Last Updated on April 19, 2021
Last Updated on April 19, 2021
If you plan to visit Western NC, please check beforehand to see if the area is safe following the recent flooding. Officials have closed some sections of Pisgah National Forest (including Forest Heritage Scenic Byway and Blue Ridge Parkway stops) to keep visitors out of danger. Please respect signage and local guidance.
In Cherokee, Chetola means “haven of rest.” Its namesake resort in Blowing Rock is exactly that, living up to the name in every possible way. At Chetola Resort, natural beauty and world-class accommodations come together to form one of our absolute favorite places to stay.
We’re not alone in our thoughts, as people have long been coming to this High Country paradise to create memories. Of course, there’s always the option of keeping to your cozy room and indulging in exquisite service and amenities. You can also enjoy the outdoor grounds among friends and family, either relaxing by the water or biding your time fishing for a nice catch.
It’s all possible at Chetola Resort. You just have to go and see it for yourself. And if you still don’t believe us, then we think you need to keep reading in order to understand all that awaits at this fabulous getaway.
Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock
For booking and location information, please scroll to the bottom of this post. Before you do that, we think you’ll enjoy learning more about the Chetola Resort’s background along with a deeper dive into all the things people of all ages (including kids!) can do here.
The land that makes up Chetola has seen some interesting people come through. Lot Estes purchased 100 acres of it in 1846 and built a summer resort known as Silverlake. When the resort wasn’t in use, it was repurposed to store and sell ice.
In 1892, William Stringfellow bought the property to aid his debilitating tuberculosis. The Stringfellows were the ones to name it Chetola and they lived here through the beginning of the twentieth century.
The property came into the hands of J Luther Snyder, also known as the “Coca Cola King of the Carolinas,” when he bought it in 1926. Chetola came alive with frequent parties and celebrations.
That spirit of the Snyder era is exactly what current owner Kent Tarbutton hopes to keep alive. The two have sought to maintain the resort’s history while expanding it into the beautiful lodging we see today.
Today’s Chetola (Accommodation Options and Food)
Guests have three options when booking a stay at Chetola Resort. This includes the Chetola Lodge, the Bob Timberlake Inn, and Chetola Premier Condominiums. Timberlake’s is the on-site restaurant a delightful culinary experience, as you’ll find after dining here.
Overlooking the clear, pristine lake are the Chetola Lodge’s 42 spacious and inviting rooms. This is where you stay if you want to be in the center of it all. Recently updated in 2020, the Lodge features rooms with walk-out balconies, soaking tubs, and suites with luxury showers.
Rooms feature beautiful mountain-themed décor with large framed pictures taken by a local photographer over each of the beds. If you are traveling with your four-legged friend, the Lodge’s first and second floors are pet-friendly!
Your pup will even be greeted with amenities to make their stay more memorable.
The Bob Timberlake Inn
If you are looking for a top-notch luxury experience minus kids, then one of the eight rooms at the adult-only Bob Timberlake Inn is for you. Built in 2004 as a collaboration with one of North Carolina’s most distinguished artists, each room contains unique, original furniture and artwork from Bob Timberlake’s collection.
In addition to the well-appointed room, the Inn also has a stocked 24-hour pantry of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to go with coffee and tea. Inn guests have a private innkeeper and there’s even a social hour with complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres.
Save room before bed for house-made chocolate chip cookies from the Timberlake’s pastry chef!
Each room at the Inn has been named for past and present owners of Chetola, as well as notable historic North Carolinians. Another bonus for guests staying at the Bob Timberlake Inn is breakfast included with a stay package.
Chetola Premier Condominiums
Chetola also has 75 condominiums for rent, which is a nice accompaniment to the Lodge and Inn. Their one- to four-bedroom condos are spread out on the 78 acres of the property and are excellent options for families or groups who are traveling together.
All condominiums have fireplaces, spacious living rooms, and an equal ratio of bedrooms to bathrooms. While these condos are sprinkled around Chetola and tucked away to ensure privacy, they’re all within a five to 10-minute walk from the main lodge.
Since its 2012 opening in Chetola’s historic Manor House, Timberlake’s Restaurant has been serving exceptional breakfast, lunch, and dinner that are absolutely worth writing about. The menu is another collaboration with Bob Timberlake and this time, culinary genius and head chef, Matt Rivers.
Diners should expect fresh local produce and expertly executed techniques.
The restaurant’s layout is perfectly set up for intimate dining, inside and outside, as it sits just across from the lake. A waterfront patio and private wine room accompany three dining rooms.
Breakfast to Dessert
The breakfast buffet is an affordable $15 and features fresh pastries along with high-end options like smoked salmon.
The menu changes seasonally, but we’ve heard amazing things about the pan-seared Elk and roasted Carolina quail. If you’re in the mood for something a little lighter, the Timberlake salads are miles above your average bed of lettuce.
While the food is certainly worthy of “fine dining” classification, you’ll find a relaxed atmosphere fitting for all times. Children are also welcome here and the menu for tiny foodies is equally exciting. Another reason to appreciate Timberlake’s if you’re staying in the condos is their take-home family meals that you can heat up.
And if you are looking for allergen-friendly food in Blowing Rock, Timberlake’s makes most of their sauces gluten-free and are very accommodating! The wait staff will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you have regarding ingredients, too.
Another culinary treasure at Timberlake’s is their house-made desserts. Pastry Chef Candace Hagaman uses fresh local ingredients to add a twist to classic southern desserts.
Honestly, you cannot leave Blowing Rock without having one of her Banana Fosters Cream Puffs!
Open to All
Timberlake’s Restaurant at Chetola is not just for guests, either. Anyone in the area should check this place out because it will easily rank among anyone’s favorite restaurants in Blowing Rock.
Note: Please call in advance 828-295-5505 for reservations.
More Things to Do at Chetola Resort
Try to keep score on all the things to do at Chetola Resort and you’ll quickly lose count.
Spa at Chetola
In case we haven’t relaxed you enough already, you can also receive world-class pampering inside the Spa at Chetola Resort. With five treatment rooms including one of the couples, guests looking to unwind can book a massage, facial, nail treatment, and even hair and makeup appointments.
Pool, Jacuzzi, and Sauna!
Attached to the Spa is the resort’s heated indoor pool, along with a jacuzzi and sauna. With these three options, you really should be able to unwind at Chetola.
And if you want to keep up with your workouts, there’s an impressive fitness room to do exactly what you need.
One of my favorite things about Chetola is all the ways one can enjoy the outdoors here. A 1.8-mile trail takes you from the property to Moses Cone Memorial Park, around Bass Lake, and back.
Games, Games, and Kid-Specific Play!
Tennis and pickleball courts await, along with 9-hole disc golf (I prefer “frolf”) and 3-hole practice course. There are also lawn games ready for you to get a match started, including cornhole, volleyball, and even horseshoes.
The outdoor playground and an 800-square foot indoor playspace are a couple of ways kids can play here! Chetola also hosts Summer Camp for children ages 4 to 12 with fun interactive themes!
Watery Fun (Sitting, Boating, and Fishing)
You can spend your entire time at Chetola admiring the 8-acre lake that sits in front of Timberlake’s and the Lodge. There are chairs for lounging and one can really lose themselves looking out into the water, with the trees surrounding it, and mountains beyond.
If you’re lake-watching happens at the right time, you’ll see people of all ages casting their rods in the water. Honestly, it’s wonderful to see so many families together enjoying the outdoors.
Of course, they’re trying to catch one of the many trout that Chetola keeps the lake stocked with. And if you catch a good one (within measurements), Timberlake’s will clean, filet, and cook it for you!
The watery fun doesn’t end there, as you can also float on the lake in a paddleboat, kayaks, canoes, or paddleboards.
Fly Fishing (the Lake and Beyond)
You can grab a rod and reel and fish on Chetola Lake at any time but we think you should also know about the incredible Orvis-endorsed fly fishing program.
A guided fishing trip will lead to some of the best fishing on the East Coast. That’s because the streams here are the highest waters east of the Mississippi River, meaning the water temperature stays consistent year-round and thus, encourages the fish population to stick around.
You’ll be picked up from Chetola Resort and taken to waters that are perfect for the weather and your experience level. Your guide will lead the way, even tying flies and untangling rods if necessary.
And if you are new to fly fishing, Chetola also hosts casting clinics to help you learn. Equipment can be provided including up-to-date Orvis rods and waders. Bring your own equipment and the guides will help with a technique that you can take home.
You might think that fly fishing is reserved only for adults, but the Orvis program at Chetola is also accommodating to children! You can start out with a demo lesson on the lawn and then build your trip with the guide according to the adventure you and your family are looking for.
Excursions are half-day or full-day and we strongly recommend booking ahead!
Chetola Sporting Reserve
Your fly fishing excursion will likely take place on the 67-acre Chetola Sporting Reserve. It’s less than 20 minutes away and hosts bountiful fishing opportunities.
People also come here to test their skills on one of the 13 clay shooting courses, rifle, pistol, and archery ranges. Beginners are welcome to the clays, as the machine is adjustable so the clay comes out slow at first. Of course, they can speed up as your skills progress.
On top of that is 27 miles of hiking and ATV trails. An impressive clubhouse and pub allow for kicking back and relaxing, too.
It’s exclusive to members and Chetola Guests, and one of the nicest clubs you’ll find in the Southeast!
Chetola Resort: Perfect for ALL Ages
From a family travel perspective, we think you can enjoy just about everything at Chetola Resort. The condos are spacious and we loved having the option to cook our own food. If you’d like to be closer to it all, you can by staying at the Lodge.
And if you’re not visiting with children, the adult-only Bob Timberlake Inn is wonderful for solo travelers and couples.
From the food at Timberlake’s to all the relaxation options and fun activities, you can choose your own path at Chetola Resort. With so many possible ways to enjoy Chetola, the only thing left is for you to book.
Chetola Resort Booking Info and Location
Booking Info: Website or Call (800-243-8652)
Address: 185 Chetola Lake Drive, Blowing Rock, NC 28605
More High Country Things to Do
Special thanks to Chetola Resort for hosting us during our stay. All opinions within this article are our own.