The Greenbrier Resort
The story of The Greenbrier begins at the spring of sulphur water that remains at the center of the resort property. It issues forth below the green dome of the white-columned Springhouse that has been the symbol of The Greenbrier for generations. Since 1778, people have come to "take the waters" to restore their health. In its first 125 years the resort was known by the name White Sulphur Springs.
The resort originally consisted of rows of cottages, many of which still stand today, including Paradise Row, Alabama Row and Baltimore Row. The cottages of Baltimore Row were designed by John H.B. Latrobe, a Baltimore lawyer and son of famed architect Benjamin Latrobe. His style extended later to the Tansas, South Carolina and Florida Rows and became the basis for the design of the new Copeland Hill cottages.
By the eve of the Civil War, White Sulphur Springs' reputation as the most fashionable social resort in the Southern states was well-established. This led to the 1858 addition of the first large hotel on the property, officially named the Grand Central Hotel, but known to long-time patrons as The Old White Hotel. The hotel boasted three stories of porches to catch summer breezes and ample space to promenade displaying one's fashionable attire. The resort was closed during the Civil War. Over the course of the conflict, both sides occupied the grounds, using the hotel either as a military headquarters or hospital. Shortly after the war's end, the resort reopened.
During World War II, The Greenbrier was put to two quite different uses by the U.S. government. The State Department leased the hotel for seven months after U.S. entry into the war and used it to intern German, Japanese and Italian diplomatic personnel, along with their families, until they could be exchanged for American diplomats stranded overseas. In September 1942, the U.S. Army purchased The Greenbrier, converted it into a two thousand-bed hospital and renamed it Ashford General Hospital. For four years the resort served as a surgical and rehabilitation center, and 24,148 soldiers were admitted and treated at the facility. The Greenbrier reopened to the public in 1948.
In the late 1950s the US government once again required the services of this resort. It wished to construct an Emergency Relocation Center (i.e. a bunker) for use by the U.S. Congress in the event of nuclear war. Between 1959 and 1962, the classified underground facility was built in conjunction with an above ground addition to the hotel, the West Virginia Wing. For 30 years, the owners of The Greenbrier and the federal government agreed that, in the case of an international crisis, the entire resort property would be conveyed to government use, specifically as the emergency location for the legislative branch of Congress. Above ground, life proceeded normally as The Greenbrier upgraded its property to stay competitive in the resort market. The convention center, which was used by the Greenbrier guests for business meetings, was actually a disguised workstation area for members of Congress complete with hidden blast doors. The underground bunker was finally closed in 1995. The complex is still maintained today by the Greenbrier and the facility remains much like it was in 1992 when the secret was revealed. While almost all of the furnishings were removed following the decommissioning of the bunker, furnishings close to what would have been in it at the time have been placed back in to approximate what the bunker looked like while it was still in operation. Two of the original bunks in the dormitories remain, however. Tours of this bunker are available through the hotel; don't miss out on this opportunity.
Ideally located on 6,500 acres in an upland valley of the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia, The Greenbrier has been awarded the AAA Five Diamond status since inception of the award and is one of only three properties to have earned this distinction for 30 consecutive years. As a National Historic landmark, The Greenbrier's classic architecture, exquisite interior design, carefully sculpted landscape, impeccable service, and outstanding amenities have hosted distinguished guests from around the world since 1778. Over two centuries of famous guests, including 26 presidents, royalty, business leaders, politicians, and celebrities have stayed here. The Greenbrier's archives are maintained and displayed in the Presidents' Cottage Museum. Getting to The Greenbrier is now easier than ever with commercial and charter flights arriving daily just 15 minutes from the resort at the Greenbrier Valley Airport (LWB). Other convenient airports are located in Beckley (BKW) and Charleston (CRW), West Virginia, and Roanoke (ROA), Virginia with service provided by major carriers.
Main Lobby Known as The Greenbrier's living room, the stunning Main Lobby is a series of lobbies and sitting rooms with the designing touch of Dorothy Draper. Decorated with antiques and historic paintings, bright colors and floral designs, the soaring ceilings and cozy fireplace make the Main Lobby the ideal place to enjoy an afternoon tea and concert. Carleton Varney, president of the Dorothy Draper Company, oversees all interior design of The Greenbrier.
Dining The Greenbrier's excellence is perhaps most clearly defined by the fine dining. Regardless of venue or menu, every meal at The Greenbrier is a truly exquisite experience. Breakfast and dinner are served daily in the elegant Main Dining Room and are comprised of a delectable combination of classical, continental and American cuisine prepared by a team of chefs, many of whom were trained in The Greenbrier Culinary Apprenticeship Program. Draper's, named for the famed designer Dorothy Draper, serves lunch and offers dessert and fountain soda specialties. Evenings offer the pleasure of cabaret-style live entertainment in the Old White Lounge, the fun-filled sports bar Slammin' Sammy's and the conveniently located Lobby Bar. The Greenbrier cuisine is a delight like no other.
Guest Rooms All Greenbrier guests enjoy lavish accommodations decorated by Carleton Varney, president of Dorothy Draper and Company, Inc., New York. The Greenbrier offers 802 guest bedrooms all with full access to guest services.
Golf Since 1910, golf has been an important part of life at The Greenbrier. With three championship courses and the Golf Digest Academy, The Greenbrier is unmatched in its dedication to golfers. The Greenbrier does keep one course open for play year-round, weather permitting.
Recreation For guests who prefer other forms of recreation, The Greenbrier offers a variety of activities. The Greenbrier's Culinary Arts Center offers hands-on classes for children and adults. Guests may also enjoy the Off-Road Driving School, indoor swimming pool, falconry, bowling, hiking and jogging trails, horseback riding, and carriage rides.
Casino The Casino Club at The Greenbrier is an elegant venue that revels in the warmth and comfort of southern hospitality and mixes world-class gaming, live entertainment, international cuisines, and designer boutiques to create the grandest casino experience in the world. Take a spin on 320 state-of-the-art slot machines; try your luck at 37 table games including blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat, and three-card poker; or test your skill at the Texas Hold ‘Em poker tables. The Tavern Casino is an exclusive, private gaming venue with a comfortable, yet refined, atmosphere. Discreetly located below Prime 44 West, the facility features a variety of table games, including blackjack, roulette, and three-card poker as well as slots. Unlike other gaming facilities, the Casinos are only open to overnight resort guests, members of The Greenbrier Sporting Club, and The Greenbrier Golf & Tennis Club.
Spa For 230 years, guests have been attracted to The Greenbrier's sulphur springs and the natural benefits of the minerals remain at the heart of The Greenbrier Spa experience. The Greenbrier Spa's treatments complement today's lifestyle, with greater attention to the healing powers of natural essences and minerals that have been trusted for centuries. Treatments include The Greenbrier Signature Treatment, Detox Kur, Ayurvedic Head Massage, Olive Oil Body Scrub and Mineral Body Mask. Other services include facials, hydrotherapy treatments, body fusions, manicures, pedicures, and waxing services.
Shopping With over 30 stores, shopping at The Greenbrier is a delight all its own. Most of the shops are located in the hotel's lower level, including The Greenbrier Shoppe and Newsstand, Carleton Varney Gift Gallery, Polo Ralph Lauren, The Greenbrier Gourmet Shop, and many others. The Art Colony on Alabama Row features a collection of shops with unique handcrafted items and exceptional pieces of original art. Finally, The Christmas Shop at the Depot is located across from the main entrance and is open year round with gifts and decorations to make every Christmas special.
*The Greenbrier Dress Code is an important complement to the standards that guests expect and which distinguish this resort.The Resort hopes that you will find that observance of these requirements adds to the pleasure and comfort of your visit. Country Club casual attire, including collared sport shirts, sweaters, jackets, dress slacks, and walking shorts are advised for day. Evening attire is business casual, jacket suggested for gentlemen; dresses or evening suits for ladies. Jeans are only allowed for outdoor activities. Please note: Tee shirts, tank tops, cut-offs, short shorts, sweatpants, men's hats, and baseball caps are not permitted at any of the venues. Attire for children ages 10 and older should be similar in dress to adult attire. Robes and swimwear may not be worn outside of guest rooms, except in the swimming pools and spa.