Creekside Resort & Spa*
We used Creekside Resort & Spa as our home base while we visited many destinations on our tour of the historic springs of the Virginias - Sweet Chalybeate Springs, Sweet Springs, Salt Sulphur Springs, Red Sulphur Springs and Pence Springs. We also took a side trip to Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory on nearby Peters Mountain. Kelley, one of the owners, was a great help with local information and provided us "The Springs Trail" map.
While we enjoyed our day trips, it was very nice to come back to Creekside late in the afternoon.
This rustic, yet sophisticated, resort was originally purchased by Kelley's parents in 1972. They moved their family from New Jersey to this 215-acre farm in order to live a simpler, more self-sufficient life. Over the years, they lived off the self-sustaining, chemical-free farm and Kelley's father, Dr. Robert Sandell, grew his chiropractic practice. In 1990, Creekside Resort was established to allow guests to receive chiropractic care while staying in the relaxing countryside. Dr. Sandell died in 1996, and some of his six children now take care of day-to-day operation of the resort. I met Kelley and her sister, Kerri, there. While the resort no longer offers chiropractic services, it does have a spa.
The building on the top of the hill is where you'll find the office, spa, rooms for large gatherings such as wedding receptions and meetings and an expansive deck offering lovely views of the countryside.
The bridge crosses Indian Creek to Wedding Island, the site of many beautiful weddings. While we were there, they were preparing a wedding for a chef from Washington D.C. They host only one wedding per weekend. Creekside can accommodate up to 45 guests with additional lodging available nearby. They can accommodate weddings with a seated reception for up to 100 guests.
In the spirit of the farm, there are no TVs or VCRs in the cottages. There are board games, bicycle riding, hiking trails and other simple activities aimed at allowing families to spend quality time together. Unfortunately, we didn't leave time in our schedule to spend much time at the resort during the day. I would have liked to have used the hiking trails. Unable to kick our electronic dependencies, we spent an hour or so each evening using the WIFI in the farmhouse's cozy living area that is available for all resort guests.
Creekside Resort offers a number of cottages as well as some guest rooms in the farmhouse. We stayed in the Lower Suite of Spruce Knoll Cottage, which was located about 1/4 mile from the farmhouse.
Spruce Knoll Cottage Approach, Deck and Hot Tub
The Lower Suite offered basic but comfortable furnishings in two bedrooms - one with a queen bed and one with two single beds - a sitting room with day bed, kitchen, private bathroom with tub and shower and a wood-burning fire stove. A wall of windows in the dining area allowed us to feel the outdoors indoors. The large deck was furnished with table and chairs as well as lounge chairs. Best of all, the deck offered a private outdoor whirlpool hot tub tucked between the side of the cottage and the stairs to the Upper Suite. We spent every evening relaxing here under the stars with a bottle of the resort's featured wine, Coastal Vines Chardonnay. What a great way to end the day!
Spruce Knoll Cottage Lower Suite*
The cottage had books and board games. I particularly enjoyed reading about the history of the farm and the resort in The History of Creekside Resort established in 1990 written Natalie Sandell Heritage (Kelley's mother) and Merilyn “Nicky” Fleshman published on March 11, 2001.
The Upper Suite of Spruce Knoll Cottage has a separate entrance, a king bed, a bathroom with shower, a sitting area and a kitchenette. No one was in this suite during our stay, so we had complete privacy.
The meals at Creekside were a delight. I don't know if it was the fresh air and beautiful countryside, but the food tasted wonderful. Liberty apples from the farm's orchard were left in a basket on the dining table. They are now my favorite apple variety. Breakfast is included for all guests lodging at the nightly rate. Our first morning was a Sunday, and on Saturday and Sunday mornings, a hot cooked breakfast is served at the Farmhouse. We joined other guests for a selection of fresh pancakes, waffles, frittata omelets, or French toast along with blackberry jam and apple butter from Creekside's own organic orchard. On the other mornings of our visit, Gail delivered a continental breakfast basket to our cottage that included homemade breads and baked goods, seasonal fresh fruit, homemade granola, yogurt, juice, tea and coffee, fresh farm eggs and Amish butter.
Creekside's Breakfast Basket delivered to our cottage |
Creekside's Picnic Backpack for Two
We ordered our dinners before arriving at the resort.
Fortunately, we only ordered meals for two nights. We had plenty of leftovers for the other night. The meals were delivered piping hot to our cottage by Gail. They were absolutely delicious! The two menus follow:
- Roasted Chicken with Rosemary & Garlic & Roasted Red Potatoes
- Fresh Seasonal Salad with Tamari Vinaigrette
- Jeff’s Whole Grain Artisan Bread
- Cheesecake for dessert
- Bottle of Coastal Vines Chardonnay
- Simply Delicious Salad: A large salad of mixed organic greens & seasonal veggies
- Topped with smoked trout, cheddar with tamari vinaigrette.
- Jeff’s whole Grain Artisan Bread
- Flourless Chocolate Cake for dessert
- Bottle of Coastal Vines Chardonnay
On the day we went to Sweet Chalybeate Springs and Sweet Springs, we ordered a Picnic Backpack for Two to take for lunch. The picnic was packed in a comfortable backpack cooler with cotton picnic table cloth & napkins, plates, wine glasses, and small cutting board. Packed inside were
Hummus Spread, Dill Havarti Cheese, a Multi-Grain Baguette,
Fresh Fruit & Vegetables,
Sweet Summer Spring Water from Monroe County, a bottle of Coastal Vines Chardonnay and four pieces of Bayard’s chocolate. We were able to have our picnic on a picnic table on the grounds of Sweet Springs. It was a lovely meal.