Stay at The Greenbrier Resort
Decorator Dorothy Draper's magnum opus, located in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Est. 1778
Sprawl Factor: 6,750 acres; 710 rooms
Recent Nip & Tuck: Since West Virginia billionaire Jim Justice took over this landmark property in 2009, he's upped the retreat's ante with the Casino Club, a glamorous gambling room that opened in 2010, complete with a jackets-required dress code and silver-dollar slot machines. The other recent addition—a 26-room VIP wing called the Windsor Club, finished in 2011—has luxurious extras, such as a private bar with complimentary mint juleps.
Fame Slept Here: Twenty-six Presidents have visited, plus the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (for whom the new club is named) and Princess Grace of Monaco. In 2010, actress and West Virginian Jennifer Garner attended the grand opening of the Casino Club with her husband, Ben Affleck.
Resort Lore: Guests can tour a once-secret, never used, 112,544-square-foot underground bunker built in the late 1950s to be a Cold War fallout shelter for the U.S. Congress.
White Glove Treatment: Who needs a silver spoon? The resort's Gold Dinner Service includes 24-karat-gold flatware and 24-karat-gold-trimmed plates.
Signature Style: It takes upwards of 340 different fabrics to create The Greenbrier's exuberant interior collage—perhaps the best-preserved legacy of audacious American designer Dorothy Draper. It was her job, in 1946, to convert the resort from a temporary 2,000-bed WWII army hospital back into a luxury retreat for the highest society. Mere pastels could never have completed the mission.
While Away the Afternoon: When in session, attend a day class at the Dorothy Draper School of Decorating (April 20 class taught by Carleton Varney and Joellen Kerr; $300).
Book this Room: Live like royalty in any of the 26 Windsor Club rooms, which come with canopy beds dressed in Italian linens and access to the Virginia Room, a private lounge with its own (open!) bar. Rooms from $225, Windsor Club rooms from $505; greenbrier.com