WV Travel Guide
Last week when we were hunting down some info on the Dorothy Draper School of Decorating at the historic Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia, we came across this photo on the hotel's Facebook page--a sterling silver charm replica of the iconic Springhouse gazebo. Oh great, a hotel charm, just what we wanted. Thaaaaaaanks.
The $75 charm (!) is just one of many knick knacky items that you can pick up from the hotel's Crepe Myrtle Bags & Beads store if you're doing some Christmas shopping during your stay. Actually, the charm is just one of many logoed items you can get from the hotel's collection of stores from tennis gear to golf clothes, handmade truffles, toys, and uh, gun stuff from the Gun Club Shop.
While being on site to pick up the items in person might be easier, you can always phone in a gift order too. Not sure about that gun stuff though.
Fun Fact: We have pictures of us posing near the Springhouse from 1991 wearing a floral printed dress from Express and white flats. Eeek!
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Hey there aspiring interior designers! Eager to get into the world of interior design or decorating but watching reruns of "Top Design" and "Million Dollar Designers" isn't cutting it? Then consider heading to the Greenbrier Hotel in West Virgina for their new one-week interior decorating courses named after the hotel's legendary decorator, Dorothy Draper.
The Dorothy Draper School of Decorating will offer limited enrollment for the weeks of February 26, March 25, April 29 and June 10. The classes will be specially created by Carleton Varney, the curator of The Greenbrier who was also Dorothy Draper's protege and who is current president of Dorothy Draper and company. Here's a bit on the class syllabus:
Just a few years ago, the sprawling Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia was on the brink of closing. While it looked like Marriott would come in and take over the resort, in the end, West Virginia's multi-millionaire Jim Justice swooped in and bought the property for just $20 million. And it looks like he found a way to make the property exciting again while at the same time, bring in some crazy revenue--he built a casino.
The Casino Club opened on Friday with loads of celebs in attendance. The Washington Post spied the following at the grand opening: Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck, Jessica Simpson, Brooke Shields, Lionel Richie, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal, Jane Seymour, Debbie Reynolds, Raquel Welch, Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus. J-Simp even got a special 30th birthday cake presented to her by Justice.
The Casino Club will definitely bring some glamour back into the resort which used to rely on its underground congressional bunker to draw in guests. The casino, also located underground, spans 102,000-sq.ft. with table games from blackjack to Texas Hold 'Em, slots, baccarat, roulette with an Asian restaurant and a bar on site along with a retail "avenue" with high-end shops like Brioni, Badgley Mishka and jeweler Roberto Coin.
So right now, you're probably thinking you'll wanna pop in for a quick round of poker on your next trip to West Virginai. Hold up, not so fast.
Last week we shared the good news that West Virginia’s iconic Greenbrier Resort seems to be back on its feet — and freshly pedicured feet at that. But in addition to adding a new resto and coming-soon casino, C2 Limited Design Associates is injecting the resort with some mod accents.
Indeed, the ol’ Greenbrier is looking sexy — and not even in that Sean Connery distinguished sort of way. Check out the photos below.
Right on trend, the Greenbrier’s new lobby is awash in pink, gray, and black.Yes, the old pink and white candy-striped awnings remain but those are a Greenbrier tradition.
It’s been a little while since we checked in on the owners-swinging Greenbrier in West Virginia. We’ll spare you the saga from this summer (click here for a quick summary) but we were encouraged to hear the iconic resort is on its feet enough to have opened a brand-new steakhouse, Prime 44 West.
Designed by C2 Limited Design Associates, Prime 44 West replaces Greenbrier’s “outdated dining venue” with a restaurant that honors basketball legend and West Virginia native, Jerry West. Not to mention, C2 Limited is also designing Greenbrier’s new, $25-million, 50,000-square-foot casino and entertainment venue, set to debut next April with coffee, wine, sushi, ten retail shops, and a nightly 8 p.m. good-luck Champagne toast.
This year's drama at the Greenbrier in West Virginia unfolded a bit like this: the resort was having some issues, so it shed about half of its staff. Then the rumor goin' around town was something about Marriott coming in to purchase and save the resort (um, and by "rumor" we mean there was a contract involved) but then another buyer stepped in and snapped it up, and furloughed employees were called back.
But then the new buyer reached a tentative marketing agreement with Marriott, where the chain would receive "a special fee for every Greenbrier guest booked through the hotel chain's marketing network" and if it didn't work out, the hotel's new owner would have to pay Marriott "a $7 million 'break-up fee'" if he ended Marriott's marketing partnership.
And it looks like that's what just happened.
Alright. So. In a very, very compact nutshell, the drama at the Greenbrier in West Virginia goes a bit like this: the resort was having some troubles, shed about half of its staff, and word on the street was Marriott was gonna purchase and save the resort but then another buyer stepped in and snapped it up last week, and furloughed employees were called back.
Now, here's this, from the Charleston Gazette:
The Greenbrier's new owner and Marriott International have reached a tentative agreement that allows the hotel giant to market the historic resort. In exchange, Marriott won't challenge the resort's sale, said Jim Justice, who purchased the Greenbrier's stock earlier this month.
Apparently, under this arrangement, Marriott will be receiving "a special fee for every Greenbrier guest booked through the hotel chain's marketing network" or else the hotel's new owner would have to pay Marriott "a $7 million 'break-up fee' if he ends Marriott's marketing partnership," presumably because Marriott had a contract to purchase the resort from its previous owners.
What's not clear is, well, a lot of things. Among them: who is going to manage the resort? Will it be flagged as a Marriott? Guess those are the "details" that need to be worked out.
[Photo: Bloomberg News via WSJ]
Alright. There's been some hot drama going down at the Greenbrier in West Virginia (Hotels Mag's Derek Gale did an awesome recap of it here), but to summarize very, very briefly: the historic Greenbrier was having trouble. The Greenbrier shed about half of its staff, and word on the street was Marriott was gonna save the troubled resort but then another buyer stepped in and snapped it up last week.
This week, the Charleston Gazette is reporting that the Greenbrier is now recalling its furloughed employees which, actually, is something that they'd hinted at when they did the initial employee-shedding ("Greenbrier said in the statement that historically, business improves in the late spring and summer, and that it anticipated that some of the furloughed employees could return at that time.")
Oh, also? The Gazette mentioned this goodness:
Earlier this week [new owner] Justice said he plans to build a casino by the end of the year at the resort costing $15 million to $20 million and hire up to 600 new workers.
A casino. Lovely. Well, that's one way to make some cashola back after the reported $90 million the place has lost over the last five years.
[Photo: Bloomberg News via WSJ]
Oy, the drama. The troubled, historic and gorgeous Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia which (fun fact!) sits atop a 112,000-square-foot bunker built during the Cold War has been having some troubles lately. After business slowed majorly, the resort slashed about half of its staff and then had to file for bankruptcy but word on the street was that Marriott was looking to step in to buy it and save the place.
But now it's become a big ordeal because, according to the WSJ, a "family-owned West Virginia mining-and-farming company" acquired the resort for $20 million yesterday, and plans to ask a bankruptcy court to drop the hotel's Chapter 11 proceedings:
The transaction this week [...] is a sale of the bankrupt company itself. By buying the Greenbrier outright -- not just the hotel and assets -- the Justice family hopes to reverse the bankruptcy and assume full control of the resort.
Huh. But, um, also: Marriott said Thursday that they were "surprised by the sale" and that they plan to keep pursuing its purchase of the Greenbrier assets themselves.
Interesting. Sounds like it's game on, then.
[Photo: Bloomberg News via WSJ]
The Greenbrier hotel, on the list of historic hotels in America, is the latest hotel to lay off employees—and by far the largest amount so far: 650 of 1,350 people, or slightly less than half of its staff. (Atlantis cut about 10 percent of its staff, or 800 employees; while the Borgata let go 400 of its roughly 7,000 staffers.)
Greenbrier said in the statement that historically, business improves in the late spring and summer, and that it anticipated that some of the furloughed employees could return at that time. The resort said the furloughs announced on Friday [January 9] were significantly greater than those associated with seasonal declines. Greenbrier Hotel has existed since 1778.
It just so happens that during the Cold War, the U.S. government built a 112,000-square-foot bunker beneath a wing of the hotel, meant for as many as 2,500 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Senate and their families to hide out in the event of a nuclear attack.
Sounds to us like those folks may need to hunker down there if different reasons if they don't get this economic mess sorted out soon.
[Photo: Vicky TGAW]
At the Greenbrier, you can play some golf, get a massage, go bowling, and...see an underground bunker that looks like it came right out of Dr. Strangelove.
If you'd like to see the place where key U.S. government figures have gone into not-so-secret hiding in a bunker, you're in luck. The Greenbrier resort, long the place where presidents could be whisked away when there was threat of an attack, has opened up its historic bunker areas for public tours, as of August 20.
You can walk through the steel vault doors. You can see the advanced communication room used to monitor every nook and cranny of the place. You can marvel at the probe designed to monitor the outside air after a nuclear attack. Tour the meeting room designed to hold the whole House of Representatives and see the dorms where they would have slept.
The 90-minute tours are $30 per adult, $15 per child ages 10-18. Each tour has a guide--but it won't be Dick Cheney.
The Greenbrier is a renowned institution, bringing guests to the middle of nowhere, West Virginia since 1778. It's not for an intimate getaway: there are 802 rooms and three golf courses. But with nearly 230 years of history, it's safe to say they've got the service thing fine-tuned by now. So go check out a bit of creepy paranoid history, then forget about the troubles of the world in the 38,000 square-foot spa.
Just one question might nag the conspriracy theorists though. If this bunker is open to the public, where's the real one now? Hmmmm....
· Greenbrier Reviews [TripAdvisor]
So Ben and Jen were supposed to marry here at the Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia but they headed for the Caribbean.
However, this place is an amazing getaway on the East Coast, if you can get past the blinding pastel slash floral decor. The huge hotel comes with its own golf course, movie theater, bowling lanes and of course, its own spa.
Furthermore, at one point this resort was rumored to be a secret pentagon hideaway.
Located near sulphur spring waters, the Greenbrier Spa has been ranked one of the top North American spas by the Conde Nast Travelers Readers Poll.
Check out the luxurious body treatments of all types imaginable, like the Sulphur Soak and the Detoxifying Mud Bath.
Or swim in the indoor pool and get a health check-up from the world-reknown Greenbrier Clinic.
The spa also caters to all ages with special treatments for children ages 6 to 10 and for teens like the Clarifying Facial.
Now here comes the challenging part--in order to visit Greenbrier you have to find some reason to go to West Virginia. Good luck.
· Greenbrier Reviews [TripAdvisor]