When you’re driving through rural Pennsylvania, you probably aren’t expecting any luxury, historic resorts and, most of the time, you’d be right. However, drive through Bedford, Pennsylvania, and you might just be lucky enough to stumble upon Omni Bedford Springs Resort, a hotel that easily rivals, in both history and luxury, any properties you might find in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh.
The resort was built in the early 1800s and boasts a long line of famous visitors, including quite a few presidents, from Thomas Jefferson all the way to George W. Bush. This is hardly all that makes the property historically significant, though.
It was also the site of one of the country’s first golf courses, in 1895, as well as one of the first indoor pools in 1905. President James Buchanan, who spent 40 summers at the resort and made it his “summer White House,” received the first trans-Atlantic cable in the hotel’s lobby. In World War II, the U.S. Navy occupied the resort as a training facility for radio operators and then Japanese diplomats captured in Germany lived there 1943 to 1945.
Omni Hotels & Resorts bought the property in 2007, at which point it became the Omni Bedford Springs Resort.
For traveling families seeking luxury outside of urban destinations, there’s no better place to go.
The massive property (you will receive a map at check-in and you will want to use it) sits in the
Pennsylvania woods just outside of Bedford. The elegant exterior features rows upon rows of porches and, if you’re lucky enough to have one off your guestroom, you can sit out in your rocking chair with a cup of coffee and watch the woods come to life in the morning or go to sleep in the evening. The expansive lawns are home to classic lawn games in the summer and a fire pit, complete with s’mores.
Summer is serious prime time at the resort, as there’s so much to do during the warmer months. The staff nearly always has a lineup of fun group activities planned (think scavenger hunts and similar games a la Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 2). For outdoor adventurers, the forestry provides the perfect spot for hiking to see some of the historic springs or even fly-fishing or horseback riding. Of course, there’s also the 18-hole golf course and full-sized tennis court. And, if it happens to be raining, you can take advantage of that picturesque and historic indoor pool.
The property is renowned for its spa and anyone who visits would be remiss to leave without booking a treatment or at least purchasing a pass to experience the renowned Bedford Bath ritual (including an aromatic steam, mineral deluge, whirlpool and cool plunge, all at your own pace, for an invigorating yet relaxing experience, that leaves you refreshed and renewed). The expansive, 30,000-square-foot spa’s treatments source inspiration from the natural mineral springs and treatments incorporate a signature line of products you’ll want to take home with you for sure.
The dining is varied, but all delicious. Breakfast is served in The Crystal Room, an upscale environment with á la carte options and a breakfast buffet, along with an omelet station. You can find casual lunch and dinner options in the Frontier Tavern. The 1796 Room is a steak and chophouse and, elsewhere throughout the property, you can easily locate a cocktail or cup of coffee.
Lastly, the guestrooms are spacious and ensure everyone in the family has room to spread out. Book a Premier Luxury Spa room for oversized marble bathrooms and one of those coveted porches.