Perch & Play
By Sam Boykin | Photography by Courtesy of Primland
Posted: Monday, Jun. 09, 2014
Primland is a mountain resort tucked among the rolling hills and quiet countryside in Meadows of Dan, Va. During the six-mile drive from the front gate to the modern, European-style lodge, youre likely to encounter deer and wild turkeys roaming the resorts 12,000 pastoral acres. But dont let the serene surroundings fool you. While Primland is a bucolic get-away-from-it-all destination, it also boasts dozens of fun outdoor adventures. And when youre ready for some down time, there are plenty of indulgent amenities to enjoy as well.
The 72,000-square-foot, cedar and stone Lodge at Primland, which opened in 2009, is perched atop a hill and provides sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Stylish and sophisticated, the lodge has 26 spacious rooms, two restaurants (one casual and one fine-dining), a spa, fitness center, game room, private theatre, and expansive back deck overlooking the golf course. Its ideal for guests seeking upscale comfort and convenience. And dont miss the regular wine tastings in the Lodges Great Hall, which has soaring ceilings and twin fireplaces.
Other lodging options include the elegant Fairway Cottages. Situated along the golf course, the cottages have cathedral ceilings, hardwood floors, stone fireplaces, and private decks. For something more rustic and private, there are a variety of mountain homes from which to choose. All of them have kitchens, multiple bedrooms, and, best of all, spectacular views of the mountains.
For a romantic getaway, consider one of the studio-sized Tree Houses, with private decks, king bed, spacious tub, and cozy design touches like red cedar exterior wall paneling and white oak flooring.
As nice as the accommodations are at Primland, chances are you wont be spending too much time indoors with so many fun activities. One of the biggest draws here is the golf course, which everyone from Travel and Leisure Golf to Golf Digest has praised as one of the best in the country. Designed by famed golf architect Donald Steel, the Highland Course makes the most of its stunning mountain landscape, with breathtaking scenery of ridge tops, valleys, and the Dan River Gorge. Also taking advantage of Primlands scenic surroundings is the 4,462-foot disc golf course, which winds through hardwood forests and rolling hills.
For something a little more adventurous, climb behind the wheel of an ATV and explore the rugged wilds of the property. Accompanied by a guide, you can zoom down old logging roads and power up hills and over rocks and stumps as you marvel at the view from some 3,000 feet. If you prefer two wheels to four, rent a top-of-the-line mountain bike and navigate miles of twisting, turning trails.
There is also a vast and varied network of hiking trails, ranging from Pinnacle, a moderate 1.3-mile loop along the golf course, to a restored, 11-mile section off the Old Appalachian Trail. GEO-cachinga high-tech treasure hunt during which you use a GPS device to locate hidden canistersis available on several nature trails.
For many years French businessman Didier Primat, Primlands founder, ran the property as a hunting preserve, and the sport remains a popular activity here. With hunting guides and dogs available, guests can hunt for deer, pheasant, and wild turkey. Theres also a challenging, 14-station, mile-long clay decoy shooting course, where you can sharpen your shooting skills.
If fishing is more your style, a remote six-mile section of the Dan River runs along the southern edge of Primland, and is a prime spot for catching trout. There are three ponds on the property as well, all stocked with everything from trout to catfish. Rental equipment and guided fly-fishing trips are available. If you wish, you can even have your days catch cleaned and prepared for dinner.
Another not-to-be-missed experience at Primland, especially during the summer, is a guided kayaking trip on the scenic Talbott Reservoir. Part of the Dan River Gorge, the Talbott Reservoir is at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains at about 2,600 feet. The quiet and secluded waterway is a haven for wildlife such as otters, beavers, and waterfowl.
After a busy day spent playing outdoors, head straight to Primlands tranquil spa for a rejuvenating massage, body treatment, or facial. The 8,134-square-foot spa also features a fitness center, yoga and Pilates studio, soothing, chlorine-free indoor pool, sauna, and Jacuzzi.
To cap off the evening, visit Primlands observatory dome at the lodge. Here you can look into a high-powered telescope for a glimpse at the night sky, a view made all the more spectacular given youre perched atop a mountain.
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