While hotel wellness is often thought of as a modern convenience, an Omni Hotels & Resorts resort in Virginia has preserved a historic wellness space that dates back two centuries.
The Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs is reopening its Warm Springs Pools after completing a 14-month, $4 renovation. The project involved revitalizing a set of baths fed by natural and mineral-rich hot springs.
“It has been incredibly gratifying to see these stunning structures restored to their former glory,” said Mark Spadoni, CEO of The Omni Homestead Resort, via a media release. “The baths are a fundamental part of Bath County and it was vital that we put time and effort into maintaining them.”
Staff at the Omni Homestead Resort worked with 3North, an architectural firm in Richmond, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and Lionberger Construction to ensure the project complied with the requirements of the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
The restoration project of these structures had two objectives. They had to preserve as much of the historic fabric of the Warm Spring Pools—consisting of two baths, one for men and one for women, and a guest house for the latter—and make sure the buildings could be used for years to come. .
The scope of the restoration included the preservation and/or replacement of certain aspects such as windows, doors, cladding and roofing. The foundation piers of each of the three buildings were also repaired.
In preparing the plans, the team focused on preserving the existing character of the Warm Springs Pools, referencing the structures as they were when the resort acquired them in 1925.
“It was not an easy process, with even more wear and tear revealed along the way, but we are pleased with the amount of historic fabric we were able to preserve,” said Ed Pillsbury, Director at 3North, also in the media release.
These structures have neat histories.
Originally known as the Warm Springs Bathhouse or Great Bath, the Gentlemen’s Bathhouse was covered by a new octagonal frame building in the mid-1820s. The 22-sided Ladies’ Bathhouse was built in the mid-1870s. In the 1950s, the roof was rebuilt and a support beam was added to the center of the structure. As part of the project, the roof was reconstructed to match its design from the 1890s.
House Reception, built around 1890, served as a waiting room for the Ladies’ Bath. The baths are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register.
Guests of The Omni Homestead Resort can make reservations in advance to relax in the men’s and women’s baths. Construction will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Reservations are available by the hour, priced at $25 per person per 50 minute soak. There are separate soaking times for families and adults.
For reservations, call 540-839-3860 or email [email protected]