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The Team About Us

A Blueprint for inspired, Luxury Living

One of America’s most notable business leaders, Sheila Johnson moved her family to the Virginia countryside to enjoy its renowned equestrian lifestyle. After falling in love with the area, she purchased 340 pastoral acres in Middleburg with the intent of creating one of the nation’s finest – and most authentic – resort and residential experiences.

Formerly owned by Pamela Harriman, a diplomat and daughter-in-law of Winston Churchill, the stunning and undulating property once served as a riding backdrop for First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy during her frequent visits to the area.

Drawing on the architecture of her own nearby horse farm, Sheila imagined each and every Salamander detail to reflect her passion for excellence. The result: a destination rooted in history, filled with tasteful elegance and awarded the only Forbes Five-Star resort rating in the Washington, D.C. area.

Salamander is truly Sheila’s vision brought to life and she now invites you to share it.


Meet the Team

Eclipse at Half Moon

Salamander Hotels & Resorts

Founded and led by CEO Sheila Johnson, Salamander Hotels & Resorts’ portfolio includes an ultra-distinctive collection of world-class properties that provide unforgettable guest experiences in an atmosphere of approachable luxury. The company, with its reputation for unexpected amenities and impeccable service, has become a symbol of innovative hospitality that is equal parts comfortable, kind, respectful, and welcoming.

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Kiawah

South Street Partners

South Street Partners is a private equity real estate investment firm whose subsidiaries include Kiawah Partners, Kiawah Island Club & Real Estate, and The Cliffs Communities. Serving as a principal investment platform and operator, South Street excels in the development and management of luxury resorts and private club communities. Today, the company holds over $1 billion in assets under management including hospitality, residential, and commercial real estate investments.

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Mark P. Finlay Architects

Founded in 1984, Mark P. Finlay Architects is a full service architectural and interior design firm located in Southport, Connecticut. Throughout its 36 year history, the firm has been lauded for distinctive architecture that blends a keen knowledge of traditional style with contemporary insight and technique.

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Thomas Pheasant Architects

Thomas Pheasant is internationally recognized for his 30 years of creating interiors. His accomplishments have been showcased in the world’s most prestigious architectural and interior design magazines, and in 2005, he was honored by Architectural Digest US with the distinction "Dean of American Design." Currently, he leads residential and commercial projects throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.

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Thomas & Denzinger Architects

Founded in 1973, award-winning Thomas & Denzinger Architects is widely recognized for the creativity of its work. Today, the firm’s aesthetic adorns a range of diverse landscapes across the East Coast, from Midtown Manhattan to South Carolina’s lush Lowcountry and Florida’s famed Gold Coast.

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Castlerock Enterprises, Builder

Founded in 1992, Castlerock Enterprises, Inc. has been awarded four of the industry’s five most prestigious custom, residential building awards. During her illustrious career, company owner Gretchen Yahn has completed well over one hundred custom homes, specialty barns, and renovations – and has erected some of the most widely acclaimed and inspiring estates in Virginia.

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J. Banks Design Group

Driven by excellence in interior design and exceeding customer expectations, J. Banks Design Group has become an industry leader. The team has crafted beautiful interiors across the United States as well as Mexico, Canada, Ireland, England, and Italy. Their trademark approach captures a sense of place that is unique and true to each of the clubs, hotels, resorts, spas, and restaurants they create.

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Permar, Inc.

From real estate market research to planning, investment, and development, Permar, Inc. provides a honed, yet creatively flexible approach to every endeavor. In identifying market potential and creating and refining development, they support the entitlement approval process and enhance asset value at every turn. The result of their unique, hands-on process is the creation of better environments for people to thrive.

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Press & Accolades

Announcing Residences at Salamander (2020)
Forbes Travel Guide, Star Awards: Five-Star Rating (2020, 2019)
U.S. News & World Report Best Hotels, Best Resorts in Virginia (2020)
Virginia Living, Best of Virginia: Best Hotel (1st), Best Resort, Best Spa (2019)
Southern Living, South's Best: "The Best Places to Stay in Every State" (2019)

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