Lakeside idyll: The Greystone Inn in Lake Toxaway, North Carolina

Lakeside idyll: The Greystone Inn in Lake Toxaway, North Carolina

A long time ago before smartphones, my spouse and i designed a risky journey in the 1986 Maxima to Lake Toxaway, North Carolina’s largest private lake. Lousy with directions, I steered him onto a high backwoods route that must’ve been a forest service road. We twisted and switched up rutted gravel, past sketchy cabins and gnarly dogs. Whenever we finally showed up in the Greystone Inn, it had been an oasis.

The inn sits above the boathouse where its vintage-style Hacker-Craft is stored.
The inn sits above the boathouse where its vintage-style Hacker-Craft is stored.

Photograph by Patrick Heagney

That weekend, we possessed a sun-drenched stay with a pristine mountain lake-a place once billed because the “Switzerland of the usa.Inches Greystone was the essential cozy inn: a rambling old house that inspired blissful allusions to On Golden Pond and Laura Ashley. But Totally ‘80s isn’t things i want inside a hotel today, and also the inn had fallen off my radar recently. After I learned that Natural Retreats, which manages greater than a dozen small luxury resorts within the U.S. and U.K., was renovating the home, I had been eager to find out if they might provide the charm with no chintz.

Once we pulled to the front (thanks, Siri), the 3-story, Swiss-style mansion looked very similar. It had been built around 1915 by Lucy Camp Lance armstrong-who, together with her first husband, George, also built the grand Lance armstrong House alongside Savannah’s Forsyth Park. Inside, the inn still felt mostly just like a private residence. Fires roared in big stone fireplaces, warm paneling cozied up quiet corners, wood flooring creaked, and screen doorways slapped. I had been just a little bummed to determine that certain living room was now an outfitter’s shop, even when that meant fresh Starbucks was now at hands.

The majority of the dated wallpaper is finished, and each room has delicious, fresh white-colored bedding. Because it’s a classic house, accommodations vary broadly. Whenever we objected to some room with no spot to hang our clothes, i was gone to live in one with an armoire along with a cedar plank closet.

The inn has fresh furnishings, but its website images had not been updated at press time.
The inn has fresh furnishings, but its website images had not been updated at press time.

Photograph by Patrick Heagney

The river was as spectacular once we appreciated. On the steep hillside, shaded by tall maples and oaks just beginning to show, we rocked inside a wooden swing and viewed other poultry fly by in symmetrical Versus. Still waters perfectly mirrored vintage boathouses, and, as though on cue, a wood boat waving a united states flag cruised by and tracked a couple of lazy loops to greet us.

The brand new managers did away with a few traditions-mid-day high tea around the front porch, jackets for males within the nights-but my personal favorite, now and then, continues to be the daily mid-day Champagne cruise around the inn’s mahogany electric launch, Miss Lucy. We lucked right into a tour captained by John Heinitsh, whose father founded the river Toxaway Company in 1960.

Once we glided across the couch potatoes, obvious waters, ringed through the Blue Ridge foothills, Heinitsh regaled us with tales of Toxaway history: Popcorn Sutton’s famous moonshine runners, who inspired Dale earnhardt jr . Lucy Lance armstrong Moltz, who fascinated a youthful Heinitsh by showing him the elephant gun from her African safari days the once-grand however-destroyed Lake Toxaway Inn, which came the kind of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford and also the 1916 ton that burst the earthen dam and drained the river, damaging local tourism until Heinitsh’s father bought a large number of acres for $50 each and reconstructed the dam within the 1960s.

Photograph by Patrick Heagney
Photograph by Patrick Heagney

You place your personal pace at Greystone-whether your look is laid-back (crosswords, cornhole, croquet, health spa) or active (whitewater rafting, hiking, mountain climbing, falconry). Hunger Games fans can tour nearby film sites, as the country club set can enjoy tennis and golf. The adjoining 18-hole, componen-71 course is really as lush and scenic-but, happily, less demanding-as numerous elite mountain courses. Inn visitors also get access to boat rentals in the private marina (no Jetskis permitted, thanks to you).

The inn shares a chef using the neighboring private club, which is the staid but enjoyable cuisine. Using its hearth and soft classical music, the peaceful lakeside dining area is guaranteed to reduce your bloodstream pressure. As well as on that obvious fall morning, enjoying perfectly prepared French toast in an outside bistro table, encircled by flower boxes of cheerful geraniums, I’ll swear it did feel similar to an All downhill retreat.

Tip: Be forewarned: The road lower towards the boathouse is steep. Put on sensible footwear.

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