My family and I were totally swept up by the aura of Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Along with exquisite accommodations, first class restaurants and thrilling activities, the people of Nemacolin stand out for their hospitality and warmth. Although the resort is the height of luxury, there are no pretensions here.
While pampering at resorts can sometimes feels awkward, it feels different at Nemacolin. The staff is sincerely pleased to have you visit, and they strive to provide the best experience possible. They will tell you it comes from enthusiastic management by the generous Hardy family, owners and developers of Nemacolin. The family and their staff have made this “adult Disneyland” into a wondrous place to get away from your hectic life and focus on each other.
Lodging: Nemacolin’s expansive property has multiple lodging options from which to choose. Upon entering the resort, the sumptuous Chateau Lafayette will take your breath away for its regal elegance. The French architecture is reminiscent of the Palace of Versailles both inside and out.
The original hotel is the handsome Bavarian-style Lodge, which was built in 1970 for Nemacolin’s first visitors who came here to hunt. The Lodge is connected to the Chateau via long hallways where the Hardy family has on display an notable collection of original works of fine art. Don’t miss the Library, a room filled with Tiffany Lamps or the charming Autumn Restaurant, with its outdoor pavilion and focus on farm-to-table cuisine.
There are also stylish vacation homes on the golf course that sleep from 6 to 26, as well as townhouses for families who want to spread out and prepare a meal or two.
If you have the means to splurge, don’t miss staying at Falling Rock—Nemacolin’s standout boutique hotel, inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, the acclaimed American architect who designed three stunning homes in the Laurel Highlands including his famous masterpiece, Falling Water.
During check-in at Falling Rock, our butler handed us champagne and ushered us into our room. The elegantly appointed suite has a balcony overlooking the infinity pool and Mystic Rock Golf Course. The beds were covered with custom-made linens, and turn-down service involved freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and a selection of other snacks and beverages you might request.
To give you a full picture of why Falling Rock sets new standards in service, let me add a few details: In the morning, after a light tap on the door, we were served coffee in a silver pot at a time we specified, then we headed down to breakfast at Falling Rock’s Aqueous. The restaurant offers a panoramic view of the golf course, and the chef showcases clever innovation with traditional American fare.
After a busy day of activities at Nemacolin, our butler arrived after dinner to draw a fragrant bubble bath in the sunken tub; sides adorned with rose petals, candles and the latest magazines. It’s no wonder that Falling Rock was recognized by AAA as a Five Diamond Award winner and Forbes honored Falling Rock with their Five Star Award. It would be hard to find a better service experience than what this team provides.
Adventure: We took a spin at the Off-Road Driving Academy, where we learned to drive white-knuckled down an unimaginably challenging road course in the resort’s custom jeep. Our driver provided personalized instruction, directing us to maneuver through narrow trenches filled with muddy water, massive boulders and fallen trees. There’s a lot of bouncing around and shrieking when the mud comes within inches of flowing into the jeep.
Thrill seekers will also adore the 60-mph ride on Nemacolin’s Fatbird SuperFlyer, a 3,000′ dueling zip line. There’s also a huge climbing wall, ropes course, bowling, skiing, snow tubing, scenic chairlift, mountain biking, horseback riding, sledding, skeet shooting, fly fishing, paintball, mini golf, terrain park and arcade games—many are accessed at the Adventure Center, built in 2010.
Nemacolin has dining options that range from Forbes Five Diamond to a enchanting family-friendly diner. From the sophisticated Lautrec to the casual Caddyshack, all Nemacolin restaurants have their own flair and menu. We really enjoyed our burgers at the Tavern. On our next trip, we hope to sample the five course dessert menu at Lautrec. Nemacolin features wine courses and tastings, and maintains a Holistic Garden where they grow all kinds of produce and herbs for their restaurants.
Visitors at Nemacolin will each have their own stories to tell. Every person can find something that suits them, surprises them, delights them and intrigues them. Just give yourself enough time to explore. I’m sure you’ll come home just as refreshed and excited as we were. And ready to return!
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Freelance writer and photographer specializing in vivid, deeply reported stories about food, travel and family.