I fell in love with Primland as soon as we drove through the tree-lined entrance of this luxurious 12,000-acre resort in southwest Virginia. I was even more delighted when we walked into the Lodge after the scenic 20-minute drive up winding mountain roads to check in and saw the incredible views out the back.
I could happily sit on the expansive deck with that view for an entire weekend. But there’s so much to do here, you’ll want to take advantage of the opportunities. It’s a balancing act – being active but working in the appropriate amount of chill time.
We achieved a perfect balance for us. We enjoyed fine dining with gorgeous mountain views, explored the wooded acreage during a rollicking RTV tour, took a sunset hike and relaxed in the soothing waters of the indoor pool.
Please see the related stories from other stops on our Virginia road trip.
Outdoor Activities at Primland
My husband gripped the steering wheel of our RTV tightly as we climbed slowly up the huge rocky clay path, not sure we’d be able to scale it. We did and were greeted with an equally steep hill on the other side. “Hang on,” he yelled, his voice a bit muffled from the handkerchiefs we had tied around our faces to keep the dust down.
There are 100 miles of RTV trails at Primland that use the old logging roads that were here prior to it becoming a resort property. Guests can head out on guided tours, with the choice of roads up to the guide. The first half of our trip was much more rugged than I remembered from our previous trip – I was happy my teeth were intact when it was over – so I nicely asked our guide if we could take it a bit easier on the way back. And we did.
Anyone who loves the outdoors will find plenty to do here. The resort became Orvis-endorsed in 1990 and has an activities center. You can go fly fishing, play disc golf, shoot clays, play tennis, horseback ride, kayak and paddleboard. You can also sign up for air rifle, tomahawk throwing and archery.
Golfing on the mountain top course is popular as is fishing on a six-mile stretch of the Dan River. Hunters will be in heaven as Primland, an Orvis-endorsed wing shooting lodge, specializes in pheasant hunting and European-style shoots.
You can rent a bike to go mountain biking or road biking. There are also beautiful hiking trails that wind through the woods with scenic views. We set off one evening at sunset, barely making it back before nightfall.
Indoor Pursuits at Primland
There’s a beautiful indoor saltwater pool and hot tub at Primland, a perfect place to relax. Outside is a seating area where we took a seat in the lounge chairs for a while to read and relax. The full-service spa has a hair salon. I enjoyed a delightful massage there one morning.
A free yoga class is offered every week or you can book a private yoga session for up the three people. Practice that downward dog on one of the two open-air yoga/meditation decks. In addition to a large fitness room, there’s also the Bootleggers Outdoor Gym.
The most unique activity and a highlight of our stay was a 45-minute program at the Observatory Dome led by a professional astronomer with the use of a 14” telescope. The dome of the silo-like structure opens for views unobstructed by light pollution of stars, planets and other celestial bodies light years away.
Unfortunately, on both of our visits the skies were too cloudy to see much but we enjoyed hearing about the stars. And the night before we had spent the night with my college buddies, Judy and Roberts, who have a cabin across the valley from Primland. We ate outside under the stars and saw several shooting ones so we knew how amazing the skies here are.
Dining Options at Primland
We were lucky with the weather and could enjoy lunch and dinner one night at the 19th Pub sitting outside on the deck with a mountain view. Guests can enjoy lunch and a casual dinner here with items like burgers, pimento cheese, duck sliders and other pub fare.
Breakfast and dinner are served in the Elements dining room. Breakfast items include dishes like overnight oats, acai bowls, omelets and pancakes.
Dinner is more formal with menu items like steaks, salmon, duck breast and crab cakes. My favorite dish was the fried quail and Chris ordered a bowl of gazpacho, which came in a bathtub-sized bowl.
Stables Saloon, located a short drive away, is open seasonally serving breakfast and dinner family-style, with live bluegrass music.
The newest addition to Primland is the stunning Schlumberger Wine Cellar, which can seat up to 14 guests who can enjoy private meals and events. The Primat family founded Primland, and they are descended from the Schlumbergers. Even better, they are part owners of the Domaines Schlumberger winery.
“People always leave this room happy,” Chandler McGrady, executive assistant at Primland said. He was showing me around and told me the room was made from reclaimed chestnut wood found on the property.
The Accommodations at Primland
Our spacious room had a separate sitting area with a fantastic view of the mountains, desk, huge closet area and comfortable bedroom. The bathroom was huge and had a shower and a bathtub, a feature I really appreciate and one that’s disappearing from hotel rooms.
Primland has a variety of accommodations to chose from, 26 rooms and suites in The Lodge where we stayed, three Fairway Cottages that can accommodate up the eight guests, four Pinnacle Cottages that can accommodate up to 12 people and three treehouses.
For more on Primland, please visit aubergeresorts.com/primland
— Jan Schroder, Editor in chief