The High Hampton Inn and Country Club is a mountain retreat designed for unplugging from the hustle and bustle of modern day life to enjoy the great outdoors with friends and family. Located in Cashiers, North Carolina, the historic inn will whisk visitors back in time with its rustic wooden lodges nestled in the sanctuary of the Blue Ridge Mountains on 1400-acres of pristine land. The property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.

Originally built as a summer residence for the Hampton family in the 1830s, the residence has changed hands numerous times throughout the years and left behind their legacy. For instance, the Halsted's enhanced the beauty of the estate by planting exotic trees and shrubs, which continues to grow in the front lawn of the inn. Some of them are now the most ancient trees in the region, including a giant Fraser fir tree. It was not until 1922 that facility threw open its doors to the public and has since been bringing people together for generations.

The High Hampton today continues to be a beacon of Southern hospitality, with its kitchen serving up traditional culinary fare, such as its famous fried chicken and fresh mountain trout. With rustic rooms and cottages to rest in, guests can spend quality time exploring the great outdoors or relax in the European spa.

1.Rooms & Suites

Rooms & Suites  

There are 116 guest rooms and suites in the main lodge, as well as 17 cottages located nearby. The resort's main lodge sits on the site of the Hampton's family's original home, and it was in 1932 that the lodge acquired its look today. Constructed entirely out of local materials, it is decorated in classic shingle style to give it a rustic and relaxed style. While its exterior is covered with poplar and oak bark to reflect its mountainous surroundings, its interior was constructed with natural wood sourced from the local High Hampton estate.

The rooms' d├ęcor also retains its mountain lodge character with lodge-inspired furniture, fireplaces and screen porches. Guests will wake up to beautiful mountain or lake views, which they can enjoy right from the comfort of their rooms. All guest room rates are inclusive of three meals, served buffet style at the lodge. Given that there are no elevators inside the lodge, request for the lower floor rooms if you have mobility difficulties.

A unique feature of its rooms is that they do not come equipped with television or telephones, due to the lodge's emphasis on enjoying the great outdoors. However, TVs and telephones are located in the lobby and common areas, and wireless internet is also available in all rooms and public areas. Rooms might get stuffy during warmer nights because there is no air-conditioning inside most of them.

As for the cottages and cabins, they are dotted all around the inn and lake, ranging from 1 to 14 bedrooms. Most of them are within walking distance to the main lodge as well as its range of facilities. Although meal plans are not inclusive within cottage rates, they offer more privacy and more space for families or group trips. Speak to the staff about the various views and locations of the cabins. Some of them are located higher up the mountains and would be a walk down to the cabin. For gorgeous views of the lake and its surrounding mountains, request for accommodations facing the lake. However, during summer, the waterfront is always teeming with activities, and would not be as suitable for those who want a peace of mind.

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The High Hampton Inn's Dining Room serves classic Southern comfort food, including its famous High Hampton fried chicken. Buffet-style meals are served three times a day that would cater to even the pickiest eaters. From salad bar to on-the-spot stir-fry station, the kitchen uses fresh, seasonal ingredients paired with traditional recipes. Some of the all-time favourites include the local rainbow trout, herb-crusted roasted prime rib and New York strip steak, accompanied with local produce and homemade bread.

Meals served in its hunting lodge-like dining room are included within the guest room rates. In keeping up with its long history, guests are required to adhere to its dress code, particularly for dinners. While men wore coats and ties, women put on summer dresses, skirts or proper pantsuit and kids were in their Sunday best. Although casual attire is permitted for breakfast and lunch, bathing suits and revealing tops are generally frowned upon.

For groceries, the Hampton Market is stocked with a range of fresh produce, meat, cheese as well as drinks, such as soda, wine and draft beers. Guests intending to stay in cottages can pre-order from them and have the food items delivered to the holiday home before arrival. Grab-and-go options are also available for golfers, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts who would prefer spending their day away from the lodge. On the menu are sandwiches, salads, Panini's and frankfurters for a quick and easy lunch. Enquire about the party menu if you are intending to hold a special celebration for a big group.

Afternoon tea is served every day as part of High Hampton Inn's time-honoured family vacation tradition. From 4pm to 5pm, there will be free coffee and tea as well as homemade cakes and cookies in the lobby as guests can socialize around the fireplace or enjoy views from the front porch.

The Rock Mountain Tavern serves a variety of drinks from cocktails to wine starting from 5pm to 10pm. The interior deco resonates with the overall mountain inn style featuring a long red bar and tree branch barstools. Additional wooden seating is also available on a stone patio overlooking the scenic North Carolina Mountains. Live music is provided every night so guests can comfortably lounge in and mingle around. In keeping up with its old-school tradition, formal attire is also required at the facility after 6:30pm.

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3.Golf & Other Activities

Golf & Other Activities  

The inn offers a scenic 18-hole golf course that provides spectacular views of North Carolina's mountains and lake. It was designed by the late golf course designer George W. Cobb, playing at 6,012 yards from the back tees. Its 8th hole features an island green and was once ranked by Golf Digest as one of 'America's Great Golf Holes.' Because of its design, the High Hampton course could be seen as kind on beginners, though it is equally challenging for experienced players. Furthermore, there are two putting greens and a practice range at the course.

The High Hampton Inn celebrates nature and the outdoors with a range of activities that would cater to participants of all age. An all-time summer favourite through the years is its 35-acre private mountain lake that is available all year round. Access is free for hotel guests, who can enjoy a peace of mind that the water is safe to dip into given that the lodge bans motorized boats in the area.

With plenty of swimming area, a wading pool and sandy beaches, the lakefront is perfect for families to lounge and have fun on a sunny afternoon. Alongside, a range of water sports activities is available, including sailing, canoeing and boating. The lodge provides a small fleet of boats for guest's use. Alternatively, fishing enthusiasts will be delighted that there is a nearby small pond stocked with sea trout, bass and bream. Beginners will also benefit from the fly-fishing lessons conducted daily at the pond.

Water activities aside, tennis players will relish in the crisp cool mountain air High Hampton offers. Apart from providing court rentals, the resort runs daily adult and junior tennis clinics for all levels as well as high intensity drills and cardio tennis classes. Guests are welcomed to join in for a round of fun or to improve their training and skills.

Surrounding the lodge are eight marked hiking trails to cater to different fitness levels. The most challenging route reaches the Peak of Chimney Top Mountain at 4618-feet, while the Fitness Trail has been professionally designed to provide participants with cardio exercises as well as to tone their muscles. Hikes are available as guided group excursions.

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4.The Spa

The Spa  

The High Hampton Spa and Health Club are a 5,500-square-foot fitness centre and spa seeking to rejuvenate the mind and body. The spa centre offers a range of massage therapies from deep tissue to ashiatsu. One of its signature treatments is the warm stone massage that uses warm oils and heated river stones to help relax and warm up tight muscles. Other body treatments include its clay body masque, body polish and manicure and pedicure services.

Meanwhile, the health club consists of a workout area offering cardio, resistance, free weights and core training equipment. The club also conducts group fitness classes, including Pilates, yoga and spin classes. Check with them for the latest timings and schedule.

Back to: Romantic Weekend Getaways in North Carolina

1525 Highway 107 South, Cashiers, N.C. 28717, Phone: 800-334-2551

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Weekend Getaways in NC: High Hampton Inn and Country Club in Cashiers