HOT SPRINGS – The Omni Homestead Resort is undergoing a $120 million renovation across the resort’s property. Restorations will include facade work, a new event facility, housing complex, updated guest rooms, refreshed public spaces, infrastructure improvements and new amenities, a release said.
“These projects are more than just improvements to the resort. It’s an investment in our associates and our community,” Mark Spadoni, managing director, said in a release. “We are very excited about these plans and are especially pleased to be doing so in a manner that preserves our resort’s history, extending its legacy for generations of families to come.”
Improvements to the facade include brick repointing, painting and window restoration that will begin in late-October, the release said. Improvements are expected to be completed in 16 months.
Other renovations include:
- Guest rooms in the main building, tower, east, west and garden wings will be updated but kept with the current vintage style.
- Martha’s Market, the grab-and-go café, will be entirely remodeled with a new coffee counter, ice cream display and bistro-style design opening to the updated Washington Library.
- The Lobby Bar will expand into the Georgian Room with a new speakeasy-style lounge.
- The theater will be converted into a small bar with dinner-theater style seating,
- The Casino Building will see the main-floor Pro Shop converted into a fast-casual picnic-style dining experience.
- Jefferson’s, Rubino’s at The Cascades and The Dining Room will have new hardwood flooring, delicate chandelier fixtures and tile accents.
“We have amazing plans for this resort but first, we want to keep it looking historic. This renovation is about restoring a piece of American history. This iconic resort, in the hills of Virginia, is going to be restored to its grandeur that it once was,” Peter Strebel, president of Omni Hotels and Resorts, said in a release. “We have hired some of the top historic preservation and rehabilitation teams to ensure that we preserve this grand dame.”
Nearly 1,000 original wood windows and hundreds of doors will be restored, along with repairs to the exterior stucco, terracotta, limestone and brick masonry, the release said. Other work includes restoration of balcony decks in the garden wing, tower terraces, west wing porches and presidential suite balconies.
New addition to the property
A new 4,000 square foot meeting space will be added to the resort’s existing 72,000 square foot function space. The new event pavilion will be located at the north end of the Old Course driving range and can be used for weddings and other special events. The new space will have a capacity of 225 and features a bridal suite and prep kitchen.
The design of the space is modeled from the pre-1902 buildings on the property with whitewashed wood-clad walls, brick pathways, stained concrete floors and lantern-like light fixtures, the release said.
Another new addition will be an associate housing building located in downtown Hot Springs. The building will have 50 two-person units, a community living room, dining room, kitchen, laundry and fitness center including a half-court basketball court and an outdoor picnic area with grills, the release said.
Construction will begin in early 2022 and be completed in Spring 2023, the release said.
The Omni Homestead Resort announced the Warm Springs Pools, formerly known as the Jefferson Pools, should be rehabilitated in 12 to 18 months — set to be completed in late 2022. The goal of the restoration is to preserve as much historic building fabric as possible, the release said.
“This is a board-by-board project,” Spadoni said in the release. “The scope of work includes repairing the foundation of both bath houses and the reception house as well as preserving and/or replacing in-kind the historic wood structure, windows, doors, siding and roofing.”
Improvements to the parking area and upgrades to the restrooms are also part of the project.
Just before the pandemic hit in 2020, the resort announced a restoration plan, which was placed on hold. Now, construction is set to begin later this summer. The delay cost the Omni an estimated $3 million.
The bath houses have been rapidly deteriorating since they were closed in 2017.
The 98-degree watered pools, which are natural hot springs, are listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places.
They have donned other names like the Warm Springs Bathhouse and the Warm Springs Pool but are often referred to as the Jefferson Pools because Thomas Jefferson used to frequent the hot springs claiming it had healing powers.
The Omni purchased the Homestead Resort and pools in 2013 but it was closed three years ago after Bath County told the resort to shut it down due to the structure being unsafe.
In 2019, the resort came out with a statement that said the warm springs would open in 2020, but the timeline was pushed back to 2022 and may still be on track for that.
The Omni brought on 3North and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources last year to aid in the repair and reopen the Jefferson Pools.
Laura Peters is the trending topics reporter at The News Leader. Have a news tip on local trends or businesses? Or a good feature? You can reach reporter Laura Peters (she/her) at [email protected]. Follow her @peterslaura. Subscribe to The News Leader at newsleader.com.