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“Paradise in the Wilderness”

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Snowbird Mountain Lodge
Ranked #1 of 12 Robbinsville B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 11, 2010

It's way back up in the hills, but it's the experience you're looking for if you want a nice room in a quiet, scenic area with excellent food and unrushed service. The Lodge is practically at the NC entrance to the Cherohala Skyway and the Joyce Kilmer forest area, each of which provide magnificent mountain views and great hiking. Because it's a long trek from almost everywhere else, if you get an early start, you'll enjoy both of them without the crowds. We had the most expensive room with a hot tub on a private deck overlooking the mountains, and it was worth it. As soon as we saw the huge, comfortable room (which included things like XM satellite radio, a local trail guide, a mini-fridge, a whirlpool bathtub, and numerous other nice touches) and the view, we arranged to stay an extra night.

The room comes with all three meals, with lunch (including AFTER you check out!) being packed for you--if during your stay, if you want, in a picnic basket or a backpack--a great help on a hiking or picnic day. The chef is obviously very talented, the local beers on tap and the house wines are very good, and the wine list is surprisingly extensive. The variety of meal offerings is somewhat repetitive, but all of it was excellent and very creative and not a big issue for a three day stay, and the rustic dining room is very pleasant. The adjacent lobby has a huge, comfortable library with thousands of books, including many on the local area trails, flora and fauna. The lodge offers many outdoors activities, but we stuck to hiking and touring the area, as there is much to see--do allow at least 2 whole days. We'd stay there again anytime.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank taxatty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 7, 2010

My husband and I spent Thanksgiving at the Snowbird in 2009. We had been to the Snowbird twice before, in the summer. This trip was an amazing experience. We have stayed in the Chestnut Lodge or Wolf Cabin (we have never stayed in the actual lodge rooms).
We love this place, and have never had bad service. We had helpful front desk assistance that helped us plan our hikes.
The Thanksgiving spread was all you would expect from a gourmet lodge (I think the menu is posted on their website). They first had a champagne toast and hors d'oeuvres and then a huge traditional spread. This was after a wonderful breakfast that morning (good thing we braved the chill and hiked before dinner!).
For breakfast you are offered several small choices which you can combine or can order all of them - I personally find that the meals are very plentiful.
In summer you can go on a canoe tour of the nearby lake (they provide the canoes and guide) and I believe they have bicycles but the terrain is hilly so be prepared.
The rooms are rustic but clean and nicely decorated and smell good. The beds are very comfortable and both the Wolf cabin (2 rooms) and the Chestnut lodge (4 or 6 rooms?) all have hot tubs on private porches, which is a wonderful experience on a chilly night, looking at the stars! The Chestnut lodge rooms are larger than the Wolf cabin rooms and the private porches face out towards the mountain/forest view.The Wolf cabin porches face the forest but you can still see the stars (in late Fall).
The bar has a great selection of beer, wine and spirits (they have a specialty drink of Irish Coffee with caramel that is really good) and my husband is a beer snob but was pleased with the beer choices. They will prepare you a picnic lunch to take out hiking if you want.
You can do nothing/lounge/read/nap or find lots of outdoorsy/active pastimes in the area. We have enjoyed going when the Bluegrass Partners play - sitting out on the porch and listening to their music.
We consider spending time at the Snowbird to be the best treat we can think of.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JSR_Decatur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2009

My wife and I spent our spring break here and were blown away. The area is just so beautiful, and even in the spring before any of the trees were growing. I really want to come back in the fall when the leaves are all colored up because it would be breath taking. There is a nice view from the lodge that would be great with color.

We stayed in a duplex cabin which was very nice. It had a fireplace and outdoor hot tub on a back screened in deck. A lot of my choice in this location was for that very reason. My wife wanted an outdoor hot tub, which is hard to find. The room is very private, and you don't see or really hear the neighboring room. You could both be out in the hot tub and not bother each other since it's divided. The room is totally cabin like, and completely wood. The bathroom is also very nice and big enough for the both of us to be in there. It was well decorated inside the room, and very romantic if you like the rustic look like we do. There is no TV in the room but you won't miss it, because the whole point of being there is relaxing in nature. They do provide a clock/radio that has a CD player, and a stack of easy listening CD's to use. We both loved being able to fall asleep each night in front of the fireplace.

I think the best part about the place though it's all inclusive. The meals were part of the room package that we got, and were very good. They have a full gourmet kitchen staff on site in the main lodge that cooks you breakfast and dinner. Lunch is also provided, but in bagged form for you to take with you on the go. You fill out a card at dinner with what you want for lunch the next day. Then you go and pick it up from a cooler before you head out to go hiking or sight seeing. We had many nice little picnic lunches in various places. We were also there during St. Patty's day, and that evening they had a special dinner with beer pairings for each course. My wife and I aren't drinkers, so we didn't partake, but the rest seemed to be enjoying that part of it. It's casual dress dining, but most did try and look pretty nice. The food is exquisite though and it really helped not having to pay extra for it like most places. I think just because it's so far back in the woods they almost have to serve all the meals because there is no where else to go without driving quite a ways into town. There isn't much around and it's very remote. It was also hard to find since it's in the middle of nowhere and we got lost coming in late at night. We had a 10hr drive to get there and were very tired, but made it eventually. There aren't many signs to follow and the ones they do have are very small and easy to miss. Also being new to the area, we ended up driving through the mountains and over the "tail of the dragon HWY 129" pass which was just insane! My wife was getting sick going through there, but I was having fun stressing the brakes on our little car. I wouldn't suggest going through there without a performance car or motorcycle. It's like being on a never ending rollercoaster. There are literally 318 curves in this stretch of steep mountain road, and most of them are 90 and 180 degree bends. It's the craziest road I have ever seen and there are no guard rails, so if you slide off you are falling quite a ways down the mountain. It was very pretty though and there are some great places to stop and take photos. On our way home though we decided to take an alternate route. Just looking at a map it looks like a normal road, but boy were we surprised. Avoid HWY 129 in your travel map.

There are plenty of things to do and see in the area, however if you come during the off-season like we did many of them are closed. They have what they call an artisan trail, that has all the local crafters and shops mapped out. They offer tours and demonstrations of their places. We got to go to a few who let us in like the cheese farm, beeglobes, and a pottery place. They are all locals who live almost completely off their small businesses here, and also most ship online. It's a great thing to do while here and I would like to come back when we can see all of them. They are only open in the warm months, from about June-Oct. There is also the Joyce-Kilmer National Forrest which has some of the oldest trees left in the great smokie's. Most of the mountains have been harvested for lumber, but this forest is one of the only untouched pieces. I don't have anything else to compare to except the east coast because I have never seen a California Sequoia, but these are some really HUGE trees. It would take several people to reach around some of these trunks, and it's just very impressive. There is about a mile hike through the forest and it's just so serene and peaceful being in God's country. I'm a real outdoors nut, so this was one of my favorite parts of the trip. There are also many other great hiking places throughout the area and they can inform you at the main lodge of where to go. The owner is a huge hiker and knows the whole area very well.

Speaking of that the owners live on site just a little up the way, and are both very friendly and nice. You can go up and talk to them, and they usually do spend some time in the lodge each day to great the guests individually. All of the staff is very friendly and helpful. Our fireplace broke the next to last day we were there, and we really wanted to be able to use it that last night at least, so they had a few different guys go up and try to fix it for us. It took a while but they finally got it going during dinner the next day for us so that we were able to have it the for the last night.

The lodge also has a private lake nearby, that you can take canoes out on. You just ask the front desk and they will give you the keys for the canoes. You drive down to the lake and they are chained up there for you to put in the water yourself. It was so peaceful on the lake and very pretty. My wife loved this part a lot. I'm pretty sure you are allowed to fish on it too if you had your license. There are scheduled activities each day at the lodge you can do as well. We decided one day to take the painting classes offered, and a traveling couple of college art instructors were there giving lessons. It was a 2 day session with water colors and we had a lot of fun doing it.

We have a lot of great memories from Snowbird and will definitely be returning someday. I would recommend this place for romantic getaways, honeymoons, anniversary trips, or just for outdoors people who want to relax in nature. We were the youngest couple there, but didn't feel out of place at all.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SolidStateS15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2009

My partner and I arrived after 2 days of backcountry camping, muddy and tired and very much looking forward to 2 days of relaxing with some luxury at the Snowbird. Unfortunately, a mixup with the reservations (which was NOT the fault of the Snowbird Lodge) occurred and they were not able to accomodate us that evening. The lodge manager arranged for us to stay at a nearby inn that evening and then arranged a room for us at the Snowbird the following evening all completely paid for by the Snowbird! While we were disappointed to not have 2 nights at the Snowbird, we felt that this was above and beyond adequate compensation.
The Lodge itself was wonderful. The rooms in the main lodge are satisfactory and well kept. But the real strength of the Lodge are the facilities. Highlights include: the cozy Main Lounge and patio with gorgeous views and with hundreds of books and board games (which go well with the delicious complimentary cookies); on-site trails which lead to various vistas (don't miss the stunning view from the Sunrise point); the Lodge's bar with an tasty local microbrews on tap and impressive selection of bottled beer, whiskies, and an encyclopedic variety of wines (very impressive for a "dry" county); delicious and well prepared meals. The attention to detail is also impressive; all the facilities (such as the tennis court and horseshoe pit) were very well maintained and little features like the metal boxes located along the trails at the vista points which contained bug spray, binoculars and excellent flashlights (for returning back to the Lodge in the dark after catching a sunset) set it apart from your typical backcountry inn. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MalickNdieng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2009

My husband and I stayed here at the height of leaf season last fall. The leaves
were spectacular and the setting of the lodge enjoys lovely mountain views. We
stayed in Silverbell,and while it was a comfortable cabin, it was not worth the cost.
(Noisy HVAC, hot tub turning off and on all night, spider in the bed, etc).
Especially vexing was the lack of service at meal time... we waited 45 minutes for
our first glass of wine. There was about an hour's wait between the soup course
and the salad course, and unless we spoke up, I am not sure we would have ever
gotten our entrees. The food was great once it arrived, but the service and the wait
made it hard to enjoy. Breakfast the next morning was not much better... had to
get our own coffee (there was a station in the lobby for self-service) and you could
only get the special- no individual orders (like one fried egg) were possible since it
was "leaf season" and they were full. The innkeeper was not responsive. We will not be back, in spite of the yummy chocolate chip cookies!

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank acekingqueenjack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2009

Snowbird Mt. Lodge has an unmatched location on a ridge at about 2,800ft that affords great views. It is very close to the Cherohala Skyway, a sort of miniature Blue Ridge Parkway that extends into Tennessee. Also convenient is Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, with its old-growth trees.

Rooms are nice, but ours was fairly small. It would be worth it to try to get the ones that are a bit larger and have a fridge. Also opt for the "Mountain View", although the "Forest View" is not bad, just limited.

Three good, but not fabulous, meals are provided each day. Service seemed a bit slow and casual at times, especially considering the high price.

The single greatest negative was the hilbilly music playing constantly in the public areas. I actually like this kind of music--sometimes--and appreciate that it is part of the local culture. But I don't want to hear it all the time!

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Frogee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2008

This is a great and relaxing place to stay. There is a lot to do or nothing at all. The food is great--waitstaff are young girls who are friendly and helpful. Robert, the owner knows a lot about wine and is really interesting. Great library. Fun just watching the big groups of goldfinches that hover at the feeders morning and evening. Like everyone else that comes here--it is too short a time.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank Gungadin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Snowbird Mountain Lodge

Address: 4633 Santeetlah Rd, Robbinsville, NC 28771-7824
Location: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Mountains > Robbinsville
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 12 B&Bs / Inns in Robbinsville
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Snowbird Mountain Lodge, a unique and timeless retreat with majestic views, pampering accommodations, warm hospitality, endless adventure and delectable cuisine, is tucked deep in the Nantahala National Forest. Created in 1941, Snowbird continues to be a mountain haven where guests remove themselves from everyday life and connect with one another amidst nature's abundance. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Snowbird Mountain Lodge b&b
Snowbird Mountain Hotel Robbinsville

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