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The Boar's Head

Charlottesville, Virginia

By Roger Cox, Editor

With 26 hard and clay courts, 12 of them indoors, the Boar's Head appears as a very bright blip on any tennis vacationer's radar. That's a huge complex for a resort with only 170 rooms, and the fact that it sits in the foothills of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains near such historic sites as Boar's HeadThomas Jefferson's mountaintop home Monticello and the handsome University of Virginia that he founded only adds to the allure.

The entire resort, including its recently expanded Boar's Head Sports Club, is owned by the University of Virginia Foundation. As a result, the club also serves as the home site for the University of Virginia's tennis teams during the indoor season, providing a place for them to train, play matches, and host tournaments. What's more, if you plan your visit for May, as I did the last time, you can catch another major event on the Boar's Head's annual tennis calendar: the Boyd Tinsley $50,000 USTA Women's Pro Championships, which take place on the clay each May.

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On paper, the Boar's Head seems to qualify as one of the top tennis resorts in the nation—though on my last visit in 2006 I was frankly disappointed by the absence of programs for any resort guest who wanted more than a private lesson or to hit among themselves. There was no question that its was a fabulous venue for members and the University of Virginia teams, but I wasn't either. That has changed now, tournament director Ron Manilla assures me. "With advanced notice we can set up games for every day they're here," he told me, before running down a list of morning and evening clinics and workouts, all of which are open to hotel guests. "And if they bring their kids, we can get them into one of our junior programs, from QuickStart to elite." If you've vacationed there, I'd love to hear about your experience.

Ratings

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Tennis Overall
5-Ball Rating Tennis Staff
5-Ball Rating Instruction
5-Ball Rating
Game Matching
5-Ball Rating Junior Tennis
5-Ball Rating
Cuisine
4-Ball Rating
Dollar Value
5-Ball Rating Other Recreation
4-Ball Rating Setting
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Romance
4-Ball Rating Solo Travelers
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Ratings

(1 Reviewers)
Tennis Overall
5-Ball Rating Instruction
5-Ball Rating Cuisine
4-Ball Rating Dollar Value
5-Ball Rating Setting
4-Ball Rating Romance
4-Ball Rating
Tennis Staff
5-Ball Rating Game Matching
5-Ball Rating Junior Tennis
5-Ball Rating Other Recreation
4-Ball Rating Solo Travelers
4-Ball Rating

Other Recreation

Golf Courses. Architect Lindsay Ervin of Annapolis, MD re-designed the resort's championship Birdwood Golf Course in 1974 after the University of Virginia purchased it. Its 18 holes cut through verdant hills that were originally part of a 1739 "upland wilderness" land patent. In 2005, the course was completely redesigned by Pete Dye and Associates. Par 72, 6,865 yards.

Spa & Fitness Center. Housed in its own building overlooking the lake, the Boar's Head Spa has a modest six treatment rooms yet offers over 30 services, from traditional and Thai massage to sea mud wraps and hydrotherapy soaks. It has a hot tub as well as a dry sauna and is adjacent to one of the resort's swimming pools. And in pleasant weather you can relax outdoors on a slate patio with lake views. The tennis courts are part of the Sports Club, a sprawling complex comprising a Junior Olympic swimming pool and two other pools, a state-of-the-art fitness center with a Cardio theater and Cybex weight-training, a climbing wall, squash and racquetball courts, some 55 weekly classes (among them Pilates and water aerobics), kids' programs, and child care.

Lodging

The 170 rooms occupy four four-story buildings in stone and cafe-au-lait-colored clapboard with gables on their shingle or metal roofs. The decor runs to four-poster beds and brass lamps, typical of a country estate, but with modern amenities like high-speed Internet access. Some have fireplaces and balconies. Views tend to be of the lake or verdant countryside.

Restaurants

There are four food outlets at the Boar's Head, chief among them the Old Mill Room in the restored 1834 grist mill. It focuses on fresh, local ingredients. Otherwise, you have the choice of the more casual Bistro 1834, the golf clubhouse, or the Café at the Sports Club, the last of which serves smoothies, coffees, baked goods, wraps, specials, beer & wine and has outside dining when weather permits.

See Also

For comparison's sake, also check out:

Rates and Reservations

Rooms range from standard in the inn to those with lake views or fireplaces and finally to full suites. See their web site for current rates.

Visit the website for current rates

The Boar's Head
200 Ednam Dr.
P.O. Box 5307
Charlottesville, VA 22905
434-296-2181
Toll-free: 800-476-1988
Fax: 434-972-6024
Web Link: The Boar's Head


Travel Essentials

Season. Year-round.

Travel Instructions. The nearest airport is Charlottesville-Albemarle Regional Airport (CHO), which is 10 miles from the resort.

General Tourist Information. Among the local attractions are Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, James Monroe's Ash Lawn-Highland, and the Historic Michie Tavern, where you can have lunch. For more information about these and other local sites, visit the Charlottesville/Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau website or contact them at P.O. Box 178, Charlottesville, VA 22902. Phone: 804-977-1783.

©2017 Roger Cox


Kiawah Mar2011

Kiawah Island Golf Resort, South Carolina. Directed by Hall of Fame Tennis Pro Roy Barth, Kiawah’s programs receive the highest accolades. Custom packages include unlimited court time, accommodations and daily breakfast. Enjoy Kiawah’s beach, spa, and dining. Call 888.856.7107 or visit www.kiawahresort.com/tennis



Ratings

(1 Reviewers)
Tennis Overall
5-Ball Rating Instruction
5-Ball Rating Cuisine
4-Ball Rating Dollar Value
5-Ball Rating Setting
4-Ball Rating Romance
4-Ball Rating
Tennis Staff
5-Ball Rating Game Matching
5-Ball Rating Junior Tennis
5-Ball Rating Other Recreation
4-Ball Rating Solo Travelers
4-Ball Rating


Your Call

Here's what others have had to say about Boar's Head.

  • 4-Ball Rating "Outstanding facilities and staff. Teaching is very high quality"—B.T., Adv. Int., April 2013

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©2017 Roger Cox