"Every once in a while we come across a place that exceeds all expectations," wrote the notoriously hard-to-please editors of Golf Odyssey.
They were talking about an American resort that few people know about.
The golf course at this resort is one of the best and most challenging in the state and its tee times are spaced pleasingly 15 minutes apart.
Resort accommodations (all three types) are luxurious, modern and chic, yet simultaneously warm and inviting...and quite reasonably priced.
I'm actually a bit hesitant to tell you about this resort, because if everybody finds out about this place, nobody will be able to get near it.
It's called Primland Resort, and it's tucked in a corner of Southwest Virginia better known for its bluegrass festival, love of the arts, NASCAR fans, and moonshine.
Don't let that put you off. The same goes for how relatively difficult it is to get to Primland Resort, by air anyway. The closest major airport is Charlotte, a two-and-a-half-hour drive.
Because if you're willing to venture off the beaten path to Meadows-of-Dan, Va., you'll be greatly rewarded.
First, by the mountaintop, Donald Steel-designed Highlands Golf Course, which is anything but an, "easy resort course."
In fact, wrote Golf Odyssey, "it will give middle and high handicappers fits. The holes usually feature enough leeway to allow players to hit driver without holding their breath, though it is imperative to drive the ball well."
Regardless, even less accomplished players will enjoy the scenery, playing on turf, "maintained in pristine condition," hitting from atop the golf course's numerous, elevated tees, and the secluded holes that (in concert with the widely spaced tee times) provide, "a sense of solitary communion with nature."
Your second reward is everything else offered at Primland Resort, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts.
"The Lodge is chic yet warm, and in harmony with its rugged surroundings," wrote Golf Odyssey. "With its celestial spa, stunning lobby, and first-rate dining room, it makes for an idyllic or romantic retreat...The resort's various accommodations and range of activities present nice options for couples, families, buddy trips, and even small corporate groups. Those who crave nightlife, however, could go stir crazy."
When to go? Golf season in Southwest Virginia lasts from April until early November. "Demand for rooms at Primland Resort is highest in October," advises Golf Odyssey, "when the fall foliage alone is worth a trip to the region."
Have you stayed/played at Primland Resort? Please share your comments about it below.