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The Swag in Waynesville (10 Luxurious Things We Love!)

Published by Christina Riley. Last Updated on March 6, 2024.

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If you’re looking for luxury in the NC mountains, the Swag in Waynesville answers all your questions. The Swag is a boutique property in North Carolina’s Smoky Mountains (about 1 hour from Asheville) that will promise rest, relaxation, and world-class views.

Perched at 5,000 feet along the rim of the Catalooche Divide, guests can enjoy 50-mile views and four of North Carolina’s highest mountain ranges. It is one of the highest boutique hotel destinations and is known for its romantic touches and stunning natural beauty.

We’ve been lucky enough to stay at The Swag (through a hosted stay) and want to share our experience with you, along with everything else you need to know about it.

Here’s how we’ve organized this guide to The Swag in Waynesville NC:

  • Where is the Swag?
  • History of the Swag
  • The Rooms
  • Dining
  • Things to Do at The Swag
  • 5 Tips Before You Stay
  • Nearby Places

Skip ahead to any section or keep scrolling to read about the location of this special place in North Carolina and in our hearts.

Read More: 20 Amazing Hotels in North Carolina (+ Inns, Resorts, & Rentals)

Where is The Swag?

Address: 2300 Swag Rd, Waynesville, NC
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the swag in waynesville nc

The first thing we love about The Swag is its exquisite location. Perched high along the rim of the Catalooche Divide, and nestled in the North Carolina Smokies, The Swag is about 30 minutes from downtown Waynesville

The Swag is one hour from downtown Asheville and close to other mountain towns such as:

You can visually plan your trip to The Swag and its surroundings with the following maps:

History of The Swag

Long before this North Carolina luxury resort existed, the Cherokee People hunted along the Cataloochee Divide Trail. After settlers arrived, the land was cultivated for potatoes. 

The Swag house

The first building on the land where The Swag sits was a private residence to the Matthews Family built in the 1970s. They reconstructed their house with logs from the Lonesome Valley Primitive Baptist Church in Tennessee and some of the logs date back to 1785. 

When The World’s Fair came to nearby Knoxville in 1982, the Matthews family was approached to open their home for hotel guests. Those guests who stayed during the fair asked to book another stay and that’s when The Swag became the majestic mountain view inn it is today. 

The Swag bedroom

The Swag remained in the Matthews family until 2018 when it was bought by the Colquitt family, who honeymooned here back in 2011. They fell in love so much with the property that they knew it was meant to be. 

In 2020, The Swag joined the prestigious Relais & Château, a group of luxury hotels that also include the Fearrington House Inn in Pittsboro and Old Edwards Inn and Spa in Highlands. 

Read More: 25+ of the Most Romantic Getaways in North Carolina

The Rooms at The Swag

The Swag in Waynesville room

Every room in The Swag is different, and if you sit around the fireplace long enough, you’ll hear other guests talk about their favorite rooms and why.

We’ve experienced two different rooms, including one inside the main house and then a cabin that sat adjacent to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

What you will find in all of the rooms is a cozy, country-chic vibe with wood paneling and a stocked mini fridge.

There are no TVs, but plenty of wood to start a fire, heated floors, and a local chocolate left on your pillow during turn-down service each night. 

Dining at The Swag

“Rest, relaxation, and exquisite meals” should be the tagline because The Swag is a place for foodies, too. If you leave hungry, then you are doing something wrong.

All of your meals are included in the price of your stay (alcohol is not), but you will be hard-pressed to not find something to munch on all day long. 

The Swag in Waynesville breakfast

Breakfast starts at 8:00 a.m. and includes freshly pressed juice, homemade granola, and daily bread selections.

At breakfast, you’ll make your selection for lunch, which can be packaged in a picnic basket to enjoy at your leisure or in a backpack for an adventure. 

Before dinner, guests will start to fill under The Dogtrot, a covered patio that serves as a meeting place with Hors d’oeuvers.

This is a wonderful time to grab a snack and chat with other guests or the Expert in Residence, which we’ll discuss in more detail shortly. 

Dinner at The Swag is an exceptional experience. It starts at exactly 7:00 p.m. in the living room with a greeting and welcoming new arrivals.

These meals were possibly the best that I’ve experienced in North Carolina, but don’t tell any of the other restaurants that we love!

The Swag sunrise hike

There are special events and meals that you might want to plan your stay around. If your stay falls on a Wednesday or a Saturday, there is an option to have a Chef’s Picnic on Gooseberry Knob with sweeping views of the mountains below. 

Another featured meal is Sunday Brunch, a breakfast buffet like you’ve never experienced.

Read More: Breakfast in NC (40+ of the Best Places to Eat!)

Things to Do at The Swag

These activities ensure that you’ll never need to leave The Swag during your stay. They certainly kept us on the property!

Join the Expert in Residence

The Swag Drone shot

One of the most unique things about The Swag is the community and welcoming atmosphere for each guest. Not only is this facilitated by the staff, but also by the Expert in Residence (EIR).

There are 12-15 experts in topics that include music, poetry, art, and hiking. During your stay, the EIR holds talks, greets guests, and leads activities.

The Swag sunrise

During one stay, our EIR was a long-distance hiker who had completed the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and Continental Divide Trail.

It was so interesting to hear his stories, talk hiking, and even get my boots muddy with him. He was truly a wealth of knowledge and hospitable.

Read More: 75+ Great Hikes Near Asheville (Within a 2-Hour Drive)

Get Outside

The Swag hiking views

Because of its location high on the mountain, The Swag operates from April to December. There are hiking trails available for guests along the 250-acre property and there is easy access to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

The Swag in Waynesville Smokies

From The Swag, guests can see the following:

  • The Great Smokies to the northwest
  • The Plott Balsams and Richland Balsams to the southwest
  • The Black Mountains to the east

Read More: The Best Things to Do in Mount Mitchell State Park

Book a Spa Appointment

If you are seeking rest and relaxation, you might as well add in a spa treatment. The Still is The Swag’s mountaintop spa with services including signature massages and facials.

During my incredible facial, the staff used organic plant-based products to rejuvenate and exfoliate. 

Read More: 15 Things We Love About The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville

5 Tips Before Staying at The Swag

The Swag charcuterie

Before staying at the Swag, I had no idea what to expect. Now that I know, I want to pass it on and share what you should know before booking:

  • This is a luxury experience, one that has a hefty price tag. All things considered, a stay at The Swag is something everyone should do at least once!
  • As mentioned, all meals are included with your stay. Breakfast, lunch (whether bagged to-go or in a backpack for your adventures), and a 4-course dinner are all included. The only thing not included is alcohol.
  • Speaking of the food at The Swag, it is plentiful. There are many delicious options, and you may find it hard to choose between the most tender filet mignon or a grilled sea bass, for example.
  • During cocktail hour, there are unlimited sodas, water, homemade ice cream, charcuterie nibbles, and endless snacks. Eating is a huge part of the experience at The Swag, and one that I will never forget.
  • Dinner is served at 7:00 p.m. The Expert in Residence will ring the dinner bell, and all the guests will join in the main dining area to hear announcements, congratulate guests celebrating, and hear more about making the most out of your time at The Swag.

Okay, Now Are You Ready to Stay at the Swag in Waynesville NC?

The Swag had long been on our radar of places to stay in NC. It was a finalist in our 2022 Best of NC Awards for “Most Romantic Getaways” and is usually mentioned in our Facebook Group when people ask about where to stay in the mountains.

After experiencing the Swag and meeting many return guests, we understand why so many people talk about and come back every year. As we plot our return trip, we’d love to hear from you!

If you’re familiar with this awesome place, let us know in the comments. Also, remember to share your experiences with our NC Travel Facebook Group!

Things to Do Near the Swag in Waynesville

Waynesville downtown in the Fall

If you need to kill some time before staying at the Swag or want to extend your Western NC adventures, here are a few places to check out.

Our NC travel guides collection will help you explore things to do near the Swag and anywhere else in North Carolina. Here are a few of them.

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