New adults-oriented upscale retreat at Innsbruck in Helen, Georgia.
“Where old world charm meets Southern hospitality.”
By Hope S. Philbrick
It’s clear that the designer of the guestrooms at Valhalla Resort Hotel in Helen, Georgia, has stayed in hotels before.
Every room in the new upscale hotel is a King suite with a private balcony overlooking the Innsbruck Golf Course, a gas fireplace, a thoughtfully-stocked mini-bar, spacious bathroom with double sink vanity and dual-spray stone shower, cozy seating area, and a mattress dressed in luxury linens.
That mattress is supportive yet cushiony and so cozy it invites deep sleep. For extra refreshment, weather permitting, open the glass sliding door to the balcony and lock just the screen door in place to allow fresh mountain air to flow into the room while you snooze. Ahhh.
Stay alone and the room feels decadent; share it with a special someone and you won’t be bumping into each other. There’s plenty of space and the layout is thoughtful. Because all guest rooms are designed for a maximum of two guests, the focus is clearly on adults traveling without children!
Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Valhalla boasts amazing views. Head to the Sky-Bar to enjoy the vista along with a glass of wine, beer or a cocktail. Or snag a table near the window or, weather permitting, on the deck at the lobby restaurant Caledonia and savor the view while lingering over a decadent meal.
Executive Chef Dean Hill trained at Pennsylvania Culinary Institute’s prestigious Cordon Blue Program and has worked at The Broadmoor Resort (Colorado’s only 5 star, 5 diamond resort), The Omni Homestead Resort, St. Francis Yacht Club, Marcus Whitman Hotel and Potomac Point Winery. His menu at Valhalla showcases local, seasonal ingredients in dishes with multiple layers of flavor.
Valhalla, which opened the summer of 2017, is owned by Jerry and Gayle Murdock. Gayle designed Valhalla and is a Professional Member of the American Society of Interior Designers. She earned a Masters of Art degree from Connecticut State College, attended the New York School of Interior Design, and has worked as an interior designer in Georgia and Florida and was a team member of the Jekyll Island Club restoration project.
Valhalla Resort Hotel aims to earn a five-star rating, so amenities include valet service, a staff member standing ready to open the front door, a glass of bubbly upon arrival, guestroom robe and slippers, and much more. Valhalla is the area’s only luxury resort.
Valhalla is named for the ancient mythical heaven for Norse warriors. The décor is inspired by a Scottish castle: Enter the front door and straight ahead is a wall papered in Scottish plaid. The Scottish theme is carried throughout public spaces mainly through art; it’s non-existent in guestrooms which offer a relaxing, contemporary simplicity. (Since Helen, Georgia, is meant to evoke Bavarian Germany, the Scottish theme is unexpected, but the hotel does overlook a golf course, so….)
Solasta (Gaelic for luminous or shining) Spa at Valhalla is located on the ground level adjacent to the outdoor pool. Get pampered with a massage, facial, pedicure and/or manicure, or hair styling services. Service technicians are friendly, attentive and do not rush through treatments.
Valhalla brings new luxury to the Helen area and can serve as home base if you want to get out and explore local wineries, stroll quirky Downtown Helen, or hike nearby state parks. Or it can be a one-stop destination, a retreat you never leave until you must.
- Situated on five acres
- Valhalla is a short drive up a steep hill from Downtown Helen; it’s inside a guarded community
- Complimentary shuttle service to local activities & events
- Complimentary Habersham Airport service
- On-property heliport
- All-king suites; each guestroom features luxurious bedding, gas fireplaces, seating area, two smart TVs, balconies, Carrera marble vanities and spa rainfall showers
- Complimentary glass of sparkling wine upon arrival
- Pet-friendly rooms available
- 4th Floor guests receive a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine
- On-site dining at Caledonia and roof-top Sky Bar
- Private dinners may be booked in the Abbey Wine Cellar
- On-site Solasta Spa
- On-site gift shop features local artists
- Outdoor pool
- Fitness center
- Steam room
- Rates start at $395/night
- Odds of Encountering Children: Very low. Children under age 14 are not permitted. The resort website boasts that the place is “A Regal Retreat just for Adults!” Call to confirm and you’ll be told that “the guestrooms are designed to accommodate one or two people, not families.” Huzzah!
Valhalla Resort Hotel
688 Bahn Innsbruck
Helen, GA 30545
– Property photos courtesy Valhalla; food photos © HSP Media LLC
Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion. I was hosted as a guest at Valhalla twice; first for a pre-opening media preview and again a few months after the hotel was open.