editorial

Behind the Retreats: Rich History, Healing Baths and Hiking Collide at the Homestead Preserve- Meet the Woman Behind it All

If you ever drive through Virginia, we strongly suggest that you take the time to visit The Homestead Preserve. People travel far and wide to visit the area because of the deep American history, beautiful hiking, and to take a dip in the Jefferson pools. And if you happen to see a family fishing (accompanied by a little girl in a pink tutu!) you’ve probably spotted the family of the Homestead Preserve’s General Manager, Tiffany Shifflett.

Tiffany has been a part of the team since Natural Retreats launched in the US. A native of Hot Springs VA, she returned to the area after extensive work in the hospitality, private club, and restaurant industries. She and her husband actually purchased a waterfront lot in nearby Smith Mountain Lake to pursue her husband’s dream - to own a restaurant! His dream came to fruition with a fine dining room, full service marina, and a tiki bar. In 2012, Tiffany and her husband returned to the area to now pursue her dream - of managing her very own destination community with Natural Retreats.

Follow along to read our interview with Tiffany and get her inside scoop on what makes The Homestead Preserve, and Natural Retreats, so incredible!

What made you decide to join the NR team?
I was sold the minute I heard Matt Spence’s story and how he started his first retreat on his family farm. Being an entrepreneur with a vision of my own, I wanted to be a part of developing and growing Natural Retreats here, where I was born and raised. What an incredible opportunity to return to the area that gave me so many wonderful childhood memories, and then in turn work for a company whose vision was to do the same for other families through vacations.

You mentioned that history plays a huge part in what makes The Homestead Preserve so special. What does history mean to you?
History is what makes a community, and gives it an identity. Our community is what instills valves and memories into us as children, and it grows with us as we become adults. In my case it makes us want to share the local history, not only with my children but with other families who visit us here.

When you’re not at The Homestead Preserve, where can we find you?
When I’m not working you will find me with my family. My daughter Luci who is 5 years old loves the outdoors. Don’t be surprised to run across our family on the river. If you see a beautiful little blonde girl with a pink tutu, and a rod in her hand - that would be my family.

What's your idea of total relaxation?
I’m a born mountain girl, but my total relaxation is hitting the coast with a rod in my hand. The best part of being part of the Natural Retreats family is having those coastal retreats to run to and relax at!

What attraction do you recommend to guests that's a must-see?
As I said, History is important to me. Since 1766 guests have traveled from afar to come take the waters at the Jefferson Pools. The pools are named after Thomas Jefferson. Still to this day, guests come to relax and rejuvenate themselves.

What is your favorite dish at The Main Dining Room at HP?
The Rainbow Trout is my favorite. I’m normally a catch and release supporter, but the rainbow trout I can’t say “no’” to!

What's the best time of year to visit The Homestead Preserve?
Hands down, Fall is the time to come visit us. The beauty of the fall foliage is breathtaking. Hiking to the top of Flag Rock in the fall is a memory that you will never forget.

What's the key to a perfect vacation?
No stress and making lifetime memories. That’s what Natural Retreats can offer!

Let’s play quick game of word association… share the first word that comes to mind for each of the below words (or phrases):
a. Spa…..Total relaxation
b. The Homestead Preserve…..Natural beauty
c. Getaway….Hike to the top of the Mountain
d. Fall…Breathtaking carpet of colors
e. Community….Safe
f. Travel…Memories that last a lifetime
g. Natural Retreats…Amazing!!!!
h. Family...Creating memories
i. Relaxation…Floating down the Jackson
j. Fun...Children’s laughter