The 10 Best North Carolina Mountain Resorts to Visit

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Many travelers envision their NC mountain getaways in terms of the best mountain resorts in North Carolina. 

Some resorts are steeped in history, romance, adventure, or roughing it on challenging hiking trails. Others are built around soaking in small town  charm, or exploring local arts and culture.

I’ve lived in NC and explored its Blue Ridge Mountains region for years now. But mountain vacations in NC are still always at the top of my wish list when it’s time to go exploring!

Mountain getaways in North Carolina can come in many different shapes and sizes. It seems like every time I check another place off my “been there, done that” list, I discover five more places of interest.

Many of the mountain resorts in NC are nationally renowned for offering luxury standards good enough to satisfy upper crust elites, such as the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts.

These luxury Blue Ridge Mountains resorts boast stunning locations, often adjacent to some of the most popular national parks and national forests in the country.

North Carolina mountain getaways are all close to major attractions like Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Appalachian Trail, and Pisgah National Forest.

Read on for our guide to the best North Carolina mountain resorts to visit, including romantic mountain resorts for couples, all-inclusive mountain resorts, and some of the coolest snow resorts in North Carolina.

READ MORE: The 15 Best North Carolina Mountain Towns to Visit

Best North Carolina Mountain Resorts Guide

(Arranged alphabetically)

  1. Chetola Resort (Blowing Rock NC)
  2. Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort (Cherokee NC)
  3. High Hampton Resort (Cashiers NC)
  4. Hot Springs Resort and Spa (Hot Springs NC)
  5. Lakeview at Fontana Inn & Treetop Soaking Cabins (Bryson City)
  6. Old Edwards Inn and Spa (Highlands NC)
  7. Omni Grove Park Inn (Asheville NC)
  8. The Esmeralda Inn (Chimney Rock NC)
  9. The Greystone Inn (Lake Toxaway NC)
  10. The Inn on Biltmore Estate (Asheville NC)

READ MORE: The 20 Best Places to Celebrate Christmas in North Carolina

North Carolina mountain resorts -Fire Pit by the Lake at Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock NC
Fire Pit by the Lake at Chetola Resort, photo by Bret Love

1. Chetola Resort (Blowing Rock NC)

185 Chetola Lake Dr, Blowing Rock NC • (800) 243-8652 • Official Site

Check Rates: Chetola Resort Lodge | Chetola Resort Condos | Bob Timberlake Inn via Booking.com

Located less than 2 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway, Chetola Resort is a marquee resort in the NC mountains 90 miles north of Asheville in Blowing Rock NC.

Chetola has been around since the mid-1800s, nearly a century before the Blue Ridge Parkway even existed.

The historic property gradually shifted from being a private estate to a boarding house (called Silverlake) to the home of J. Luther Snyder, “the Coca-Cola King of the Carolinas.”

The NC mountain resort as we know it today began with the construction of a new lodge in the 1980s. Chetola Resort also added buildings with 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom condos, as well as a large meeting facility.

In the early 2000s, the historic mansion was converted into the super luxurious 8-room Bob Timberlake Inn. Then a full service spa, exercise room, and indoor pool were introduced to the mix in 2009.

Chetola Resort is located near lots of wonderful spots we love, including Moses H. Cone Memorial Park (3 miles), King Street in Boone (8 miles), Grandfather Mountain (15 miles), and Linville Falls (25 miles).

READ MORE: The 15 Best Blue Ridge Parkway Hotels & Cabin Rentals in NC & VA

Luxury resorts in North Carolina -Lobby of the Cherokee Tower at Harrah's Cherokee Casino in Cherokee NC
Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, photo by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

2. Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort (Cherokee NC)

777 Casino Drive, Cherokee NC • (828) 497-7777

Check Rates: Official Site

Located in the Qualla Boundary of the native Cherokees, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort provides an array of  resort amenities in the rugged beauty of the Western North Carolina mountains.

Aside from the casino’s gaming room, the Great Smoky Mountains resort also has two pools, four towers, and 1800 rooms, as well as a fitness center and spa salon to immerse their guests in luxury.

Like any top-tier casino, Harrah’s Cherokee has two celebrity chef restaurants (from Guy Fieri and Gordon Ramsay), a game room/bowling alley, great shopping, and live music from nationally known acts.

But unlike other casinos, this one is not even a hop and skip away from the Blue Ridge Parkway and seeing the Cataloochee Valley Elk in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

I personally love the hike from the nearby Oconoluftee Visitor Center (less than 5 miles away), which leads past the historic Appalachian buildings of the Mountain Farm Museum and along the scenic river.

READ MORE: 10 Best Cherokee NC Restaurants for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

NC Mountain Resorts - High Hampton Resort
High Hampton Resort via Facebook

3. High Hampton Resort (Cashiers NC)

1525 Highway 107 South, Cashiers NC • (800) 648-4252

Check Rates: Official Site

High Hampton Resort in Cashiers has recently celebrated its 100th anniversary, and it continues to be one of the best luxury resorts in North Carolina.

In fact, it just got a serious update a couple of years ago to make sure it stays at the top of the list.

The Inn continues to focus on tradition and character for its comfy atmosphere of creaky, century-old floors and locally produced antiques.

But now its bathrooms have been modernized, and its HVAC got a significant upgrade.

Food, wine, and hospitality have also been elevated to modern standards of excellence. They have upscale restaurant options for special occasions, but causal lunch menus for more laid-back meals.

High Hampton sits beside a private mountain lake and at the foot of a stunning rock face. Nearby you’ll find fabulous waterfalls like High Falls, Bust Your Butt Falls, and Cashiers Sliding Rock (which is fun for the kids).

READ MORE: The 33 Best Western North Carolina Waterfalls for Hiking

NC weekend getaways- Hot Springs Resort & Spa
Hot Springs Resort & Spa, photo via Facebook

4. Hot Springs Resort and Spa (Hot Springs NC)

315 Bridge Street, Hot Springs NC • (828) 622-7676

Check Rates: Official Site

Wedged in between the French Broad River and Spring Creek, the Hot Springs Resort & Spa gets right to the heart of natural wonders with amazing hot mineral waters.

The healing medicinal water makes this a truly unique and beloved North Carolina mountain resort.

Crystal clear and naturally carbonated, the mineral waters at Hot Springs are heated from the depths of the earth and brought right to the tubs of the 100-acre spa and resort.

Here, luxury comes personalized with everything from primitive campgrounds and RV sites to rental cabins with full kitchens.

There are also suites with all the modern luxuries and fully-kitted vacation rentals for groups.

Outside the confines of the resort/spa (which is hard to leave), Hot Springs is a sweet little Blue Ridge mountain town and one of the most popular stops along the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina.

READ MORE: The 20 Best Treehouse Rentals in the North Carolina Mountains

Resorts in nc mountains -Having a Cabana Soak at Lakeview at Fontana in Bryson City NC
Cabana Soak at Lakeview at Fontana in Bryson City NC, photo by Bret Love

5. Lakeview at Fontana Inn & Treetop Soaking Cabins (Bryson City)

171 Lakeview Lodge Dr, Bryson City NC • (828) 202-4162 • Official Site

Check Rates: Lakeview at Fontana via Booking.com

For those who prefer a mountain resort that focuses primarily on getting away from it all, Lakeview at Fontana in Bryson City is an awesome choice.

Their perfect tagline is “unplug. unwind. unhosted.” Rooms here intentionally do not have Wifi or flat-screen TVs, so folks can immerse themselves in nature and enjoy the beautiful lake and the Great Smoky Mountains.

Resort amenities include 2.5 miles of hiking trails, an outdoor pool, lounge-like common areas, self-pay honor markets for snacks, and fresh-baked morning pastries in the lounge.

The highlight of the resort are the treetop soaking cabanas, where large free-standing tubs offer sweeping views and themed therapeutic and/or romantic soaks.

For our money, this is one of the best romantic getaways in North Carolina. It’s just 7 miles from Bryson City, which has great restaurants, museums, and tourist attractions.

One mile further is my favorite section of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Deep Creek trail to 3 waterfalls, which offers spectacular scenery and barely causes a sweat.

READ MORE: The 15 Best Things to Do in Bryson City NC & Swain County

NC Mountain Resorts - Old Edwards Inn and Spa
Old Edwards Inn and Spa, photo via Facebook

6. Old Edwards Inn and Spa (Highlands NC)

445 Main St, Highlands NC • (828) 526-8008

Check Rates: Official Site

Luxury mountain resorts in North Carolina are at their best when the views are stunning, history provides local nuance, and the amenities are world-class.

The Old Edwards Inn & Spa, which is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, has all of this and more.

Old Edwards is located at 4,118 feet in elevation in the southern Blue Ridge Mountains, looking out over the Nantahala National Forest.

Located in the heart of Highlands NC, Old Edwards has easy access to town as well as its own collection of fine restaurants and lounges to enjoy.

High street shopping is just a short walk away, and a collection of waterfalls, hikes, and mountain lakes are only a few minutes drive from your room.

The Old Edwards Inn and Spa is also considered a top spot in North Carolina for romance (including proposals and weddings), as well as a wonderful place for pampering yourself.

READ MORE:The 11 Best Places for Snow Tubing in North Carolina

Romantic mountain getaways in North Carolina - Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville NC
Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville NC by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

7. Omni Grove Park Inn (Asheville NC)

290 Macon Avenue, Asheville NC • (800) 438-5800 • Official Site

Check Rates: Omni Grove Park Inn via Booking.com

A long-standing Asheville mountain resort, the Omni Grove Park Inn has all of the history and prestige it needs to qualify as one of the Top 10 Resorts in Western NC.

It also has the sheer size and depth of amenities to dwarf many other resorts in the North Carolina mountains.

The history of the Grove Park Inn dates back to 1909, and its doors opened on July 12, 1913.It  was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, and became a member of Historic Hotels of America in 2007.

Today the Omni Grove Park Inn has a 43,000-sq-foot a 50,000-sq-foot sports complex, an 18-hole golf course, indoor and outdoor pools, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, and several restaurants to suit all tastes.

Beyond these extraordinary amenities, special events like the National Gingerbread House Competition (at Christmas) and Pop Legends Musical Weekend (in January) keep guests spoiled with fun things to do.

The hotel even has adults-only rooms and pools, which helps ensure stays exceed everyone’s expectations.

READ MORE: The 35 Best Things to Do in Asheville NC

Luxury resorts in North Carolina - The Esmeralda Inn Chimney Rock NC
The Esmeralda Inn via theesmeralda.com

8. The Esmeralda Inn (Chimney Rock NC)

910 Main Street, Chimney Rock NC • (888) 897-2999

Check Rates: Official Site

Located near Chimney Rock State Park and its iconic rock formations, the Esmeralda Inn does luxury with a rustic palette that celebrates the views that make Western North Carolina remarkably stunning.

The main inn has guest rooms that are perfect for couples having a romantic weekend, and there are multi-room cabins and cottages to accommodate families and larger groups.

This NC resort offers complimentary breakfasts for all guests, and the onsite restaurant provides an upper-end, seasonally influenced menu.

Their spa offers a soothing selection of massages, including hot stone massages, couples massages, and prenatal massages.

In addition to Chimney Rock, the Esmeralda is located near Lake Lure, a popular place for North Carolina mountain vacations. Hickory Nut Falls, which was featured in The Last of the Mohicans, is a great hike in the NC State Park.

READ MORE: The 15 Best Lakes in the North Carolina Mountains to Visit

Best Lakes NC - Lake Toxaway
Lake Toxaway from The Greystone Inn, photo by w_lemay via Public Domain

9. The Greystone Inn (Lake Toxaway NC)

220 Greystone Lane, Lake Toxaway NC • (828) 966-4700 • Official Site

Check Rates: The Greystone Inn via Booking.com

Overlooking picturesque Lake Toxaway, the Greystone Inn is a historic resort located about 20 miles from Brevard NC. It’s perfect for those seeking outdoor adventure, superb hospitality, and old-world charm.

The inn was originally the lakeside vacation home of George and Lucy Armstrong. After her second husband’s death, it became a permanent residence for Lucy.

The dam (which burst one day while Lucy was out rowing) was finally restored in 1961, and the Greystone Inn opened in 1985, honoring Lucy’s request that the property be enjoyed by many.

Now, the restaurant lures guests with local seasonal cuisine, the Mansion Bar has comfortable seats and first-class cocktails, and the spa and wellness center offers premium massages and other body treatments.

The Greystone Inn is situated between the Pisgah National Forest and Nantahala National Forest, with Gorges State Park just 6.8 miles south of it.

The hike to Rainbow Falls, one of the most impressive Brevard waterfalls I’ve visited, is well worth the effort!

READ MORE: The 15 Best Things to Do in Brevard NC & Transylvania County

Red wine and chocolate set up in Winery Tasting Room by the Biltmore Company
Red wine and chocolate set up in Winery Tasting Room by the Biltmore Company

10. The Inn on Biltmore Estate (Asheville NC)

One Lodge Street, Asheville NC • (800) 411-3812 • Official Site

Check Rates: The Inn on Biltmore Estate via Booking.com

One cannot delve into North Carolina luxury mountain resorts without a stop at The Biltmore Estate, the largest privately-owned home in America.

The 8,000-acre Asheville property has been the best-known destination for mountain vacations in NC since it was built for the Vanderbilts in the late 1800s. This is the original Asheville mountain resort.

The Inn on Biltmore Estate has 4-star service, rooms befitting royalty, and a bucolic setting that draws over a million visitors every year.

The Biltmore Estate has its own winery, shops, and restaurants. The Inn also has a spa with massages, relaxing rooms, and skincare treatments.

The grounds were designed by Frederick Law Olmstead (of New York’s Central Park fame), and land adjacent to the Biltmore Estate was donated to form the beginnings of Pisgah National Forest.

Guests at the Inn can quickly access Downtown Asheville, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the NC Arboretum, and Pisgah National Forest, not to mention Antler Hill Village.  –by Jonathon Engels; featured image of Chetola Resort by Bret Love and Mary Gabbett

 

Leave No Trace logo

We encourage anyone who loves the Blue Ridge region to learn about the Leave No Trace principles of responsible environmental stewardship. 

Stay on marked trails, take only pictures, pack out your trash, and be considerate of others who share the trails and parks you explore. 

Remember that waterfalls and rocky summits can be dangerous. Never try to climb waterfalls or get close to a ledge to get a selfie.

When you're exploring the wilderness, it's better to be safe than to be a statistic!

After visiting the Western North Carolina for the first time, Jonathon Engels and his wife Emma spent two years looking for a few acres of property there to establish a permaculture homestead. During that search, he explored the Blue Ridge Parkway, surrounding towns, and parks. He has taught at both Blue Ridge Community College and Surry Community College, is a member of a long-established land conservation community near the town of Dobson, volunteers at the Surry Old Time Fiddlers Convention, and continues to explore the Blue Ridge, a place he now lovingly calls home.