In the midst of North Georgia’s bustling Alpine village of Helen is a destination where days slow to a crawl; arrival is celebrated with Champagne and lots or little fill the itinerary, depending on what you seek. Valhalla Resort is not on the main thoroughfare in Helen, but take a detour over the Chattahoochee River, up a mountain road, and nestled in nature’s woodlands, travelers find a treasure. Not expected but embraced, Valhalla Resort brings elegance and luxury to Helen.
With Norse origins, Valhalla was a majestic hall in Asgard where fallen warriors who died bravely in battle are taken by the Valkyries. The reward is feasting and honor. The resort, constructed with European architectural elements, invites visitors to feast, relax, and celebrate the beauty of a getaway. For owners Jerry and Gayle Murdock of Destin, Florida, it was the “beauty of the surrounding mountains and valleys that attracted them to this area,” explains Irene Bynum-Faith, marketing director for the resort. “We want guests to have easy access to the beautiful trails, streams, lakes, and mountains that are in such close proximity to Valhalla,” she says. “Guests can travel to area breweries, wineries, galleries, and quaint shops, all within a 30-mile radius of the resort and have a day of getting away from it all.”
The staff prompts discovery of the North Georgia Mountains, but hopes time spent on site will be as stimulating and renewing as what is found elsewhere. With a variety of accommodations including bungalows, townhomes, a villa and 25 king suites—all with fireplaces, balconies, and mountain views—staying put for a weekend might be just what the doctor ordered.
For the traveler who wants to feel taken care of, Valhalla prides itself in offering exceptional service in addition to genuine hospitality. “From the time they pull up, guests are greeted by our friendly valet; their bags are unloaded and taken to their suite,” explains Bynum-Faith. “Our concierge offers them sparkling Champagne, and they review the many activities and amenities offered. Activities range from an 18-hole golf course, virtual golf, tennis and pickleball courts, Bocce ball, art classes, hiking trails and golf cart rentals.
“We offer dining options, everything from breakfast-in-bed with full room service, and mini bars in their rooms, elegant dining in The Abbey or Caledonia Room, casual dining with breathtaking views from the Sky Bar (a fourth-floor rooftop) to the best slice of pizza in the area at The Staghorn Grill at the Valhalla Golf Course.” The Abbey Wine Cellar, located adjacent to the Caledonia dining room, can be an intimate dining experience for two or a feast for a party of 12. The Chef’s Table is elevated dining, featuring a unique and personal experience. A chef-inspired menu features wine pairings; unique to the experience is the opportunity for guests to play an active role in choosing ingredients for the chef’s creations. By reservation only through the website or Open Table, it continues to be one of the most popular and opulent dining experiences available at Valhalla.
If warmer weather brings to you Valhalla, forget time by lounging poolside in a private cabana, savoring the mountain views while sipping on a frosty cocktail. The Cabana Bar serves light lunches and offers poolside service at the adults-only pool.
A Stay for All Occasions
Accommodating everything from a mountain romantic getaway to a girls-only trip, Valhalla has become a go-to destination time-and-again for special occasions or milestone celebrations.
“We have observed that, over the last seven years, we have become a tradition to many of our guests as we see some the same time every year,” says Bynum-Faith. “Clients tell us that we have become like family to them; that is the experience we want our guests to take away. We have also become known as a popular small wedding venue for intimate ceremonies, elopements and vow renewals.” One of the resort’s stars is the Solasta Spa, which can be experienced by resort guests as well as day guests. “Being the only full-service day spa in the area, Solasta Spa—meaning new beginning and optimism—is known for its exceptional massages and body treatments, clinical skin care offerings, and full-service nail and lash salon,” shares Bynum-Faith. “Locals are a big part of their client base, which speaks well for the consistency of the service and staff. The spa is a popular choice for getaways, bachelorette and bridal parties.”
The most requested spa service is the couples retreat massage coupled with the Sautee Rainforest Steam/Shower Experience, perfect for anniversaries or any special occasion. Enjoy the spa during the winter months, then return to the suite, enjoy the fireplace, sip a glass of wine, and let the world slip away.
“In Helen, there are numerous places a traveler can stay,” states Bynum-Faith. “We cater to the traveler who wants a seamless experience of genuine Southern hospitality from the start of their stay to when they leave at check out.” Whether Valhalla draws you in for the golf, the food, the views, or a weekend escape, it will be a visit never forgotten.
“Our guests arrive and never lift a finger,” assures Bynum-Faith. “They don’t have to leave the resort property if they choose not to. We take care of their every need. This is what sets us apart.”
For reservations, visit valhallaresorthotel.com for reservations.