Last summer, there was a time during my visit to Omni Bedford Springs Resort, with my tween daughter when I thought, “Man, I wish Mr. Locke was here to see this place. He’d love everything about it.”
The next morning as we hiked along one of several hiking trails the resort provides for its guests, I thought, “Wow! I wish Mr. Locke was here to hike with us. He’d really love the easy paths through the woods and the beauty of the natural springs.”
That night at dinner in the 1796 Room Restaurant, my daughter and I talked about how much he’d love the ambiance of the room and the seasonally inspired menu.
My last thought before we pulled out of the resort’s driveway? I made a promise to myself to make a return trip to Omni Bedford Springs Resort, located in Bedford, PA, with Mr. Locke.
I made good on my promise this summer when I took him for a giant milestone in his life: his 40th birthday. We enjoyed a leisurely visit and, even though it rained throughout our trip, the resort has so many indoor offerings that we didn’t miss the outdoors at all.
So, what did we do during our visit to Omni Bedford Springs Resort during a rainy June weekend? We relaxed in the beauty of the resort and its rich history, enjoyed a little pampering in The Spa, and best of all, enjoyed each other.
A History Lesson
Omni Bedford Springs Resort is filled with so much history that it was easy (and fun!) for us to mosey around the property for a few hours checking out the gorgeous lobby, the spa wing, the gorgeous indoor spring-fed pool, and even walking the hallways to get a look at the antique photos of former guests that came to the property for healing and wellness.
Bedford Springs became a haven for the rich and influential in 1798 when Dr. John Anderson turned the land and its eight natural springs into a what was thought to be a place to heal oneself and be cured of common ailments. Each on-property spring has its own chemical make-up and folks flocked to the area for its healing waters- the same waters that Native American Indians used for their healing powers.
Throughout the years, 12 U.S. Presidents have stayed on the property compliments of its luxurious atmosphere and location, and President James Buchanan used to call it his “Summer White House”. We loved reading the first transatlantic telegram between Queen Victoria and President Buchanan that’s hanging in the lobby of the resort, stopping to look at the framed silhouettes of the Presidents and their guests on the second floor, and really loved the 37 star U.S. Flag hanging behind the check-in desk. Want to learn more about the rich history? It’s all right here.
You know when you walk into a guest room and have that collective “ahh” moment as you take in the beauty surrounding you? That’s exactly what Mr. Locke and I did when we opened the door to our room.
Each room has a subtle, yet completely stunning color palette and feel. Our room in the Cottage Inn section of the resort was filled with pretty white furnishings, pale green walls, and crisp white linens. I adored the subtle touches that give a historical feel to the room such as the stand-up dressing mirror, marble tiled floors, and even carved walking sticks near the guest room doors.
My husband could have sat in the rocking chairs on the large guest porch for hours at a time, but we had so many activities we wanted to accomplish that we savored the moment over our morning tea on the porch and watched the mist roll over the mountains before jumping into our day.
I fell in love with the color palette of the entire resort and, in talking to the concierge, learned that the exact paint colors may be purchased at Benjamin Moore paint stores. Look out, Mr. Locke! I’m ready to repaint the entire house.
When the staff learned that it was his 40th birthday, they sent up a giant birthday cupcake which we happily shared after dinner.
Alright, I’ll admit this one was more for me than for Mr. Locke, but the man is a trooper and went to the Crystal room with me for the traditional Afternoon Tea service. Serving hor d’oeuvres, petit fours, and two styles of tea (the first caffeinated, the second herbal with no caffeine), the tea service is so cool and classy. I’m a huge fan of tradition and late 19th century/Early 20th century history, so I felt like I stepped back in time if only for an hour. Our servers were sweet and really knew all about the teas being served and we loved chatting with them about the gorgeous surroundings.
Resort Cooking Demonstration
Here’s another reason why I’m so in love with Omni Bedford Springs Resort: their long list of indoor activities just in case you happen to get rained out of the scheduled outdoor activities. We initially had a Segway property tour scheduled on the day of our arrival, but compliments of heavy rain it was canceled. Where did we head instead? To the kitchen, of course!
The resort offers culinary cooking demonstrations, and even though they’re scheduled mid-afternoon, make sure you eat a light lunch because we enjoyed a full meal of seared sea bass, asparagus soup with black truffle oil ( amazing!), and panna cotta with sliced berries. If that wasn’t enough, the kitchen staff showed us step by tasty step how to cook the dishes at home and even gave us recipe cards. We enjoyed champagne while we sat around the counter and chatted with the other guests and the kitchen staff. They all couldn’t have been nicer when I kept taking my dishes to a better lighting location because I adore taking photos of food.
Springs Eternal Spa
We enjoyed a trip to the resort’s onsite pampering spot, Springs Eternal Spa, on the last day of our visit. When talking to guests and staff of the resort about how we were looking forward to it, they all said the same thing: we had to try the Bedford Bath Ritual.
So, arriving an hour ahead of schedule for our couple’s massage appointment we were ready to learn why the ritual is so well-known. The multi-step ritual takes place inside the changing rooms (men and women each have their own) and can easily last 45 minutes if you follow each step. With a series of hot and cold water treatments, steam therapy, and dips into cool and warm tubs, the process is meant to relax and heal using the water from the property’s springs. Although I’m not a complete health nut, I was totally sold on the process. I felt calm and relaxed and my skin has never looked lovelier.
We met afterwards and relaxed in the lounge area, waiting for our masseuses to greet us. We enjoyed herbal teas and light, healthy snacks and in no time they were waiting at the door with smiles.
Choosing the Five Point Massage for my husband (it concentrates on the head, hands, and feet) and The Eternal Cure Massage for myself, we couldn’t have asked for a more relaxing time. He’s all about having his head and feet rubbed when we were at home and having a skilled masseuse do it was the best birthday present he could have received. My massage used hot stones and a salt scrub and I honestly pouted when it was over. All of the knots were gone from my back and I felt like I was glowing.
So, I’m sure you’re wondering if Mr. Locke enjoyed his birthday celebration. Let’s just say he’s still raving about the massage, the beautiful views, the property’s history, the cooking class, and of course, that gorgeous cupcake with sprinkles.
Happy Birthday, my love. Here’s to 40 more years and then some.
I was hosted by Omni Bedford Springs Resort to give you fine folks the scoop on what makes it perfect for families, couples, birthday celebrations, and so much more. I was not asked to state a particular point of view and all opinions are my own!