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Salamander Resort & Spa Earns Five-Star Rating from Forbes Travel Guide for Second Consecutive Year

MIDDLEBURG, VA (February 12, 2020) – For the second consecutive year, Salamander Resort & Spa, the luxury Virginia property owned by Sheila Johnson, has been awarded the prestigious Five-Star Rating by the Forbes Travel Guide, placing it among the most iconic and revered hotels and resorts worldwide.

The gold standard in the hospitality industry since 1958, the Forbes Five-Star ratings are based on professional, anonymous inspections. Only 268 properties worldwide achieved the Five-Star rating for 2020, with just 82 recognized in the United States. In 2019, Salamander became the first destination resort in the Washington, D.C. region to achieve the Five-Star designation.

“It is a continued honor for our resort to achieve this rating,” said Johnson, Founder & CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts. “Retaining a Five Star rating is as important as receiving the designation for the first time. The resort’s entire team of service professionals, led by General Manager Reggie Cooper, continue to exceed our guests’ expectations on a daily basis.”

A pioneer for gender and racial equality, Johnson is the only African-American woman to wholly own a Five-Star resort. The opportunity to develop the 168-room resort was the main reason she entered the industry and the project took a decade to design and build. Since opening its highly anticipated doors in August 2013, Salamander Resort & Spa has received worldwide plaudits, and has become a community gathering point and executive retreat for the Greater Washington, D.C. region.

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, the 168-room Salamander Resort & Spa draws its architectural inspiration from Johnson’s nearby farm. It offers a series of immersive experiences unique to the area, including Harrimans Virginia Piedmont Grill, a Cooking Studio and Culinary Garden, a tranquil outdoor spa courtyard with an infinity pool, a tree-top zip line tour, and a 22-stall equestrian center with riding arena.

Considered one of the hotel industry’s top luxury management companies, Salamander Hotels & Resorts also operates Half Moon in Montego Bay, Jamaica; Hotel Bennett in Charleston, SC; The Henderson in Destin, FL; and Innisbrook Resort in Tampa Bay.

Visit to learn more and to make a reservation. Please view images of Salamander Resort & Spa here.



About Salamander Resort & Spa

Salamander Resort & Spa is a LEED Green Building Certified resort situated in the historic village of Middleburg, Va. on 340 picturesque acres. Located only one hour from Washington, D.C. and just 35 minutes from Washington Dulles International Airport, the resort is designed to respect the architectural traditions of Virginia’s countryside with 168 spacious rooms and suites that blend into their natural environment. Resort Owner Sheila C. Johnson has created a luxurious destination featuring an award-winning 23,000-square-foot spa, Harrimans Virginia Piedmont Grill, the Gold Cup Wine Bar, a dedicated Cooking Studio, a chef-inspired Culinary Garden as well as the adventurous Tree Top Zip Tour. The resort includes a full-service Equestrian Center with unique programming, a 22-stall stable and riding arena. All spa, culinary and equestrian facilities and programs are open to the community. For more information, visit

About Salamander Hotels & Resorts

Salamander Hotels & Resorts delivers comfortable luxury through signature, immersive experiences that personally enrich the lives of its guests. The company is privately owned and operated, and based in Middleburg, VA, just outside Washington, D.C. Founded by entrepreneur Sheila Johnson in 2005, it has a luxury portfolio featuring the stunning Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, a 340-acre equestrian-inspired property near Washington, D.C.; Half Moon, the iconic luxury resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica; The Henderson, a 170-room grand beach resort in Destin, FL; Hotel Bennett, a spectacular 179-room hotel in Charleston, SC, overlooking the city’s historic Marion Square; and Innisbrook Resort in Tampa Bay, which hosts the PGA TOUR’s Valspar Championship each year on its Copperhead Course. All Salamander properties are members of Preferred Hotels & Resorts. For additional information visit