Labor Day 15 years ago, our friends invited us to come to the Fryemont. They had been coming for about 8 years prior and since our kids were the same age, we went along. This place is a treasure. We love the history, the nooks and crannies, the simplicity of staying in a place where you just do what you want to do, and of course, as the kids will always remember THE FOOD! I even had to buy the Fryemont Inn cookbook, but I'll never be able to make Mushroom Business like they do. Let's just say the trout, steaks, side dishes, and the Pancakes are to die for. And hot chocolate (complete with a bit of whipped cream). I can't forget the bar either for a bit of liquid refreshment before dinner.
Over the years we've enjoyed the Fireman's Fair and competed in the annual Labor Day 5 K run (we even have the medals to prove it!), visits downtown to the shops and to see Elizabeth Ellison and her husband George. Elizabeth's watercolors decorate the inn, and one of her pieces now decorates my house.
We've stayed in the Old Inn part (open the windows and let the breezes in!) and in the cottages. Sure the cottages have all the amenities, but there is something about the upstairs corner room in the back. Small, quiet, cross breezes..... And the front porch...how many times we sat outside, reading, talking, having a glass of wine, meeting the other folks. Yes, the rooms can be noisy, but remember, it was an Inn built over 80 years ago. That's what I like and what gives me that sense of coziness and place when we visit.
If you are the hard to please type, if you equate old with "run down", if you don't like people, if sharing good food family style is not for you or if you have a desperate need to be catered to every step of the way, the Fryemont is not going to be your cup of tea.
BUT, if you are looking for a place to get away where it is quiet, where great hiking trails are close by, where you can ride the railroad, raft or kayak a little white water, bike the trails of Tsali, run the course laid out around the cemetery by the church on the hill, canoe the lake, or just sit out on that porch and rock, where you can forget having to get dressed up, check your Blackberry or put on your "game face" this is it.
It's as honest a place as you would ever find. A family affair too, and after 15 years we do feel like family. The Browns (all of them) have made this a treasure, along with everyone who works there: Carol, Amanda, Molly, Sarge and many others who we have come to know over the years.
I'm sure our kids (finishing college) will bring their kids here when they have families. It wouldn't be Labor Day without the Fryemont. I just wish Labor Day came once a month!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Overlooking the quiet village of Bryson City and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Fryemont Inn offers you secluded comfort and excellent dining, warm fireplaces and scenic vistas. The beautiful bark-covered building was built in 1923 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Historic Inn and Dining Room are open mid-April through November. The Fireplace Suites and Cabin are open all year. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Fryemont Hotel Bryson City