By BRIANA BARKER
Imagine closing your eyes and feeling all the stress and anxiety leave your body and float away. That’s what it feels like after one day at Primland.
Did you know Franklin County is approximately an hour and a half away from a luxurious mountain resort complete with spa? I didn’t either.
As I have been exploring Franklin County, being new to Virginia, I have also begun exploring day trips and sights to see in the surrounding area. I was both intrigued and excited to learn of Primland, which offers more than 50 activities and events so there is something for everyone.
Historically, twice a year, Primland has offered Signature Spa Retreats — one in the spring and one at the beginning of winter. This year they are offering four and I joined them for one day of the three-day retreat to explore what the site has to offer. The Inner Quest Wellness Retreat offered April 6-7 was designed to reduce stress — and for me, it worked.
“People never take time to stop and smell the roses and they need to,” said Primland Spa Director Sabrina Antoine. “You may have kids, busy work lives, but you have to take care of yourself first.”
With that theme in mind the weekend offered a three-day itinerary of yoga, meditation, pool time, spa time, a skincare class, healthy meals and exclusively designed wellness “shots” and juices. The shots are basically juice shooters in a shot glass, not injections.
Antoine said the shots and fresh juices are going to become part of a new spa menu Primland is launching in May. For example the immunity shot — which was delicious — contained orange juice, lime, ginger and cayenne pepper. She said she spent time learning about juicing from a chef she worked in with Orlando, Fla., and learned which ingredients support immunity and stress relief.
The weekend of Native American healing rituals also included an in-pool meditation and nature walk led by Antoine. Dani Clement led yoga in the morning and a short breathing exercise on the outdoor yoga deck, which overlooks a scenic mountain gorge. Following along with its Native American theme, the pool and hot tub are tiled with locally-made turquoise tiles.
Antoine said everything for the spa is made within a 15-mile radius of the resort, including the wood flooring, which is made on-site at Primland. Though the resort is turning 10 this year, the area used to be a lumber site, so all the woodwork was made there.
The spa director also took great pride in pointing out the set-up of various activities, down to how they positioned the tables in the treatment rooms so as not to cut off the energy and point them northward so as to maximize stress reduction and support healing.
The spa offers several treatments from massage therapies to body wraps as well as traditional salon services for hair, nails and skincare.
Antoine said even though the wellness retreats are offered a few times annually, guests can design their own wellness retreat and she will work with groups as well.
Apart from the spa, Primland is known for its 18-hole golf course, which has been ranked high on several lists of top courses to play including No. 2 by Golf Magazine for best golf courses in Virginia and No. 28 on Golf Digest’s list of America’s Top 100 greatest public courses in 2017-2018.
Disc golf, sport shooting, fly fishing, geocaching, horseback riding, tree climbing, RTV trail riding, tomahawk throwing and watersports are just some of the other activities available at Primland. Dining options vary from pub food to fine dining with much of the food grown on the 12,000-acre site.
Lodging accommodations vary as well. Guests can stay in the main lodge or select various cottages, mountain homes or even in one of the properties’ three treehouses.
It is worth noting that Primland was booked solid this past weekend yet it didn’t feel overrun or crowded. In fact, while the spa was also booked solid, you didn’t see many people coming and going due to the vastness of the land and activities. This only added to the relaxation factor.
“It’s the best kept secret in Virginia, and I think the owners like it that way,” Antoine said.
While Primland is the ultimate weekend getaway, it is not easy on the wallet. Prices are high but so is the feeling of luxury and is a delightful treat for those who can afford it.
Also, while the Inner Quest Wellness Retreats are a three-day event, they are also offered as one-day packages, which is more affordable and given the close location, it’s more than worth it. If you really want a relaxing weekend you can take the Blue Ridge Parkway back to Franklin County, from Meadows of Dan, and continue the theme of nature and serenity.
For more information about Primland or to see a schedule of events visit primland.com.