Entrepreneur and philanthropist Sheila C. Johnson has plenty of note on her resume, from her partnership in ProJet Aviation to serving as a producer of the hit film, Lee Daniel’s The Butler.
Despite her full plate, Johnson has for the last several years also dedicated herself to the creation of Salamander Resort & Spa, a new, 340-acre, $100-plus million property in the Blue Ridge Mountain foothills of Middleburg, Virginia, just 35 minutes from Dulles Airport. The 168-room Salamander boasts evidence of Johnson’s passions at every turn, from the artwork culled from her private collection to facilities that explore her interests, like an Equestrian Center with 22 stalls, riding trails, and practice ring.
Tennis and bocce courts and swimming pools dot the grounds, while the spa’s 14 treatment rooms feature terraces, fireplaces, or whirlpools. Todd Gray, owner of D.C.’s Equinox Restaurant, serves as culinary director over the Virginia Piedmont Grill, Harrimans, The Gold CupWine Bar, and the state-of-the-art Cooking Studio. Book the top-level, 1,680-square-foot Owner’s Suite, with living and dining rooms, two balconies, spa baths, and a curated art collection—unless one of Johnson’s famous friends has already settled in ($1,900 a night).