A Stop at Greenbrier Hotel, West Virginia
The Greenbrier Hotel, WV
I was driving through West Virginia today. There’s usually a lot of driving on road trips.
I passed a sign that said, Greenbrier Hotel, Next Exit. And something jogged in my memory. Someone had said something to me about that. Or I had read about it somewhere. I couldn’t really remember much about, well anything, except I knew I had heard of this place. There was something noteworthy about it.
I took the next exit and followed the signs.
“Checking in?” the man asked at the gated entrance.
I still am surprised when people at fancy places take me seriously. Don’t they know I’m a hobo? Can’t they tell I can’t afford this kind of thing?
“Uh, no. I just wanted to look around,” I replied, though I still didn’t know why I was there or precisely what I was looking for.
When I turned the corner and actually saw the hotel, I was like, Whoa. But seriously, I had Googled this place before. But at the time (before deciding to head to DC) I had decided not to drive that far into West Virginia just to see a hotel.
I found parking… and by that I mean I parked in a lot clearly labeled “Valet Only” because all the lots I could find were labeled “Valet Only.” I decided I’d just wander around the hotel for a minute.
I walked in and was immediately impressed (again!). I don’t really know what I expected, but something about the exterior led me to believe the interior would be… different. Like, it wouldn’t be so… funky. I wandered through room after room. Each one had a totally different feel than the previous one, but each was fantastic in its own right. A bright mix of stripes and florals and crystal chandeliers and old fashioned paintings. There were teals and greens and reds and pinks all mixed together. And somehow it all worked. There was so much happy color and texture.
Downstairs was like a mall! I got a latté at the espresso bar which is just past the Ralph Lauren store. And then wandered some more. I wandered past the lobby full of people drinking champagne, and went to the Crystal Room, then like 12 other rooms that may or may not have names, I do not know.
But my favorite… my favorite by far, was the ballroom. As a former ballroom dance instructor, this is the stuff dreams are made of. I don’t even think there was music playing, but just standing in this room made me want to be wearing a flowy gown and even sans gown (AKA in leggings and hooded sweatshirt) I had an urge deep in my soul to Viennese Waltz.
It’s all rich pinks and reds with heavy curtains and, or course, crystal chandeliers. Shiny, shiny wood floors and so much open space. The kind of space that calls for a smooth dance: waltz, tango, foxtrot, oh my!
I seriously recommend stopping by and taking a look.
Anyone stayed here? Stopped by? Know where on earth visitors are supposed to park??