Have you ever tried something out of the blue and it turned out to be magical? One night in Tapoco proved to be that for me. Let me explain.
I had one night to myself between home stays and I thought I would treat myself to a night in a hotel. The night before the stay I made my reservation at the Historic Tapoco Lodge in Robbinsville, North Carolina. I had been there once for a few moments when I was lost, and I thought then that I wanted to return there one day.
The Tapoco Lodge was built in 1930 by ALCOA. It was used for company functions and corporate getaways during the hydroelectric efforts going on at the time. It changed hands over the years and reopened to the public in 1955. Now the lodge has a rightful place on the National Register of Historic Places.
I am going to save the details of actually getting to The Tapoco for another post. You get there by “riding the dragon”. My friends, that is a story in and of itself!
At The Tapoco you have several choices for lodging. You can stay in the hotel or one of several cabins sprinkled throughout the woods. I opted to stay in one of the cabins. I was thinking it would be rustic but I was wrong. The cabin was so absolutely cozy and inviting. It was small (which is right up my alley) but it felt like home as soon as I walked in the door. I never wanted to leave. I am sure the hotel rooms are lovely, but I cannot imagine that they can even compare to the comfort of the cabins.
The timing of this visit was just after Thanksgiving and the lobby was decorated so beautifully with Christmas trees, sparkling lights, giant bulbs and wreaths galore. A fire was blazing and I set there for a while enjoying the exquisite view of the river nearby. Never have I felt so relaxed sitting in a hotel lobby.
Since the hotel is not an easy place to get to, their hours are curtailed during the winter months. I believe they even close completely for the brunt of winter. Luckily, I wanted to stay over a weekend night and they were still open. As I walked the grounds on a cool, yet sunny, November afternoon, I noticed a rather large quonset hut which turned out to be an actual working movie theater. At 7:30, the movies start. I thought that was wonderful. At 8:00, you can go to the communal fire pit and enjoy smore’s and popcorn. Those are amenities you just do not get everywhere.
I was starting to get hungry and wondered what my choices were going to be out here in the middle of, basically, nowhere. There are two restaurants on the premises. You can enjoy a very fine and proper Appalachian meal at Jasper’s or you can sink your teeth into some good old-fashioned cooking at the Slickrock Riverside Grill. Since I am more of a hamburger-kinda gal, I went to the grill. The salad, burger and fries were some of the best I had eaten and very fresh. You can sit outside enjoying the river or watch a game on the inside. Could this place get any better?
Yes, it can. The grounds of The Tapoco are breathtaking. There are 120 acres of the most stunning landscapes you can find. There are mountains, rivers, waterfalls, and forest all around. You can choose from several hiking trails or go biking…it is your choice. Beauty is all around.
Everyone I met there was truly friendly, even the maintenance man waved as he drove by in his golf cart. The staff are trained in the art of customer service and it shows everywhere.
I know this sounds like a long-winded commercial for the hotel, but I was just really impressed. It was one of those respites that comes along when you are so tired and overwhelmed. My few hours there proved to be so healing. Everything from seeing the Christmas lights to enjoying a small hike around the grounds helped to calm me and restored my focus. A place can do that and I am so glad I got to visit this place.
I am sure summers are a little more chaotic due but the time I spent was time well spent and I would do it again!
Here’s to a respite for a weary traveler and for enjoying the little luxuries that make life truly amazing.
P.S. I have pictures, but I cannot find them now. Once I locate them I will post them.