Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Greenbrier: America's Resort

This past spring, my parents and I had a trip planned to return to Nashville and other parts of Tennessee. My mom had the brilliant idea to visit the gorgeous Greenbrier Resort in White Sulfur Springs West Virginia, while we were in that part of the country. The Greenbrier had been on my Mom's bucket list ever since we stayed at it's decor sister hotel, The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan a few years ago. To see pictures from that hotel so you can compare and contrast it with the Green Brier, CLICK HERE.

Originally built in 1778, this resort is full of history, and a little mystery... natural, healing spring water is what originally drew guests to this resort over 235 years ago. A spring of sulphur water is at the center of the resort property. It is surrounded by the white-columned springhouse, topped by a green dome that has been the symbol of The Greenbrier for generations (note in the photo below). Beginning in 1778, Mrs. Anderson, a local pioneer, adopted the local Native American tradition of "taking the waters" to relieve her chronic rheumatism. Based on this resource, for the first 125 years, the resort was known by the name White Sulphur Springs. It was a destination for people during the summers who wanted to escape coastal heat and diseases.

Ownership of the hotel changed hands several times throughout the years, for four years during World War II, The Greenbrier served as a surgical and rehabilitation center for 24,148 soldiers. The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway reacquired the property in 1946 and initiated a comprehensive redecoration of the hotel by renowned decorator Dorothy Draper. She gave the hotel a bold new personality, using color and oversized patterns to paint a picture that reflected the luxury of space, elegance and sense of history in every detail. Ms. Draper remained the resort's decorator into the 1960s. Upon her retirement, her protégé Carleton Varney, purchased the firm and he continues today as The Greenbrier Designer/Curator and President of Dorothy Draper & Co. Today, the inimitable styles of one of the most significant and celebrated designers of the century is showcased throughout The Greenbrier.

This renowned property offers 710 rooms, including 33 suites and 96 guest and estate homes, there are 10 lobbies, 40+ meeting rooms, 20 restaurants and lounges, more than 55 activities, 36 designer boutiques, a world-renowned mineral spa, an indoor and outdoor pool, a fancy casino, an underground bunker that was once a state secret (more on that later) and a 103,000 square foot gaming and entertainment venue. Our stay was three days long and we were still discovering new areas on the evening of our last day, this resort is definitely one of a kind.

We didn't even realized the weekend we were going to be at this resort was Easter weekend when we originally booked our stay, but it was the perfect place to spend the holiday. When we walked in the front doors and made our way to the check in lobby, we were greeted by this larger than life easter egg display made entirely out of chocolate! Given the elegance of the hotel, we were a little caught off guard by the silliness of the display, but it was super fun. Since it was easter, the hotel had tons of kids and families staying for the weekend, so there were constantly fun activities for all ages happening around the grounds all weekend long.

The first thing all of us wanted to do was explore! So, this post is dedicated to the interior design of the main part of the hotel. Like I mentioned earlier, we kept discovering new rooms, lobbies and restaurants throughout our stay, I will post about those areas later, as well as the activities we did during our stay.

I loved the mural wall paper, mixed with the black and white tile floor, the herringbone chair and the blue and white crystal chandelier. They are all such bold elements, yet somehow they all work quite well together.

Down one of the hallways off the check in lobby was a movie theater that showed a kids movie every night right after dinner, then showed an old, classic movie later in the evening. We attended a showing of one of their classic films, Easter Parade starring Judy Garland and Fred Astaire.

Lobby area number two.

The lobby bar, which is most well known for it's gorgeous chandelier. The stunning 600-pound crystal chandelier was used on the 1939 movie set for Gone With The Wind.  The Greenbrier’s interior designer and curator, Carleton Varney, purchased the chandelier from the collection of Debbie Reynolds.  Although widely known as a singer and actress, Ms. Reynolds also maintained an extensive collection of Hollywood memorabilia rescued from the warehouses of large movie studios. 

The Greenbrier is also home to another Gone With The Wind chandelier, it's located in the main dining room's Tea Garden, I'm not sure if I got a picture of that one ...

Yet another peaceful lobby. I would love to come and spend a week at this resort and bounce from lobby to lobby with a book and a refreshing drink and just soak up the beautiful surroundings.

This was one of my all time favorite rooms, the Grand Ballroom.

Those ombre curtains mixed with that dazzling crystal chandelier, just makes my heart happy

This is one of the 40+ meeting rooms at the resort, I would not mind attending a meeting there.

The main dining room was done in a deep, emerald green, which happens to be my favorite color.

I'm thinking this might be the other Gone With The Wind chandelier, but I can't find anything to confirm or deny that thought. So lets just go ahead and say that it is ...

This was another one of my favorite rooms, I loved the color combinations, and it was somewhat hidden so it wasn't as busy as some of the other areas. 

There was a balcony off this lobby area that looked over the grounds in the back of the hotel, complete with rocking chairs.

More photos of the beautiful gardens coming soon.

And here is a little tour of our two rooms. Each room is decorated differently at this resort, I love hotels that do this. Our rooms were down our own private little hallway that we could close off with a pair of french doors if we wanted the extra privacy. It was fancy.

This was my room. The wall paper was covered with yellow daffodils which set the tone for the entire room. 

Mom and Dad's room was done in blue and pink. Their wall paper had pink tulips in blue and white dutch porcelain vases

Our weekend at America's Resort was just getting started! Lots more posts to come!

1 comment:

  1. Ah, I loved this review of those beautiful rooms, and love how you caught the details. The emerald green and red rooms by the bar were so striking, and other rooms so whimsical with wide striped pastel papers and black hounds tooth sofa shaped like a jelly bean! The floral designs never cease to delight the eye and gladden the heart! I love that I can revisit anytime through the lens of your camera!