Old Edwards Inn and Spa – A Brilliant Gem

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There are gems and there are gems, but the following is a brilliant gem – The OLD EDWARDS INN and SPA.

Meticulous, manicured, magnificent, magical, are just some of the adjectives I apply to this gem – and you will too.

How you get to Highlands, NC, I am leaving up to you. Just go! I drove from Asheville. I think the road is called “The Gorge Route”. Although a bit twisty, it is not the worse-perhaps if icy it would not be good. Regardless it is a beautiful drive with waterfalls, beautiful scenery and just real beauty.

HIGHLANDS is a totally wonderful, beautiful, charming oasis. It is situated in the Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina and enjoys defined seasons – each delightful. The area is inhabited by a mix of creative, talented artists, photographers, authors, scholars and just wonderful homo sapiens. I did not find a glitch or a flaw in most special Highlands.

You are at an elevation of 4118 and the population is about 1,000. The sign designating the property is not ostentatious [but then nothing is] so look carefully. Over the years, people have come to the area to simply breath the fresh, pure, mountain air and indulge in multi-star restaurants, creative shops, wonderful people, bucolic surroundings and possibly just simply a private escape.

OLD EDWARDS INN AND SPA is exceptional. As soon as you enter and check in you know you are about to experience the ultimate. At the front desk, there are free Dove Bars to enjoy and welcome. What a special delicious touch! The staff is very professional, knowledgeable and pleasant. As you go to your room, you are simply glad to be there.

Your room is perfect in every way. Not flamboyant in décor, just plan beautiful, comfortable and sort of cozy – all upscale. I recommend that you freshen-up and tour the Inn, see the dining options and possibly make a spa appointment [YES!]

Madison’s is the resort’s fine dining. You will enjoy! Outside is the Wine Garden, which is a delight as you enjoy small plates of a delectable, a beverage and watch the people go by. There are many eateries in town.

The rooms feature beautiful [some antique] furniture. Frette linens, plush towels, and the bath floor is heated. Oh my! All so nice and easy to get used to. There are cottages which are perfect for families or small groups.

Golf, swimming, tennis, hiking. fishing, and more are for you to indulge in. Of course, in such special surroundings, enjoying a bit of alone time doing little/nada, is a wonderful option.

Side Note: Shopping will not disappoint – on property or in town. I would be very remiss if I did not mention VICTORIA’S CLOSET in Cashier, NC, just a tiny drive from Highland. It is one of THE BEST consignment shops, I have ever had the pleasure to shop. You will enjoy and then some.

Creating a masterpiece like OLD EDWARDS INN is one thing. Preserving and maintaining such a property is another and the present owner A.L Williams has done it to perfection the latest being a $40 million renovation. At the helm of The Old Edwards Inn is President and Managing Director, Richard Delany. Melissa Delany is Director of Sales. A most skilled team.

Three Tomatoes, you will enjoy all of the above – promise.


445 Main Street

Highlands, North Carolina 28741


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  • Gerry Davis

    Gerry Hempel Davis worked for the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency, was the youngest female in the control room of the Ed Sullivan Show, and was for several years a contributing lifestyle correspondent for The Today Show. She is the author of the authorized history of The Today Show as well as The Moving Experience. In recent years Gerry Davis has logged over 100,000 miles on America's highways and byways, stumbling upon sites that range from the sublime to the ridiculous. She’s written three books on her road trips including ROMANCING THE ROADS: A DRIVING DIVA’S FIRST HAND GUIDE: Vol I (East of the Mississippi) and Vol II (West of the Mississippi).

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