Salamander Resort & Spa earns Five-Star Rating from Forbes Travel Guide

Owned by Sheila Johnson, the luxury Middleburg, VA, property achieves industry’s highest honor, making it the first Forbes Five-Star destination resort in the Washington, D.C. region

MIDDLEBURG, VA (February 20, 2019) – Salamander Resort & Spa, the luxury Virginia property owned by Sheila Johnson, was today awarded the prestigious Five-Star Rating by the Forbes Travel Guide for the first time, placing it among the most iconic and revered hotels and resorts worldwide.

The gold standard in the hospitality industry since 1958, the Forbes Five-Star ratings are based on professional, anonymous inspections. Only 210 properties worldwide achieved the Five-Star rating, with just 79 recognized in the United States. Only two new properties in the U.S. received the award this year, and with this new honor, Salamander becomes the first destination resort in the Washington, D.C. region to achieve the Five-Star designation.

“I am so incredibly proud and humbled that our resort has achieved this rating,” said Johnson, Founder & CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts. “Obtaining Five Stars has been a goal since we started drawing plans for the resort, and I am so grateful to our entire team of service professionals who strive to exceed our guests’ expectations on a daily basis. They truly make the difference.”

A pioneer for gender and racial equality, Johnson is the only African-American woman to wholly own a Five-Star resort. Renowned as the co-founder of Black Entertainment Television, she is also a partner in Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Washington Wizards, Mystics and current Stanley Cup Champion Capitals. But it is hospitality which she considers her passion. The opportunity to develop the 168-room resort was the main reason she entered the industry and the project took a decade to design and build.

Since opening its highly anticipated doors in August 2013, Salamander Resort & Spa has received worldwide plaudits, and also become a community gathering point and executive retreat for Washington, D.C. residents. The resort’s success over the past five years has drawn travelers from all over the world to the region, and last year it was one of only three properties in the U.S. to be recognized by Forbes Travel Guide for both its accommodations and spa in a separate ranking of “World’s Most Luxurious Hotels and Spas.”

“When designing Salamander Resort & Spa, we were driven by local culture and history to create a property that embraced the Middleburg lifestyle,” said Prem Devadas, president of Salamander Hotels & Resorts. “Creating a welcoming and connective environment for guests, one where the design tells a story, is incredibly important. And, of course, the exceptional service our team provides is the defining level of detail that helped Forbes Travel Guide and its inspection team recognize the resort as one of the finest in the world. We could not be more excited.”

Located on 340 picturesque acres in the storied village of Middleburg – the heart of Virginia’s famed horse and wine country – the resort is only 35 minutes from Washington Dulles International Airport. Designed to blend into the surrounding rolling countryside, the 168-room Salamander Resort & Spa draws its architectural inspiration from Johnson’s nearby farm. It offers a series of immersive experiences unique to the area, including Harrimans Virginia Piedmont Grill, a Cooking Studio and Culinary Garden, a tranquil outdoor spa courtyard with an infinity pool, a tree-top zip line tour, and a 22-stall equestrian center with riding arena.

“This award is truly a testament to the extraordinary dedication our service professionals provide each and every day,” said Reggie Cooper, the resort’s general manager. “We all take immense pride in reflecting Ms. Johnson’s belief that everyone should be welcomed as if they were entering into her own home.”

Considered one of the finest luxury hotel companies in the country, Salamander Hotels & Resorts has just opened the magnificent new Hotel Bennett in Charleston, SC. It also operates three resorts in Florida: The Henderson in Destin; Hammock Beach Resort near St. Augustine; and Innisbrook Resort in Tampa, which will host the PGA TOUR’s Valspar Championship in March.

Five-Star, Five Senses Package

Enjoy a five-night getaway and experience adventures to heighten all five of your senses. Our exclusive Five-Star, Five Senses Package starts at $555 per night and includes: 

  • Five nights of luxurious accommodations
  • See the target and enjoy an archery class for two
  • Hear the wind zipping past you on a Treetop Zip Lining tour for two
  • Taste the amazing dishes at a dinner for two at Harrimans
  • Touch a gentle giant as you go on a horseback ride
  • Smell the aromatic scents of oils as you indulge in a massage at Salamander Spa

For more information on our Five-Star Package, please call (844) 308-2723

Five-Star Cocktail at Gold Cup

Cheers to luxury with the new Five-Star Caviar Cocktail at Gold Cup.

This indulgent libation features Belvedere Unfiltered, mixed with Liquid Caviar, kissed with Gold Dust, topped with Dom Perignon, and finished with two Caviar Cubes.

$55 per cocktail. For additional information, please call 540.326.4070.

Five-Stars, Five-Courses at Harrimans

To celebrate our Forbes Five-Star rating, we invite you to experience Harrimans for yourself with the new and exclusive five-course menu