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High Hampton in Cashiers, North Carolina

by Isabel Burton



Invigorated by the clear mountain air, surrounded by 1,400 acres of natural beauty, High Hampton invites guests to escape, to relax, to come and do as much or as little as they like.

Discover a haven where the simplicity of country living and unspoiled natural beauty offer a luxurious escape that transcends the ordinary.

North Carolina might not be the first place that springs to mind when you contemplate dramatic destinations. A visit to High Hampton, tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the second oldest mountain range in the world dating back over a billion years, promises to change that. Here’s a resort that blends low-key country charm with high-intensity natural beauty—1,400 Appalachian acres of it. Do a full spin in the lush landscape, and you’ll see forests of Ginko, Bottlebrush, Bald Cypress, Copper Beech, and Fraser Fir, undulating hills that roll into the horizon, blankets of fairytale-ish wildflowers, a mind-boggling expanse of rhododendron that turns this bucolic world a bright pink, all framed by the peaks and valleys of those majestic mountains. To contrast the untamed wilderness, there is a carefully tended garden of an astounding 600 heirloom dahlias that date back to the 1920s.

Nature is the clear star of the show here. And to honor that fact, the simple, unostentatious guest cottages (47 in total, plus 12 rooms are available in the main lodge) do not detract. But make no mistake, the accommodations, much like the resort as a whole, offer primo luxury, and your every pamper-me whim is met. The bed linens and quilts are deluxe and cozy, and a deep bath lets you submerge to your ears and fully unwind. High Hampton, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is an exercise in opposites. It’s rustic and exceedingly elegant, casual and impeccably mannered, unfussy in its use of wood and local materials, and surprisingly, delightfully stylish. The talented team here flawlessly executes this delicate balancing act, earnestly paying homage to the organic world, and keenly understanding what brings you supreme comfort so you fully absorb the awesomeness around you.

We are in the south. Porches and rocking chairs are essential to life. Give in to their gravitational pull to slow down and chill out, either in the privacy of your own cabin, or communally on the wraparound patio of the main inn, a large lodge with bark siding, antique furniture, and sleek, modern design touches. “Do not miss the outside beds,” says one of the friendly staffers. And he is so right—the canopied recliners are another ideal spot to lie back and experience the landscape: geese, rabbits, the hoot of an owl, a soundtrack of croaking frogs, and a dazzling sunset setting it all ablaze.  

While R&R is fully endorsed, activities are also abundant. Fifteen miles of protected hiking trails wind around, and lead to the summits of Rock Mountain and Chimneytop. There are moments where you'll need to haul yourself up using a secured rope, and scoot down on your butt. It’s challenging, yes, but not scary. And you’ll feel proud and grateful when you’re standing over sheer rock cliffs with a panoramic view that’ll make you weep. 

There’s also swimming and boating in the private 15-acre Hampton Lake, tennis, pickleball on eight new courts, golf on the Tom Fazio-designed 18-hole course, and croquet on the massive, manicured lawn. As for the spa, High Hampton offers a bespoke concierge experience by sourcing the best experts based on your desires, and bringing them in to restore, revitalize and beautify your wellbeing in the comfort of the inn’s soothing treatment rooms

Attuned to maximizing all sensory pleasure, High Hampton makes sure guests eat deliciously. Chefs Scott Franqueza and Zachary Chancey cook passionately, blending farm freshness and southern comfort. Lamb with grits, local trout with fresh onions…these are dishes that offer flavor adventure with pure joy.  The daily changing breakfast and multicourse dinner are included in your stay, and both are worth lingering over in the dining room with a log cabin-chic aesthetic. Standing ovation goes to the brilliant idea to contrast classic American chestnut walls with extravagant, fancy blue glass chandeliers, for a nod to tradition with a kick.

Evenings at the resort center around fire. Take your pick: Settle in by a glamorous outdoor pit, eat s’mores and look for shooting stars, or head inside and sink into an armchair next to the inn’s huge four-sided stone hearth. In either setting, you’ll bask in the warmth of High Hampton’s spirit.  highhampton.com          

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