Sometimes you just need to get away, right?
So it was off to the mountains for us: to Highlands, North Carolina.
Just so you know where we were going: this is it. You can see Atlanta down at the bottom, and the coast over on the right. We live almost in the center of the state, just west of Raleigh.
The weather here at home, in central North Carolina (known as The Piedmont) has been around 90° each day. But oh….. up at 3,000+ feet it is definitely cooler. And lovely. And clear. And refreshing. And…you fill in the rest!
And this where we chose to stay
It is one of the “sister properties” of Old Edwards Inn in Highlands which is a huge and growing hotel property with all the requisite amenities and services: spa, gym, restaurants, shops and various houses, cabins, and what must be an enormous staff.
If you know me, you know I’m not a fan of these big, luxury hotels. We stay away from anything large or faintly corporate; other than a motel-on-the-run, we much prefer small and more personal inns. No, not a “Victorian” B&B with antimacassars, but a contemporary, upscale small(ish) inn. So having decided right away that Old Edwards was not for us, I looked at so many other listings for the town of Highlands and surrounding area. Research is critical. And then, down at the bottom of their site, I saw this “sister property.”
What can I say? From the moment we arrived we were happy. I had been so looking forward to this trip as a bit of R&R which, of course, can be a recipe for disappointment. Not this time. Each and every aspect of our stay was lovely.
I know you’re dying for some images, so let’s start! I apologize in advance for the lack of great photos of the interiors! And what better place to start than with a daily 5:30 cocktail and hors d’oeuvres event. Fabulous! That tray on the right has hollowed out strawberries, with bottoms cut to level, and filled with various out-of-this-world fillings such as fig and cheese, basil cream and two others I can’t remember. They were superb and served every night. The middle picture is the thick slices of farm-grown cucumber with swirls of marscapone cheese mixture.
Next up is our room. We opted for the “Courtyard King Balcony Fireplace” and were totally pleased with our choice. Really large room, comfortable king bed, large bathroom with yes, an oriental rug runner and lots of space. The balcony overlooked the woods and was quiet; there was a nice sliding screen door and heavy curtains to keep out the morning light.
But the difference between good and excellent is in the details.
The room was immaculate; the housekeeping staff was attentive and careful; there were lots of just right pillows; the bed tables were big and uncluttered; the gas fireplace with remote control worked perfectly; the bathroom had a nice long shelf over the sink; there was an antique stool by the shower to hold your towel… and on and on.
The small lake was totally delightful, complete with Monet-like lily pads and a canoe. Here is a short video with images. Somehow they all look kind of dark and gloomy(??) but believe me, it was sunny and bright and so cheerful.
One of the many activities in the area is the waterfalls. We went to several but by far the most dramatic was Dry Falls. Wow!!! It is an 80′ drop and you can walk behind the falls : great photo opp for sure!
We hiked; we had a picnic by a lake; we explored the town of Highlands; I had a manicure at the spa at Old Edwards (highly recommend!); we had several very good dinners; I swam in the heated mineral pool; we ate too much at their very generous and delicious breakfasts; and, most of all, we relaxed. There were no children at all at the Inn: I don’t know if they have a policy about this but it’s not really child friendly.
Would we return to this Inn? Yes, in a heartbeat. I am sure it is gorgeous in the late fall as the leaves turn. I’m also sure all those rhodedendrons lining this property and so many others are spectacular in late May and June. I did take lots of pictures of the gorgeous gardens and flowers on the property so go over to my Instagram to see those. The gardens were lovely, well maintained and overflowing with color.
If you have any questions, or want more information, just email me.