Omni Bedford Springs Resort & Spa
Poshbrood just spent a winter weekend at the renovated Omni Bedford Springs Resort & Spa, a member of Historic Hotels of America and a four-diamond property located in Southern Pennsylvania. For more than 200 years, the eight mineral springs located on the resort's property has attracted visitors from far and near seeking rest, relaxation and the healing properties of the springs. Eventually, the resort would be the site of many significant moments in American history, hosting 10 US Presidents, seven of whom visited during their presidency. Omni Bedford Springs was completely overhauled in 2007 when the owners spent a cool $120 million to restore it to its historic grandeur. The resort now reflects a sophisticated and modern twist on traditional period décor and is an easy 2.5 hours from the Washington, DC area, 90 minutes from Pittsburgh and 3 hours from Philly.
The resort has 216 beautifully appointed guest rooms and four luxury suites which embrace the richness of the resort’s past with a modern twist. Rooms have incredible balconies with rocking chairs where you can enjoy the lush natural views. We stayed in the all-new Spa Wing which was seamlessly added on to the historic part of the hotel. Just steps away from the Springs Eternal Spa, rooms offered garden or outdoor pool views and have a porch or Juliet balcony. Our view was towards the front of the property.Our family of five stayed in two adjoining deluxe rooms: One with a king bed and one with two doubles. (Our real room pics.)
The rooms were each 350-400 square feet and offered kids and parents their own privacy, TV, bathroom and mini fridge (a must for traveling families!) Bathrooms are classic and chic with Carrera marble and Water Works fixtures. We all agreed the feather top beds were outrageously comfortable. (I tried to look at the tag of the featherbed to see the brand. It was that good.) There are also junior suites and connecting suites for those who want more space or larger families. (P.S. The resort has pet friendly rooms too so you can bring Fluffy to spa with you.)
Omni Bedford Springs has five restaurants on site, two that are open seasonally.
The Crystal Room (the interior I LOVE) specializes in serious down to earth comfort foods with universal appeal. Served from its signature exhibition kitchen and rotisserie, the Crystal’s culinary creations are prepared within full view of guests. We had the breakfast buffet complete with omelet’s made to order, Frosted Flake French toast (nom!), breakfast egg rolls, grits, bacon, fruit, breads, cereals and the list goes on and on. It was a highlight for our girls.
We also enjoyed a family dinner one evening where we enjoyed Lobster Mac and Cheese, petite greens Gorgonzola salad, beef short rib raviolis and the Dutch Oven of Sea Scallops and Shrimp with warm caponata, tomato fondue and pinot grigio. The girls ordered off the kids’ menu which also served as a coloring book. The Omni’s food was the best larger scale resort dining experience we’ve had. That is all.
Our first day, we checked the girls into the Anderson Explorers Kids' Day Camp. The facilities were amazing – ping pong, tables and tables for arts and crafts, video games, (Ms. Pac Man!), tricycles, hula hoops, books, movies, a large fenced outdoor playground, etc. The kids didn’t look back.
My husband and I then ran (okay I trotted, he ran) on the properties’ extensive outdoor trails. We did the 4 mile advanced hike in the snowy woods past some of the natural springs and beautiful scenery. There is also an easy 1 mile loop that is a great walk for families.
One of our favorite things about the resort is the indoor pool. It was built in 1905 and is one of the first indoor pools in the United States. It is the original pool, fully restored to its lavish beauty. Once upon a time, musicians would serenade the swimmers from an elevated opera box, and legend has it that daring sons of visiting dignitaries would plunge into the two-story pool from its upper level. You can meander the long hallways near the pool and look at the pool photos from parties in the early 1900s; we loved this sense of history. Also, parents, the pool is open 24/7 so if you have a fussy child or sleepless toddler, you can throw on your suits and tire them out in the pool!
Of course, mommy had to check out the 30,000 square foot spa. (Research purposes, natch.) The spa is centered on the healing waters of the Eternal Spring, one of eight natural springs surrounding the property. This new spring was discovered during the resort’s renovation. The Springs Eternal Spa offers luxurious accommodations for treatments, therapies, fitness and relaxation-oriented pursuits.
The spa has 13 treatment rooms including two couples’ suites. I had the 20 minute detox bath with the healing spring water (have you ever seen such a tub?) and felt like butta afterwards, relaxing in the spa lounge with a cup of green tea. There are also hot and cold natural spring plunge pools in both the men’s and women’s lounge for relaxation before or after your treatment. I would have gotten more services but they were fully booked – boo!
We also explored the quaint town of Bedford. We hit the historic Gardiner’s Candies (started in 1897 by a 16-year old boy) and got some treats, refilled on caffeine at HeBrews Coffee Company and did some antiquing at Founder’s Crossing Antique Mall which is jam-packed full of crafts, antiques, primitives, jams, dolls and some major hidden gems. I was there 20 minutes and got a new eat in kitchen table, a mink collar and an art-deco horn three pronged horn vase. I'm not even going to post pics because you'll be too jealous. Founders Crossing is kickin' it old school with no website but can be found at 100 South Juliana Street, Bedford, PA (814) 623-9120 .
There are tons of activities for families at Omni Bedford Springs including, Chef-led cooking lessons (see below)
And...Guided Hiking, Guided Biking, Guiding Stock Fishing and fly fishing, Geocaching, Scavenger Hunts, Archery, Historic Tours, French Coach Carriage Rides, Anderson’s Explorers Kids Club, Horseshoes, Golf, Fitness Center, Bocce Ball, Badminton, Tennis, Hiking, Indoor and Outdoor Pools, S'mores at the Fire Pit, "Dive In" Movies by the pool, among many others.
We had an amazing visit at Bedford Springs. Our only not fabulous experience was our room being next to “Kyle’s” – a boy who clearly left his adderall at home. The hallways are long and narrow so sound travels easily – perhaps Omni -- maybe some additional insulation needed? Kyle or no Kyle, we can’t wait to go back!!
Rates begin at $209 a night. Check the website for packages and last minute specials.