The Greenbriar, or as it bills itself, "America's Resort," has been home to guests since 1778--which is the primary reason it makes it to the Daily Flirtations' Grande Dames list.
Its long spanning history includes a role in WWII military affairs, when the hotel became the temporary home for Japanese, Italian and German diplomats who were relocated from DC after the US entered the war. In 1942, part of the hotel was converted into a hospital, and over 24k soldiers were treated and rehabilitated within its walls.
The Greenbriar's and US Government's relationship continued into the 1950s, when an underground bomb shelter was built, which intended to house Congress in the event of war. The bomb shelter, named "Project Greek Island," was kept in a state of operational readiness for over 30 years.
Iconic designer Dorothy Draper was hired in the mid-forties to renovate the hotel, and not much has changed since. At the time, Draper epitomized elegance, and the hotel is reminiscent of the Palm Springs/Palm Beach/Architectural Digest luxury standards of the time--which frankly, are more than a little dated.
Bergdorf Goodman did an interesting fashion spread a few years ago using the hotel as backdrop to a vintage-inspired designer clothing photo shoot. Pictured above, is a model standing outside the underground bunker door.
The property grounds are exquisite, and perhaps, if your mind can wander to more elegant times, and you can imagine yourself sipping mint juleps on a leisurely summer afternoon (or if you fancy yourself a character from a Tennessee Williams' play), the interior might just suit you.
Regardless, the Greenbriar's long storied history--its gorgeous location--make it worth a trip. Even if just for a look....