Natural Retreats Is Expanding Into Bath County With Lots of Exciting Plans

Warm Springs, VA – Natural Retreats, a company based in the United Kingdom, is expanding into Bath County with lots of exciting plans. Natural Retreats provides luxury vacation rentals and services in rural areas. With nine locations in the UK and Ireland and one in Idaho, why come to Bath County? Matthew Spence is the Chief Executive of Natural Retreats.

“Just the rural natural beauty of the area, from the blue holes, to the Jackson River, to Dunn’s Gap, to Warm Springs village, to Hot Springs village, to places like Flag Rock with one of the best views in the world and the list goes on,” says Spence. “There are at least twenty world class areas of outside natural beauty here in Bath County that would figure in anybody’s top ten, yet very few people know about them.”

At a Meet the Community Event at the Old Dairy in Warm Springs, Spence said that Bath County is an attractive destination with all that the National Forest has to offer and all the history in the area, which includes famous vacationers such as J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller and US Presidents. Natural Retreats already has twelve cottages available for rental and hopes to have about thirty a year from now. There are plans to open a lodge, camping sites, an outfitter and a storehouse, which will be a co-op grocery featuring locally made and grown products.

Spence also has plans to reconvert the old stable in Hot Springs. Outdoor activities such as hiking, horseback riding, skiing, fly fishing, golf and canoeing will be available for Natural Retreats guests.

“Times like tonight where I get to meet rural communities like this that are amazing, full of diverse, incredible people who love their community so much,” says Spence. “I mean, we had an incredible turnout tonight and to a person, everybody was hugely supportive of taking Bath County, and as I said tonight, making it the number one destination in the USA. And a lot of people were surprised when I said that, but by the end of the night I think everyone believes we can. If we can attract three American Presidents and people as smart as Morgan and Rockefeller, I’m absolutely positive we can make this the number one place in America.”

Natural Retreats also has plans to begin manufacturing mini gems in Bath County. Mini gems are small four person camping pods. They have designed them, have the funding and are ready to go when they find a suitable manufacturing location.

With six employees currently, Spence hopes to have fifteen by the end of the year and even more once the manufacturing of the mini gems gets underway. And he has other plans too.

“To do more of this, to engage with the community and for us to become a part of the community and invest in every way we can with time and energy and capital,” says Spence. “And get involved in local projects and keep pushing and keep saying that until Main Street is full from one end to the other with shops and people our job is not finished. The day that every single shop and every single gravel lot and every single building is built and refurbished and full, then we won’t stop.”

Natural Retreats is located on Main Street in Hot Springs in the Clarkson and Wallace office. There are plans to open a coffee shop there along with the Natural Retreats outfitting desk, with guiding to start this summer.

You can also get more information at the website,

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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