The Old Edwards Inn and Spa is located in the town of Highlands, North Carolina, USA. The first time we visited the resort, it was because a series of coincidences brought us to the little mountain town. When we went back two years later, it was with a clear goal: to experience the Old Edwards Inn and Spa again. The spa hotel had won a place in our hearts, and we were extremely excited to go back.
(This review is based mainly on our last visit, but reflects the experience we had during both stays.)
There are many great hotels in the world—some cozy, others more elegant and luxurious. The Old Edwards Inn and Spa combines coziness with comfort, luxury, and all imaginable amenities.
The Old Edwards Inn and Spa consists of a number of buildings scattered around beautiful outdoor areas. You can either stay in rooms and suites in the historic part of the resort or in small and medium-sized Harry-Potter-like cottages. It is also possible to rent larger holiday homes. We had booked a room in one of the cottages, just like on our last visit.
Stylish cottage life
After a quick check-in, we headed for our cottage with a welcome drink in hand. The friendly bellman took care of our luggage and showed us the way. Just a few steps later, we arrived at our charming residence.
Inside, the atmosphere was just as snug and comfortable as we remembered. In the middle of the room was an incredibly comfortable king-size bed with quality bedding, and in the closet, the world’s softest bathrobes were awaiting. The bathtub had jacuzzi jets, and bath salts invited us to take a relaxing bath.
Other facilities in the room included a seating area, air conditioning, a TV, a Nespresso coffee machine, a fridge with a freezer, and high-speed internet access. The only thing we felt could have completed the atmosphere was a fireplace.
There were, however, plenty of fireplaces in the common areas. We had breakfast by the fireplace in the cafe and cocktail bar called Art’s at the Lodge, indulged in a glass of champagne by the fireplace in the spa, and last but not least watched movies by the fireplace in the Kelsey Game & Theater Room.
We borrowed the movies from the DVD library at reception, and the kind receptionist also brought us ice cream bars for our movie night. We have rarely felt more at home on our travels!
In addition to the home theater, the Kelsey Room also had pool tables, foosball, poker tables, and various other gaming machines.
From recreation to breaking a sweat
After (too) much food and relaxation, it was time to burn some calories. Luckily, the exercise opportunities at the Old Edwards Inn and Spa are vast. The hotel has a well-equipped fitness center spread out over two floors, with enough workout equipment to satisfy all fitness lovers.
Furthermore, guests can play tennis or golf, participate in group fitness classes, or make use of the great hiking opportunities around the hotel. The Old Edwards Inn and Spa also offers group hikes.
For those who enjoy dipping their toes in the water, there are two large outdoor swimming pools. Since we visited the hotel early in the spring, these were not warm enough to go for a swim. Instead, we enjoyed the heated open-air whirlpools.
And back to relaxation
The spa at the Old Edwards Inn is one of the main reasons why we had fallen in love with the resort. The wonderful hours spent here are among our top three spa experiences ever. Click here to read more about this amazing spa.
Almost like a movie set
Highlands is a small, attractive town situated in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. The Old Edwards Inn and Spa is so cleverly incorporated into the town that we almost thought we had arrived at a movie set when we saw the place for the first time. Along the main street are cozy cafes, great restaurants, and adorable shops. The open-year-round Christmas shop particularly charmed us, and the manager put big smiles on our faces when he welcomed us mid-March with a cheerful “Merry Christmas.”
But was everything really THAT idyllic?
We had to think carefully to find something that did not match our expectations. One issue was the lack of availability for spa treatments. Since we visited Old Edwards Inn and Spa outside the high season, we had not pre-booked any treatments. This turned out to be a mistake, as there was no availability for massages during our stay. We also wanted to eat in the award-winning Madison restaurant, but unfortunately, it was fully booked. We wished the resort had encouraged us to make reservations in advance to avoid these disappointments.
Furthermore, the service was of somewhat varying quality. A few of our requests were never answered, and sometimes it seemed as if the employees were more interested in talking to each other than to the guests. A big exception to this was at the spa, where everyone was incredibly accommodating and helpful.
In short, we must say that yes, for the very most part, it actually was THAT idyllic!
-A visit to the spa.
Make bookings for spa treatments and the Madison restaurant well in advance.
* We visited the Old Edwards Inn and Spa in May 2016 and in March 2018. The Old Edwards Inn and Spa did not know that they could be featured on our blog, and we did not receive any special discounts.