Imagine breathing in fresh, mountain air as you take in your surroundings. Your vision fills with vibrant shades of red and yellow from the changing foliage. A single leaf dances in the wind before falling at your feet. The air is cool, but a warm fire is waiting inside for you. Two of my coworkers and I got to experience all of this and more during our getaway to Orchard Inn.
As a team member at Q4Launch, you get some amazing perks. One of my personal favorites is Q4 Travels! Every year, employees get to visit a client of their choosing. This year, I decided to visit the historic Orchard Inn in Saluda, North Carolina, with two of my coworkers, Casey and Haley.
ORCHARD INN: A MOUNTAIN ESCAPE
Set back in the mountains of Saluda, North Carolina, Orchard Inn’s remote location makes it the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Casey, Haley, and I hopped in my car and started our journey north. The closer we got, the more magical the experience became. A few hours in, the leaves began to change. As a New Englander, I could barely contain my happiness; we don’t get to see much fall foliage in Charleston, South Carolina.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by two adorable dogs and a crackling fireplace. We were shown to our accommodations, the beautiful Paulownia Cottage. This cozy cottage is known for its stunning views, and we spent much of the daylight hours on our private porch sipping coffee and taking it all in.
During our stay, we were able to tour some of the other lodging options to get a good look at the property. Each room is even more charming than the website makes it look; fluffy pillows and thick comforters top the beds, and the oriental rugs on the original wooden flooring create a rich atmosphere. Plus, we got to have a look at the brand new suites and spa. These stunning suites treat guests to panoramic views of the mountains, and the Western Suite is ADA compliant. Even though they are a new addition to the historic property, their mountainside location fits right in.
Each morning of our stay, we were treated to a delightful, homemade breakfast. Everything sounded so delicious that it was hard to choose! Our coffee cups were always filled, and we woke up each morning wondering what the day’s fresh pastry would be. For the three breakfasts we got to enjoy, we indulged in dishes like Marianne’s famous pancakes, eggs and toast, and more. The breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains in the dining room made breakfast even better!
When we started planning our stay at Orchard Inn, we knew we would have to treat ourselves to dinner at Newman’s Restaurant. After hearing from multiple people that it’s one of the best dining experiences in all of Western North Carolina, we finally got our chance. We were instantly greeted by our server and offered hors d’oeuvres before being seated.
We ordered a bottle of wine to split between the three of us, then the magic began. Each of the four courses was even better than the one before it. We savored dishes such as butternut squash soup, pan-seared scallops, braised beef short rib cannelloni, grilled beef tenderloin, and more. For our last course, dessert, we ordered one of each item on the menu so we could try them all. Out of the apple butter crème brûlée, the apple tarte tatin, and the chocolate mousse, I couldn’t pick a favorite!
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TRIP
There are so many highlights from our trip that it’s hard to write them all down. Orchard Inn is such an incredible lodging experience, and you don’t even have to leave the property to enjoy the area. We walked the nature trail, enjoyed some time on the porch to take in the view, and played some of the card games available to guests.
If you want to venture away from Orchard Inn, you can do that, too! We explored Saluda, an adorable town that was once home to miners and railroad workers. We also ventured to Asheville and the Biltmore Estate. Both are just 40 minutes away from Orchard Inn, so they make the perfect day trip. Even though we were there for a long weekend, we got to see some of the best parts of Western North Carolina!
NORTH CAROLINA HOSPITALITY
During our stay at Orchard Inn, everything we needed was taken care of and more. Marc and Marianne took time out of their busy schedules to make sure we were having a good trip and gave us recommendations on the best places to go. Not only did they go above and beyond to make sure our getaway was the best it could possibly be, but they also gave us all the information we needed to improve our marketing efforts for them. We are constantly trying to improve and evolve, and these client visits contribute to that. We can’t wait to see what the future brings!
EXPERIENCE THE BEAUTY OF WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA FOR YOURSELF
After we left Orchard Inn to embark on our drive back home, it was challenging to pick just one favorite moment from our short trip. We filled our days with fresh mountain air, relaxation, amazing food, and beautiful views. Experience all this and more when you book your stay at Orchard Inn! We can’t wait to go back one day.