Old Edwards Inn – Highlands, NC
My family and I recently spent a weekend in Highlands, North Carolina at the Old Edwards Inn and loved every minute of it. The Inn is situated in the heart of Highlands and within walking distance to many shops and restaurants and includes 95 luxury rooms and suites, restaurant, spa, fitness center, 2 pools, conference center, and several other areas to play.
The original historic Inn was built in 1878 and consists of 14 rooms on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the building. There is only elevator access to the 2nd floor so if you have issues with climbing stairs then I highly recommend requesting a room on the 2nd floor. There are 3 room types in this section of the Inn. The Historic Porch room is the smallest room but has a large porch. For the same rate you can get a deluxe room with more interior space but a smaller porch. The last category is a 1 bedroom suite with a living area, bedroom and balcony. Starting rates $225 per night in winter and $199 during the week.
The Spa Building houses 6 suites and these are kid-free zones. You can find 4 spa suites and 2 luxury spa suites. These are all suited for honeymooners or couples looking for a romantic getaway.
The Hickory building is located right by the Hickory Pool (main pool) and is a great option for families or large groups traveling together. It consists of 4 individual rooms that can be booked separately or as one unit. There is a central living area accessible to all 4 rooms. 2 of the rooms are King bedded rooms that connect to a room with 2 queens with a living room (suite).
The Main Lodge consists of 4 rooms on the second floor of the building. The check-in desk, small café and wine bar, and a living room area are on the main level. There isn’t elevator access to the rooms. No pull-out sofas available but you can request roll-away and all the tubs are Jacuzzi tubs and this is the only section of rooms where you can find Jacuzzi tubs.
On the bottom level of the Main Lodge is the Game room which consists of a pool table, gaming machines, poker table, chess, bar area, bathroom, several TVs with lounging areas including a big screen surrounded by a reclining leather sectional with cup holders. My kids could stay in this room the entire time!
Cottages consist of 29 suites and are located right next to the Main Lodge. Each cottage has a fireplace and private outdoor space.
Falls Cottage is the most recent addition to the resort and was opened June 2013 and consists of 9 buildings and 26 rooms. All suites have fireplaces except for 1 and include an outside balcony or patio. You have an option of a junior suite, 1 bedroom suite, or 2 bedroom suite.
The main restaurant is located in the historic section of the Inn (Madison’s) and it serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Attire is casual and reservations are recommended for dinner.
The Wine Garden is open only during the summer and serves lunch and has live music on Saturday evenings. Each section of the resort has a Butler’s Pantry where guests can enjoy complimentary water, coffee and tea, fruit and Dove bars.
Also in the Historic section of the Inn is their lounge called Hummingbird’s and is open from 2pm until the late evening. Live music is played every Friday and Saturday night. We went in to the lounge with our kids (4 and 6) to check it out on Saturday afternoon and as the kids walked in the piano player started playing the Charlie Brown song and other kid songs. We didn’t stay long because there were several adult couples dressed up for the evening and we didn’t feel like we fit in with the kids.
The spa is on the ground level closest to the historic inn and includes 11 treatment rooms, 2 couple’s suites, Spa Café where they serve a light lunch where you can eat in your robe between services. There is also a salon where they can do hair and nails.
The Inn can host business groups and have an area (Edward’s Hall) with 4 conference rooms. There is also a special events department with a staff of 7 that can help plan group trips (10+ rooms) and weddings. The Farm is where all wedding activities take place and is 33 acres and includes a barn and wedding pavilion. No events will be held at the main inn in order not to disrupt the restaurant services.
There are so many outdoor activities in the area and the resort has 2 pools on site. One was open when we were there with a dome and it was quite warm. The Hickory Pool has a Cabana bar that in season serves lunch including paninis and drinks.
The Falls Pool is more kid-friendly and both pools have a Jacuzzi.
The on-site fitness center offers local memberships and is complimentary to all resort guests as well as their classes and guided hikes.
If you’re looking to golf, then you need to head to Old Edwards Club located about 6 miles outside of town. It opens mid-April and includes golf, tennis, fitness, swimming pool and is open to all resort guests. The drive is winding and beautiful.
Old Edward’s Inn is a great place to celebrate a holiday or special occasion. Easter at Old Edward’s includes a brunch with the Easter bunny, egg hunts, face painting, egg-dying, bonnet making and other activities. St. Patrick’s Day includes complimentary whisky tastings and Irish coffee making contest. Christmas and New Years are also full of activities and special meals.
If you are unfamiliar with the area, Highlands is located in the southwestern part of North Carolina in the Nantahala National Forrest. There is abundant hiking, white water rafting, and many waterfalls to explore. It’s about 2 hours north of Atlanta and 4 hours west of Charlotte.
This resort is great for couples either traveling alone or with other couples, girlfriend getaways and bachelorette parties as well as families although I would recommend the summer more for family travel.
When traveling with kids, the resort provides a little bit if fun for the kids. Both my boys received their own stuffed animal with a personalized note welcoming them to the resort. They loved the special attention!
As of January 1, 2018 Old Edwards Inn will no longer be a Virtuoso property so no added amenities will be extended