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Martha Washington Inn & Spa in Abingdon, VA

The Martha Washington Inn, built in 1832 as a private residence, offers historic and graceful accommodations in Abingdon, VA.

By Jessica Mozo on April 26, 2015

Martha Washington Hotel and Spa in Abingdon, VA
Abingdon / Todd Bennett

First lady Martha Washington was known for her ability to make guests feel welcome and strangers feel at ease. So it seems appropriate that the elegant hotel bearing her name is known for exactly the same qualities.

The Martha Washington Inn & Spa was constructed in 1832 as a private residence, then later served as a finishing school for young ladies‚ a Civil War hospital and a women’s college before opening as an inn in 1935.

The building underwent an $8 million renovation in 1984 to preserve and enhance its original splendor and architectural details.

“History is a huge aspect of the inn‚ but it’s also very friendly to today’s modern traveler‚” says Christopher Lowe‚ general manager at The Martha Washington Inn. “We have 62 rooms with wireless Internet throughout‚ 14 pieces of fitness equipment‚ a glass-enclosed saltwater pool and a full-service spa that offers a plethora of treatments. We’ve tried to adopt health and wellness throughout. Even our dining room has organic farm-raised foods.”

Because no two rooms at the inn are exactly alike‚ “you can stay here 62 times without repeating your stay‚” Lowe adds. “This is a great building with so much history.”

The hotel’s guest list has included Eleanor Roosevelt, President Harry Truman, Lady Bird Johnson, Jimmy Carter and Elizabeth Taylor. In fact, many of the guests have been actors who were performing at the Barter Theatre, located next door.

There is also 5‚700 square feet of meeting space, a heated swimming pool and three restaurants: the casual Sisters pub‚ Martha’s Gourmet Market and the weekend Cabaret Club.

The swimming pool is enclosed in a building with a retractable roof. A sundeck off the pool provides the perfect spot for a quiet read or warm relaxation in the sun.

“We went above and beyond with the structure and façade‚” Lowe says. “The pool area is constructed of brick and glass to match the inn.”

The spacious Spa at the Martha measures 2,300 square feet and includes six treatment rooms, a workout and fitness room, and men’s and women’s locker rooms. Treatments are available for women, men and couples, with options such as facials, massages, body wraps, nail services and hair services.

Inn officials say they have tried to adopt a modern health and wellness initiative throughout the entire facility, and even their Dining Room main restaurant has organic, farm-raised foods on its menu.

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