Nemacolin The Chateau Entrance at Nemacolin Image by @huntervought
When visiting Nemacolin, the luxury palatial resort in the Laurel Highlands region of Pennsylvania be prepared to “expect the unexpected” said Amanda Shane the hotel’s Art Director; a statement that is true in every sense. Within this sprawling 2,200-acre estate you could have a bespoke wedding, couple’s trip, or winter getaway like none other. Whether it be their world-class Spa and Holistic Healing Center, or at one of the two golf courses designed by the legendary Pete Dye and home of the Pennsylvania Classic from 2003-2006, Twenty-five acres of ski and snowboard slopes at The Peak, one of their eclectic signature experiences, or the staff’s dedication to making your visit one of a kind- your trip is limited by your imagination.
Those who follow reality shows may recall Nemacolin as the location for season twenty-five of ABC’s “The Bachelor” featuring football player Matt James who gave his final rose to 24-year-old graphic designer Rachael Kirkconnell. Fans of the show will surely recognize the facade of the resort’s opulent The Chateau building, inspired by the Ritz in Paris hotel. The architecture of Nemacolin, which embarked on a $30 million resort-wide renovation in 2014, is a story unto itself. The resort is just 10 miles from Fallingwater famously built above a waterfall and designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Falling Rock, a hotel building on the property and one of their newest buildings, was designed by a student of Wright.
Nemacolin Pool Image by Jordan Millington Liquorice
Nemacolin’s story begins in 1949 when Pittsburgh industrialist Willard F. Rockwell purchased the initial sixty acres of what is now Nemacolin. In 1968, after accumulating more land, Rockwell established the Nemacolin Trails Hunting Reserve, and the property was initially a refuge for him and his wealthy friends. In 1987, Joseph A. Hardy, III, founder of the 84 Lumber Company, set out to buy a few acres near a lake for his daughter Maggie who loved fishing. He instantly fell in love with Nemacolin and purchased it. What began as a thoughtful gift for his daughter turned into a lifetime project. Since 2002 Maggie and her son PJ Magerko Liquorice have taken over Nemacolin and have expanded on Mr. Hardy’s vision of Nemacolin. Mr. Hardy, now well into his late 90s, still resides on the property near the Wildlife Academy and has a standing appointment at the Holistic healing center for his cryotherapy sessions. In 2021 the resort became a member-only destination all experiences and facilities at the resort is open to all overnight guests regardless of membership, however a membership is necessary to enjoy any for non-overnight guests.
Founder, Joseph Hardy Photo by Jordan Millington Liquorice
The property’s diverse architecture ensures that you don’t get the same cookie-cutter look and opens the door to a vacation option that fits your style and needs. Each hotel building on the property has a unique vibe; there is the elegant Parisian-inspired The Chateau home of the resort’s Forbes 5 Star award and AAA 5 Diamond award restaurant Lautrec, art deco Falling Rock where all of the rooms include 24-hour butler service, The Lodge (closing for renovations on January 8th, 2023)a charmingly rustic option, or Nemacolin’s private Homes and Estates. Each room includes high-end toiletries, some rooms offer nine specialty pillow options, a bath menu, and speakers built into the shower with Bluetooth technology for streaming music. Many of the rooms and suites have whirlpools, balconies, and stunning views of the well-manicured property.
Nemacolin Golf Course Image by Evan Schiller Photography
If you are interested in having your Wedding at the resort, Nemacolin has a team dedicated to making your special day come together regardless of how intimate or grand you want the occasion to be. They have a resident Atelier, a catering department that gets fresh ingredients from local farms and some grown on the property, and they arrange entertainment and transportation. Or, if you aren’t much of a planner feel free to choose from one of their wedding packages. In June of this year the owner’s grandson, PJ Magerko Liquorice, held a wedding featured in Vogue where he had 32 custom outfits made. Photos included in the story were shot in The Bleu Room, an ultra-exclusive parlor hidden behind a secret door. Photos were also taken in the Chateau under one of the seemingly endless numbers of extravagant chandeliers hanging throughout the massive estate. Due to Nemacolin’s natural beauty and alluring design, it is naturally a popular destination for weddings and special events. Events can include anything from your signature drinks, you can consult with the resort’s in-house sommelier or an event on the grounds of one of their signature Experiences.
Nemacolin Bleau Room, Photo by Jordan Millington Liquorice
Some of the most unique experiences are dog sledding where guests are taken on a ride throughout the property on a Touri Cart sled pulled by Nemacolin’s very own sled dog team. Other Experiences include acupuncture, bourbon, and wine tastings, and an airplane hanger with a fully restored and airworthy 931 Pitcairn PA-8 which was once in the collection of Hollywood icon Steve McQueen. Are you looking for a wildlife safari in the middle of Pennsylvania? Nemacolin has it! They have a collection of around 200 rescued animals. Take their Safari Tour and view an Icelandic sheep, a Bengal Tiger, African Lion, Mountain Lion, and a Bear, and they even have a White Buffalo where visitors leave gifts on the fence because they are viewed as good luck.
In addition to having a large animal collection, Nemacolin’s art collection is just as impressive. Much of the art comes from the family’s private collection and features works from artists like Andy Warhol and more. Reflections, a stand-alone art house offers scenic views and a collection of fine contemporary art and sentimental memorabilia from the founder Joseph A. Hardy III. You can even find a hologram of the owner in the back room. The Woodland’s Auto Toy Store is a car lover’s dream featuring the Hardy family’s collection of rare and antique automobiles. All of the cars are for sale.
Nemacolin Cosmic Bowling, Phot by Jordan Millington Liquorice
The resort is a member’s only and offers three levels of membership; “Resort”, “All-Access”, and “Corporate” — each with unique benefits and exclusive opportunities. As a member guests are entitled to golf privileges, access to the pools, and adventure activity options like zip lining, Jeep off-roading, tennis, cosmic bowling, and ax throwing. It also includes access to the resort art collection, sporting clay shooting, a health coach, complimentary chef’s table seats, and discounts among many other things.
Hotel Room, Photo by Jordan Millington Liquorice
There are so many things that make this resort a must-visit destination as it is truly one of a kind and is home to things you might not expect. They even have a piece of the Berlin Wall, a recently restored historic Herschel Carousel, and even a display of the family’s collection of the family’s Hermes scarves. If you are planning to book a stay at the resort it should be a breeze as it is a quick distance from Pittsburgh International Airport or you can land your private plane on their private and active runway strip. Their VIP membership concierge is there to handle all of the planning and details. Explore, have an adventure, and enjoy the stunning natural surroundings.
By Mosaka Williamson
Nemacolin Runway Photo by Jordan Millington Liquorice