9 amazingly luxurious escapes hidden in the mountains
It may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think “luxury”— but it should be.
The mountains of West Virginia are the peak of elegance. Discover these tucked-away retreats with all the finest amenities, set amongst sweeping vista views and natural beauty:
1. Lounge on a queen-sized swinging bed in this luxury tree house
Tucked into a serene, wooded community on the edge of the New River Gorge National Park, Wild Rock’s “Tree House” is the perfect landing zone after some world-class adventuring in Fayetteville. Wash away the dirt from a hike on the Endless Wall Trail in one of the home’s two 5-star master baths. After a day of rafting, relax in the outdoor hot tub, or unwind around the firepit. Nap away an afternoon in the swinging queen-size bed on the screened-in porch, overlooking the pond and forest valley below.
World-renowned architect TAG Galyean designed this home with large group getaways in mind. The house sleeps 8 to 12 people, and with multiple decks, porches and rooms to choose from, everyone is sure to find their own little forest hideaway.
2. Forget time in this modern cabin getaway
Want a mountain getaway with a city twist? Lost River Modern, a chic, rectangular cabin, serves as a striking juxtaposition to the 30 acres of wooded land it sits on in Hardy County.
There’s no cellphone service, but the cabin boasts modern luxuries including wireless Internet, stainless steel appliances, laundry facilities and central air and heat. This cabin, with an open floor plan and a wall of giant sliding doors, is decorated with minimalist furnishings, including retro chairs and bold rugs. Even the hot tub is hip; the bright orange wood-fired jacuzzi in the front yard resembles something from outer space.
3. A private caboose becomes home for a remote mountain night
Looking for a twist on regular old camping? The Castaway Caboose is calling all adventurous souls aboard. The folks in Durbin have refurbished 2 original Wabash Railroad cabooses and hooked them up to The Durbin Rocket, an antique 55-ton steam locomotive from 1910. A conductor will whisk you, your caboose and up to 5 of your buddies into a remote setting along the Greenbrier River— and then leave.
Once there, the caboose will serve as your own private riverside home, complete with refrigerator, range, heat, linens, towels, utensils, a DVD player, full-size shower and restroom. Leave your cellphones at home because this train stop is in the National Radio Quiet Zone. The best part? You won’t see or hear from the outside world until the conductor rolls up in a day (…or two or three, depending on your level of commitment) to pull you back into reality.
4. Discover the top-secret bunker hidden under The Greenbrier
This sprawling white resort tucked into the rolling hills of White Sulphur Springs is sure to take your breath away. The Greenbrier Resort has been welcoming guests from around the world since 1778, including 26 presidents and countless celebrities. Its timeless southern charm and style is demonstrated with vintage floor-to-ceiling floral curtains, black and white checkered floors and lushly carpeted stairways. Guests have enjoyed an afternoon tea tradition since the 1930s.
The resort is more than top-notch dining and spa treatments, though. Guests can also take a historic tour of the top-secret, super-sized bunker built under the resort for all 535 members of Congress during the Eisenhower era. With rich history, pools, spas, shopping, golf, restaurants, bars, and a casino all on site, guests may not venture outside the resort for the entirety of their vacation.
5. Step into swankier days in this Bramwell B&B
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Bramwell had the highest number of millionaires per capita in the entire United States. In fact, Bryant Pharmacy (now the Corner Shop) was one of only 3 stores in the nation that sold Chanel No. 5 perfume.
Step back in time as you walk the streets of Bramwell, known for its well-preserved homes and businesses. One of those well-preserved buildings is Pamela’s Bed and Breakfast, nestled among the town’s circle of mansions once occupied by coal magnates. The all-white, 2-story house surrounded by a white picket fence was once home to a powerful coal baron and his wife.
Immerse yourself in the town’s history in one of 4 themed rooms. Imagine the life of a turn-of-the-century millionaire while you enjoy complimentary breakfast on the porch. As you stroll down the brick-cobbled Millionaire Row, keep in mind that obliging homeowners are known to invite curious guests in for a closer look. A stay at this bed and breakfast is sure to shelf the modern world.
6. Hitch a boat ride to your own private island escape
Located at the confluence of the Greenbrier, Bluestone and New Rivers, the private suites at Hinton’s Guest House Inn are almost heaven after a long day of canoeing, kayaking, fishing, biking or boating. The historic home was built in 1897 and fully restored in 2007 to offer the upscale accommodations of a boutique hotel, while keeping the warmth of a quaint bed and breakfast. The inn is located in Hinton’s historic district within walking distance to antique shops, eateries, theaters and museums.
These swanky suites aren’t all the Guest House Inn has to boast, however. The inn also owns The Cabin on Coney Island, sitting on its own private island where the New and Greenbrier Rivers meet. The cozy yet modern home features popping red kitchen cabinets, brilliant wooden walls and an inground patio fire pit. The coolest part? This getaway is only accessible by a quick boat ride, which a local outfitter, Cantrell’s Ultimate Rafting, can provide.
When the Blennerhassetts settled on an almost 500-acre island in the middle of the Ohio River in 1800, their home was widely known as the Ohio Valley’s most beautiful residence and one of America’s largest homes. They lived in the 7,000 square-foot residence with acres-large gardens for only 6 years, and in 1811 it burned to the ground. The state reconstructed the home to its original brilliance between 1984 and 1991.
While visitors cannot stay in the home, Blennerhassett Island and the historic Blennerhassett Hotel have teamed up to offer a package that includes a boutique room at the hotel (each room has a unique signature design), a sternwheeler ride to the island, a horse-drawn carriage ride, a tour of the mansion, passes for the history museum and more. The hotel’s chef will even pack you a picnic lunch.
8. Enjoy a 120-acre farm, all to yourself
Close your eyes and imagine a historic plantation home on a sprawling property in the south. Now, what if that same scene were available right here in West Virginia?
The romantic and private Sleepy Creek Inn sits on 120 acres of farmland just miles from the town of Berkeley Springs. Though it was originally built in the early 1800s, its owners completed a full renovation in 2001 to reflect the home’s original charm and purpose. A line of white rocking chairs on the porch overlooks rolling hills, complete with natural streams, horses, wild turkey, deer and other wildlife. The inn boasts 6 private rooms, each equipped with their own 2-person whirlpool tubs. The Almost Heaven suite is a popular pick for its original rustic log walls.
9. Wake up to one of the best breakfasts in the country
Choose from 10 cozy rooms in 3 historic homes snuggled against the Elk River at the end of a quiet main street. Cafe Cimino Country Inn’s Main House and Carriage House both contain 4 rooms, while an old brick cottage overlooking the river contains 2 suites. Owner Tim Urbanic has been named a “Best Chef in America” 3 years in a row for his authentic Italian fare. The bed and breakfast has also won an array of awards for its excellent hospitality.
The grounds include 500 feet of river access, tables for 2 surrounding a 117-year-old goldfish pond and an intimate fire pit area. There’s also a riverside bar, Cimino’s Little Dishes, where guests may unwind with a bottle of wine and enjoy Chef Tim’s “tapas” (small Italian-style plates). Need more than a small plate? There is also an authentic Italian outdoor brick pizza oven with a covered dining area, where Chef Tim is known to crank out bubbling fresh margherita pizzas.
Where will you cozy up?