Monday, April 7, 2014

The Glorious Greenbrier Resort

The famed Greenbrier Resort is about an hour's drive from the farm. Thanks to a meeting my husband attended this past weekend, I got to tag along for one night.  I hadn't been in about 20 years so it was quite a treat.  This place is so amazing.  26 Presidents have stayed here. 

The resort was originally centered around a white sulphur spring and the hotel is near the town of White Sulphur Springs, WV.  You can still see the springs, covered by this dome, now the trademark for this remarkable property.  

In 1858, a hotel was built on the property. The Grand Central Hotel, known by the moniker "The White" and, later, "The Old White", was torn down in 1922, several years after the addition of the current building.

In 1910, the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway purchased the resort property, building additional amenities and The Greenbrier Hotel in 1913. At this time, the name officially changed to The Greenbrier. 

The hotel is decorated by legendary Dorothy Draper and its bold colors, large prints, great use of black and sometimes a "Palm Beach" look are her trademark.  The who's who of the world have stayed her over the years:  the Kennedys, the Duke & Duchess of Windsor, movie starts, high society mavens such as Grace Kelly, the DuPont's, there are walls of photos of past guests.

 On March 20, 2009, the resort filed for bankruptcy, listing debt of up to $500 million and assets of $100 million. The resort lost $166 million in 2008. Pending court and regulatory approval, the resort was to be sold to the Marriott hotel chain (which has operated it).  But in May 2009, the Justice family of West Virginia publicly claimed that it had purchased the resort for $20 million.

The interior of the hotel is breathtaking.  The chandelier below belonged to Debbie Reynolds and was in the movie, Gone With the Wind.

The hotel now boasts an underground casino and is well known for its golf courses and hosts a summer PGA golf tournament.

You can also ride.  This is the area right outside the hotel where you go to get on your horse....

More interior shots. Carleton Varney, the current decorator, comes through every 6-8 weeks I am told.

If you have not been to The Greenbrier put it on your bucket list. You won't be disappointed.

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