Fire Mountain Inn

Address: 700 Hickory Hill Rd, Highlands, North Carolina, 28741-8527, United States | 3 star inn
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This 3 star inn, located on 700 Hickory Hill Rd, Highlands, is near Dry Falls and Sky Valley Ski Area.
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          • Free parking
          • Pets allowed


          • Suites


          • Continental Breakfast

          Historical Traveler Reviews Fire Mountain Inn Highlands

          Quite Memorable!


          We had the most romantic, relaxing vacation at Fire Mountain Inn. Staff went above and beyond the call of duty throughout our stay -- from the wonderful breakfasts each morning to the fabulous views.

          Musts? Sunset atop the pasture, those delicious biscuits at breakfast, a drive to Dry Falls, a treehouse hammock...

          We're planning another visit next year!

          OK, but nothing special


          Our recent stay at the Fire Mountain Inn was uneventful and the limited service was adequate. Our main issue was the inn lacked character and warmth.

          The views from the top of the mountain are nice, though you must know there are several houses right next to the property, so this isn't exactly a remote getaway.

          Fire Mountain Inn does have much character and warmth if one is able to relate to such in contemporary structures whose interior design of simple clean lines create a Zen like feeling enabling one to connect to the spectacular setting easily and more closely. We have had guests that could only relate to traditional structures and traditional interior design. These guests were not comfortable with structures and interiors that relate strongly to outside nature and that are simple and clean in design. This subject relates to a guests' personal taste and is subjective.

          Fire Mountain sits in one of the most spectacular settings and locations in the Highlands. The natural beauty of the property is very enchanting and fascinating. The long range views from the top of the mountain are spectacular and Fire Mountain is the only property that we know of in the Highlands that has them. We know of no other hospitality property in the Highlands with more seclusion.

          We are pleased that these guests thought that the views from the top of Fire Mountain are nice. Our views have been written about from Southern Living Magazine to most recently in the July 2007 issue of Atlanta Magazine as "spectacular long range mountain views" and "spectacular mountaintop views".

          Yes we do have several mountain houses on the property that are used for guest and/or staff accommodation. These structures are in the same design and vernacular as the other buildings that make up Fire Mountain.

          Fire Mountain truly is a very unique and special retreat from the outside world.

          Mark Gleesing

          General Manager

          Fire Mountain Inn and Cabins

          Consider the Source When Reading the Two Reviews Below


          We just returned from our sixth stay at Fire Mountain since 2001. You will not find a friendlier more helpful and professional staff anywhere, the accommodations are excellent, the setting is spectacular and the rates are very reasonable for the quality and excellent service that you receive. The Fire Mountain experience is truly top notch.

          "Terrible", we are from the planet Earth as are all of the guests that visit Fire Mountain and as are the guests that come back over and over. You insult and demean the thousands upon thousands of guests that have come before you and who have had a positive and wonderful experience. We have stayed in each of the six Cabins at Fire Mountain during our six visits. It is a lie when one says "no blinds" as each Cabin has either beautiful solid pine blinds or beautiful loft drapes and the furniture is quality and looks as if it comes from Pottery Barn or Crate & Barrel not "Kmart". All kitchens have full appliances and are fully equipped down to the paper products and are not "just a stove". There is no "long list of rules that are quite strange". You get a very luxurious experience at Fire Mountain but it certainly is not a 5 star establishment nor does Fire Mountain tout itself as such and the rates are very far from luxury 5 star rates. It is quite evident that they did not stay long enough to even begin to know if the experience at Fire Mountain is "terrible" or not.

          "Horrible", Fire Mountain makes it very clear on their website and at check-in that if you stay in a Cabin with a wood burning fireplace that leaving a fire burning unattended is totally unacceptable as the location is remote and the area fire department is volunteer. Guests are required to approve by their signature a security deposit agreement for stays in Cabins (this agreement is also listed on the Fire Mountain website for anyone to review prior to making a reservation). "Horrible" says "I technically 'violated' the fine print and left the fire unattended (inadvertently, I might add!)." This sounds like a person victimized by their own circumstances and someone that is not willing to take responsibility for their own actions and agreements. Saying "They made me feel like an irresponsible pyromaniac teenager!" sounds on target.

          "Terrible" thinks Fire Mountain accommodations are Kmart caliber and "Horrible" has no problem with the facilities and thought "the Inn and Cabin were lovely". Quite a difference in opinion.

          "Horrible" also thought the retreat was not as pristine as it is made out to be because you could see houses within view from around the property. There is no place in the southeast that I know of (except maybe in some National Forests) where you can look out 40 to 50 miles on a clear day, as you can at Fire Mountain, and not see some houses in the view!

          Consider the source when reading the two reviews below. Fire Mountain is a wonderful place as indicated by the other reviews listed and should be experienced by folks that desire a delightful and extraordinary experience that you can return to over and over and still feel the same way each time you visit.

          Fire Mountain is not your ordinary retreat or experience. If you desire a conventional experience Fire Mountain is not the place for you. If you desire to experience one of the most unique and spectacular mountaintop hideaways in America where the everyday stresses of the outside world are removed so that you may enjoy peace, quiet, serenity and spectacular beauty then go experience Fire Mountain. Add to that a most professional staff that truly understands hospitality and you have all of the ingredients necessary for a most extraordinary experience which we have enjoyed many times at Fire Mountain since 2001.



          My problem with Fire Mountain Inn is not with the facilities. The Inn and cabin were lovely, though not the pristine retreat it is made out to be (suburban style houses are within view all around the property). My problem has to do with the complete lack of any staff (and service) and with the fact thaty they will nickle and dime you to death.

          We rented the Red Cedar cabin and were told that there was fire wood for us to light a fire. We were specifically told that there was only one starter log for the first night but if we wanted to buy another log for the morning we could do so. Well, we did just that and lit a fire at 6:30 AM. Upon check out (around 10:30), we doused the fire in the fireplace and left.

          Imagine my surprise when I receive a formal letter in the mail a few days later stating I had "forfeited the security deposit" by leaving the fire in the fireplace. The fee? $275! Apparently the starter log did not get doused enough and reignited, though there was no inherent danger as I had securely screed the fireplace shut after I doused it.

          Now I understand that I technically 'violated' the fine print and left the fire unattended (inadvertenly, I might add!), however the harsh way in which the letter was written ("In all of my 10 years of management of the Inn I have never seen such blatant disregard for our security deposit policy") along with photos and three 'witness' signatures. They made me feel like an irresponsible pyromaniac teenager!

          By the way, the place was abandoned, so I guess they have to make more revenue by nickle and diming their rare guest. Be wise and go elsewhere!!!!!!!!!



          I don't know what planet these other folks are from but we thought this place was terrible. First the ads you see on this place and what you may be told pn the phone are not even close to what is true. Sure it on top of a mountain and it has some views but there is no service to speak of. If you want to do every thing yourself this is for you. They also have a long list of rules that are quite strange. We were told about a kitchen in our cabin well it was an stove in the den. The funiture is from kmart and no blinds on the windows. This is not even close to a luxury place. Don't be fooled. We did not even stay the night, moved on to something better. Don't be sucked in by that slick web site. Go somewhere else!!!!!!!!! Way to much $$$$$ for nothing.

          Blue Moss Cabin was wonderful...


          We loved it. The cabin was more than we hoped for, very quite and relaxing.

          One morning we woke up to the sounds of a cow mowing and then there were a couple of deer in the front of the cabin.

          The bed was a queen, very comfortable and great linens and towel.

          There was a huge sunken whirlpool type hot tube that made up for the lack of tv or radio..also we were attended a nearby conference, so you might want a travel alarm clock.

          We were very pleased and would return to a cabin.

          We'll definately return!!


          The property and setting are spectacular! Add one of the friendliest and most knowledgeable staffs we have every encountered in all our travels and you have Fire Mountain. For such a small place you would not believe how wonderful the cuisine is. Fire Mountian cuisine is absolutely fresh in every respect and so beautifully prepared and served. The Romantic Picnic was so unique - a must try!! This special place will have our return business!!



          This review is from a very picky person! This Inn was fabulous. We went there for four days on our honeymoon. We were a little worried because it was off the beaten path, but it was beautiful, modern, very clean and extremely relaxing. You hear nothing but the sounds of nature. The room was gorgeous (we stayed in the Red Thunder suite), and with the cool breezes all day and night (even in August) the fact that there is no central ac does not matter AT ALL! Even for the picky. The grounds were beautiful (you can walk for a long time and still be on the property, see plenty of nature) and the food was so so good (the breakfast included with your stay -- just remember to get up in time!). It is just a wonderful place if you are not in the mood for the usual touristy things. We saw plenty of waterfalls, went canoing, horseback riding (all within a reasonable distance) and even drove to Asheville to see Biltmore, which wasn't that bad of a drive. The only thing to keep in mind is that all places to eat are about a 10 minute drive away...just a good thing to know. Overall, this place was above my expectations.

          Quiet, scenic and...


          We recently returned home after a five day stay at Fire Mountain Inn.

          We elected to stay in a cabin, and booked the cabin recommended by the staff.

          In terms of scenery and "getting away from it all" the resort did live up to its promises.

          But, we experienced a few disappointments that, from our perspective, appeared due to a lack of clear communication on the part of the staff. We also felt that we were not provided with the expected level of service, based on the given description and the price.

          A word of caution: read all of the provided links carefully and be prepared with supplies. Despite reading the "survival guide" and other resources given to us, we had a few "surprises" that were not disastrous, but certainly inconvenient and preventable.

          For example, the web site states that fire wood is provided daily. This is true, in terms of regular logs. Yet you are only given one starter log and told during your new guest "orientation" at that time of your arrival that you will need to drive 30 minutes into town to buy other starter logs for your stay (at extremely high prices!). Had we known this, we would have brought the starter logs with us.

          The kitchen equipment list states that there are pots and pans, but there were no baking dishes. This was not indicated on the list and because of this omission, we were unable to use the oven. This discovery forced us to adjust our meal plans (including our Christmas dinner) because we were unaware that a baking dish was not included in the "pots and pans" category.

          The list also indicated that utensils were in the cabin. Although a plastic slotted spoon and spatula were there, they were grimy, scratched and worn. The cheese grater had film on it from prior usage and clearly had not been thoroughly cleaned. There are no dishwashers in the cabins, but I would expect that the main inn has facilities there and that utensils would be sanitized between guests.

          The cabin was clean, albeit sparsely furnished. We were told that housekeeping would be provided every other day (although the web site says daily) with the rationale of "preserving our privacy." This property is at the top of a moutain and inevitably grass and other debris is trekked onto the floor. I would have preferred daily housekeeping service and a little less "privacy."

          Our biggest disapppointment was the lack of clear communication with the staff and the smooth, rather pointed explanation we received from the staff regarding a specific issue.

          I had selected the Mise En Place dinner for the night of my arrival. I preceded my husband by one day and did not want to tackle the unmarked, winding, dark roads alone at night. The staff emphasize on the web site that there are no signs marking the road leading to Fire Mountain and I elected to heed their advice. I also made a point of indicating to the staff that I would be arriving alone.

          The web site price for the Mise En Place is $50.00. This includes a bag of Whole Foods pasta that you cook yourself, a jar of marinara sauce from a local company, a bottle of wine (the wine in my basket was a $7.99 bottle of Rex Goliath merlot), a wedge of parmesan cheese and various fresh vegetables and greens to make a salad and add to the sauce as personal preference dictates.

          Although the veggies were fresh and the food was good, this seemed over priced. I recognized that I was also paying for service and convenience and reconciled myself to the high price tag.

          Imagine our surprise when a $100 total for the dinner was on our bill. When I asked for clarification, I was told that the meal was a "per person price" and that they were not aware that my husband was not arriving that day. I was also told an assistant handled my request and assumed that the order was for two. This person never sought clarification from me and was not the person I had been in communique with... I was also redirected to the web site and told to look in a separate section for the "per person" stipulation. I did recheck the web site and it does state in the ordering section (separate from the meal description and price), that the price for each "enhancement" is per person.

          Frankly, I found this response offensive. Fire Mountain is touted as a luxury get away with a reputation for superior customer service. When I stay at this level of accomodation, I do not expect to be "nickeled and dimed." I also do not feel that the pricing is clear and that it is somewhat misleading to list the "per person" quid pro quo in a separate section at the bottom.

          Fire Mountain lived up to its word in terms of privacy and tranquility. But, expect to pay for each item "a la carte" and know that it is critical to read the mice type. If they truly want to provide "five star service" I would suggest that the proprietors may want to consider making the prices on the web site clear and not claim a "misunderstanding" at the customer's literal and figurative expense.

          Great views


          Took a trip to Fire Mountain early part of April 04,

          Automatically upgraded when arrived, staff was wonderful! Room was nice and comfortable. The people that were upstairs made a lot of noise. Should have kept my original room. This place boasts of quiet and solitude. No televisions or radios so be prepared. Went hiking on property that was nice, jacuzzi outside with views to mountains and star gazing that was the most enjoyable activity of all. Breakfast was great!!

          If staying there to make sure you do have quiet get

          a room that has no one above you to disturb you.

          Perfect for the nature lover.

          TripAdvisor Reviews Fire Mountain Inn Highlands

          5.00 of 5 stars Outstanding

          Travel Blogs from Highlands

          Walhalla Area Waterfalls

          A travel blog entry by jmpncsu on Sep 05, 2015

          19 photos

          ... then right on FSR-715A. This turn can be tricky to find as it’s not on most maps or GPS. In about three-quarters of a mile, we pulled into a parking area just before the bridge over Tamassee Creek and got ready for our next hike. Lee Falls is a really beautiful waterfall, but a bit tough to find as there’s no trail. Once we were ready, we started hiking through the field past the gate. The last time I was here, it was raining, but ...

          Westminster Area Waterfalls

          A travel blog entry by jmpncsu on Sep 04, 2015

          18 photos

          ... and we drove down this extremely narrow gravel road with many mounds. It was an interesting drive, but thankfully quite short. We parked at the end and then started our first hike of the weekend to Riley Moore Falls. It’s about 1.5 miles round trip and moderate to the falls. At the end of the trail, we scrambled down to the sandy beach along the river for some pictures of the waterfall. The last time I was here, the water level was much higher and so ...

          Massive Waterfalls

          A travel blog entry by jmpncsu on Aug 22, 2015

          10 photos

          ... After getting my stuff together, I hiked down past the gate and went left at the fork. The trail loops around and then follows West Fork Tuckaseegee River upstream. In about a mile and a half, flagging tape indicated a short spur trail to the right that led to the river. Across the river, Rough Run flowed into West Fork Tuckaseegee River at Rough Run or Thurston Hatcher Falls. The other side of the river is ...

          We Made it to Lake Keowee

          A travel blog entry by jabecker on Aug 19, 2015

          1 comment, 13 photos

          ... out with appetizers on the deck of their tug boat down at the community dock (Aaron swam in the warm clear lake) then went back up to the huge back deck of their home to grill and eat.

          Other activities we have enjoyed during our first 2 1/2 weeks in Seneca include hiking some of the wonderful trails in the area and Jet skiing with the Hackett's on Lake Jocassie ( situated directly above Lake Keowee). Aaron and ...

          Turtleback Falls

          A travel blog entry by jmpncsu on Jun 28, 2015

          4 photos

          ... up getting in trouble and wasn’t allowed to swim anymore, but I was glad someone went first. Seeing that it was safe to walk over to the rope, I waded over and climbed up the waterfall and then slid off. It had been several years since I had the chance and it was a lot of fun. The water was quite cold, but the rush of sliding off a waterfall kept me ...