Nemacolin Review: Elegant Pennsylvania Enclave Starred in ‘The Bachelor’
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As the setting for the 2021 season of ABC’s “The Bachelor,” Nemacolin is getting plenty of attention. Not only is it a beautiful destination with a variety of outdoor and indoor activities, but it's also a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts. The resort participates in the I Prefer program, where members can earn points or redeem them for a discount on their stay.
A visit to this secluded luxury property can be soothing for the soul, unforgiving to the waistline and energizing for the body. Our Nemacolin Woodlands Resort review will let you know what to expect for a stay.
Location: Luxury in the Laurel Highlands
Designed as an adventure playground in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania’s Allegheny Mountains, this family-owned luxury resort has something for everyone. It's located in Farmington; by car, it's about six hours from New York City, three hours from Cleveland, five hours from Philadelphia and 90 minutes from Pittsburgh. The resort is popular with families and couples, no matter the season.
A runway directly in front of the resort serves guests arriving by small private plane, and plans are in place to elongate the runway to cater to larger aircrafts by spring 2022.
Road trippers will find this enclave an attractive stop, even if they're on the way to somewhere else. Many rooms are pet-friendly, and there’s an animal care center where dogs are looked after with regular “woofland activities,” plus a pet spa.
Design: Art, architecture and attention to detail
Named for the 18th-century chief of the Delaware Nation, Nemacolin offers accommodations spread across multiple areas. Buildings include The Chateau, inspired by the Ritz Paris; Falling Rock, which is even more upscale; The Lodge, under renovations until 2022; and numerous private estates and homes open for rental.
The location and decor are so beautiful that the resort was chosen for the filming of ABC’s “The Bachelor.” In 2018, it hosted contestants for the filming of “The Bachelorette.”
Depending on the building, the design ranges from contemporary to elegant to rustic. The many beautiful sitting areas include a library with original Tiffany lamps made of stained glass.
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Food and beverage: Fine dining with a twist
Dining at Nemacolin is a highlight. On-site Lautrec restaurant offers a culinary experience worthy of the restaurant scene in Paris or London. Servers deliver plate after plate of curated masterpieces, and guests dine in rooms featuring first print lithographs by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec on the walls.
The meal begins with a red envelope that invites diners to take a “leap of faith” with the menu. It includes a hand-signed letter from the chef and images of 15 ingredients. Guests use a quill pen to circle the 10 items that are most appealing. Then, the chef team chooses seven from those to create a bespoke seven-course meal. There’s an option to pair each course with wine for an additional charge.
It’s a delightful presentation that changes daily and is based on your preferences, unlike set menus at other restaurants. At the end of the meal, the famed candy cart makes the rounds, allowing diners to select the goodies they want in a takeaway box.
Other dining options include Rockwell’s, which serves breakfast and dinner with ingredients primarily from locally sourced farms. Aqueous is notable for its fresh seafood menu, while wood-fired pizzas and tasty pasta dishes are the highlight at Barattolo.
Families will love PJ’s, the 1950s-style ice cream parlor, and the sports bar is popular on game days. The Pantry offers deli-style items, barista coffee and light pastries and meals.
There’s no shortage of places to have a beverage, with the lobby bar, cigar bar, tea room and Apex — a stop that also serves salads and pizzas.
Accommodations: High ceilings and plush comforts
The Chateau is an elegant retreat with tall ceilings on every floor and luxurious design details, from classical drapery to armchairs with ottomans by the windows.
The bathrooms have deep soaking tubs and Molton Brown toiletries, and the beds feature plush duvets and pillows. Ample closets, refrigerators and instant coffee makers are appreciated perks; there’s also piping hot coffee and tea available in the lobby each morning.
Expect room rates over $400 per night and sometimes as high as $1,000 on peak dates.
At Falling Rock, the design of the building and public spaces is inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. This building has a separate reception and offers more upscale accommodations with butler service. Some of the rooms and suites feature balconies, fireplaces and access to a private infinity pool.
The private homes and residences are also open for guests to book. Visitors who want to stay where “The Bachelor” was filmed should reserve early, as those spots are sure to be popular. The female contestants stayed at Falling Rock, while the bachelor himself stayed at the private home named Mystic Falls.
Rates will be even higher here, often approaching $1,000 per night and over $1,300 on some dates.
Amenities: Tennis, safari, pony rides, spa, zip lining and paintball
This area is where Nemacolin truly excels. There's so much to do, regardless of whether you're outdoorsy or prefer indoor activities, like visiting the spa or meditating.
Art lovers will find a selection of original works around the property, including pieces by Toulouse-Lautrec, Fernando Botero and many regional artists. Indoor and outdoor guided art and sculpture tours are available. The collection of art around the resort is estimated to be worth $45 million.
For animal lovers, there are pony rides, horseback trails and a safari tour to see the resort’s wildlife habitat with Bengal tigers, wolves, red sheep, a mountain lion and bears.
An expansive spa and salon is a big draw for guests looking to relax. It also features a modern fitness center, indoor swimming pool, and men’s and women’s relaxation areas with saunas, steam rooms and plunge pools.
At the Holistic Healing Center, guests can experience float tank therapy and whole body cryotherapy.
You can rent bikes, play paintball, go zip lining, take a Jeep for an off-road tour, go fly-fishing, shoot sporting clays, ride a merry-go-round and visit the resort’s seashell collection. Also on display is the owner’s collection of vintage and luxury cars.
There are two golf courses designed by Pete Dye, plus a golf academy. Guests can also enjoy tennis courts, a basketball court, plentiful shops and a casino. Mystic Mountain hosts downhill skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing, among other activities.
The resort even has its own auto club. Here, guests can have their cars detailed and cleaned while they relax or partake in the property’s full roster of amenities.
Groups will find ample meeting facilities like spacious ballrooms and smaller boardrooms. The resort is also popular for weddings and social functions.
How to get there
For guests not arriving via car or private plane, Pittsburgh Airport is 85 miles away. It's served by major U.S. airlines including American, Delta, Southwest and United, so there are plentiful options for mileage redemption. The airport in Morgantown, West Virginia, is 35 miles away. Southern Airways Express flies into Morgantown from Pittsburgh and Baltimore.
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