This Summersville retreat combines high-end ammenities with the work of West Virginia artisans for a unique night’s stay.
Nestled on a wooded property just outside Summersville, the Wilderness Lodge combines the best of the Mountain State’s rural scenery with modern amenities.
The stately manor sits on 136 acres overlooking the Gauley River. “No other houses—just wildlife and the lodge,” says manager Sabrina Pack. While the surroundings might be rustic, the lodge itself is anything but.
Walking through the front door, you immediately enter the home’s Great Room, which features high timber-framed ceilings and huge windows to bring in lots of natural light and showcase the home’s scenic surroundings. There are four bedrooms, two kitchens, a theater, and a steam room, and the lodge features Control4 home automation, which controls lighting, music, televisions, and other electronics using iPads that are placed throughout the house.
But don’t be surprised when you find yourself lured outside to the home’s wrap-around deck overlooking the Gauley River, with an outdoor kitchen and dining area. On the lower level, there’s a large patio with an all-stone fire pit and built-in speakers.
The Wilderness Lodge is the brainchild of Steve Antoline, who owned the Nicholas County property and wanted to build an event space that would be perfect for everything from weddings to corporate getaways.
Antoline made an intentional effort to work predominantly with West Virginia–based contractors and artists, including Mike Legg, who constructed the lodge’s famous coal wall. “I’ve never seen anything quite like it,” Pack says of the onyx collage complete with a West Virginia imprint. “It was laid almost like tile would be laid, and it’s pretty hard to get. They hand-chiseled it to put it up similar to slack stone.”Additionally, Spencer-based artisan Jeff Fetty designed the lodge’s custom light fixtures, various steel works, and the bannisters. Forbes Copper Works of White Sulphur Springs handcrafted the copper gutters and splash plates for the building’s downspouts.
“That made it a little more special,” Pack says.
For large events like weddings, the facility can host up to 300 visitors and can accommodate approximately 18 overnight guests. Pack said many of the state’s most noteworthy coaches and university presidents have enjoyed stays at the luxurious estate.
The facility already has several wedding bookings for the upcoming season, as well as private events. While the lodge does not offer catering or wedding planning services, Pack is happy to connect guests with vendors who have previously worked at events there.
“There’s not been one time that I’ve shown it that visitors don’t rave,” Pack says. “You walk in, and it’s just like—wow. It’s that special.”
written by Lexi Browning
photographed by Nikki Bowman