A European style retreat in the North Carolina Mountains. Named TripAdvisor’s #5 top hotel in the U.S. in 2015, Old Edwards Inn and Spa sits atop the scenic southwest plateau of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, offering abundant opportunities for relaxation, recreation and adventure. The European style resort cascades along several blocks filled with amenities, music, dining venues and individually appointed guestrooms, suites and cottages. Friendly, impeccable service with a backdrop of rustic mountain elegance creates the ideal North Carolina vacation for romance, girlfriend getaways, families, and leisure and business groups.
Surrounded by pristine mountains with lakes, streams and waterfalls, Old Edwards is also in the heart of the fun and artsy waling downtown of Highlands, NC. Just step out the front door for live music, theater, great boutique shopping, award-winning dining, museums and galleries.
445 Main Street, Highlands, NC 28741
TELEPHONE: +1 828.787.2605
"Luxury is something that speaks to their own personal senses in a way that that makes them feel satiated, auspicious and maybe a bit indulgent."
We had the exclusive opportunity to sit down with Amanda Sullivan, General Manager at the Old Edwards Inn & Spa.
What was the design inspiration for Old Edwards Inn and Spa??
Owners Art and Angela Williams spend part of each year traveling through Europe, staying at the grand hotels and spa resorts as well as boutique inns and country houses. The relaxed elegance, unobtrusive service and Old-World décor of Europe inspired the interiors and guest experience at Old Edwards. Exteriors reflect the wood, stone, brick and wrought iron touches found in the inns and estates throughout Europe.
What is unique about your property?
Old Edwards Inn and Spa is a little slice of European grace and elegance set in the exquisite beauty of the Western North Carolina Mountains. Highlands is a walking downtown filled with arts, designer boutiques, Wine Spectator restaurants and pristine outdoor recreation. And Old Edwards cascades over several blocks right in the heart of the cultural resort town, so guests feel like they are staying in the European country estate while being just steps away from culinary indulgences, leisure pursuits, arts and entertainment.
What was important about having Frette in your property?
Frette sets the standard for sumptuous luxury in Europe as well as the U.S. Its reputation for uncompromising quality and comfort is a natural fit with Old Edwards Inn and Spa.
How does the Frette product add to the design of the hotel?
The thread count and the softness of the linens takes our guests seamlessly from the comforts of our antiques and furnishings into a sleeping environment that continues to deepen that state of bliss and unwinding. As for design, the small stripe adds a subtle but sophisticated element, much more than would a plain white or cream linen.
What are the most important decorative elements in your home?
Comfortable but elegant pieces that seem like they just belong and that are accessible—not too formal or uninviting. Style is important, but it needs to blend harmoniously with the comfort and feeling of welcome. And the fabrics support that. Fabrics and soft decor are essential in conveying the feel of a room. Mixing textures and patterns while maintaining a pleasing complementary color palette prevent a room from being too formal while still keeping it tasteful and elegant.
What are your three most important elements when designing a bedroom/room?
The bed, of course. It has to beckon relaxation and bliss and function as the most inviting element in the bedroom. A bedroom also needs a sitting area; you need to be able to envision yourself doing relaxing things there like reading or just reflecting. And the furnishings are all tied effortlessly together with coordinating fabrics and soft décor. It’s about creating a feeling of retreat without being stuffy or overdone. Uncomplicated luxury with very few distractions that allows you to just be.
What does it feel like to wrap yourself in Frette?
It’s like slipping into a tranquil cloak of relaxation of retreat. The feel of Frette linens on the skin is an immediate cue for the body to melt into a state of sanctuary and respite.
How do you define luxury?
Luxury is more a state of mind, or a state of being, than it is about extravagance or material things. For any given person, Luxury is something that speaks to their own personal senses in a way that that makes them feel satiated, auspicious and maybe a bit indulgent.
If you only have 72 hours in Highlands what would you recommend doing or seeing?
Hike Whiteside Mountain for a spectacular view of three states from one of the world’s most ancient sites, also a nesting place for Peregrine falcons. - Spend a few indulgent hours in the Spa at Old Edwards, which has been named the #1 Resort Spa in North America by Condé Nast Traveler. - Listen to live music at one of the many indoor and outdoor venues throughout the town, and take in a live theater production at Highlands Playhouse or the Performing Arts Center. - Take a hike and/or visit a waterfall, including Sliding Rock or Bust Your Butt Falls. - Choose from a different Wine Spectator Restaurant every night, including Madison’s Restaurant, Paoletti's or Wolfgang’s. - Browse exhibits at The Bascom Center for Visual Arts. - Hike the little network of trails at the Highlands Nature Center. - Go zip lining at Highlands Aerial Park. - Wonder along the sidewalks in the charming downtown area, stopping into shops, galleries and eateries.
What's your favorite restaurant in Highlands?
Madison’s Restaurant and Wine Garden. Not because it is the signature restaurant of Old Edwards, but because it sets a standard on the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau for locally sourced foods and European-style service in an ambiance of relaxed elegance. There are always seasonal specials right out of the gardens at Old Edwards; and the warm, friendly service is simply unmatched.