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Penny Kriel Appointed as Spa Director

MIDDLEBURG, VA (July 3, 2012) - Salamander Hotels & Resorts has appointed Trey Matheu as the new - and inaugural - general manager of the luxurious Salamander Resort & Spa, scheduled to open on August 29 in the storied village of Middleburg in the heart of Virginia's horse and wine country. The resort includes an architecturally stunning spa featuring wellness inspired programs, outdoor stone treatment terraces, and a private courtyard replete with infinity edge relaxation pool and cabanas which overlook the dense forest.

Matheu joins the Salamander executive team after a distinguished hospitality management career, which includes six years spent as the general manager of Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, PA. Under Matheu's direction, Nemacolin successfully launched the Falling Rock Hotel, which quickly garnered the nation's highest hospitality accolades: the Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond awards. Matheu also helped attain the same ratings for the resort's acclaimed restaurant, Lautrec, making Nemacolin one of the most decorated properties in the world.

"I look forward to opening America's most iconic new hotel to critical and public acclaim, as well as becoming part of the fabric of the Middleburg community" said Matheu, who will oversee nearly 200 employees at Salamander Resort & Spa. "Ms. Johnson's vision has delivered a spectacular project, one that is unparalleled in the United States."

Matheu has previously worked for Vail Resorts in Wyoming and Colorado; served as the general manager at Big Cedar Lodge, Ridgedale, MO; and was most recently the general manager of Ocean Beach Club/Oceanaire Resort Complex in Virginia Beach. A graduate of Lafayette College in Easton, PA, Matheu has served on the American Hotel and Lodging Association Resort Committee, and the executive committee of the Pennsylvania Tourism and Lodging Association.

"Trey has tremendous experience running and opening luxury properties, and was an exceptional candidate," said Prem Devadas, president of Salamander Hotels & Resorts. "He has tremendous expertise directing spa, culinary and equestrian programs, and will provide stellar guidance in ensuring our lodging and dining guests receive a superior level of service.

Penny Kriel Appointed as Spa Director

Kriel joins the Salamander executive team from the Mandarin Oriental in Washington D.C. where she worked as spa director for the past seven years. She has also served as the Secretary of the Washington Spa Alliance Board of Directors.

"This spa is a very special place - one which area residents and seasoned travelers alike will enjoy," said Kriel, who will oversee day-to-day operations and a staff of more than 40. "The combination of our facilities and farm-to-treatment table inspired treatments provide an experience unlike any other in the region."

Originally from Mafikeng, South Africa, Kriel gained an Honors and CIDESCO Diploma in Advanced Skin Care and Cosmetology, Aromatherapy, Reflexology and Massage Therapy from the Tina Scholz Health and Skin Care Academy in Potchefstroom. After working as a therapist onboard Crystal and Princess Cruises for nine months, she began working as a head therapist and later business development manager for the Image Institute in Rosebank, South Africa, where she specialized in Guinot, Clarins and Environ treatments and products. In 2005, she started working at the Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park, in London as Spa Operations Manager. She also has a Diploma in Management Development from the RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.

"Penny is one of the most respected spa professionals in the world," said Prem Devadas, president of Salamander Hotels & Resorts. "The treatments and packages she has developed perfectly complement the spectacular spaces we have spent many years designing."

Salamander Resort & Spa

Already named to several 2013 World's Top Hotel Openings lists, including those from Forbes and USA Today, Salamander Resort & Spa is the only new luxury destination resort to open in the United States in 2013. Owned by Sheila C. Johnson and located on 340 picturesque acres, it features 168 rooms and suites inspired by the renowned designer Thomas Pheasant. The resort is only 20 miles from Washington Dulles International Airport and one hour from Washington, D.C.

The spa, which is open to members of the public as well as resort guests, features14 deluxe treatment rooms with private outdoor treatment terraces, gas fireplaces and an innovative detoxification Rasul wet treatment. There is also an exclusive Couple's Suite with private terrace, whirlpool and shower; and men's and women's relaxation areas with soaring whirlpools and saunas, heated stone recliners and experiential showers. In addition to the pool and cabanas, the secluded spa courtyard features a raised fire pit and whirlpool, while the 10-station salon offers hair, makeup, manicure and pedicure services. There is also a day-lit fitness center including an indoor pool, cardio and weight room, two movement studios and a sauna.

Salamander Resort also features Virginia Piedmont-inspired signature restaurant and banquet dining overseen by Washington, D.C. Chef of the Year Todd Gray, a media-ready Cooking Studio, Wine Bar and a two-acre Culinary Garden. In keeping with its geographical setting, the resort includes a full-service equestrian center and an array of programming, while the property's 22-stall stable even offers equine enthusiasts the opportunity to bring their horses along on vacation. The resort also features 12,000 square feet of indoor conference and event facilities, including a 5,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom and unique outdoor spaces like the Grand Lawn, Courtyard Garden and a restored, century-old Stallion Barn.  

For more information, visit or call 866-938-7370.

About Salamander Hotels & Resorts

Salamander Hotels & Resorts is a privately owned and operated company based in Middleburg, VA, just outside Washington, D.C. Founded by entrepreneur Sheila C. Johnson in 2005, the company has a portfolio that features a collection of three stellar golf resorts including the recently renovated Innisbrook Resort near Tampa, Reunion Resort in Orlando and the oceanfront Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast; and the eagerly anticipated Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, a 340-acre equestrian-inspired, luxury resort located near Washington, D.C. opening in August 2013. For additional information, call (540) 687-3710 or visit


(540) 687-3710

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