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Hemlock Inn 3.0

Bryson City, North Carolina Mountains, North Carolina

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Review Summary

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  • Secluded 60-acre property just a 13-minute drive from Great Smoky Mountain National Park
  • Family-style Southern breakfasts and dinners 
  • All rooms have crafty accents, but deliberately lack TVs, Internet access, or phones
  • Cottages are available with kitchens or kitchenettes
  • Grounds have a one-and-a-half-mile walking trail
  • Five rooms have porches with rocking chairs, swings, and/or forest views
  • No alcohol in public spaces (some consider a con)
  • Free Wi-Fi available in main lodge


  • Country inn style may be too quaint for some guests
  • Meals are not included with room rates
  • No TVs, Internet access, or phones in rooms (a pro for some)
  • No alcohol served in public areas (can be consumed in guest rooms)
  • Closes during much of the winter

Bottom Line

The Hemlock Inn is a 23-room, mid-range property tucked away on 60 private acres in the magnificent Smoky Mountains outside of Bryson City. It's a cozy little inn that encourages guests to unplug and relax while enjoying the gorgeous mountain scenery. Quaint rooms have a dash of grandma's house and plenty of handicrafts, and cottages with full kitchens are available. Home-cooked breakfasts and dinners are served family style at communal tables, and as there are no TVs, phones, or Internet access in guest rooms, guests can mingle over games (or retreat into the woods on their own). Nearby outdoor recreation includes hiking, rafting, tubing, and fishing, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park is only 13 minutes away by road.

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Simple country inn with a peaceful mountain setting

Guests arrive at the Hemlock Inn after driving a mile through the forest on Galbreth Creek Road. It's a simple country inn tucked into its surroundings, with the magnificent Smoky Mountains surrounding it. A stone walkway leads to the red-door entrance with rocking chairs and porch swings on each side. Umbrellas hang by the front door. The spacious homelike lobby features hardwood floors, braided rugs, wooden rocking chairs, rustic lodge-pole seating, leather lounge chairs, and a fireplace, and the exposed wooden beams overhead complete the charming picture. Guests are encouraged to relax and enjoy the gorgeous view, which includes the hotel's own 60 acres, without frills like hot tubs and spas. The setting is quiet, peaceful, and inviting, and guests here tend to be families and couples.


On 60 private acres in the Smoky Mountains, close to Bryson City and national park

Hemlock Inn is located in the Smoky Mountains on 60 acres of private forested land, Bryson City is less than 10 minutes away by road, and one of the entrances to Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a 13-minute drive from the hotel, where there are plenty of trailheads for hikers. The Nantahala Outdoor Center and scenic Blue Ridge Parkway are less than 30 minutes away by car, and the area is loaded with opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. The inn is about an hour's drive west of Asheville and a little over two hours southeast from Knoxville, Tenn. Asheville Regional Airport is an hour and 15 minutes away, while Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport are both about three hours away. 


Individually decorated rooms with country mountain decor; cottages for larger groups

Rooms are individually decorated and feature antiques, handcrafted furnishings, quilts, and mountain artwork to create a warm Appalachian ambiance. The innkeepers themselves describe the style as having an air of grandma's house, and that means that while everything is well-kept and quaint, the frilly style may not be for everyone. There are no TVs, Internet access, or phones in guest rooms, but limited free Wi-Fi and TV use is available in the main lodge area. Rooms do have mini-fridges, and some have air-conditioning. Five guest rooms have small private screened-in porches with views of the forest, and guest rooms with an adjoining door can be combined to create Family Suites. There are three cottages with kitchens or kitchenettes that are available for larger groups. The two-story Red Cottage can accommodate up to 14 people, and it has a washer and dryer, while the Inn Keepers Cottage has a lovely and spacious combined living, dining, and kitchen area with hardwood floors and a fireplace. Oddly, however, the washer and dryer and utility sink are in one of the bedrooms (with bunk beds). The deck has gorgeous views of the surrounding forest. Bathrooms have shower/tub combos, but vary in size, and we did spot a bit of dirty grout in some of the bathrooms when we visited. All are tiled in neutral and white tones, though some have bright wallpaper, and toiletries are provided. 


Family-style breakfast and dinner, library, indoor and outdoor games, TV room, porch rockers

A Southern breakfast is served each morning and includes offerings such as country ham and gravy, grits, homemade biscuits, and mountain honey. Ingredients are sourced from local farms. Dinner is served in the evenings, though only boxed lunches are available. Breakfast and dinner are presented family-style at round, wooden, lazy-Susan tables seating 10-12 guests, and the innkeepers assign seating. The meal begins after announcements and a shared blessing. Meals are not included with bookings. Guests can borrow books from the Tyson Library and read there, or anywhere they choose on the grounds. The TV room behind the main dining room has a large sectional sofa in front of a flat-screen TV and free Wi-Fi is available in the main lodge. Board games, puzzles, and card games are available in the Sun Room. Shuffleboard, table tennis, and Skittles can be played on the back patio, and Wiffle ball, croquet sets, and corn hole boards and bags are available to play on the front lawn. Many guests choose to just rock or swing on the porch and talk with other guests. There is no swimming pool on-site, but whitewater rafting and tubing are available nearby. The innkeeper leads group hikes and is available to make hiking recommendations. 

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911 Galbraith Creek Road, P.O. Box 2350, Bryson City, North Carolina Mountains 28713, United States

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