See several of the mogul’s personal mementos to make a mark there.
By Angela Bobo
Sheila C. Johnson has always been a woman to watch. Beginning her career as a concert violinist in the Midwest, she went on to break monumental ground by co-founding Black Entertainment Television (BET). Nowadays, the co-owner of three of D.C.’s professional sports franchises, Johnson has been cultivating her own market of luxury hospitality as CEO of Salamander Hotels and Resorts.
In August, the lavish Salamander Resort and Spa in Middleburg will debut. For Johnson, this will not only be a professional achievement but a personal one. “I did the design along with the architects. So this is actually based on my own home. Everything in there has my thumbprint on it. Even the paintings and the photography on the walls are all done by me.”
While this luxury five-star experience will be awe-inspiring—boasting a spa, three swimming pools, a medical facility, a fitness center, an equestrian program and much more—Johnson wants visitors to make the space their own. “We want [guests] to feel like not only are they coming home, but they are coming to improve their lives and reconnect [with] who they are.”
Upon opening the resort, don’t expect Johnson to stop. She says, “My goal is to become one of the strongest hotel owners and management companies in the world.”
Each month get behind the scenes and find out what everyday life is really like for local VIPs.