This Virginia Mountain Resort Is the Ultimate Luxury Retreat for Active Travelers
For many, a luxury vacation means clear blue water, days spent under an umbrella, endless piña coladas, and a completely cleared schedule. No alarms are set; meals are followed by naps and more sunscreen applications. For other travelers, that doesn't sound quite as appealing as it used to. Hours of lounging and reading sound too similar to a year-plus of lockdowns and Netflix marathons. They crave new sights, sounds, and the contentment that comes from heart-rate-inducing activities and constant stimulation. This fall, these are the type of people who will need crisp mornings, long days filled with adventure, and nights spent with a well-earned cocktail in hand.
If this sounds like your type of trip, add Primland Resort to your bucket list — a mountain retreat in Virginia known for its breathtaking views and seemingly infinite list of outdoor pursuits, from fly-fishing to guided horse rides and all-terrain driving. Oh, and that cocktail? Make it one of the resort's delicious (and a little bit dangerous) moonshine beverages.
Primland, which became a member of the Auberge Resorts Collection in spring of 2021, is hidden in southwestern Virginia. It can be found in the Meadows of Dan, a half-hour drive from the North Carolina border, but only if you're looking for it (or are one of its guests or pre-approved visitors). You'd never know there was a five-star lodge and several luxury treehouses and cottages hiding behind the untouched wilderness — which is certainly part of the property's charm.
There's no pool to lounge by, but that's not what you'd expect from this type of escape. To experience the true wonderland that is Primland, your daily schedule should be packed. Most guests are first attracted to Primland for the 18-hole Highland Course with views of the impressive Pinnacles of Dan, but they stay for the mind reset that comes with nonstop adventures in the Virginia mountains.
Here's how to discover the magic of an active luxury vacation.
Wade in the Dan River with an experienced fly-fishing guide.
You don't even have to catch anything to enjoy fly-fishing at Primland. Strapping into your waders and standing knee-deep in the rushing streams of the Dan River is a paradise for experts and novices alike. Keep your eye on your line, though; you never know when a wild brown, rainbow, or brook trout will make its way to your hook.
Take in acres upon acres of mountain views via an ATV.
Once your helmet is securely fastened, you can take off down the dirt paths, which run in parallel with the densely populated forest. An hour of bumping up and down the mountain may allow you to see a larger portion of the property than hiking would, but it will leave you just as tired and sore — in the best way possible.
Grab a golf cart and some ear plugs before taking on the challenging mile-long sporting clay course.
There's something to be said for an activity that requires the utmost attention to detail and safety. The sporting clay course at Primland is just that; your ammunition will only find the moving targets (of which there are many — 14 stations in total) if your mind is focused on the task at hand.
Experience a uniquely designed massage treatment, complete with Native American healing rituals.
The spa at Primland provides massages and facials that are quite different from other luxury wellness resorts, as it nods to the Native American healing rituals of the region. Your treatment begins by picking a card; the animal on your card will tell you a bit about yourself and where you are in life, according to Native American tradition.
See other planets and solar systems while stargazing in the observatory.
If there's one activity that can get you out of your own thoughts completely, it's stargazing. The Primland Observatory hosts both Celestron CGE Pro 1400 and CPC 800 telescopes, which offer views of expanding galaxies and supernovas. Stressed about your meeting that's coming right after this trip? Don't be; as just 15 minutes in the observatory proves, the universe is so much bigger than a conference call or list of errands that need to be checked off.