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Old Edwards Inn Highlands NC – luxury hotel


Where is the Old Edwards Inn? How do I get there?

The Old Edwards Inn and other hotels are located about two hours away from Atlanta and two hours from Asheville, NC. Don’t let the name fool you, it is so much more than the small-ish brick front building that you see in many pictures of the Highlands. The owners of OEI bought the first building from another owner. So that is just one part of the property. They had a plan to build on to the property and purchased much of the land behind the existing Inn. From there, they built up the golf course, pool areas and added cottages.

The Vision for Old Edwards Inn in Highlands NC

What is Highlands NC known for?

Highlands, NC is known for the beautiful and plentiful waterfalls in the area. The climate is one of the few rainforests in the United States.

Is Old Edwards Inn Dog Friendly?

No, this hotel in Highlands North Carolina is not pet friendly.

Which is better Cashiers or Highlands NC?

Highlands and Cashiers are sister cities, located only about a 15 minute drive from one another. While Highlands has more recreation as far as shopping, dining and hotels, Cashiers has less but offers beautiful vistas and visitors can find seclusion here renting cabins if that is what they seek.

What mountains are in Highlands NC?

Highlands, like it’s sister city Cashiers are located at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is just a bit over the boarder from Georgia and where the three states, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina converge.

Excellent hiking in HIghlands NC

Is Highlands NC in the Smoky Mountains?

Yes, Highlands, NC is located in the Great Smoky Mountains. It is located near some other towns like Cashiers, Scaly Mountain and is about an hour and 45 minutes from Asheville, NC.

You might also like my article on where to dine in the Highlands, NC and where the best waterfalls in Highlands, NC are.

Okay, now that you have a bit of background on Highlands and where it is, here’s some of the reasons that you should stay at the Old Edwards Inn

Great location in the heart of Highlands of Old Edwards Inn

Make sure to book a spa appointment well in advance if you visit the Highlands hotel

Of course, you’ll need to know the town is not that big, with only about 3,200 residents, which swells to about 200,000 in the fall. Main Street runs about half a mile long. And the hotel is located right off of main street, so you can walk to the boutiques and restaurants from your hotel.

Multiple pool areas for privacy + fireplaces at the Old Edwards Inn Highlands, NC

The pools at OEI in Highlands NC are so relaxing

I love that this Highlands luxury hotel has several pools. There’s a large one that the bar / check-in area is situated behind. That’s the larger main one and then there’s a smaller one that many of the cottages are very close to. Plus in addition to the pool there is a hot tube adjacent to it. Don’t tell anyone, but we forgot our bathing suits when we visited and with total privacy were able to enjoy the hot tub in our undies.

Plenty of restaurants for dining at the Old Edwards Inn

Besides the poolside cafe and wine garden which are seasonal, there’s also a light menu in the spa. For drinks and appetizers, you can enjoy The Hummingbird Lounge and Art’s at the Lodge. For something casual, there’s the Four65 Bistro offering pizzas and other casual fare.

Lunch at Madison’s at Old Edwards Inn

But if you are looking for an upscale spot for lunch or brunch and even dinner, check out Madison’s. Since we dined for lunch and had dinner reservations early, we kept it light with hummus, soup, salad and falafel. Protip: They have a Coravin program which allows guests to have a taste of a pricey wine at a fraction of the price. Our server didn’t encourage it, so make sure you ask if you are interested. Also, this and many restaurants in Highlands are booked up weeks in advance, so make a reservation if you’d like to dine there.

Separate cottages for more privacy at The Old Edwards Inn in Highlands, NC

Porches for Cottages at OEI are staggered for additional privacy

For years, when I saw the pictures of the Old Edwards Inn, I would see the brick front and though it was on my bucket list of getaways from Atlanta to visit, I didn’t fully grasp how gorgeous the property was or how luxurious the accommodations were.

As mentioned above the current owners bought the Highlands inn from another owners and refurbished it. But their vision was so much more than what you see from Main Street, Highlands, NC. Another street back and it opens up to a circular view of cottages with four units each. These have a sitting area and large porch overlooking the lawn and pool. Love that the porches are staggered, so each cottage has privacy.

Gorgeous pool at the Old Edwards Inn in Highlands NC

Sheets are super soft at the Old Edwards Inn

I don’t know what it is about these sheets, but if you can imagine sleeping on a cloud, that is what the sheets at the Old Wards Inn in Highlands North Carolina feel like. Be careful because the sheets, along with the cozy fireplaces and lovely patios (at the cottages), you won’t want to leave your room at the OEI in Highlands.

Oh my gosh, will someone please buy me these sheets from the Old Edwards Inn in Highlands?

Complimentary cocktails all day (St. Germain / champagne)

What a lovely welcome to the Highlands at the Old Edwards Inn

It’s not unusual for most luxury hotels to offer a glass of champagne at check in. But The Old Edwards Inn in Highlands takes things a step further. They mix up a cocktail for you made with St. Germain and champagne. Berries are added too if you like. Stop in to the reception (there’s one off of Main Street) and another on the back side overlooking the beautifully landscaped lawns, near the pool area, and you can have a drink from staff happy to make on for you.

Complimentary Car for an afternoon jaunt at the Old Edwards Inn

Complimentary Volvo for guests of the Old Edwards Inn in Highlands, NC

The resort in Highlands has a relationship with Volvo. They will loan you one of their cars for a couple hours and you can take it to check out some of the many waterfalls and beautiful vistas in Highlands and nearby Cashiers. Of course, expect to fill out some paperwork and possibly be contacted by a Volvo sales person, but totally worth it to take a new loaded Volvo for a spin.

Heated Flooring in bathrooms at the Old Edwards Inn in Highlands

You will certainly appreciate this feature in the winter and even in the spring. The temperatures in Highlands are a bit cooler than some of the surrounding cities so even in the spring when I visited I was wearing sweaters and jackets and yes, loving those heated floors. It’s not something you find often at hotels.

If you are looking for a restful getaway from Atlanta, check out Old Edwards Inn in Highlands, NC! You will come back relaxed and rejuvenated like I did. Just remember to make dinner and spa reservations well in advance.

About the author

Malika Bowling

Malika is the author of several books including Culinary Atlanta: Guide to the Best Restaurants, Markets, Breweries and More! and the founder of Roamilicious. She is also a Digital Marketing and Social Media Consultant. Follow us @Roamilicious on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for the content not shared on the blog. And don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter (subscribe box below) and never miss a contest, giveaway or the latest must visit restaurant!