You’ve heard the Vivian Greene quote: “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
Well, in light of Covid-19 and its cascading effects, 2020 has been a bit of a rainstorm for many of us.
I couldn’t sit inside waiting for the challenges to pass any longer; I did not want to waste this one precious life. So I decided to find a way to “dance in the rain,” by planning a luxury, socially distanced escape from all the metaphorical storm clouds. With some intelligent protocols and by picking the right destination, it is still possible to enjoy life, see the world and travel.
I headed to the Primland Resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, with its perfectly secluded location all the way in the mountains, the ideal oasis to escape from the stress and find some peace.
Here, my husband and I experienced remarkable hospitality as we enjoyed gourmet meals, stunning views, luxury spa treatments, hiking, fly fishing and quality time in the forest. This 12,000-acre resort made us feel forever away from our everyday lives. Primland truly is the ultimate mountain getaway, perfectly blending nature with luxury.
Any nervousness about health and safety was eliminated right up front, as guests’ temperatures are taken almost eight miles away from the grounds, at the bottom of the private mountain. Everyone visiting Primland is vetted and temps are taken, so you can feel confident that no illness crosses the property’s gate. From there, the anticipation just builds, as you travel through the lush forest and into the majestic mountain views.
Despite its remote location, it’s an easy drive and just across the North Carolina border from famous Mount Airy — you know, Mayberry, from The Andy Griffith Show. Mount Airy is where actor Andy Griffith grew up, and this quaint town is reminiscent of the TV show’s town.
Primland is built in the heart of nature, secluded and surrounded by trees and natural splendor. This huge golf resort only offers 33 luxury lodge rooms, so you feel like you have the property to yourself. Pick between various other lodging options too. You can stay in the lodge or a cottage—even in a “treehouse.” They have plenty of options to choose from, some even dog-friendly.
The expansive rooms feature the most usable storage in a room that I’ve ever experienced. The bathroom offered many unique hydro features, including an oversized soaking tub that felt like its own private spa. With some of the on-site spa’s hydrotherapy features currently closed due to Covid-19, instead I visited the well-curated spa boutique and picked up some soaking salts, which I poured in my guest room’s tub for a special spa feeling.
The cleanliness at Primland was extreme, second to none. In some hotels, I don’t freely move around and touch items, but everything here was pristine. That’s what we want when traveling these days. I felt totally comfortable.
Every detail here is strategic and adds to the feelings of comfort, elegance, oneness with nature and relaxation, from the 400-thread-count Frette bedding to the property’s organic garden. Food here centers around farm-fresh, local, organic ingredients. Dine indoors, outdoors or get food delivered to your room.
There’s so much to do at Primland. It’s famous for its golfing, but you can also go kayaking, ride horses, go skeet shooting, go off-roading or even learn to throw tomahawks.
One of our favorite activities was a visit to the observatory, a unique offering at a resort. Stargazing through a telescope was yet another way to connect with the great outdoors. We spent a night in the observatory, gazing at stars, planets and other amazing celestial objects through the Celestron CGE Pro 1400 telescope. I’m still giddy about seeing Jupiter. Our guide for the night viewing the stars was definitely in her element. She had the answer to every question anyone from ages 1 to 100 could ask her. She definitely is a perfect fit for this position at the resort.
My husband especially enjoyed going fly fishing. He was in heaven, as he cast out a line along the rugged Dan River. The resort also has three stocked ponds open year-round. While fly fishing is catch and release, if you fish the ponds, you can actually prepare and eat your catch for dinner.
Golf at the 18-hole, Audubon-certified Highland Course at Primland, with sweeping mountain views, is what draws many visitors to the resort. This course boasts many awards and accolades, including being named one of the top 100 courses by Golf Magazine and being ranked No. 2 in Virginia. You will also most likely spot a deer there during the early mornings or evening when the golf course is more vacant. If you get out early enough, you might even spot a bear!
As a spa expert, of course the Spa at Primland was a favorite feature for me. This sanctuary perfectly blends European spa techniques with Native American healing rituals. The treatment list spans massages and facials, but also includes yoga, meditation and more. The Native American treatments are thoughtfully designed to incorporate nature and the seasons. The atmosphere is enhanced by Native American tea and Native spa music.
The spa itself is spacious, with plenty of room to relax while social distancing. Lounge chairs in the relaxation room are spaced far apart, so you can enjoy watching the butterflies outside the oversized windows flitter from wildflower to wildflower that the spa director planted herself. I can’t wait to return when Covid rules are loosened and enjoy this spa the way it was meant to be experienced. It has so much to offer.
Another unique offering at Primland is “forest bathing.” This is a type of therapy designed to help improve your mental and physical health using nature. At Primland, you can request a meditative walk through nature that puts you in touch with the flora and fauna of the region. This is designed to be rejuvenating and restorative. The experience concludes with a special ceremony at the Medicine Wheel. This is an outdoor circular garden that as the seasons turn it directs you to the most appropriate flowers and herbs to use for your needs of the season. The spa utilizes these natural remedies in some of its seasonal spa treatments.
There are so many activities at Primland that you could never do them all. I see that as a great reason to return. In fact, about 90 percent of the people I met at the resort were on a return visit. Primland is so special that once you’ve got a taste, you just have to go back.
A True Escape
Primland is a true escape where you can connect with yourself and the earth. I found myself doing things that I wanted to do and enjoying them without feeling I was doing it for the “'gram” or just doing something just to share it.
I went on a 3-mile hike. I spent time looking at the night sky. I did these things for myself. Not for others. Not to get “likes.” Because it was what I needed and craved.
The only thing not perfect about Primland was I did not have my dogs with me. However, I learned the resort’s cottages are dog-friendly. Like most people who visit Primland, I’m already planning my return visit. This time, with my furry friends.