Confession No. 1: I have not been this content in a long time. After a long day hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is mere steps from the Swag’s front door, I filled up the copper tub on our room’s deck overlooking the valley below. Then, I slid into the warm waters, instantly entering a state of bliss. Inside, a fire roared in the stone fireplace.
Confession No. 2: I don’t think I’ve eaten so well in years. All meals are included in the daily rate, which can be a problem for someone who likes to eat, and eat well. The breakfast buffet includes made-to-order omelets, an assortment of breads and pastries, fresh fruit, pancakes and French toast, various meats, and more. Dinners are more formal, with each meal consisting of four delicious courses prepared by the Swag’s new executive chef. Sit by the oversized fireplace, or choose a table with a stunning view.
Confession No. 3: I haven’t enjoyed the outdoors like this in a long time. With more than 900 miles of trails that start at the front door of the inn, the Swag is my idea of camping. Easy strolls. Challenging hikes. Breathtaking views. Come back in time for “high tea,” which takes on a new meaning at the Swag, which sits atop a 5,000-foot mountain. If that’s not enough to do, there’s croquet, badminton, and a Waldenesque pond.
When we were last there we met a couple that had been coming for 14 years; we’re on year two and very much looking forward to our next return. And the one after that…