This may be the most relaxing place on the planet.
We’d been to this historic 1400-acre resort in Cashiers, North Carolina, several times before so I’m not sure why it struck me on this most recent visit to High Hampton Inn. I love this place, and this total sense of relaxation, unlike what I experience anywhere else, is just one reason why. Here are three others:
- It’s easy to turn off and wind down.
There are no phones or TVs in the accommodations at High Hampton, which include 166 rooms and suites in the inn and several cottages scattered about the property. There is one TV in the large lodge, which we concluded is a concession to avid sports fans.
Unlike several years back when cell phones had terrible reception here, you can now get fairly good reception and the inn has good wifi. Yet somehow we found ourselves tucking away our phones, tablets and laptops for more old-fashioned pursuits. We agreed that having access decreased our stress, as we knew people could get in touch if they had to.
- Plenty of activities are available right on the resort.
We didn’t get in the car once during our two-night stay. We hiked, kayaked and lounged by the lake. On a walk the first day, we discovered the bocce ball court and I played my first game. Other activities include golf, tennis, fishing, llama hikes and even a falconry experience.
At night, we enjoyed live music in the cozy tavern, although we declined the bandleader’s quest for karaoke singers, being massively untalented in the vocal arena.
The main lodge is the scene all-ages nightly activities at 8:45, which include bingo games and other parlor games the children loved. It’s the kind of place where your kids will engage in a heated game of chess without a thought to the video games they left behind.
While it was just the two of us on this trip, we saw plenty of large groups of multi-generational families joining in the fun.
- All meals are included. And they serve the Best Bloody Mary ever.
The rates are “American plan,” which means all meals are included. These are served buffet style in the large dining room, where you dine at the same table for each meal. We enjoyed fare like meatloaf, fried chicken, fried flounder and prime rib with a variety of side dishes and a huge display of desserts.
Healthy options include the salad bar found at every lunch and dinner, and other options marked on the nightly menu. Tea is served every afternoon from 4-5 and guests line up to choose from hot tea, cold tea, or lemonade served with finger sandwiches and tiny tarts.
Much to our delight, we discovered the lovely Sunday tradition of the “Full Pale Sail” Bloody Mary, for sale in the lobby adjacent to the dining room at lunch. Select from your choice of 15 items that the server dexterously weaves on a skewer to perch on top. Of course, I opted for all 15, which included a delectable combination of bacon, artichoke, peppers, cucumber, pickle, olives and even a piece of shrimp.
If any of this has called to mind the setting of “Dirty Dancing,” you won’t be surprised that High Hampton Inn was chosen for filming for the three-hour TV remake of the 1987 cult classic. No date has yet been announced.