Highlands, North Carolina is one of the most charming places in the High Country, with its nearby hikes, waterfalls, and fly fishing. Settled by the Scots-Irish on ancestral Cherokee land, it’s also a great place for a weekend getaway with friends and a nice alternative to the crowds in the Smokies and Asheville.
Highlander Mountain House fits right in, set in an over 150-year-old home built by a Charleston captain. Completely renovated, the hotel is right on Main Street, steps away from the town’s restaurants and luxurious accommodations.
Staying at Highlander Mountain House
Highlander Mountain House is an 18-room inn that resembles an English country home brought into the modern age. The design is best described as maximalist, covered in brightly detailed wallpaper and antique taxidermy. The lobby features artwork by Native artists and worn books, along with a constantly burning fire.
Guests enter through the front door, which serves as both the check-in desk and the host stand for the restaurant. In the main buildings, guest rooms are accessed off the lobby, spread across two floors. There’s a second building, the Bunkhouse, which has more rustic-style decor, Pendleton blankets, and vintage art. All rooms have queen or king-sized beds.
All rooms have WiFi access, flat-screen televisions, minibar snacks, a small refrigerator, and a Victrola record player with a curated mix of albums. Some rooms have balconies with tables and chairs that look over downtown Highlands. There’s also a desk, an alarm clock, and a Marshall Bluetooth speaker.
Bathrooms have Malin + Goetz toiletries, luxurious tiles, and hairdryers. Because of the size of the bathroom and bed, the guest rooms are tight on space so keep that in mind if you have mobility concerns or are traveling as a pair.
Dining at Highlander Mountain House
The inn’s restaurant, The Ruffed Grouse, welcomes both guests and the public. The bar serves La Colombe coffee every morning, along with pastries. On Sundays, there are brunch offerings like breakfast burritos, grits bowls, and eggs Benedict. There’s also a weekday breakfast menu with toast and tacos but it wasn’t operating during my visit.
For lunch and dinner, enjoy Appalachian cuisine featuring local produce and wild game. The house burger and seared trout are two standouts. The also bar serves a nice selection of English ales, whiskey, wine, and craft cocktails.
If You Go
Highlander Mountain House is located at 270 Main Street, Highlands, North Carolina 28741. Rates start at around $185 per night, depending on the room type. Parking spots are free for guests in a lot behind the building but there is also free street parking nearby. Book your stay by visiting their website or by calling (828) 526-2590.
My stay at Highlander Mountain House was hosted but opinions are my own.