Some form of accommodations, meals and activities were gifted by Primland. All views are our own.
Primland, Meadows of Dan, Virginia
As we all experience an unprecedented change in travel plans due to COVID-19, I wasn’t quite ready to give up our dream of finding the perfect destination for our 2020 Trek with Kids this summer. With international travel unlikely, I began exploring options in our own new backyard of the SC/VA/TN area knowing that beautiful mountain resorts and activities were abundant.
When I discovered Primland by learning of the good works that they were doing for their staff and community during this difficult time, I landed on an absolute gem situated high in the Blue Ridge Mountains for families. Our experience at Primland is one of our favorite family travel memories to-date, reminding us that traveling in the US can be just as special as trekking internationally.
Primland, an ultimate luxury mountain getaway, is known as being a retreat for world-class golf, refined dining and an array of outdoor activities. Situated in Meadows of Dan, Virginia, Primland offers expansive views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and they are known for their stunning golf course, The Highland Course at Primland. As we began the winding drive up the mountain to the exclusively-situated resort, the breathtaking views began and they did not end upon our arrival at The Lodge. Located on 12,000 acres, the 15-minute drive from the gate entry point to Primland is a special adventure in itself.
As we entered the hotel, we were greeted with the friendliest demeanor from the staff and the boys always felt welcomed. Although some family-friendly options at the hotel were postponed due to COVID-19, Primland went out of their way to ensure the safety and comfort of all their guests, from kids to kids at heart. The staff at Primland that we encountered consistently began to take an interest in our likes and preferences, joking by the end of our stay that they knew what we would order for drink or food. Whether dining casually or more elegantly and whether we were sitting outside of The Lodge or busy doing activities, our boys enjoyed every second of their special trek.
Offering many family-friendly options, Primland has several different room types to choose from at The Lodge, their main resort. We enjoyed the sprawling mountain views of a Blue Ridge Suite which gave us several areas to live in during our stay from a bedroom with two queen beds, an oversized bathroom with a soaking tub and a common room with a sofa bed. In addition, we also had a lounging area with a small balcony for mountain viewing and mini-kitchenette and additional bathroom. With one-touch lighting settings to automatic shades that rolled down at the press of a button and tile, flooring and furniture options that resembled the mountains, Primland felt like a special experience from right off the bat.
These accommodations were perfect for our family of four as the boys prefer to sleep separately for optimal slumber. Not only were the rooms comfortable and inviting, they also were practical and efficient for our family.
In addition to the rooms and suites offered at The Lodge, Cottages and even Treehouses are available for a more unique stay. The Cottages are perfect for big family gatherings or multi-generational travel and the Treehouses are simply divine and definitely a bucket list experience. These accommodations are spread out all over the property offering privacy and a secluded feel no matter which accommodations you choose.
While the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the resort itself are even hard to describe, same goes for the amount of incredible family-friendly activities offered at Primland. If visiting Primland during the summer season, all guests are invited to enjoy complimentary activities for the whole family from archery, guided hikes, stargazing, kids pond fishing, a family putting challenge, steam critter catching and so much more!
The guides of the activities that we experienced were patient, kind and so inclusive of our young boys. We had a memorable hike with our guide, Tim, who showed us Primland‘s special “fairy trail”, a trail created by the resort where children could look for gnomes and fairies. Tim also led our boys favorite activity, stream critter catching, where they caught and observed (and then released!) salamanders, crawdaddies, tadpoles and more. Tim, among many of the other guides, was wonderfully engaging with our boys and he truly desired for them to love nature as he did.
The boys experienced some firsts, with Griffin being super proud to catch his very first fish. Landon and I snuck out for a late-night stargazing event where we could see the moon and Jupiter up-close in their state-of-the-art observatory with a high-powered telescope which was the first time he saw the stars up close. We also all got to spend time with Whiskey, one of the resident horses at Primland and the boys absolutely loved their first horseback riding experience. The boys practiced their aiming skills at archery and BB gun shooting, practicing on fake targets and loving how to learn to shoot all by themselves. Logan especially enjoyed participating in the Family Putting Challenge with the boys, pinching himself that he was, in fact, putting on the amazing putting greens of Primland‘s high-end course.
Besides these numerous activities, guests are invited to hike both guided or solo through their many different paths on the hotel grounds. These paths are clearly labeled with all different difficulty levels yet they all offer beautiful views of the mountains, local flora and fauna, streams and creeks and if you’re lucky, deer.
In addition to the complimentary activities offered, one of our favorite activities available for an additional charge was Sport Clay Shooting. Our phenomenal guide Kevin would involve our boys by giving them the cue to fire out clays for us to shoot. It was such a rush shooting the clays and we so hope to do that again! In addition, Primland offers families access to their Theatre where our boys loved watching a rainy-day movie!
I had the amazing opportunity to experience an RTV tour, winding up and down the mountains going 20mph behind my patient guide, Vince. I was a little unsure at first as the paths were bumpy and at times pretty adventurous, but I am so glad that I was able to experience the RTV ride. The ride provided some spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and an experience that I will never forget.
Primland is an absolute gem for outdoor family-friendly activities.
Known for their candied and cayenne-peppered bacon served in a pig-themed dish, dining at Primland did not disappoint. The menus were great for the kids with all of their dining options offering a kids menu with items that our kids enjoyed. For breakfast, Elements offered delicious egg dishes and the boys loved their pancakes and bacon. At Primland, it is ALL about the bacon.
Casual lunch at 19th Pub offered bar food along with some heavier, delicious options. We enjoyed the drinks and quicker meals at 19th Pub as well as the conversations with staff that worked there. Judy and Will were continuously a few of our servers and they both went out of their way to help us experience all of the fine tastes that Primland and the Blue Ridge Mountain area had to offer. One night, our family took on the challenge of eating The Legend: their signature ice cream dessert with dulce de leche in a chocolate cone bowl. Yum!
Dinner options are also available at The Lodge in both their more casual option with indoor and outdoor seating at 19th Pub and Elements, which offers a more exclusive dine-in environment. We had a wonderful sit-sit down dinner, enjoying a Wagu ribeye steak, a crab cake appetizer and salmon. The dishes were phenomenal and the fireside dining was intimate and cozy. Primland additionally offers a Saloon dining experience, located closer to the horse stables, as well as an outdoor barbecue, both offered seasonally and on weekends when scheduled which we did not have the opportunity to try. Just another reason to have to come back to experience those!
One of the most memorable parts of our stay at Primland was waking up and settling to sleep with the beautiful mountain views. Whether dining outside or taking a bath in our Blue Ridge Suite, the gorgeous views were so pronounced everywhere we turned.
The Special Touches
It was evident the special touches that the resort had thought of for a guest’s stay. From homemade granola awaiting a guest at the spa upon completion of a massage to a kids packet of a design-your-own-kite activity to help keep them entertained during dinner, Primland truly thought out every detail to make guests’ mountain experience even grander.
Primland isn’t just another beautiful resort as they have done so much for their community and staff during the pandemic. From raising tens of thousands of dollars for their furloughed staff to delivering lunches to the nearby town, the heart behind Primland is so good.
And Do Good:
While Primland’s beauty and flawless customer service would be enough of a reason to visit this gem, be sure to read more about the good works that Primland has been doing during COVID-19 for their nearby community. You can read more about the ways that Primland has been making a positive difference here.
1 – Try a cocktail containing Moonshine- special to this area, Primland‘s drink menu offers several cocktails which contain Moonshine which has a very unique taste. Additionally, try a glass of wine from the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia area to taste the sweetness of local wine – yum!
2 – Choose the Primland burger – formed out of a combination of short rib and specialty beef, this burger was absolutely delicious. It was a personal favorite of both of ours.
3 – Enjoy the automatic shades in the Mountain View rooms – the easy way to see the beautiful views with just a push of the button.
4 – Choose the Pinnacle trail (blue trail) which was Logan’s absolute favorite. It was a bit of a tough hike for the kids but it offered great views.
5 – Grab a picture on the yoga platform located near the 18th hole on The Highland Course at Primland. We had a picture shot of us that will forever be one of my favorite family photos as this background is absolutely stunning.
6 – If working out while on vacation is your idea of fun (we’re looking at you, Logan), then try Primland‘s new outdoor Bootleggers’ Fitness Trail offering guests the opportunity to workout outside with hand-crafted wood weights in the middle of the mountains!
Prices change seasonally and some of the best overnight deals can be found in Primland‘s off-season: December – March. For a summer stay and an overnight at Blue Ridge Suite, rates can start at $460 for weekdays. The majority of the complimentary activities listed above would be included for the family at that rate.
Food and drink prices at Primland are appropriately priced. Additionally, once you arrive at Primland, you will likely just to stay put on the grounds of Primland so there will be little to no additional costs of transportation when you arrive to the resort.
To Our Trek Sponsors:
A very special thank you to the family at Primland for welcoming us to share about your hotel that is doing so much good. What you have here is something truly special, something that is almost too difficult to put into words. Your staff and service were exceptional and even though we visited in a pandemic, we felt like while on property that we were safe, secure and welcomed. We will hold the memories formed and mountains viewed at Primland in our hearts forever.