A country inn by Old Edwards Hospitality.
What happens when one of your favorite destinations expands? You check it out, of course.
By Hope S. Philbrick
There’s a cure for insomnia, and it’s located in Highlands, North Carolina.
As the planned month-long renovation of our house stretched beyond its second month, I was physically and mentally exhausted yet unable to sleep thanks to racing thoughts of remaining to-dos.
An invitation to Half-Mile Farm offered an escape too tempting to pass up. Suddenly the truth was clear: All that work could wait!
Half-Mile Farm was purchased by Old Edwards Hospitality in July 2015. Under previous owners it had operated as a luxury bed and breakfast; after significant upgrades were completed to bring it in line with brand standards, the new property was announced in September.
Located a few miles from Old Edwards Inn & Spa and 200 Main (both of which are in relaxed downtown Highlands), Half-Mile Farm is surrounded by a lake, rolling hills, and new raised garden beds the chef plans to fill with produce—so “farm to table” will be a short stroll. The place feels more remote than it actually is, perfect if you want an escape without sacrificing modern conveniences.
Guestrooms are individually decorated; they share a relaxed-chic style yet each room is distinctive. All have fireplaces, whirlpool tubs, private balconies. This is a place beyond average.
The evening of our arrival, my husband and I had time to dig into the complimentary wine and appetizers before retreating to our room. He headed to the balcony to read. I climbed up into bed hoping I’d manage to sleep.
Half-Mile Farm has a relaxing, get-away-from-it-all ambiance. But the most effective sleep aid hovers in the air.
The smell. I don’t even remember my head hitting the pillow, but I do remember the scent of the sheets. Whether it was spritzed onto the pillowcases by housekeeping or just a coincidence of laundry products and nature, I don’t know, but that complex spicy citrusy smell practically knocked me out in the very best way anyone short on sleep could hope for. That night was the best sleep of my life, or at least of recent memory.
I awoke refreshed and ready for complimentary breakfast followed by a stroll around the grounds and a peek inside some of the cabins. I’d like to tell you that I canoed around the lake that afternoon, but the bed beckoned. I opted for a nap and the scent worked its magic again.
It wasn’t just the aroma, of course, that invited deep sleep: the luxurious, soft, pristine-clean linens, plush mattress, cushiony pillows and general vibe of the place certainly helped. The warmth and glow of the fireplace didn’t hurt (it was unseasonably cool).
A few hours later I swam in the heated pool and then drove downtown for dinner at Madison’s. A blissful day.
Half-Mile Farm offers rooms that are ideal for couples seeking romance as well as groups of friends looking to book a block of adjoining rooms and then take advantage of all that Highlands has to offer, such as dining at Madison’s—prepare to be wowed by whatever Chef Chris Huerta creates for the seasonal menu—golfing at the private Old Edwards Club, or savoring a treatment at Old Edwards Spa.
“Half-Mile Farm is that place where you relax as soon as you drive onto the property. The hilly expanse of green lawn welcomes you, and the main historic farmhouse reveals itself in the distance. Along the other side of the long drive, Apple Lake glistens and offers canoes along its shore for guests to enjoy a soothing paddle.” —Half-Mile Farm brochure
Half-Mile Farm is a retreat worth escaping to for any reason, where you can be as relaxed or as active as you wish. For me, it will always be known as the place to go for exquisite sleep.
I can’t wait to return.
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
- Free wine and hors d’oeuvres each evening (available 5:30-6:30 p.m.)
- Free chef-made breakfast each morning (served 8-10:30 a.m.)
- Free fresh-baked cookies available throughout the day
- Free bottled water, soft drinks and light snacks (e.g., pretzels, nuts, granola bars, etc.)
- No smoking
- No pets
- 15 guestrooms plus 8 in three rustic-luxe cabins that can be booked in their entirety or as individual suites
- Guestrooms boast gas fireplaces, jetted tubs, and private decks
- Robes and slippers available for guest use
- Heated outdoor mineral pool
- Private 6-acre lake with canoes available for guest use at no additional charge
- Two stocked ponds for catch-and-release fishing
- Room-signing privileges at all venues of Old Edwards Inn & Spa, including Madison’s Restaurant, Hummingbird Lounge and Art’s at the Lodge
- Discounts at Acorns, Acorns on Church, The Spa Boutique and The Golf Shop
- Access to the fitness center at Old Edwards Inn & Spa
- Access to guided hikes from Old Edwards Fitness Center
- Access to golf at Old Edwards Club
- Check in after 4 p.m.; check out by Noon
- Rates vary by room and season; overnights start at $150
Odds of Encountering Children: Very low; we saw none during our stay. Half-Mile Farm is exclusive for guests 12 and older. Hurrah!
214 Half Mile Farm Drive
Highlands, NC 28741
– Photos courtesy Old Edwards Hospitality
Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion.