For over 96 years, generations of guests and home owners have retreated to a 1,400-acre property near North Carolina’s Nantahala National Forest to enjoy warm hospitality, delicious high-country cuisine and an array of outdoor fun—from tennis, hiking and activities on the 35-acre private lake to rounds on the scenic mountain golf course. One of the families that’s made High Hampton part of their vacations is that of Sandy Beall, chairman and co-founder of hospitality legends Blackberry Farm and Blackberry Mountain. This year, the Beall family, along with partners Arlington Family Offices and Daniel Communities, will harness their collective expertise to help revitalize High Hampton, elevating all aspects of the historic retreat in time for a spring 2021 re-opening. Among the planned highlights: A Tom Fazio-helmed re-do of the golf course, new residential offerings and a renovation of the Inn.
“I first visited High Hampton in 1982, and I ended up buying a house from the McKee family, who had owned the property since 1922,” notes Beall in an announcement about the project. “The property has held my family’s interest for nearly four decades. Arlington’s long term, multi-generational approach parallels that of the Beall Family and Blackberry Farm and we are proud to work with friends that have common goals and sensibilities to create something truly special.”
While High Hampton isn’t becoming a third Blackberry outpost, the spirit and aesthetic of those Tennessee favorites will likely drive the refresh of the Inn, the guest rooms, the cottages and the restaurants, and the elevation of the service levels—all of which will be done under the direction of the Bealls, the Blackberry Farm Design unit and the Farm’s General Manager, Scott Greene. As High Hampton is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the team are working with the North Carolina Historical Preservation Office to ensure that the renovations will honor the nearly century-old architecture, while also enlarging the guest rooms and bathrooms, building out new kitchens and updating amenities and back-of-the-house technology.
The design will reflect the retreat’s eclectic character and charm with a mix of original antiques, art from the Inn’s archives, vintage items and commissioned modern pieces. “When restoring the property, our intention was to respect the craftsmanship and classic materials,” says Samantha Feuer, Senior Interior Designer at Blackberry Design. “We worked closely with the National Register of Historic Places to ensure that the iconic elements, such as uniquely shaped doors, handcrafted furniture, original exterior shag bark siding and interior American chestnut walls are preserved, with re-imagined comforts that will welcome future generations.”
Meanwhile, Arlington Family Offices and Daniel Communities will focus on the re-do of the 18-hole golf course—including the Tom Fazio re-design and the development of new Club amenities—as well as the addition of new private residential ownership opportunities. While further details, such as announcements about chefs and the culinary programming, are still forthcoming, one thing we know will not change is High Hampton’s famed grounds, which include the signature Dahlia Garden—a mainstay since the early-1900s—and acres of majestic old-growth trees. High Hampton is currently scheduled to re-open in spring 2021, with rates starting at $395 per night for double occupancy, including breakfast, dinner and access to on-site activities and Club amenities. Reservations will open this month.