Westglow Resort & Spa – Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Sipping wine while sitting in rocking chairs on the westward facing porch at Westglow Resort & Spa at sunset is a memory that will not soon be forgotten. The evening sky over Grandfather Mountain and the Blue Ridge Mountain range was awash in the colors of the brilliant setting sun. The spectacular orange and yellow glow that radiates from behind the mountains and clouds is how this resort, located on a mountaintop in North Carolina, became known as “Westglow.”
Being situated on a mountaintop often affords breathtaking views and interesting weather patterns. Many residents in the South travel to higher ground to avoid the heat of summer and and to experience the tranquility of winter. In the fall, guests come to the mountains to see nature’s canvas splashed with the vibrant colors of changing leaves while spring brings the vibrant flowers of this rich soil. The weather on the mountain is always in motion.
As we were sitting in the sunporch the next morning, enjoying our first cup of coffee before breakfast, we watched as storm clouds quickly rolled in. The wind gently rattled the window panes as the clouds whisked by. “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a few minutes,” our server told us as he took our breakfast order. Having heard that saying countless times before, you realize just how true it is as the approaching storm quickly passed and the sun came out illuminating the early hours of the day. Located in North Central North Carolina, we now understand why this mountain community earned its name of Blowing Rock.
Nestled in the Blue Ridge mountains, overlooking Grandfather Mountain, Westglow Resort & Spa is an intimate luxury Relais & Chateaux property. Once home to the artist Elliott Dangerfield, this Greek Revival Mansion and seven room resort feels more like a private family mountain retreat than a hotel. Of course, that might be due in part to its current owners, Bonnie and Jamie Schaefer, who are very hands-on and their presence and touches are felt in everything from the personal photographs hanging prominently over the bar in the library to “Bonnie’s Tomato Salad” on the menu at the property’s restaurant, Rowland’s, that is named for her father. The executive chef tells us Bonnie tests everything on the menu and even visits the Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings, returning with some of the produce that will be used throughout the week, particularly the gorgeous heirloom tomatoes.
From the public rooms with some of the original furnishings and artwork of the home, to the incredibly attentive staff, Westglow offers a casual mountain experience that is beautifully blended with upscale service and amenities. Retiring to your room to find luxurious linens and bedding with Aqua Parma toiletries is a welcome respite from a day spent touring the charming mountain town of Blowing Rock or any number of outdoor activities offered in the region, such as hiking, fly fishing, canoeing, or playing tennis at the resort.