Matt, the kids and I spent last weekend at The Omni Homestead hotel in Hot Springs, Virginia. Here’s a recap of our trip!

We were at the Homestead with our friends Lily and James, and their kids Hank (only a month younger than Riese) and Penny (18 months).

We have gone to the Homestead once before, back in summer 2019, and it was with them, too! I just went back and read my recap from that trip and gosh, it feels like forever ago.

When we went last time, we each only had one child – Riese and Hank were 18-ish months old – and the adults all look so much younger too… apparently the pandemic + second kid combo has really aged us! 😉

Anyway – as you can imagine with 4 small kids in the mix, the weekend was not relaxing at all, but it was fun.

One really nice thing about this trip vs. last time is that the hotel was not crowded at all! Last time we went it was a holiday weekend (Labor Day) and the hotel was jam packed with people, the pool was mobbed, etc.

This time not so much! I think part of that was due to the fact that they have a lot of construction going on – you can see some of it in the photo above, and here was the beautiful view from our hotel window. 😉

view of construction from homestead window

It was especially nice that the pool was not crowded this time. The pool is definitely the biggest highlight of the hotel – it’s awesome.

They have a huge baby pool + sand box area, a regular pool, a lazy river (!), and a bunch of waterslides. It’s super fun. Wes was very into the baby pool, and Riese loved the lazy river!

baby at the pool at the homestead hotel

It was a little tough juggling all the various kid schedules and abilities in terms of activities this weekend – Riese doesn’t nap anymore (and hasn’t for basically 2 full years at this point), Wes is still doing 2 naps a day (mid-morning and mid-afternoon), and our friend’s kids both take one nap right after lunch.

Basically, someone’s child was always napping and half the time it was at opposite timing! Oh well. It will be easier as everyone gets older. 🙂

We started each day with the hotel buffet breakfast – the breakfasts were too chaotic with all the kids for me to get any photos, so this is a recycled photo from our last visit.

the homestead breakfast buffet

Their omelettes were really good – I got one made with all the veggies and goat cheese each morning, and also usually had oatmeal or peanut butter toast and fruit.

The kids usually had a fried egg (I just sliced it up for Wes), plus berries/banana, oatmeal for Wes, and toast, pancakes, or cereal for Riese.

After breakfast on two of the mornings we headed out for a little group hike!

They have a bunch of trails walkable from the property and it was nice to get the big kids moving first thing since they were pretty wild post-breakfast, and it was a little cool for the pool first thing with the exception of Monday (we were there from Friday evening until Monday early afternoon).

The little kids sat in carrier backpacks and took it all in!

kids hiking

I’m glad we remembered our hiking backpack! Wes is way too heavy for the front carriers these days…

By mid-morning Wes was ready for his nap. The first morning Matt stayed back at the room with Wes and I took Riese to the pool for a bit.

The second morning both Matt and Wes took a nap while Riese watched TV because she needed some downtime too, so I actually got out for a solo run which was a nice treat!

It’s super hilly running around the hotel as the hotel is kind of down in a valley, but I felt strong and was really in the mood for a run, so it felt great to be out there. It was a nice reset.

As for lunches, we ate at the pool two of the days – their food was just okay, although if you asked Riese she’d say it was fantastic as she loves hot dogs. 😉 I did love that one of the side options for all the meals was watermelon!

shrimp tacos at the pool

And the other day we ate at Woody’s, which is one of the restaurants on the property. They have really good wood-fired pizza that I didn’t get a picture of because I was too busy chasing Wes around.

He’s SO BUSY these days and always about to fall off/onto something, argh!

Woody’s is out in the big lawn area of the hotel which is nice for letting kids run around, though.

Wes was very into cornhole – he kept trying to “help” people play by putting the sandbags into the hole for them. Lol!

baby playing cornhole

Riese liked it too!

kids playing cornhole

One of the nights for dinner we also ate at Woody’s, and while the kids were running around together I saw another kid playing near them and thought: “Gosh, that looks JUST like my friend Kath‘s son Mazen.”

You can actually see him in the background of this photo below, I realized later! But I didn’t see Kath or her husband Thomas around and Mazen was kind of far away and I couldn’t tell for sure, so I figured I was mistaken.

two kids playing at the homestead hotel

Well, about an hour later, while we were making s’mores, I looked back at the cornhole area and sure enough, Thomas was there with Mazen! I immediately texted Kath asking if they were at the Homestead, and she was up in the hotel putting their younger son to sleep.

Turns out they were having dinner earlier on the patio right above us! What a small world random coincidence! Kath and I talk all the time but had no idea we’d be there at the same time.

We wrapped up our s’mores…

roasting marshmallows at the homestead

Then I helped Matt get Wes to sleep and came back out and met Kath for some chill time outside to catch up. Such a fun surprise to get to see her!

anne mauney and kath younger

It was a beautiful night to sit outside and chat.

sunset at the homestead hotel

The last night of our trip we had dinner at The Jefferson, which is the nicer restaurant right in the main hotel. The kids were pretty nuts so I didn’t get many pictures, but Matt and I shared a caesar salad to start and then I had the lamb chops for my entree. We also ordered some unpictured family style sides – mushrooms and roasted potatoes.

It was pretty good but didn’t blow my mind to be honest, especially for the price!

Post-dinner romping was in order, of course:

baby walking at the homestead hotel

On Monday morning, we requested a late check out so we could hit the pool one more time that morning as it was quite warm! It was nice to get to do something fun before sitting in the car the rest of the day.

Riese and I had a blast in the lazy river pretending to be mermaids, and Matt and Wes played at the baby pool until his nap.

baby pool at the homestead

We were very sad to say goodbye to the hotel – especially the pool – and head home! It was a nice change of scenery for all of us.

Until next time, Homestead!

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