Prevue November-December 2017 - 58
Resort & Spa
Attendees find fun and sophisticated self-realization programs
[ON LOCATION] KAREN TORME OLSON
ee the forest from a bird's perspective. Learn leadership
styles from a horse. Browse shops and restaurants in
historic Middleburg, Va. Then meet in a space as inviting as
a country squire's living room. It's all part of Salamander
Hotels & Resorts CEO Sheila Johnson's vision of a relaxing,
luxurious escape that appeals to both small and large groups of
every age and activity level. Johnson designed Salamander Resort &
Spa to echo the comfort and elegance of her own home. The result
is a sophisticated, relaxing destination that encourages wellness and
self-realization for visiting meetings and incentives groups.
Johnson's homey but haute spread is set on 340 acres in
Virginia horse and wine country less than an hour's drive from
Washington, DC. Its equestrian center, manor house vibe, worldclass spa, inventive farm-to-table dining venues, 25,000 sf of meeting
space, and a portfolio of one-of-a-kind activities create an alluring mix
that appeals to event attendees from a wide variety of cultures.
"Salamander is the only resort that has this kind of program,"
says Equestrian Director Sheryl Jordan when describing
EquiSpective, the resort's marquee group experience that bonds
and enlightens via horse-human interaction. Like humans, "horses
dwell in a social group; they form relationships and read body
language, energy and intention. We can learn from them."
Over the course of our time at the equestrian center, we learned
how to communicate with Patrick the horse through body language
and to direct his actions with non-verbal cues. The curriculum sheds
light on leadership styles, the power of relationships and selfawareness that instantly transforms any group into a team.
58 | prevuemeetings.com
LIFTING GROUPS TO NEW HEIGHTS
We headed off-site for an adventure of another kind via Empower
Adventure's tree top zip lining experience, which brought our
group to new heights over a 20-acre forest on five zip lines and
across two suspension bridges. "You have to be brave for just
two seconds to do this," explains our guide, Empower General
Manager Trevon Hauth, referring to the gutsy two seconds it
takes to move both feet off a 35-ft platform and into thin air with
nothing but a slim cable to hang on to. Follow this one up as we
did with a hot stone treatment and massage at Salamander Spa.
We emerged restored and ready for herbal cocktails, an inventive
locally sourced dinner and walk through the resort's fragrant
culinary garden following our spa session.
POUNDING IT OUT
The resort's fitness center marked the spot for a "Pound" workout
that had everyone banging drumsticks on the floor in sync to music
while doing squats and lunges. Our reward: A 10-minute walk to
Salamander Market in Middleburg for a big, home-style breakfast,
and a little meandering through the village's quaint shops, cozy
cafes and historic buildings.
Our time with Salamander culminated in an excursion to RdV,
a nearby vineyard where we wandered the terroir, learned about
winemaking, shared plates of local cheeses and charcuterie and
tasted RdV's latest vintages.