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Greenbrier Resort Independent Review

Resort reviews by Donald K. Burleson

August 2010

This NEWSWEEK article titled "The Last Resort", prompted us to try the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia.

Greenbrier is a monster resort, with 700 rooms with 6,500-acre of grounds that includes every activity imaginable.

The main entrance to the Greenbrier is truly awesome, so large that pictures cannot do it justice. 

It can been seen from outer space.

The older "North" entrance is also amazing.

The Greenbrier started in the late 1700’s and has been in continuous operations for over 200 years (even in the Civil War, where it served as a hospital) and its guests include Andrew Jackson, Davy Crockett, Dolly Madison, JFK, Ike and robber barons like the Rockefellers.

The Greenbrier will remind you of the great aging resorts like the Arizona Biltmore and the Florida Breakers, but it has the mountain resort feel of the Broadmoor and Banff Springs resorts in the high Rockies.
Local West Virginian Jim Justice paid only $20 million for the 186,000 square foot monster mansion, but he also inherited almost a quarter-billion dollars in debt.

Here is a good view of the " Haint Blue" color for ceiling of the entrance, important for keeping ghosts away.

The north entrance and all passageways are painted in Haint blue, to prevent Haintings.


They have putting and croquet areas behind the main building, and they even laid-out a small par-2 putting course.


This is the original hot spring from 1798.  The water is now piped into the main resort pools from this location.

The Greenbrier has a large outdoor pool with a nice vanishing edge.

Greenbrier Interior

This oil painting of George Washington adorns the North wall of one of the main rooms.

The message "Beware of Foreign Influence", is just as true today as it was 200 years ago.




Antique lovers will enjoy the main halls of the Greenbrier, lots of old clocks, painting and statues adorn the main areas.

The dining area remains Victorian, with gaudy colors and the acoustics are such that you can hear somebody chewing from 20 paces.


They have an indoor pool, fed by the local hot springs.

They are proud of the draperies, and they are indeed quite colorful.

Greenbrier food

The room service sucks and the main dining room is way overpriced.

Drapers is very gaudy, and we almost did not eat there, but the food is quite good.

Homemade pickles and fresh sandwiches are the specialty.


Falconry Program at the Greebrier

The Falconry program at the Greenbrier was exciting, but it did not deliver.

At $198 for a session, expected the dedicated attention of a falconer, and we were surprised to be placed into a group with toddlers and screaming kids!

They made over $700 per hour during the session we attended, just another of the over-priced activities at the Greebirier.

The trained birds are very gentle when their eyes are covered.

This eagle is in training for the falconry program.



Greenbrier Golf Review

Golf at the Greenbrier is average at best, with green free approximately double of those comparable courses in the country.

When we went it was super-crowded, back-to-back play, over 4 hours to complete 9 holes.

We were also surprised when the twosome behind us nearly beaned Janet!  They had a caddy, but he never yelled "Fore" or apologized.

If you play the Greenbrier, make sure to wear protective headgear.





If you want to play reasonable golf at the Greenbrier, I  highly recommend Oakhurst Links in West Virginia.

It's right up the road from the Greenbrier, and it claims to be America's oldest golf course.

The fun is there are sheep sharing the fairways, and you are required to use hickory clubs, gutta percha balls and sand tees.


Greenbrier Gun Club

The Greenbrier gun club as a highlight of our trip, professional and a good value.

They offer a wide range of shotguns, from 12 gauge to 20 gauge and professional, individualized instruction.





Other Activities

The Greenbrier has bowling lanes at only $10 per game.


Kudzu City



Noel likes to drive.



Note: The opinions expressed on these pages are the sole opinion of Donald K. Burleson and do not reflect the opinions of Burleson Enterprises Inc. or any of its subsidiaries.

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Copyright � 1996 -  2010 by Donald K Burleson. All rights reserved.