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May 2021

Keswick Hall & Golf Club

Renovation Embellishes Elegant Hospitality Experience 

By Sally J. Sportsman

Keswick Hall & Golf Club, a luxury golf resort in Keswick, Virginia, is situated in the state’s historic wine country or in its bucolic hunt country, depending on one’s perspective. For those who prefer golf, Full Cry at Keswick Golf Club, a Pete Dye design, continues to garner top accolades since it opened in 2014 to rave reviews. And a full array of resort activities and event options complete the picture at the venue, which has undergone a complete renovation.

The resort’s history is a central part of its story and allure. Established in 1912, it is named after Keswick Hall, a town in England.

“We have a historian on staff,” said John Trevenen, managing director of Keswick Hall, illustrating the significance of the resort’s archival narrative. 

Much recognized for its grandeur and exceptional service, the property, which sits on 600 acres near Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, is owned by Molly and Robert Hardie, who have overseen the major hotel and amenities renovation in conjunction with global design firm Hart Howerton. The updated design will showcase the integrity of the original elegant structure while transforming it into a more luxurious, modern setting, to appeal to a wider range of guests, including families.

“There’s nothing in the building that wasn’t replaced,” Trevenen said. “Plans for the June reopening are low key.

“Until the health of the country is better understood, with so much misery and hardship, we would be of a tin ear if we were to present a party with champagne. Eventually, down the road, we will find the opportunity to do something celebratory, at the proper time.”

Among the renovation highlights are increasing the number of guest rooms from 48 to 80, a dramatic new Horizon pool and inspiring food and beverage outlets under the direction of acclaimed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Throughout the renovation, the resort’s golf facilities, including Full Cry, remained open. (“Full Cry” relates to the sound of hounds and foxes when on a hunt.) The tennis facilities, pools and club also stayed open.

The hotel portion of the resort closed in late 2017 as the renovation got underway. The décor style was transformed from an English motif to a more American feel, emphasizing relaxation and comfort.

The new restaurant is freestanding. The fully reconstructed Horizon swimming pool offers stunning views. The seven tennis courts now are Italian red clay, an amenity much anticipated by tennis-loving guests and members. The new spa is scheduled to open in spring of 2022. A new, large prefabricated tent, with no ropes or poles, will stage weddings and other gatherings, as permitted. And sustainability, in a variety of forms, is being initiated throughout the resort.

All the new enhancements no doubt will receive an enthusiastic welcome. The consensus, though, is that the crowning jewel will be the restaurant.

“Our wonderful chef Jean-Georges, from New York – originally from France – will bring a level of cuisine to the resort and the community that had not existed previously,” said Trevenen. “The cuisine style will be relaxed – an American menu with fresh produce daily.

“The food will be simply prepared and constructed, yet elegant in presentation.”

Room prices will rise about 20% with the renovation, according to Trevenen. Restaurant revenue percentages are expected to remain unchanged: about 65% from resort guests and 35% from the community, including members.

“Once our entire resort revitalization is final, we look forward to our guests enjoying the results for decades to come,” said Trevenen.

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