Matt James Bachelor Mansion Nemacolin Resort Overview

If you’re watching this season of the Bachelor, you’ve probably seen the memes about the COVID-safe mansions. Basically, Matt James digs Clare. Yes, the show’s production team is capable of setting the mood, but Nemacolin, the resort two hours outside of Pittsburgh in the Laural Highlands where the show was filmed looks like it was plucked from the European Alps.

Shortly after filming was completed, I visited the resort for a chilly December weekend and even brought my own Matt (this is my friend). Every corner of the resort is a TV-enabled vignette with plush seating, priceless art, and vibey lighting. The property is secluded on 2,000 acres, including not one but two golf courses. You see where I’m going with it, but I’m just saying that they allow social distancing completely – and even fun.

Nemacolin offers a variety of accommodation options for adventure, including the iconic chateau, the Falling Rock boutique hotel (where attendees stay), and several private residences in Matt James’ chic residence.

I spent most of my visit outside exploring the carefully manicured grounds and guessing where Chris Harrison would plop the infamous Bach hot tub (answer: in the woods, as we see at Bris Date). When I wasn’t sniffing I was found cozy in front of a fireplace with a glass of wine. In between all of this relaxation, I was able to experience some COVID safe activity and dining on the property. One quick thing: while I’ve served a piece of tea from some of the staff this season, I’m bound to secrecy – but I know it’s very, very hot. This is what a visit to Camp Bachelor really is like.

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It’s really, really beautiful IRL.

The chateau is already the most iconic image of this undergraduate season. It is modeled after the Ritz Carlton in Paris (Google it and drool) and definitely lives up to its inspiration. It’s no surprise that the lobby cocktail parties and rose ceremonies are rotated with throne-like chairs, plush couches, and gold-plated light fixtures. Just like a Bach candidate, during my stay, sipping a cocktail from the adjoining lobby bar and snuggling up next to the massive fireplace was a nightly ritual, minus the drama. I could have spent much of my stay cosplaying a Bridgerton character, relaxing in the castle’s extravagant decor, and wandering its opulent wings.

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I was lucky enough to stay at the chateau, which has rooms with fluffy white beds on four-poster beds and deep marble bathtubs. Since it is currently not possible to mingle at the bar, I spent the evenings bathing in foamy bubbles or lazing around in a bathrobe with champagne in hand. Time well invested, IMO.

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There is a crazy spa too.

The castle’s apres-ski retreat vibe continues in Nemacolin’s Spa Woodland’s. As soon as I entered this lodge-like oasis, my shoulders relaxed and my jaw opened. I started my wellness day with a steam bath in the eucalyptus sauna before a massage was so good I fell asleep. As if I couldn’t be happy anymore, the experience was completed with a mimosa and a fluffy blanket. With Matt going on a date here, any amenity, including the locker room, is sure to get steamy

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There is so much space for activities.

Between Lautrec, the light-flooded tea room and the luxurious room service, I was never bored – or full.

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To satisfy my appetite before dinner when I arrived, I sat in the solarium adjoining the lobby for high tea. The pastry tower and tea service were comparable to Harrod’s, while real finches (yes, the birds) chirped in a spacious cage next to the massive windows. Yes, this is the room where the first cocktail party and Matt’s toast to “The Journey” took place.

Tea set

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the solarium at Nemacolin

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One evening when I was leaning heavily into the baller energy, I took advantage of the vibe that came out of the resort’s cigar lounge. I don’t smoke, but the cowhide-framed fireplace was too indulgently cozy to do without. I understand why this was the place Matt and Chris date on the first night. (When I visited, Nemacolin followed CDC guidelines for indoor dining and the cigar lounge, which meant attendance was limited and distributed.)

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Nemacolin’s outdoor activities are varied but seasonal, such as golf in summer or dog sledding when snow is on the ground. For example, I pretended to be Johnny Weir on an ice rink in the shadow of the castle in December.

The author runs on an ice rink with a castle in the background

As you can see, I am a natural.

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Nemacolin offers horse riding for most of the year. I am a beginner but still love horse riding and enjoy a leisurely ride through the trails of the surrounding highlands. Matt James and Serena Deff looked a lot hotter on horseback, but here I am with my Matt.

a selfie on horseback

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Never shot a gun? Neither do I! I thought a professionally run, safely equipped clay shooting lesson was a good place to study. Nemacolin has its own field club (also known as the fly fishing, archery and hunting area) where I have booked a 1: 1 that promises that “even first shooters are guaranteed to break targets with the help of our certified instructors”. I can testify to that – although it took me most of the two hour session to get the hang of it, with the help of my guide I was able to metaphorically feed my family with (clay) pigeons. In addition, it was very satisfying to learn something. Plus, I had an adrenaline rush for the rest of the day.

the author clay shooting

I probably missed that, tbh!

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There is no sad motel art here.

While many museums are currently closed, this satisfied my cultural itch. In contrast to the stale, generic art in many hotels, the extensive art collection and its casual presence make the atmosphere of Nemacolin something special. At Lautrec, the resort’s gourmet option, I nibbled on decadent dishes under lithographs by Henri Toulouse Lautrec himself (great Moulin Rouge vibe). In another lounge with designer chairs, you can light your selfie with a collection of Tiffany lamps. Nemacolin offers indoor and outdoor sculpture tours, but I opted for an independent walk in my nicest turtleneck and a glass of Merlot.

a gallery in the Nemacolin Resort

A gallery in Nemacolin

Nemacolin

Tiffany lamps in a living room at the Nemacolin Resort

Nemacolin

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If you want a half day excursion (and COVID allows) the famous Frank Loyd Wright House Falling Water is just 20 minutes from Nemacolin. Unfortunately the house was closed for sightseeing during my stay. During normal times, the resort offers transportation to and from the architectural site.

There is an adult toy store

I’ll just put it: Matt James in the cockpit> Pilot Pete in uniform. But I’m not here to frill feathers. If you’re interested in airplanes (and things with engines), Nemacolin has a great selection and most of them are for sale. Unforch, since I’m not Sarah or Matt, I couldn’t take one out for a spin, but I got close to some classic cars like a Navy Bentley (pretty sure Matt rolled this up in Night One). and an airplane formerly owned by Steve McQueen. Luxe!

Since Nemacolin has an airplane hangar, it obviously has a runway as well (“obviously” lol). If you feel like it, you can fly yourself privately and sit down behind the castle. For those of us who only ride on wheels.

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As soon as it is safe to travel again, I would like to visit Nemacolin a second time. Until then, I can at least see the Bachelor candidates on their behalf.


Associate Digital Art Director
Katie is an Associate Digital Art Director at Cosmopolitan.

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