After sitting on my “places to go” list for years, I finally had the chance to #TakeTheKids to the Omni Bedford Springs Resort and Spa for a little getaway a few days ago. They were off from school for an in-service day on Friday, so I decided to take them on a mini almost-staycation. What a fun few days!
Omni Bedford Springs is conveniently located about 2 hours east of Pittsburgh, 2 hours north of DC, and a little over 3 hours west of Philadelphia. The resort boasts 216 guest rooms and suites, a golf course regularly featured as one of the best in the country, a heated indoor mineral spring-water pool (and an outdoor one!), multiple restaurants of different cousines and dining level, a massive 30,000 sf Springs Eternal spa, and extensive meeting or event space.
To get it out of the way, I’m going to start with what I didn’t like, and I think I’ll be able to limit it to just one thing – I had a “standard” room, which had one single full/double bed. Not a queen, not a king. A double. For any resort in 2019 bearing 4 stars, I just don’t find that acceptable. If there were two, that may have helped, but only marginally. That was my least favorite thing about my experience.
Prior to check-in I had requested two cribs in my room, which were there when I arrived. The cribs came with freshly set linens (I love when I don’t have to make the crib mattress myself) and were easy to pop into place and secure. Each of my kids were greeted with an Omni Kids pack, which included crayons, binoculars, and an activity book – all gathered in a cute little backpack that they can keep and use! Loved this touch!
Both nights we chose to eat at Frontier’s Tavern. When you have little ones, are in a strange place, and are off your normal schedule – I have found that opting for less fancy dining is a smart choice. Not skipping dining or doing room service, but just being in a more casual atmosphere that doesn’t have exceedingly high behavior expectations. Frontier Tavern was a good choice, and had a plethora of menu options for everyone to choose from. Service was quick, food was tasty, and our waitress Chelsey (both nights) was incredibly sweet and patient. For those that would prefer fine dining, you’ll probably appreciate The Crystal Room (open only on select nights each week).
Let me tell you about this mineral spring-water pool, because it was among the coolest pools I’ve been in. Mind you the beauty of the indoor pool space alone is enough to put you in a relaxed state, this was the first time I’ve ever (to my knowledge) been in a mineral spring-fed indoor pool. Your skin actually feels like you coated yourself in lotion upon getting out. The pool is heated, which also always helps. The water depth ranged from 2.5 – 5.5 feet, making it great for kids or adults. There were two lap lanes set up, and plenty of folks utilizing them throughout the day. I could have taken a few naps there (admittedly, I would have liked too); it felt very much like a coed space at a spa and was just perfectly themed and decorated.
The other part that I found just incredible was the historical theme and attention to detail. The resort runs morning and evening history tours of the property, and I would love to say that I did one, but my schedule did not permit as I had to take a few work calls. This hotel was established in 1806, and is such a fantastically preserved 19th century resort. President James Buchanan used it as his “Summer White House” (not quite Mar-A-Lago, but pretty impressive!). James Buchanan also received the first ever trans-atlantic telegraph from Queen Victoria of England while on the property, and a photo of it is hanging in the lobby! President James Polk was a visitor of the resort as well. According to signage at the property, 12 US Presidents have visited the Omni Bedford Springs.
While I don’t have a photo (this one is taken from the Omni’s website), there is a remarkable one-of-a-kind 39 star US flag from 1865 hanging behind the front desk. In 1865 there were only 36 states. I asked the woman at check in what the meaning was for the 3 additional stars- apparently there was anticipation that 3 additional states would be added to the union, but then they weren’t (at least not for some time, at which point others were added too), and this flag is the only one of its kind in existence!
Of course, my favorite photos from the trip were of my kiddos. Gabriella loved the mineral spring waters and Nico loved running the long hallways and playing his guitar in the lobby. Friends- despite the historical nature of this resort, I found this to be a wonderful place to #TakeTheKids. I hope you have a chance to visit this magnificent property too!