Guest Directory

Welcome to Highland Lake Inn & Resort, we’re glad you’re here!

This resort is the culmination of all our passion and creativity. We wanted to create a place where people could reconnect and reunite, strengthen relationships and begin new ones, gather as groups or escape as couples. From day one, this has been about creating an experience, not running a business. Highland Lake Inn & Resort allows us to focus our energies on doing something that just feels “right” and provides a “canvas” upon which we can work to make it even better.

We both have a love for animals and a passion for sustainable living and organic gardening (that Jack learned from his grandmother in Flat Rock, Michigan many years ago). So, our wonderful historic retreat here in Flat Rock, North Carolina, is an extension of that passion. We are devoted to protecting and preserving our environment. We continually strive to find more efficient and environmentally sensitive ways to use our energy resources and to offer our guests an environmentally friendly place to stay for years to come.

We believe that great food should always be served. During our past travels to Spain, Mexico, Germany, Portugal and France, we picked up a taste for great food, delicious wines and delightful service. With fresh vegetables coming straight out of the organic garden, some of the best chefs around, warm and friendly servers and a wine list that continually wins the Wine Spectator award, we now foster the same great dining experience at our on-site restaurant, Season’s.

Last and surely not least, we believe that genuine hospitality is the product of wonderful people working in a company that stresses honesty, compassion, and accountability.  We believe in doing the right thing, even if it costs a little more time or money. We needed people who shared our core values and could take pride in delighting our guests with great service and delicious food. When we came here in 1999 we found some of those people already here and since then many more have joined our adventure.

Throughout the 26 acres that constitute Highland Lake Inn & Resort, we’ve worked to ensure the lodging, the amenities, the food and the green areas harmonize to create a sustainable and nurturing environment. Our forest trails, farm animals, organic gardens, historic lodging, garden-centered restaurant, and peaceful waters free you from distractions and give you time to focus on the real things in your life.  We hope you will become part of this vision!

Our mission is to delight each and every guest... Every time!

Not just to satisfy, but rather to delight you with the magic that is inherent in our beautiful, lakeside country setting, the uniqueness of our historic and spacious lodging and meeting facilities, our gracious and friendly service, and our superb, garden-centered cuisine!

We believe we succeed in this mission, but we’d rather have you be the judge of our success.  Each guest is asked to submit a comment card.  We discuss each of the returned cards at our weekly managers’ meeting.  Your input is very important to our ability to continue to achieve our mission and we appreciate your assistance.  We look forward to meeting you soon!

Sincerely,

Jack & Linda Grup, Resort Owners

Our History

1789
Original Land Grant to John Earle, who established the first grist mill (to the right, in front of the waterfall as you enter the property) and opened the first road to the area.

1807
Officially named “Flat Rock”.

1845
Charles Baring built “Solitude” on a hill overlooking the lake.

1872
Sold to George Trenholm, Secretary of Confederate Treasury, who lived there for one year before selling.

1873
The Honorable William Aiken-Governor of South Carolina purchased the property and passed it on to his daughter, Mrs. A. Burnet Rhett, whose father-in-law, Robert Barnwell Rhett, owned “The Charleston Mercury” and was the author of the first draft of the Ordinance of Secession. The mill was renamed Rhett’s Mill and was located on Rhett’s Mill Pond, now called Highland Lake.

1910
Highland Lake Club-Joseph Holt and a group of Columbia and Charleston, SC, businessmen organized the Highland Lake Club as a corporation.  They bought nearly 500 acres of land in the Flat Rock area and enlarged the lake to the largest in the county at the time.  The land of this new corporation was subdivided into large lots, which were to be sold for summer homes.  An owner of a lot had all the privileges of the lake, such as boating, swimming, and fishing, as well as the privileges of the Highland Lake Club House.  It was a big rustic type hotel that had all of the modern conveniences of the day including a large lobby and dance hall, which were to be lit by electricity-a rare thing in this area in those days.  The Club would furnish hotel accommodations to club members and their guests and serve meals to those members who had built cottages.  The Club had its’ own orchestra that played at meal times and for dances.  The Club must have been the epitome of elegance, for even before it was completed, Mr. and Mrs. George Vanderbilt visited and were very impressed.

1915
Highland Lake Inn & Resort served dual purposes during this time period: as Fleet School for Boys, a preparatory school for boys that operated during the fall, winter, and spring months. During the summer months, it operated as a hotel. Unfortunately, the Inn burned but you can still see some of the footings.

1919 
The Carolina Military and Naval Academy (under the auspices of the Georgia Military Academy).  Colonel J.C. Woodward purchased Highland Lake Inn & Resort and the surrounding property, including the cottages and the lake, just before World War I.  Colonel Woodward established Camp Highland Lake as a school for boys offering a choice of either military or naval training. Upon the death of Colonel Woodward in 1939, Major C.D. Woodward, his son, continued as owner and director of the Camp until 1947. 

1943
Robroy Farquhar opened “The Old Mill Playhouse” in the mill, starring “Kim Hunter”. The theater later moved and became the Flat Rock Playhouse.

1947
Camp Brandeis, is a summer camp and school for young people of the Jewish faith.

1950’s
Our Lady of the Hill’s Camp, a Catholic camp for boys and girls on Madonna Lake, now Highland Lake

1985
Highland Lake Inn Conference Center and Restaurant opened and operated by the Lindsey Family.

1999
Highland Lake Inn & Resort operated by the Grup family.  Today the entire property has been lovingly restored to offer unique and charming dining and lodging experiences.  Our award-winning restaurant takes pride in offering fine dining in a casual country setting where seasonal menus are based on the flow of produce from our organic gardens.

2004
The Old Dining Room is renamed Season’s Restaurant.

General Information

For Your Convenience

The Business Center is located at the Front Desk and has Internet Access and Printer

Extra Pillows are available at the Front Desk – dial “0” – Hypoallergenic, Down, Firm Support, Memory Foam

If you discover that extra linen or toiletries (such as toothbrushes, soap, toothpaste, shampoo….) are needed,  please dial “0” for the Front Desk and they will have them delivered

Biltmore Tickets available

Assistance with “tee” times and special rate at Kenmure Golf Course – ask at the Front Desk

Grills are available – ask at the Front Desk

A Safe is available at the Front Desk, but please no more than $500 

Our Housekeeping services are by request only,  Dial “0” from your room phone if you wish to schedule maid service. Towels and coffee are also available at the Front Desk

Fee-based amenities

Roll-Away beds (select rooms) - $20 one-time fee

Pack & Play Cribs - $20 one-time fee

Golf Cart Rentals

Please provide 24 hour notice

2 seater - $59 per day/$89 per day weekend

4 seater - $89 per day/$149 per day weekend

Perfect Pampering

Add something extra special to your stay with a bottle of wine, champagne, chocolate covered strawberries (in season), truffles, beautiful bouquet, or fruit & cheese tray waiting for you in your room!  Call the front desk for options and prices.

Farm Animals

Please do not feed the animals any plants or leaves as some are poisonous to them.  Apples and carrots are okay. Not all of the animals belong to Highland Lake Inn & Resort. Please do not leave food out on the grounds.

Pets

All pets must be up-to-date with vaccinations and flea medication. Dogs must be on a leash on the grounds of Highland Lake Inn & Resort. Please pick up after your pets. 

Smoking

We are a non-smoking facility, but offer patio and balcony rooms for our smoking guests.  There is a cleaning charge of $200 to guests smoking in a room.

Pool

Our Pool is open from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day Monday. Pool towels are available at the Front Desk. Please do not bring your room towels to the pool. For the safety of our guests, the pool will close for severe weather. Pool hours are:

Monday  -  12:00pm–9:00pm

Tuesday-Sunday  -  9:30am–9:00pm

Quiet Time 

Quiet time for Highland Lake Inn & Resort is observed between the hours of 11:00pm and 10:00am. Please be respectful of other guests.

Internet & Phone

Internet Instructions

For your convenience we offer complimentary standard wireless internet.  We are on a secure network; the password for our standard connection is listed on the back of your keycard holder.  You will be able to go to your Network Connections and see the available wireless internet connections.

If you are experiencing difficulties connecting to the internet, please dial “0” for assistance.

We also have an internet lounge at Season’s at Highland Lake (our restaurant on grounds).  There you are able to get a good wireless signal and able to enjoy a drink or appetizer while you surf the web.  Dial “8203” for hours of operation.

Phone Instructions

All Local calls and Toll-Free calls are free

For Local calls:  Simply dial the number (we are area code 828)

For Long Distance calls: 1+area code+ number

To access Voice Mail or Messages, press *9999 and follow prompts

To Call Other Rooms on grounds, use the four-digit
extension number:

Cabins: 7+ Room #: Example (7101 = Cabin 101)

Lodge: 7+3+ Room # : Example (7301 = Lodge #1)

Woodward House: 7 +4+ Room # : Example (7401 = WH #1)

Cottages:

  • Azalea: 7202
  • Waterlily: 7201
  • Dogwood: 7203
  • Laurel: 7204
  • Periwinkle: 7206
  • Primrose: 7501
  • Honeysuckle: 7205

For Main Office: Dial 0

Season’s at Highland Lake: Dial 8201

Highland Lake Inn’s Direct Number: (828) 693-6812

Emergency: 911

Henderson County Sheriff: 828-697-4596

Pardee Hospital: 828-693-6522

Safety & Security

Your Vehicle

Lock your vehicle and do not leave money or valuable items (e.g. radar detector, car phone visible inside). We are not responsible for loss.

Traveling

Be observant when sightseeing or traveling. Stay in well lit areas and heavily traveled areas. Don’t display large amounts of cash.

Guest Room Security

For additional security utilize the deadbolt provided on your door upon entering and secure windows and sliding glass doors.  This will prevent the door from being opened by a regular room key.  As an additional precaution, please secure the safety chain lock and keep your windows closed and locked.  Do not admit persons to your room without first making identification. A one way viewer is provided in your door for your convenience. If there is any doubt about a person’s true identity, please contact the front desk.

Keys

Safeguard your key; do not leave with others or leave your key unattended.

Reporting

Please report any suspicious activity, malfunctioning locks or security equipment to management

Fire

Please familiarize yourself with the location of the nearest fire exit stairway.  Report fire or smoke to the hotel operator. In the unlikely event of a fire, please move quickly but calmly to the stairs and exit the building. 

Recreational Activities

Please familiarize yourself and abide by the posted rules concerning the use of the swimming pool and exercise or other recreational equipment.

We hope that these procedures will contribute to your comfort and well-being during your stay at our hotel.

Season's at Highland Lake

Where Historic Charm Meets Contemporary Cuisine

Season’s at Highland Lake restaurant gives diners a premier culinary experience that is worlds away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Entertaining guests year-round for breakfast, lunch and dinner, our restaurant is as diverse and authentic as the four distinct seasons from which its name is derived.

Hours vary due to occupancy and season.
For hours of operation, please dial “0”
or visit our website at HLIresort.com/seasons/location

For menus, please visit Season's Website

We will gladly charge meals to your room; just inform your server as to what room you are staying in.

Take-out is available from both Lunch and Dinner menus. 

To ensure that a table will be available for you when you are ready to dine, please make reservations by dialing 8201 from your room. Reservations are always recommended!

Forego complimentary breakfast on Sunday mornings and receive an $8.00 credit per person for Season’s Sunday Brunch Buffet. Reservations are required.

In the event of a power outage, Season’s Restaurant runs on a generator and is able to prepare food for our guests.

Resort Amenities

Please visit the Front Desk to check out recreational or electronic equipment.  Equipment can only be checked out by ages 18 years or older.

Outdoor Activities

  • Canoes
  • Paddleboats
  • Kayaks
  • Bicycles
  • Outdoor Pool (unheated) Open Memorial Day to Labor Day
  • Volleyball
  • Horseshoes
  • Recreational Games: Badminton, Croquet, Bocce, Football, Frisbee, etc.
  • Tennis Courts
  • Basketball Court
  • Tree Swing
  • Hammocks
  • Walking/Hiking Paths
  • Fishing – Catch and Release - will need your own pole and bait

Indoor Activities

  • Board Games (available at the Front Desk)
  • DVD/VCR/CD Players (available at the Front Desk) 
  • Pool/Billiard, Ping Pong & Fooseball
    (Located in the downstairs game room of our Historic Lodge. The Game room is not available when groups have exclusive use of Historic Lodge.)

Our Recommendations

We know you could eat at Season’s for every meal from breakfast to dinner and Sunday Brunch, but just in case you choose to venture out, we’ve put together a few of our favorite local eateries and breweries.

Restaurants

UMI
Established in the summer of 2006 with the goal of providing the highest quality Japanese cuisine and sushi in Western North Carolina.
633 North Main Street, Hendersonville, NC 28792 
(828) 698-8048

Flat Rock Village Bakery
Baked goods & cafe fare, including wood-fired pizza, along with coffee, beer & wine in relaxed digs.
2710 Greenville Hwy, Flat Rock, NC 28731
(828) 693-1313

West First Wood Fired
Handcrafted food with a Mediterranean aesthetic, and feature whole-wheat thin crust pizzas, organic pastas, rustic salads and soups, desserts and breads.
101b 1st Avenue West, Hendersonville, NC 28792
(828) 693-1080

Postero
Serving New American fare & craft cocktails in a casually elegant bi-level space.
401 N Main St, Hendersonville, NC 28792
(828) 595-9676

Campfire Grill
Campfire Grill is the embodiment of founder, Starr Teel’s vision for a neighborhood bar and grill where locals and visitors could hang out, get to know each other, enjoy great drinks and food and learn about what has brought many to Flat Rock over the years - our great area summer camps.
2770 Greenville Hwy, Flat Rock, NC 28731
(828) 595-9849

Mezzaluna
Sleek, contemporary spot serving wood-fired pizzas & Italian fare, plus beer, wine & spirits.
226 N Main St, Hendersonville, NC 28792
(828) 697-6575

Breweries & Vineyards

Below is a list of local breweries and vineyards along with their distance from Highland Lake Inn & Resort.

Appalachian Ridge Artisan Ciders   |  6.6 miles away
Blue Ghost Brewing Company   |  15.7 miles away
Bold Rock Hard Cider   |  13 miles away
Burning Blush Brewery   |  17.1 miles away
Burntshirt Vineyards   |  6.5 miles away
D9 Brewing Company   |  3.6 miles away
Dry Falls Brewing Company   |  3.2 miles away
Flat Rock Cider Co.Taproom at Jeter Mountain Farms   |  3.5 miles away
Guidon Brewing    |  4 miles away
Marked Tree Vineyard   |  5.6 miles away
Mills River Brewing Co   |  12.6 miles away
Oklawaha Brewing Company   |  3.4 miles away
Point Lookout Vineyards   |  12.6 miles away
Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards   |  6.7 miles away
Sawyer Springs Vineyard   |  9.4 miles away
Sideways Farm & Brewery   |  13.4 miles away
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.   |  17.7 miles away
Southern Appalachian Brewery   |  4 miles away
Stone Ashe Vineyards   |  11.8 miles away
Triskelion Brewing Company   |  3.7 miles away

25 Local Favorites

1.   Visit the Flat Rock Playhouse – Flat Rock, NC (1.9 miles)

The State Theatre of North Carolina.  Two locations, a 500-seat theatre located in the heard of Historic Flat Rock and a 250- seat performance space in Historic Downtown Hendersonville the Flat Rock Playhouse features a season of eight plays and musicals as well as the concert series, Music on the Rock. 

2.   Visit the Carl Sandburg Home - Flat Rock, NC (2.7 miles)

Tour the home of the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and biographer of Abraham Lincoln as well as hike over 5 miles of trails and see the goat and dairy barn featuring the descendants of Mrs. Sandburg’s prize-winning herd.

3.   Tour the WNC Air Museum - Hendersonville, NC (2.5 miles)

Home to a unique collection of airplanes celebrating the Golden Age of General Aviation and the decades surrounding the Second World War, when flying commanded the world’s attention.

4. Visit the Henderson County Heritage Museum - Hendersonville, NC (3.6 Miles)

This museum tells the story of Henderson County through exhibits, technology and programs celebrating the history, education and culture of our county.  

5.   Explore Downtown Hendersonville - (3.8 miles)

Play at Hands On! Child Gallery. This Gallery provides education exhibits that stimulate imagination and motivates learning in a fun, safe environment. Also visit the Mineral and Lapidary Museum of Henderson County. Established in 1997, it houses exhibits from North Carolina, the Smithsonian, English Mineral, Indian Artifacts, fossils, and fluorescent minerals and gems. There are also many different coffee shops, restaurants, and boutiques to browse.

6.  Shop at the Henderson County Farmers Curb Market - Hendersonville, NC (4 miles)

This unique farmers market requires sellers to be residents of Henderson County and all items at the market must be locally grown or hand-made.

7.   View Jump Off Rock – Hendersonville,NC (7.8 miles)

A scenic overlook which provides a panoramic view of the Blue Ridge and Pisgah mountain ranges.  It also holds an Indian legend, that over 300 years ago a young Indian maiden received word that her young Indian Chief had been killed in battle, so she climbed to the edge of the rock and jumped off.  Legend has it that on moonlit nights you can see the ghost of the maiden.  

8.   Explore the Historic Johnson Farm - Hendersonville (8 miles)

This farm is a great example of a late 19th and early 20th century farm and tourist retreat.  The entire structure was handmade from bricks that were fired on site from French Broad River mud.  

9.   The Gorge - Saluda, NC (9.1 miles)

The Gorge overlooks 14,000 acres of Green River Gamelands wilderness. Located in Saluda it is the ultimate zip line canopy adventure. The Gorge features 11 zip lines, sky bridges, 3 huge rappels and 90 mile panoramic views. 

10. Shop at the WNC Farmers Market - Asheville, NC (24.6 Miles)

Fresh from the farm fruits and vegetables are a main attraction.  There is also a vast selection of handmade mountain crafts, preserves, flowers and ornamental plants.

11. Walk the North Carolina Arboretum - Asheville, NC (22.7 miles)

10 miles of hiking and biking trails for every skill level.  65 acres of cultivated gardens, one of the nation’s most unique bonsai collections and exhibits by regional artists and craftspeople.

12. Visit the Biltmore Estate - Asheville, NC (29 miles)

Tour America’s largest home, with 250-rooms, acres of formal and informal gardens, Antler Hill Village, a Winery tour and free wine tastings.

13. Venture to Downtown Asheville (29.3 miles)

Downtown Asheville is a rare place. Artists and street musicians converge with tourists and locals for a vibrancy rarely found in a city of this size. In Asheville there is 30+ galleries to stroll through, always live music, unique boutiques, fine cuisine, as well as several locally owned coffee shops. 

14. Taste WNC 

WNC is home to 20+ local craft breweries. Whether you are a beer connoisseur or just starting to get a taste for beer Asheville’s beer scene features an amazing selection of bars, brewpubs, micro craft breweries, cideries and restaurants. Sample 100+ local brews from dozens of western North Carolina mountain craft breweries. Asheville, per capita, has one of the highest rates of craft brew consumption in the Southeast.

15. Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway

469 miles of scenic parkway that follows closely the highest ranges between the Shenandoah and the Great Smoky Mountains National Parks. 

16. Hike Holmes Educational State Forest - Brevard, NC (13.4 miles)

With well-marked trails, accents by exhibits and displays depicting ecology of a managed forest this makes the perfect place for a picnic.  

17. Explore Dupont Forest - Brevard, NC (17.1 miles)

10,415 acres of forestland and home to some of the most beautiful waterfalls. Also the site of where parts of the Hunger Games movie were filmed. 

18. Visit Pisgah National Forest 

A great place to hike, fish, horseback ride, rock climb, bike or have a picnic.  Also home to Sliding Rock, The Fish Hatchery and Looking Glass Falls.

19. Visit Chimney Rock Park - Chimney Rock, NC (21.1 miles) 

A Hollywood backdrop to The Last of the Mohicans, A Breed Apart, Dirty Dancing and Firestarter, the 535 million year old Chimney Rock has been an iconic focal point in the Western North Carolina mountains for well over a century.  

20. Visit Downtown Greenville, SC (36.6 miles)

Downtown Greenville never seizes to amaze. Falls Park is located downtown and contains the Liberty Bridge that “appears to be floating in air” over Reedy River’s 60ft falls. Downtown is also home to the Peace Center, an arts center that is home to everything from ballets to The Greenville Symphony. 

21. Shop the Flat Rock Tailgate Market (1.5 miles)

Handcrafted and selected by local farmers and artisans, you can find great gift items, something special for your home or garden and lots of interesting items throughout the season. Many of the artisans will also take custom orders for your specific needs. Open every Thursday from 3-6 PM, May-October.

22. Explore The Park at Flat Rock  (0.6 miles)

This park was previously a golf course that has been converted to a recreation area for the general public. There is a fantastic children’s playground and a mix of paved, and gravel walking trails that meander through meadows past ponds and streams. There is also a picnic area that is very nice as well.

23. Visit Point Lookout Vineyards (12.5 miles)

Located on the Southeast Slope of Point Lookout Mountain, enjoy stunning wines that are just as wonderful as the views. 

24. Pick Apples at Sky Top Orchard (4.5 miles)

Pick your own apples and enjoy panoramic mountain views, orchard ponds with ducks and geese, a barnyard area with sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, peacocks and more, a bamboo forest to explore and lots of picnic areas. Open from early August to late November.

25. Go Mining at Elijah Mountain Gem Mine (5.9 miles)

You become a prospector from the 1800’s and mine for real gemstones and gold that you can keep! They provide everything you need to have a great time finding gems like Rubies, Sapphires, Emeralds, Quartz crystals, Citrine, Amethyst, and more!

Weddings & Groups

Wedding Information

We believe that your wedding should be one of the most memorable days of your life. At Highland Lake Inn & Resort, we want to help you plan the special day you have always wanted.  It would be our pleasure to answer any questions or provide additional information.

Learn more about Weddings

Perfect Every Occasion

Birthdays, Anniversary, Celebration of Life, Baby Showers, Engagement Parties -  You name it, we would love to host it! We have a variety of spaces available and can accommodate up to 200 guests.

Learn more about Occasions

Family Reunions

If you are wanting to enjoy time away with the whole family, this is the perfect place to gather everybody together. With a variety of lodging and dining options, everyone will enjoy the laid-back atmosphere. 

Learn more about Family Reunions

Corporate Meetings & Events

We offer corporate groups the versatility they expect with an experience they will never forget. We have a variety of options, all paired with the accommodations and dining we’re known for. So, get that team out of the office and bring them to a place where productivity and inspiration happen naturally.

Learn more about Meetings & Events