She saw an ad in a magazine. It looked like a castle to her. “Virginia’s Great Dame”, it declared. All she knew was that she needed to go to this magnificent place. She requested it for her birthday. It took me flipping through several magazines (only after Google let me down) and finally, I figured out that the “Great Dame” she spoke of was none other than the Omni Homestead.

The experience lived up to her dreamy birthday expectations. We dressed up for dinner and ballroom dancing, watched a movie in the theater, played bingo and checkers, explored the grounds, and of course, swam in the mineral pool. It was a delightful birthday that cost less than I would have spent on a party, not to mention, without the stress. I’m hopeful, we’ll be celebrating more birthdays this way. Perhaps next time, we’ll play in the snow and visit the spa.

Some might think it unfortunate to have a birthday during the holiday season. To a little girl who would rather create a memory than receive another toy, it’s incredibly fortunate.

• What: Overnight trip to the Omni Homestead
• Where: 7696 Sam Snead Hwy, Hot Springs, VA
• When: Winter
• Room Rates: A winter weeknight stay for four before Christmas break starts around $162, after the break, the ski season will be in full swing, with weeknight rates starting around $225. Keep your eyes out for specials.

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