The Swag

Is anyone else ready for fall? Think crisp blue skies, colorful leaves, and a drop in temperatures. It’s time! And one of
the best places to enjoy it is The Swag in Waynesville, North Carolina. Don’t forget to pack a sweater.

Featuring breathtaking views of four of North Carolina’s six highest mountain ranges, The Swag is a 250-acre mountaintop luxury destination like no other. This Relais & Chateaux-designated property started as a family home in 1971, built by Deener Matthews and her husband Dan, an Episcopal clergyman. In 1982, the couple decided to open their home to the public after hosting friends that were visiting the 1980 World’s Fair in nearby Knoxville, Tennessee. The story goes that the setting was so bucolic, no one ever wanted to come off the mountain.

Resting along the Cataloochee Divide, The Swag property sits 5,000 feet above sea level and abuts The Great Smoky Mountain National Park (GSMNP), which provides seemingly endless miles of hiking paths to both impressive vistas and cool waterfall streams. Longtime guests and friends of the Matthews family, Annie & David Colquitt, purchased the property in 2018 and have since lovingly updated The Swag to include modern-day amenities, including The Still Spa, hot tub, pool, and fitness center. Their website touts 19 wood-burning fireplaces, 12 outdoor showers and tubs, and six private saunas. For meals, locally sourced ingredients are used to create an ever-changing menu for casual, dress-up, or picnic dining. There’s also a kitted-out bar and wine cellar. With only 18 elegant suites, each individually appointed to echo refined mountain style, the property guarantees guests will enjoy an intimate and private getaway. Rest assured, you’ll never want to leave this mountaintop either.

“In a busy world full of stress, we love that The Swag continues to be a refuge for guests looking to connect with each other and with nature”

—owners Annie & David Colquitt

Cataloochee Ranch

Annie & David Colquitt have poured their love of hospitality into fully renovating and updating Cataloochee Ranch, a resort adjacent to The Swag, in nearby Maggie Valley, North Carolina. Set to reopen at the end of 2023, the property offers guests the same level of service and dining they’ve experienced at The Swag in an equally relaxed and approachable atmosphere. While The Swag often attracts couples (like the Colquitts themselves, who honeymooned there in 2011), Cataloochee Ranch aims to be a destination for multi-generational get-togethers, corporate retreats, and group events. Horseback trail rides, hiking, music events, and plenty of outdoor entertaining space come standard. Future development plans include a spa, pool, pickleball courts, a ropes course, and a zipline. Ranch guests will also enjoy the option of booking spa appointments and dining reservations at The Swag, further enhancing their stay.

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