My wife and I stayed for three nights and had a solid, comfortable, and consistent experience.
We stayed in the cottages that just recently opened. The room, a one bedroom suite, was well done. It was cozy, aided by by mini-bar, fireplace, and heated bathroom floors. The shower was excellent with at least 5 jets in addition to the main head. The interplay of materials (wood, stone and tile) and textures of the linens and other accessories came across as tasteful and natural. Only criticism is that you can hear footsteps from those on second floor. The cottages have multiple rooms so I would suggest second floor.
Amenities wise, we spent one entire day at he Spa and it was top notch and deserving of every bit of press it earns. It is a relaxing but not overly formal environment. The showers are outrageous-in a good way! There are like 25 heads.
We also enjoyed the hummingbird and library lounges in the evenings. The drinks in the lounges as well as the Madison restaurant need some work. Outside of the obvious Martini, Collins, or bourbon or scotch neat, it was uninspiring. There are some house cocktails but again I think this area needs some work as I found those cocktails not very interesting. Some effort is made in regards to seasonality of the drink menu, but other items remain like the Lavender Collins. It's winter and hard to channel Provence this time of year. At this point, let me point out that cocktails and mixology are personal passions so I will admittedly hold this aspect to a higher standard than most. Given a restaurant on-site, the potential is endless in regards to homemade infused syrups and spirits. Homemade bitters could be pulled off with ease given the kitchen's credentials.
Bill deserves a shutout. He manages the bar in the Cottages Lobby. Very helpful with information regarding Highlands and the Inn itself. His wife Mary works at Madison and is delightful as well. We even ran into him when he and his wife were not working and he made a point to check in and see if we needed anything including more suggestions. He is passionate about his job and it shows.
Madison restaurant was solid. We ate there twice. It seems to be alpine/tyrolian influenced. The portions were larger than anticipated and I am not sure that is a good thing given an attempt to take on three courses. The seafood knuckles starter was excellent and unique with its foam. The duck was executed well as was the hanger steak. The desserts are outstanding. The wine list was appropriate in its selections and its price points.
Overall, it was an excellent experience. This place has the unique ability to preserve its past while expanding over time to remain relevant--and do so in a way that results in consistency in appearance and experience. That is hard to do. We highly recommend.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This European style luxury resort cascades over several scenic blocks in downtown Highlands, NC, offering multiple room types, suites, cottages and full guest estates. Two spectacular outdoor heated mineral pools with whirlpools and cabanas, a world-class spa and fitness center, award-winning dining, and golf at the private Old Edwards Club are signature experiences at this full-service mountain resort. All guests enjoy champagne arrival and complimentary Dove Bars, fresh fruit and bottled water. European bedding, fine Italian linens, plush robes & slippers, rainfall showers and heated bathroom floors enhance the in-room experience. Most rooms feature fireplaces as well as private patios or balconies. The restaurants serve farm-to-table fare harvested fresh from two gardens and a greenhouse. Craft cocktails are enjoyed around the resort at casual bars and upscale lounges, and several live music venues provide entertainment indoors year round and outdoors in warmer months. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Old Edwards Hotel Highlands
- Old Edwards Inn