The Salamander Stands Alone in 2013 Luxury

SAN DIEGO ( TheStreet) -- It's being called the future power playground for Washington's elite.

It has been chronicled by CNN, Town & Country, The Wall Street Journal and The Washingtonian, among others.

It's the only destination luxury resort slated to open in the United States this year, and while the construction price is not being disclosed, the list of amenities and details that are part of the soon-to-open Salamander Resort & Spa is revealing enough.

Built on 340 acres in Middleburg, Va., in the heart of horse and wine country and just one hour outside Washington, D.C., the nation's newest posh resort includes a 23,000-square-foot spa, 22-stall horse stables that allow guests to bring their horses with them, a full-service equestrian center, a high-tech cooking studio that can be rented for private dinners and team-building events and guest rooms that are nearly 600 square feet and have 10-foot ceilings.

Other details include indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, putting greens and a zip line and ropes course in the surrounding woods.

"It is one of the most luxurious new resorts to be built in quite a while," says Prem Devadas, president of Salamander Hotels & Resorts.

Nearly 10 years in the making, Salamander Resort & Spa is the vision of entrepreneur Sheila C. Johnson.

Johnson, who lives on an estate nearby, is co-founder of Black Entertainment Television as well as partner and vice chair of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns the NBA's Washington Wizards, the WNBA's Washington Mystics and the NHL's Washington Capitals.

Johnson bought the Salamander property a decade ago because she felt Washington needed a luxurious spa destination. That initial idea evolved into a full-scale resort that, because of its location would become a destination for Fortune 500 retreats, think tank events and political retreats. Final plans included a destination that would offer guests equestrian, spa, culinary, winery, nature and historic experiences.

As part of the resort's nature experience, nearly 200 acres of forest surrounding the main resort building have been placed in a conservation easement to ensure that walking and hiking trails through the woods, which have existed for more than a century, are maintained.

The culinary program includes hosted cooking classes, demonstrations from visiting chefs and the planting of a two-acre culinary garden.

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