Home » African-American mogul Sheila Johnson’s luxurious resort undergoes rebranding

African-American mogul Sheila Johnson’s luxurious resort undergoes rebranding

by Yusuf Abdulfatai
Sheila Johnson

Salamander Resort & Spa, a renowned Five-Star destination resort and spa nestled in the heart of Middleburg, Virginia, is undergoing a significant transformation with a comprehensive rebranding initiative.

Owned by African-American businesswoman and co-founder of the Black Entertainment Network (BET) Sheila Johnson, the resort is poised to embrace its new identity as “Salamander Middleburg.”

This bold rebranding effort is poised to reinforce the resort’s position as the flagship property of the Salamander Collection, a hospitality management company also founded by Johnson. The Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond resort, which initially welcomed guests on August 29, 2013, has flourished into a symbol of hospitality excellence.

In a move highlighting the company’s commitment to growth and innovation, Salamander Resort & Spa will be known as Salamander Middleburg going forward. This name change reflects the resort’s deep connection with the charming town of Middleburg and aligns with the Salamander Collection’s expansion endeavors.

In her announcement regarding the rebranding, Johnson expressed her enthusiasm, stating: “Salamander represents much more than hotels and resorts; for the past decade, our unique culture of inclusion, kindness, and warmth has created a genuine sense of belonging, which is why Salamander Collection is an even more fitting name for our company.”

Johnson’s foray into hospitality began in 2002 with the acquisition of a 340-acre horse farm in Virginia. Over time, her vision evolved into the Salamander brand, known for luxury and refined experiences. The brand features 168 guest rooms and suites, a sprawling 23,000-square-foot spa, and 25 acres dedicated to equestrian activities.

In September 2022, under Johnson’s leadership, Salamander joined forces with London-based private equity real estate manager Henderson Park. This strategic partnership led to the rebranding of a 373-room property, formerly known as the Mandarin Oriental Washington, D.C., now proudly named Salamander DC.

Johnson’s journey into the hospitality industry will soon be chronicled in her upcoming memoir, “Walk Through Fire,” set to be released in September.

This memoir promises to offer intimate insights into her remarkable transition from co-founding BET to becoming a hospitality trailblazer.

The Salamander Collection has evolved under Johnson’s visionary leadership and now oversees a portfolio of seven exquisite properties across the United States and the Caribbean.

Boasting more than 3,000 dedicated service professionals, the Salamander Collection includes prestigious destinations such as Charleston, Aspen, Tampa Bay, Jamaica, and Anguilla. The company was recently listed twelfth on the “Travel + Leisure” list of preferred hotel brands, a testament to its commitment to excellence.

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