I did not actually stay at this lodge/cabins. My issues came just from making a reservation. I could not believe the horrible customer service from this place. I saw it advertised in Southern Living and all of the Charlotte upscale magazines and booked a trip for my family for October of this year. I made a simple request after my initial booking (only 3 dyas later) to change the dates and was berated that I could not make the change without a penalty. The service rep on the phone was named Hiram and he was arrogant, condesending and provided no security that I was going to be welcomed at this resort, treated with respect and accomodating personnel. Not to mention I was going to spend $1200 for 3 nights. I am so glad I cancelled my reservation after reading the reviews. Stay away.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
3 confirmed and guaranteed reservations were made at Fire Mountain by this person, not 2 as indicated. The first reservation was cancelled 11 days later not 3 days as indicated. All 3 reservations were made and cancelled over a two week period. No penalty was charged as indicated.
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According to the Fire Mountain Reservation Policy we require a reservation deposit equal to 50% of the total tariff to confirm and guarantee a reservation. Some resorts in our area require a reservation deposit equal to 100% of the total tariff to confirm and guarantee a reservation. These reservation deposits are forfeited if cancellation takes place within 30 days of arrival. If a cancellation is made 30 days or more prior to arrival the deposit is returned less a $50 processing fee.
We as all other resorts in our market area make confirmed and guaranteed reservations. This assures our guests that the accommodation that they reserve will be waiting for them upon arrival. Most non resort properties only require a credit card number to reserve an accommodation and you may arrive to find that the hotel is overbooked or the type of room you reserved not available especially during demand periods
All 3 reservations were made for dates in October which is the most demand period of the year in our resort area because of the changing of the leaves. As we state in the Fire Mountain Reservation Policy because of our small size cancellations affect us significantly. We turned others away each time that this person held a confirmed and guaranteed reservation for specific dates. We felt that since she now had cancelled two reservations and had made a third reservation all within two weeks that we should have conversation with this potential new guest to clarify her new dates. There had been 13 email communications but no phone contact since she made her first reservation. We called and left a voice mail requesting a call back at her convenience.
She called insisting that she had not made a second reservation even though her request was made in writing by email and even though she had received from Fire Mountain an email confirmation of her second reservation. According to phone records the phone conversation lasted exactly 98 seconds. At the end of the call she cancelled her third reservation and then abruptly ended the conversation. Fire Mountain then received an email from this person containing slanderous remarks regarding our business and our staff. We believe this review is malicious and vicious in intent and that it is not helpful or constructive in any way to anyone.
No one at Fire Mountain was ever arrogant or condescending to this person. The Fire Mountain staff member maintained a very professional attitude and manner through out the entire phone conversation. Excellent customer service is a hallmark at Fire Mountain and is one of the many reasons Fire Mountain is one of the most popular places to stay in the Highlands and why a very high percentage of our guests return over and over.
Please note that the reviews on this site are either excellent or poor. There is no middle ground. Each year, out of the thousands of guests that we receive at Fire Mountain, we do have several guests that become upset when they realize that they cannot circumvent policy and they then threaten to damage the establishment. Please know that if a complaint is valid we immediately do everything within our power to take care of a problem to the complete satisfaction of our guests but if the complaint is not valid we do administer our policies equally and fairly to all guests. With only 15 accommodations total, located on hundreds of secluded acres, with no signs marking our location, we receive no drive up traffic. We are by reservation only. We have no signs marking the location of Fire Mountain so that we may protect the privacy and security of our guests in our secluded location and so that we eliminate drive up traffic to maintain a restful atmosphere for our guests so they can enjoy, to the fullest, the spectacular setting within which Fire Mountain is located. Please know that Fire Mountain has been one of the most successful and secluded mountaintop hideaways in America since inception in 1996 because we do take care of our guests!
We have always had a very comprehensive website so that anyone can fully understand the uniqueness of the concept and philosophy at Fire Mountain prior to making a reservation. Fire Mountain removes the everyday stressors of your urban environment and provides for you a stress free natural environment here in the high elevations of the mountains of western North Carolina that folks have historically come to for rest, relaxation, solace, discovery, creation and the spectacular beauty that abounds. Coming into a spectacularly beautiful natural environment that offers the luxuries of clean and cool air in the very high elevations of our beautiful mountains puts you into a very blissful state of mind so that you desire to relax, rejuvenate and nurture relationships. This creates a magnificent and quality experience. Returning looking rested, rejuvenated and renewed wasn’t considered an indulgence but a necessity in times past. Today it still is a necessity if you desire an opportunity to have or continue a quality life.
Providing the quality support for this to happen is exciting and takes great creative talent. This is what we do at Fire Mountain. This is our essence. Our excellent staff makes it all so wonderfully possible for our guests. Above all we desire for our guests to enjoy the spectacular environment at Fire Mountain as much as we do. We hope that our guests, by spending time at Fire Mountain, come to realize that the true luxuries in today’s world that bring us health and happiness are the same quality luxuries that were here before mankind: cool clean air, cool clean water, spectacular beauty, peace, quiet, seclusion and serenity. Our hope is that our guests leave recognizing and understanding more fully that the outside stressors of today’s world do not bring health and happiness and that only those luxuries provided by Mother Earth, that are diminishing everyday, are the true aids to a healthy, happy and quality life along with the people in our lives that mean the most to us.
Fire Mountain is for folks that desire a very unique and unconventional mountain experience with a high level of comfort all within a spectacular mountaintop environment along with the village of Highlands, NC. Fire Mountain has very little appeal to the traditional Highlands luxury traveler that desires the conventional and consistent environment offered in the village. Either you desire to be on the top of Fire Mountain with Highlands down the road a few miles or you desire to be within the village of Highlands.
In the interest of accuracy, I would like to address some of the comments made in 2007 by visiting guests and other previous comments.
1) I wish we could, but unfortunately we can’t control Mother Nature nor change the beauty and views that God has provided. We like to say if you do not like one view you will find many others from the top of the mountain and surely you will find one that pleases you. Fire Mountain is known for its beautiful mountaintop views which have been written about in many publications from Southern Living Magazine to the June 2007 issue of Atlanta Magazine. We are known in Western North Carolina for our expansive and sweeping long range mountain views from the top of Fire Mountain.
2) The Fire Mountain website is extremely comprehensive. If you will take the time to review the site you will gain all the information that you need regarding the unique concept and philosophy at Fire Mountain. If you should ever be unsure or have questions our phone lines are open from 9am until 6pm EST each day of the week and are answered directly. At other times just leave a phone message and we will return your call promptly or you may email us directly from our website for a quick response.
3) We administer the Fire Mountain Reservation Policy equally and fairly to all quests which affords the assurance and confidence that we do not treat guests differently depending on their demands or backgrounds. Please make sure that you are aware of and understand our Reservation Policy prior to booking. Our policies are similar to every other small boutique property like ours around the world. Our Reservation Policies have been exactly the same for over a decade. If you do not respect or appreciate the policies that have been created to protect, maintain and enhance the experience and environment at Fire Mountain we respectively request that you not make a reservation. The last thing that we or anyone else in the hospitality business desires is an unhappy guest.
4) One should not equate supportive service by a staff that stays in the background as much as possible with limited service or no service. You will find everything in place so that staff is not constantly needed and if you should need anything all you have to do is ask. You will find that most needs are anticipated. We do not pursue our guests constantly inquiring as to if they need anything or to make sure that they are ok. We respect your privacy so that you are able to connect with your spouse / partner / family / nature. Our staff is not your complete experience. You are a part of the experience as is nature and your accommodation. That is why we say “Welcome to the Experience” on the opening home page of our website. The unique experience at Fire Mountain is wonderful for those that desire it! The staff is incredible at Fire Mountain! They stay out of your way so that you can truly feel like you are getting away, but are always available if you have a need. Our staff is as exceptional as the accommodations and the location and the setting!
5) Please know that when you stay in any multiuse building that there will be sound transmission. Even though the Fire Mountain Inn is very well insulated and all windows and sliding doors are double pane at times there will be sound transmission from noise created by staff or other guests. Our quietest accommodations are the Fire Mountain Cabins which are free standing structures.
6) Our property borders one of the three scenic highways that go in and out of the village of Highlands, NC. From the entrance of our property to the village limits of Highlands is a little less than 6 miles. The drive time from the top of Fire Mountain to Main Street in the village averages from 8 to 10 minutes. If you get behind a vehicle driving very slow on our two lane winding mountain roads the drive time may average longer but never 20 or 30 minutes unless traffic is stopped for road work or an accident.
7) Breakfast is a grand and laid-back affair at Fire Mountain for guests of the Fire Mountain Inn. Coffee and teas are available at 8:30 am and breakfast is served from 9:30 – 10:00 am. For guests staying in a Fire Mountain Cabin who order breakfast it is delivered just prior to 9:30 am. As most guests are here to rest, relax and truly getaway we have found that these times work beautifully. We find it creates a more relaxed start to each day for our guests. If you should desire an earlier start to your day just let Guest Services know at check-in or the day prior and a take-away breakfast can always be prepared and waiting at your front door the morning that you desire an earlier start.
8) The hottest month of the year here in the Southern Highlands is July and the average mean temperature is 68 degrees. Even though the temperature may not be conducive to having a wood burning fire in your hand laid stone fireplace every day of the year you would be amazed at the number of days even in the month of July which are conducive to burning a fire. Also every Saturday evening, weather permitting, we light a very large bonfire in a large stone fire pit that a sculptor created on top of Fire Mountain. The stone fire pit is located at a spectacular and sweeping vantage point for viewing sunset. The bonfire starts about an hour prior to sunset and runs into the evening hours.
9) Please know that we stand 100% behind every word on the Fire Mountain website and please know that every photo on our website was taken on or from Fire Mountain property.
Fire Mountain is a high quality casual resort appealing more to outgoing people who love the outdoors and nature. That’s why we say, bring your hiking shoes and leave the stilettos at home. If you can relate, we know you will have a wonderful time at Fire Mountain. If you can’t relate please consider staying at a more conventional and traditional Highlands resort, inn or bed and breakfast.
Fire Mountain contains all of those luxurious qualities that first attracted people to the Highlands in the late 1800’s that unfortunately no longer exist in today’s urban world. We look forward to having you as our guests and welcoming you to a most unique and rewarding experience at Fire Mountain.
Fire Mountain Inn & Cabins
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.