Snowbird Mountain Lodge

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Serene Retreat in North Carolina.

By Hope S. Philbrick

If your home life is filled with deadlines, chores and the struggle to balance what you need to do (work, clean, cook, etc.) and what you want to do (sleep, relax, play, etc.), then there’s one thing you demand of a vacation: To do more of what you want to do and less of what you need to do.

Snowbird Mountain Lodge in Robbinsville, North Carolina makes it very easy to achieve that goal. Rare is the place that succeeds in banishing stress to this extent.

Even finding the lodge is a breeze; it may be secluded in the Nantahala National Forest but even a GPS that hasn’t been updated recently provides accurate driving directions. Pull up the steep driveway, park, stroll in and help yourself to coffee, flavored water and cookies on your way to the registration desk where a friendly staffer hands over a key and offers a brief introduction while showing you to your room.

And then, your time is yours: Do as much or as little as you want to do.

Sleep. Sit and stare at the horizon. Help yourself to a book in the extensive library. Soak in a hot tub. Play checkers by the fireplace in the lobby. Play tennis or horseshoes. Go hiking—there’s a range of trail options, from easy to challenging. Head to the lake three miles away and borrow a canoe, kayak or paddleboard. Or unwind at Snowbird’s Fireside Bar where the menu offers an impressive selection of handcrafted beers, ranging from local brews to global favorites, as well as fine spirits and more than 500 labels of wine. On select dates, the lodge also offers special events such as art classes, writing and photography workshops, casting lessons with members of the USA Fly Fishing Team, and yoga retreats.

Snowbird Mountain Lodge - lobbySnowbird Mountain Lodge - hiking trailSnowbird Mountain Lodge - tub in Room 22

While here, you have zero worries.

Three meals a day are provided, plus they’re included in the cost to keep your accounting and budgeting simple. Executive Chef Francesco Davi changes the menu every day, showcasing local, seasonal fare. (This is North Carolina, after all.) Breakfast is served in the main lodge from 8 to 9:30 a.m., but if you feel like sleeping in, no worries: Coffee is readily available, and there’s a bag lunch waiting in the lobby ‘frig with your name on it, so dig in whenever. That lunch can be packed into a brown paper bag or a backpack, depending on how ambitious your day plans may be. Show up for dinner at whatever time you reserved upon check-in, take your pick among the appetizer and entrée options and then sit back and relish the attentive service. All four courses—soup of the day, salad or small plate, entrée and dessert—offers food that is familiar yet more upscale than you’d probably prepare at home. But even if you’re a fantastic cook, the joy here is in not having to shop, prep, cook and clean! Dishes like red wine chicken lentil soup, citrus basil salad, char-grilled strip steak, herb-crusted trout, blackened catfish and brandy-glazed pork chop satisfy. Save room for sweet treats like apple crisp, bread pudding and marshmallow crème brûlée.

Snowbird Mountain Lodge - saladSnowbird Mountain Lodge - steakSnowbird Mountain Lodge - marshmallow creme brulee

Guestrooms offer everything you need and nothing you don’t. Beds provide cushioned support for deep sleep: Fresh air and nature’s soundtrack add to the restful ambiance. Deep tubs invite relaxing soaks, and the bayberry-scented soap magically transforms the water to photogenic blue. Mini refrigerators help keep that lunch fresh until you’re ready to eat it. There are no TVs, but with free Wi-Fi you can entertain yourself with your electronic devices if you so desire, though the view out the windows is plenty captivating.

Rustic yet elegant, Snowbird Mountain Lodge was constructed of wood harvested from the property in 1938. It sits on a ridge facing the stunning Snowbird Mountains, inviting guests to escape into nature without compromising modern conveniences.

There’s something about gazing at wide open mountains that makes you stop and say ahhhh.

Snowbird Mountain Lodge - view

Essentials…
  • Located in Santeetlah Gap, on the Southern border of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Lodge rooms have bathtubs
  • Chestnut Lodge, Wolfe Cottage and Snowbird Creek House rooms have two-person hot tubs outdoors
  • Complimentary parking
  • Mini-refrigerator and coffee maker with basic supplies in guestrooms
  • Complimentary use of canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, mountain bikes and fly fishing rods (first come, first served)
  • Nearby attractions include the Cherohala Skyway, Lake Santeetlah and Joyce Kilmer National Forest—which harbors ancient trees more than 150 feet high and 20 feet wide
  • Rates from $230/night
  • Can’t stay overnight? Come for dinner: The dining room is open to the public
  • Odds of Encountering Children: Unlikely. Children under 12 are not permitted. “We hardly ever have children. It’s mostly adults looking for serenity. We have had a few guests show up with children,” admits one staff member, “but then we try to put them into cabins so if they cry they’re not disturbing anybody. I have kids but sometimes you want to get away.” Yes, the folks at Snowbird Mountain Lodge get us, they really do.
Snowbird Mountain Lodge - guest bookMore Information…

Snowbird Mountain Lodge
4633 Santeetlah Road
Robbinsville, NC 28771
828.479.3433

– Photos © HSP Media LLC

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.

HopeP_144Hope S. Philbrick is founder and editor-in-chief of Getaways for Grownups. She became a freelance writer and editor because she believes that work and fun should not be mutually exclusive. Her work has appeared in dozens of publications nationwide. When not writing, she can usually be found on the road or savoring something tasty.

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