and Pinnacle Cottages vary in size and can accommodate up from four to twelve guests and can also be divided into individual suites, each of which feature private balconies and living areas with fieldstone fireplaces. For families, complimentary cribs, pack-and-plays and rollaway beds are available and several cottages welcome your four-legged family members as well.
Romantic couples love the three treehouses perched above the Dan River Gorge— literally nestled in the giant trees—overlooking Kilber Valley. Or if the sky’s the limit, book the 1,800-square-foot, two-story Celestial Suite located in the Observatory Tower. With wraparound balcony views and windows and separate living and sleeping areas connected by a spiral staircase, this luxurious couple’s suite truly reaches for the stars with stunning views by day or night.
Embracing Wellness with a Spa & Fine Dining
The Auberge Spa combines Native American healing rituals with European spa treatments and a wellness philosophy that includes nature hikes, meditation and yoga. Organic products and essential oils—along with local ingredients—are an integral part of the cutting-edge facials, scrubs, wraps and massages offered, while complimentary fitness options include yoga classes, tennis, a fully equipped gym, and chlorine-free indoor pool.
A sauna and steam room are located in the spa locker rooms and the spa also boasts a full-service salon for hair and nail services. For those that prefer to be outdoors at all times, the Bootleggers Outdoor Gym and Fitness Trail and outdoor yoga sessions offer a fresh perspective on fitness.
From elegant farm-to-table fine dining at Elements to casual fare at the 19th Pub—both located in the Lodge—guests will savor fresh, seasonal organic produce grown in Primland’s own garden or sourced locally. The two-story wine cellar features wines from around the world, but to fully enjoy the Virginia country life, try the 2018 Early Mountain Cabernet Franc from one of the state’s award-winning wineries. Enjoy expansive views and the glow of the glass-encased floating fireplace at Elements while dining on seasonal dishes from grass-fed beef to grouper or grab a burger and a cold beer at the 19th Pub after a round of golf.
For Southern comfort food with a side of live bluegrass music, follow the trail on Friday and Saturday nights to the Stables Saloon on the second floor of the former horse barn. Part of the Crooked Road—Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail—the Saloon dishes up barbequed beef brisket, fried chicken and an array of side dishes for an evening sure to set your taste buds and toes tapping. Children’s menus are offered at all of the restaurants and guests of all ages will love to gather after dinner on the North Terrace for s’mores around the firepit.
Primland’s Outdoor Activities Include Fishing, Golf, Horses & Sport Shooting
It would be easier to describe the activities that Primland doesn’t offer than to detail the more than two dozen it does. From adrenaline inducing RTV tours of its forested trails to serene stargazing in its Observatory, there is something inspiring for guests of all ages. Hit the trails in the first-growth forests on horseback, on foot or on a mountain bike—complimentary guided hikes are offered by the resort’s resident naturalist, and both yoga classes and tennis are also on the house.
Three stocked ponds are filled with trout and bass, while seasoned anglers will enjoy the catch-and-release fishing on a six-mile stretch of the Dan River. In warm weather, guided kayak trips and paddle boarding in the Talbott Reservoir are popular, offering views of spectacular wildflower-filled hillsides and playful otters and beavers. Archery, tomahawk throwing and clay shooting appeal to sportsmen, as do the two hunting seasons for pheasant and deer.
And while you wouldn’t expect a mountaintop resort to be a golf destination, the Highland Course at Primland—designed by the renowned Donald Steel—offers challenging rounds with breathtaking mountain views. Open year-round, the course was recently ranked No. 2 in Virginia by Golfweek. While Primland may seem like summer camp for adults, the Outdoor Activity Center also offers curated adventures for young guests that range from learning the basics of golf, archery and fly fishing to wilderness survival skills. In the evenings, guests of all ages will want to explore the heavens in the resort’s Observatory with the help of its CGE Pro 1400 and CPC 800 telescopes.
The Ultimate Virginia Wine Country Vacation
For active travelers looking for an experiential getaway, Primland is an escape from the stress-filled hustle and bustle of urban life. Whether you’re a hiker, golfer, angler, equestrian or simply a lover of the outdoors, the resort in its pristine mountain setting offers a return to a slower pace of life guided by nature. From wildlife sightings and action-packed days to relaxing massages, stargazing and culinary delights, every day at Primland is a day of new discoveries.
Discover more luxury resorts in Virginia Wine Country. The iconic Keswick Hall Resort has been recently refurbished with a new spa, a Jean Georges restaurant, guest rooms, golf course & more–a beautiful resort in wine country near Charlottesville Virginia. Up in northern Virginia, the Omni Homestead Resort offers a stunning spa and natural hot springs along with historic sites, dining, equestrian activities and more. In Middleburg, the stunning luxury equestrian resort and spa Salamander Middleburg is a treat for the senses. ~
is a freelance writer specializing in arts, entertainment, travel with pets, and European destinations. Author of Fido’s Virginia and Fido’s Florida (both Countryman), she is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and lives in Richmond, Virginia with her German Shepherd, Lola, and her cat, Gizmo.
R. L. JOHNSON is our Co-Publisher and Creative Director. Bethke studied at the prestigious ArtCenter College of Design and began her career as a professional photographer in Los Angeles. She moved into graphic design and art direction when she relocated to Charlottesville in 1994. As our company’s co-founder and visionary, she enjoys all aspects of storytelling.
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