This week, the Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio Show features a special rebroadcast from the Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Virginia that originally aired on August 27, 2016. The Omni Homestead Resort is part of the Historic Hotels of America, which was founded in 1989 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Celebrating 250 years of service, the Omni Homestead Resort is an iconic hotel with 2,300 acres of lodging, dining, and recreational activities, allowing generations of families to enjoy its mix of history and modern amenities. The Resort is home to the historic Jefferson Bath Houses, which have natural hot springs from the Allegheny Mountains. After a fire in 1901 destroyed the original hotel, the current resort began to take shape through restoration projects over the years, growing from its humble 18-room lodge to the now 483-guest room resort.
Joining Peter Greenberg on the program will be Julie Langan, Director of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, who explains the restoration process of the Jefferson Bath Houses and how the resort plans to maintain their rustic charm. Brian La Fountain, Omni Homestead’s Naturalist, talks about the beauty of Hot Springs, Virginia and why his hikes are the most popular activity at the Resort, regardless of the weather. Also, Charles Leocha, the Chairman and Founder of Travelers United, discusses hidden resort fees and what travelers need to expect when making reservations. There’s all of that and more when a special rebroadcast of the Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio Show airs from the Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Virginia.
Click here to listen to the show streaming from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, October 14, 2017.
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Charles Leocha, Chairman and Founder of Travelers United, discusses his battle with getting resorts to disclose their hidden resort fees. Unless travelers know everything they are going to be paying for up front, there is no way for them to conduct a true price comparison.
Scott McCartney, Travel Editor for The Wall Street Journal, describes some of the most outlandish amenities you can find on a private jumbo jet. These planes are outfitted with showers, bathtubs, multiple rooms, and more. Even the most affluent buyers sometimes consider the 787 to be over the top and stick with smaller private planes.
Julie Langan, Director of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, explains the restoration process of the Jefferson Bath Houses. The Gentlemen’s pool house is the oldest spa structure in America and the Omni Homestead is making strides to preserve the original buildings. Their rustic nature is their charm and there is no intention of completely rebuilding them, but rather reinforcing them using authentic materials of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Gibson Worsham, Member of the Cultural Studio and a historic preservation specialist for Glave & Holmes Architecture, describes his involvement in the Bath House restoration process. Restoring the historic buildings has been a 15-year labor of love for him. He also designed the Omni Homestead’s Allegheny Springs.
Margo Oxendine, Contributing Writer for The Recorder, talks about growing up in Hot Springs, Virginia, moving away, and why she loves being back. As a child, her father was the head of security for the Omni Homestead Resort, giving her access to all of the back of the house tunnels that most people never get to see.
Brian La Fountain, Omni Homestead’s Naturalist, shares why he feels lucky to come to the Omni Homestead Resort for a living. He refuses to call giving hiking tours a job because he feels it is his calling and loves sharing the lush green foliage of Virginia with the guests of the Homestead. He gives tours all year round and is in constant awe at the amount of people who join him daily, no matter the weather. It may also surprise people to know that his hikes are the most popular activity at the Resort.
Don Ryder, Former Director of Golf and fifth generation employee of the Omni Homestead Resort, explains how the Homestead is one of the most integral parts of the community. Almost everyone in Hot Springs has worked for the Homestead at some point. He also describes the golf course, teeing off from America’s longest continuously running golf tee, and his friendship with golf legend, Sam Snead.
Greg Barnhill, Omni Homestead Resort Executive Chef, dives into the history of dining at the resort and shares some secrets about what makes its donuts world famous (hint: lots of sugar!). He also explains the task of adjusting for the Virginian palate which involves a lot of comfort foods. He can’t believe how many still love the baked Alaska, but he has to make it everyday.
By Darra Stone and Rian Rikard for PeterGreenberg.com