Oh boy, this is going to be a long one! We absolutely love and look forward to visiting the Greenbrier no matter the time of year. From the time we pull up to when we leave it is an unforgettable experience.
“Having visited The Greenbrier for over a decade, I can honestly say it is one of my favorite vacations. From the moment you pull in you are treated like royalty!”
-Michelle Rose Bowers, founder of Old House Life and Travel Life
They truly put hospitality first and have been since 1778! This place is packed full with history, read a little bit for yourself:
It all started when the earliest guests visited White Sulphur Springs to restore their health with the spring water; below you’ll see a picture of the spring house! In the 1830’s the cottages opened up to prominent guests, you can still rent these out. In 1858 they began construction of the main hotel. During the Civil War both sides used the hotel as a hotel or military headquarters. In 1913 the resort expanded, adding the spa/pool and golf course. Shortly after, the hotel opened year round! In 1930 they started the reconstruction of the hotel allowing for twice as many guests. From 1941-46 the hotel was bought by the US Army and turned into a hospital, also known as Ashford General Hospital, where a little over 24k soldiers were treated during World War 2. The resort reopened in 1948 and that’s when Sam Snead began his golf career along with many others. There is a sports bar on the premises dedicated to Sam Snead. In the 1950’s the bunker was put in under the hotel in case of war for the US Congress. In 1978 the golf course was redesigned to be up to standards for the Ryder Cup, a few PGA tours were held here!
You can read further on the more recent historical events on their website, https://www.greenbrier.com/About-Us/History.aspx
Where we stayed
When we usually visit we opt to stay in the main hotel, but this time we had the opportunity to stay in one of the cottages! We stayed at one of the South Carolina Row cottages. Construction for these cottages started in the mid 1800s. They all include either 3/4 bedrooms(each with their own bathroom), living room, kitchen, fireplace, and patio. The South Carolina cottages were popular with prominent figures like Lyndon B. Johnson, SC Governor John L. Manning, and the eldest son of General Robert E. Lee!
The furniture is really what draws everyone’s eye, the resort has used Dorothy Draper to maintain that luxury and elegant look for the past 65+ years. Let us know what you think about the furniture! I think it makes the resort stand out.
We loved staying in the cottage, it made us feel like we had a sense of privacy but we were right near the main hotel. There’s also a shuttle we used a couple times, it’s included in the resort fee. For some reason I love the bathrooms, maybe it’s the wallpaper or how the water makes my skin so soft. They also give a stack of wood for the fireplace, not like we used it since we visited during the summer. But it’s a wonderful touch. We brought food with us so we had the option to cook in the kitchen, but room service does go out to the cottages as well. We enjoyed a game night in the living room and took in the mornings while sipping coffee and tea on the porch.
Let us know if you’ve stayed in one of the cottages!! We love to hear your thoughts and experiences.
What to do
There are over 50+ activities at the Greenbrier. We have done quite a few over the past times we’ve been. There are numerous indoor and outdoor activities for all ages. They are super inclusive. Check out what you can do during your stay:
Arcade, bowling, bracelet/jewelry making, bunker tour, escape room, fitness classes, indoor pool, letter’s to santa, ton of shops, president museum, pickleball, tennis, spa, salon, tea time, glass blowing/fusing, sandblasting, casino, etc..
Ariel course, climbing tower, falconry, fishing, scavenger hunt, gun club, horseback riding, ice skating, jeep off-roading, kayaking, outdoor pool, golf, paintball, geocaching, etc..
We have never not been busy when visiting the Greenbrier. We have visited all of the shops, done escape rooms, used both indoor and outdoor pools, been to the spa a few times(which is amazing!!), played arcade games, bowled, went on the bunker tour, ice skated, hiking, and so much more. There’s one thing that I look forward to the most…tea time! They set out a bunch of little desserts and have the option of hot or iced tea. There are a ton of seating areas in the space that they hold this event in so it’s really a great time to connect with people. It’s held every day!
Where to eat
There are a ton of options as far as where to eat, room service being one of them. There are places for breakfast, lunch, dinner, a quick bite, or just a drink!
For breakfast you can enjoy the buffet in the main dining room, which is what we recommend to do at least once during your stay! I can vouch for the biscuits n gravy and cinnamon rolls! There are also some small options at the coffee shop like pastries and bagels which are great if you’re looking for something quick.
For lunch, Drapers is a great option. The first picture below is one of their sandwiches and drinks, they have a ton of southern comfort food items. If you’re looking for a yummy pizza you can get the Pizza Shope brought right to your room! If you want to make your way over to the pool/golf area you’ll find the Tree Tops Cafe, Sam Sneads, and Slammin Sammy’s.
For dinner, Drapers, Slammin Sammy’s, and Sam Sneads are options again. In-fusion is down where the Casino is, they have some Asian food you can explore. Prime 44 is a top tier steakhouse in honor of Jerry West, NBA legend and WV native! The forum is a delicious Italian restaurant that’s only open for dinner.
There are a few places where you can get a quick bite or drink as well. We love going to the Candy Maker at least once when we visit, the pralines and chocolate covered strawberries are my personal favorite! The cafe is a great place to get some coffee or tea and maybe even a pastry! They have this really cute sitting area, scroll down and check that out(I love the checkered floor). Cafe Carlton, Greenbrier Royale, JJ’s Sports Lounge, Twelve Oaks, and the lobby bar really make some great drinks. Happy sipping!
We try and visit the Greenbrier at least once a year. It’s a great experience every time and it sometimes feels surreal. If you have stayed here let us know! We’d love to see some pictures from your stay.
Want to know or see more? Ask us for more pictures and info on our Facebook Page! Check out other articles like this one on our, A Weekend In, list!