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Old Edwards Inn and Spa
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Reviewed 31 January 2012

My wife and I booked a room for Christmas day and after visiting her family in Atlanta, we made the short trip to Highlands, NC and checked in to the beautiful Old Edwards Inn on Main Street.

A bit of background...I travel for a living and am critical of hotels for the obvious reason. My brother lives nearby in Cashiers and my mom is in assisted living in Highlands, so I travel to this mountain resort quite often. Highlands is a lovely town with great restaurants (Madison's, in the OEI, Paoletti's and Wolfgang's to name a few), shops and gorgeous scenery.

I decided to treat my wife to a Christmas stay at the OEI and since Madison's, their restaurant, was the only one open in Highlands, we booked a late seating for the whole family. Frankly, the OEI is out of my price range for a normal stay but this was a special occasion and fortunately they had rooms. We booked a room in the "new" section not the main Inn which has equally nice rooms just smaller.

Upon check-inn, we were offered champagne or whatever we wanted to drink and the entire staff was very friendly and committed to making sure we had an excellent stay. The OEI is a large but intimate facility comprising the original in, Madison's, their restaurant, the spa and the new lodging area, clubhouse, pool and croquet grounds. The entire complex takes up the entire block but hardly feels like it since it is surrounded by evergreens and "natural" landscaping: all the plants are from the region and although it is manicured, it doesn't look it per se...

Our room was more of a small apartment than what you would typically think of as a room at an inn. It was cozy and comfortable with heated marble floors, gas fireplace, backdoor patio and lounge area and huge closets. We felt more like we were in a mountain hideaway than in a mountain city downtown. We could not hear or see the street and instead had moderate views of the surrounding mountains.

I am sorry to say we never had time to take advantage of the spa or much of the other amenities that the OEI has to offer. After a superb dinner at Madison's (you simply have to dine here whether you stay at the Inn or not), we retreated to the room to drink some wine and lounge in front of the fire. We all had breakfast at Madison's in the morning and then went to mom's for her Christmas. This evening, we ate at Wolfgang's as we have done many times before (Paoletti's was closed!) and again retired to the coziness of the room and the fire.

We had a memorable visit to the OEI and we are planning to make it a Christmas tradition. I have played at their golf course and it is fantastic and beautiful. The clubhouse at the golf club serves delicious meals with possibly the best tomato soup and tuna salad sandwich I have ever eaten. I should note here that my brother is an employee at the OEI but you have my word this in no way influenced my review.

A word about the staff and service...some of these reviews are somewhat critical of the service. The OEI prices are standard for a world class inn and, yes, a visitor deserves top-notch service. Much of the staff is young and they lack nothing in the desire to assist you. Are they the most well-trained and polished staff in the world? No, no they are not but they are all friendly and eager to assist you with anything you need. Highlands is a resort town and even with the real estate crash, prices are still high and there are not a lot of rental properties. Staff members have to travel from nearby cities 25+ miles away if they can't find reasonable rental properties in Highlands. In the wintertime, many businesses shut down due to the lack of traffic. Point is, if you travel frequently with an unlimited budget and stay at 5 star properties, you will be critical of the staff's polish but you cannot criticize their desire and eagerness to make your stay as pleasant and memorable as possible. Ours was and a simple 2 night stay ended up being one of our best vacations ever.

Room Tip: Rooms in the "old" part of the Inn are smaller than the rooms in the "new" section though they are all beautiful.
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Isoar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 January 2012

My wife and I would take an annual weekend in Asheville to enjoy the autumn season colors, but we have gone to Highlands instead for the past two years. Downtown Highlands is about four square blocks and does have some interesting shopping and restaurants. The Old Edwards Inn is right in the center of town and is composed of several builings separated by a garden and cafe. I suggest staying in the new section rather than the old original hotel as the rooms are larger. All rooms have been remodeled in the past few years. All bathrooms are marble with heated floors. I strongly encourage staying in the spa suites which have bathrooms larger than most standard hotel rooms. The Merrick Inn serves excellent fare in a romantic setting. Why spend a great deal of money at the Grove Park Inn and be treated likea like a "guest" when you can stay at Old Edwards Inn and be treated like royalty? Attention to detail, and a smaller, but wonderful spa makes this an easy decision for us. Splendid. Charming. We love it.

Room Tip: Spa suites!
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Neuroman777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2012

My husband and I spent one evening at the Inn in January. We had a great time and it even snowed! We loved the Inn, our room was beautiful and comfortable. We ate at the Inn as well and we were very impressed with the menu selections. We loved everything about our stay and plan to stay lonnger next time!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank amberredford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2012

Truly a perfect weekend away! Staff attention to detail and customer service was impeccable. There is not one thing that could have been done to make our stay more enjoyable. Even with the rain and the fog, we had a fantastic time in the Hummingbird lounge in front of the fireplace and dinner at Madisons was phenomenal. We stayed in the King Lee suit at the Lodge and the heated tile floors in the bathroom were to die for, the fireplace in the room added that special touch to make it perfectly warm and cozy. Will absolutely visit Old Edwards Inn again!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Gail W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2012

This was the second time visiting for my wife and I after visiting for our 5th wedding anniversary last year and it was just as amazing as that first stay, but just not long enough. We stayed for one night and wished we could stay for many, many more. Service and accommodations are impeccable as usual! Thanks again to Old Edwards for another wonderful visit to Highlands! We'll be back as soon as we can!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Ryan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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