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Salamander Resort makes for a grand getaway

The sun has begun its descent over Salamander Resort and Spa, and a young woman clad in chaps and black riding boots sits astride a gray quarter horse, preparing for what's known here as the evening salutation.

Gently waving a white, gold-fringed flag with the property's signature blue Salamander logo, she and the gelding slowly circle the manicured "grand lawn" a few times before trotting off into the sunset.

It's a charming way to signal the end of the day — just one of the many equestrian, culinary, wellness, literary and artistic pleasures that await guests at this getaway in the heart of Northern Virginia's horse country.

Unveiled in 2013, Salamander is on...