"Go With The Flo"
...Enjoying Bedford Springs Resort with a non-golfing spouse

Story by: Bill Nestor - Photos by: Ed Stone

Couples enjoy the lavish Spa at Bedford Springs Resort.
Photo by Richard Nowitz
Service with all the accoutrements awaits the guest at the Spa
Photo by Richard Nowitz

Couples who enjoy traveling together are often challenged if one loves golf and the other doesn't play at all. The time necessary to lavish adoration on the links or the partner can create potential disquietude. What’s the solution to this dilemma that is more common than you might think? Selecting a golf resort with an array of opportunities to satisfy all is one that works.

Exhibit A: The Bedford Springs Resort in the Southern Allegheny Mountains of south-central Pennsylvania. A recent $120 million renovation has taken the historic property to a level of luxury befitting this grand dame. The rejuvenation of the entire facility not only maintained the historic structural design and restored its elegant ambiance but also added modern amenities at the hotel, spa, and golf course.

A recent $120 million renovation has taken the historic property to a level of luxury befitting this grand dame.

The 185-acre Bedford Springs Hotel National Historic District includes nine structures that date back more than 200 years. Settlers didn't discover mineral springs at the site until the late 1700's, likely hundreds of years after they were first appreciated by Native American Indians. Individual mineral rich pools, known for their healing powers, still exist and present their curing ingredients as part the resort's spa offerings.

The Bedford Springs Old Course is the work of art from three of golf's design greats-- Spencer Oldham in 1895, A.W. Tillinghast in 1912, and Donald Ross in 1923. In 2008 Pennsylvania golf architect Ron Forse completed a total redo, showcasing a masterful touch that restores and preserves the old while cultivating the layout, conditioning and playability.

Black rockers on the front porch of the resort's hotel

During the time I took on the challenges of small greens, varying elevations, water obstacles and holes named Volcano, Tiny Tim, and Gulley my non-golfing spouse, Flo, immersed herself in navigating Springs Eternal Spa's comforts and applications.

Our accommodation in one of the 216 restored guest rooms was comfortably elegant. Black rockers, on a porch outside our room, conjured up images of warm summer nights gone by when city dwellers jostled back and forth, cooled by country air and a star-filled sky.

Although there was much in the visit at Bedford Springs to please the soul and delight the senses, dinner with the chefs was most unique. This followed a walking tour and wine tasting, samplings from the hotel's strong wine cellar, while ambling through the solarium, the library and the veranda. Then we were ushered into the kitchen and seated on high stools at a granite-covered horseshoe shaped counter 30 feet long with 15-foot long sides.

Executive Chef, Konrad Maier, oversees preparation for six distinctive restaurants.

German born Executive Chef, Konrad Maier, oversees preparation for six distinctive restaurants at Bedford Springs Resort. Raised on a farm, the youngest of eleven children, he learned to appreciate good food and began cooking at a young age with his mother. At 16 he pursued a culinary career that has taken him to some of the finest restaurants and hotels in the United States and Europe.

It didn't take long to figure out what dinner at a “Chef's table experience in resort evening attire” meant at Bedford Springs. Chef Konrad introduced his staff and the menu as aprons were passed out. Without haste the group of 17 began dispersing and were immediately engaged in a participatory creation of various dishes we would soon be consuming

Alone or in groups of two or three the party went about its tasks, directed by assistant chefs from worldwide ports of call. While watching one renowned golf writer fixing crab and scallion cakes with a miso and vinaigrette dressing, I minced yellow fin tuna and overheard another conversing about concocting baklava with a Turkish chef. Wine continued to flow as preparation ensued with earnest and the elixir eased the transition.

"The spa and Chef's table experiences made the visit to Bedford Springs especially enjoyable."

Consuming them only surpassed the thrill of creating the recipes as a group under the guidance of Bedford’s professional kitchen team. It was a most delicious spread of appealing appetizer, entree and dessert dishes: the Crab Cake, Scallops in the Fire, Tuna Tartar, Beef Tenderloin, Baked Salmon, Mussels in Tomatoes Fondue, Spatzle, Coq Au Vin Braised Chicken. Those so desiring capped the night with coffee and Crème Brulee, Chocolate-dipped Strawberries or Apple Strudel.

My non-golfing traveling companion has a passion for producing fine victuals especially with others who feel the same. Her comfort level in the kitchen and her exuberance grew, as the meal was made ready and feasted upon. Flo said, "The spa and Chef's table experiences made the visit to Bedford Springs especially enjoyable." She is now eager to take on the menus at other golf destination resorts, allowing me to get lost at play on the fields of the Lord and delight in traveling with my favorite person.

Bill Nestor writes about golf, travel and lifestyle from his ridge top home in Vermont where he lives with Flo.


Bedford Springs Resort
2138 Business Route 220
Bedford, PA 15522
Phone: 814-623-8100
Fax: 814-623-8052
E-mail: info@bedfordspringsresort.com
Website: www.bedfordspringsresort.com