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Salamander Middleburg Receives Three Coveted Five-Star Awards from Forbes Travel Guide

MIDDLEBURG, VA (February 7, 2024)Salamander Middleburg was today awarded three prestigious Five-Star Ratings by the Forbes Travel Guide, making the Sheila Johnson-owned luxury resort one of only five properties in the United States and 13 globally to earn separate Five-Star Awards for its accommodations, restaurant and spa.

For 2024, the resort’s Harrimans Grill received the coveted honor for the first time, while Salamander’s luxury accommodations were recognized for the sixth year in a row and Salamander Spa achieved the desirable designation for the third year in succession.

“To receive one Forbes Five-Star Award is an honor, to receive two is a privilege, but to receive three is simply humbling,” said Johnson, Founder & CEO of Salamander Collection. “These awards are a testament to our entire team of service professionals who strive to exceed our guests’ expectations on a daily basis. They have truly earned these ratings.”

Forbes Travel Guide is the only global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants, spas and ocean cruises, and has been the gold standard in the hospitality industry since 1958. Forbes Five-Star ratings are based on professional, anonymous inspections.

Currently celebrating its ten-year anniversary, Salamander Middleburg has received worldwide plaudits and also become a community gathering point and executive retreat for the Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland area. Under the guidance of newly appointed Managing Director Scott Little, the resort continues its leadership as one of the foremost luxury destination resorts in the country.

Located on 340 picturesque acres in the storied village of Middleburg – the heart of Virginia’s famed horse and wine country – the resort is only 35 minutes from Washington Dulles International Airport.  Designed to blend into the surrounding rolling countryside, Salamander Middleburg draws its architectural inspiration from Johnson’s nearby farm. It offers a series of immersive experiences unique to the area, including a tree-top zip line tour and a 22-stall equestrian center with riding arena. The resort is also developing Residences at Salamander, which offers luxury, built-for-sale homes within a pristine landscape. The first homeowners have now moved into the community.

Virginia’s only Five-Star spa, Salamander Spa offers a unique health and wellness journey tailored to guests’ specific well-being needs. Led by Director of Spa and Fitness Ashley Helmick, the 13-treatment room facility features integrative and regionalized treatments as well as holistic and result-driven therapies. It is committed to providing more than just an experience, but insights to a better, healthier lifestyle. The luxurious, nature-inspired location seamlessly balances both mind and body through spectacular spatial offerings including private stone treatment terraces, stunning aromatic steam rooms, luxurious changing areas, sun-lit relaxation spaces, a remarkable couple's suite, and a secluded spa courtyard with elegant infinity-edge pool and cabanas.

Harrimans Grill is now one of only two restaurants in Virginia and one of only four in the mid-Atlantic with the Five-Star rating. Led by Food and Beverage Director Bill Welch, the restaurant features bold and flavorful dishes celebrating the rich resources and history of Virginia’s most fertile region. With menus created by Executive Sous Chef Jose Linares and Executive Pastry Chef Jason Reaves, the cuisine is locally driven and based on the bounty of Middleburg’s surrounding farms, butchers, and specialty sourced seafood from coastal waters. The octagonal-shaped dining room features sweeping views of Salamander’s pastoral estate, and also offers a dedicated Cooking Studio, expansive Culinary Garden and firepits perfect for after-dinner drinks.

Other Salamander properties were also recognized by Forbes Travel Guide. Half Moon in Montego Bay, Jamaica retained its Forbes Four-Star rating, making it the highest-ranked property in the country, while Hotel Bennett in Charleston, SC, also retained its Forbes Four-Star rating, ranking it among the Holy City’s finest properties.

For more information about Salamander Middleburg, visit or call 540-326-4000.


About Salamander Collection

Salamander Collection is privately owned and operated, and based in Middleburg, VA, just outside Washington, D.C. Founded by entrepreneur Sheila Johnson, it has a luxury portfolio featuring the Forbes Five-Star Salamander Middleburg, an equestrian-inspired property in the Virginia countryside; Salamander Washington DC, an elegant hotel located along the capital’s vibrant Southwest waterfront; Half Moon, the storied resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica, featuring three distinct experiences including the acclaimed Eclipse; Aspen Meadows Resort, which features sweeping views on 40 beautiful acres in Aspen, CO’s west end and newly renovated Herbert Bayer-inspired accommodations and arrival experience; Hotel Bennett, a spectacular grand hotel in Charleston, SC, overlooking the city’s historic Marion Square; and Innisbrook Resort in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area, which hosts the PGA TOUR’s Valspar Championship each year on its famed Copperhead Course.