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Orchard Inn Opens Mountain View Suites and Spa

The quiet mountain town of Saluda, North Carolina is home to a historic bed and breakfast that is tucked away on top of a nearby peak. When visiting this area of Western N.C. searching for autumn leaf viewing remember that The Orchard Inn is raising the bar in terms of luxury and comfort. New construction completed in September of 2018 includes two new mountain view suites and a spa facility for guests to utilize, just in time for the peak of fall foliage season.
Innkeeper and owner Marianne Blazer shares that the vision for the brand new facilities took shape over the past few years. “We always offered massage here for guests in their own rooms, but we really wanted a dedicated facility,” said Blazer. “We have a few older cabins on the property that are comfortable and secluded with a history of being booked, so we added two new suites. My husband Marc and I worked with Mill Creek Co. here in Saluda to design the new building and construct it on a sloping hillside for the best mountain viewing possible.”
The new suites are designed to look rustic with knotty pine boards inside, but they are also spacious and can really deliver that feeling of getting away. New landscaping outside includes a handsome slate walkway that leads to a covered front portico, with flowers and smaller stones lining the path. Stepping into the Mountain View East Suite a large room with a vaulted ceiling earns a wow factor with its 4 X 6 support beams and its 6 x 8 rafters. Douglas Fir braces and a ceiling fan provide additional accents while the gas fireplace delivers any desired heating or ambiance. Other features include a pull out sofa, a writing desk, recliner chair and kitchen with refrigerator, Keurig coffee maker and bar area.
The suite has one bedroom with a king bed and an extra set of pillows for comfort. A dresser with drawers and mirror complete the bedroom suite, and three large windows offer a stunning mountain view. When the windows are open one can listen for bird song, the wind in the leaves or the sound of rain coming down. A full closet for hanging clothes and jackets is another feature of the bedroom. The separate bathroom features a marble counter and sink, a tea for two Kohler tub, walk-in shower and even a heated floor for those cool mountain mornings.
My favorite feature of the new suite is the back porch, set up for privacy with two vented side walls, and a mountain view worthy of gaze. Two zero gravity recliner chairs are stationed on the porch, and the wire railing on the back porch does not impede the view. A flat board atop the railing is a perfect perch for snacks or other refreshments that can be served while drinking in the mountain splendor. I recommend bringing binoculars to aid the viewing of leaf color, but also to look for colorful migratory warblers like the ones I watched with delight.
The new spa is underneath the suites and a spectacular cascading stairway made of large flagstones leads to this lower level. A welcome area with fireplace and beauty products like the Rhonda Allison skin care line greets visitors. A large yoga room with big screen TV is lined with six windows extending almost from floor to ceiling, letting in natural light while offering the same mountainside view. The yoga room will also double as a conference room for the Orchard Inn. Walking down the acid-washed concrete floor reveals a bathroom, shower room and two massage rooms that are all spacious and meet ADA guidelines for future guests with a handicap.
“We offer couples massage here now, and waxing services too,” said Blazer. “The spa is operating now but we haven’t staged its Grand Opening yet when we will offer memberships to area residents for yoga and wellness classes. We support our local community whenever possible and this facility is unique to Saluda. The Orchard Inn usually experiences peak leaf viewing in Fall during the last week of September and the first week of October, so we will be watching to see how the color changes progress after what has been a wet weather year in Polk County.”
The Orchard Inn is also home to gourmet dining at Neuman’s Restaurant which offers weekly dining and Sunday brunch to the public. Their Dickens Diner series in December helps to set the tone for the holidays, and two of the nine dates for 2018 are already sold out. Special room rates are available for anyone dining during these special occasions, but everyone gets to enjoy the common area at the Inn, including a large fireplace that conjures authentic mountain hospitality.

Jeff Dennis is a Lowcountry native. Read his blog at LowcountryOutdoors.com.

Jeff Dennis, Contributor (362 Posts)

Jeff Dennis is a Lowcountry native. Read his blog at www.LowcountryOutdoors.com