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HomeHospitalityTrailborn expands into US’s Southeast with hotel scheduled to open in Highlands, North Carolina this July

Trailborn expands into US’s Southeast with hotel scheduled to open in Highlands, North Carolina this July

Trailborn Highlands, lounge rendering

The new hospitality brand inspired by the great American outdoors to expand portfolio with a new, design-forward hotel located in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains featuring a destination restaurant and bar in a historic log cabin, an outdoor Nordic spa, and curated programming.

HIGHLANDS, NC  – Castle Peak Holdings, the investment and development company behind Trailborn – the first vertically-integrated hospitality brand specializing in designing and operating boutique  hotels with full-service restaurants and bars, exclusively located in the country’s most extraordinary outdoor destinations – has announced the brand will open its first property in the country’s Southeast, Trailborn Highlands, in downtown Highlands, North Carolina this July.

“On the heels of opening our first properties at the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, we’re thrilled to unveil our next hotel opening this July in the picturesque  Blue Ridge Mountains. Trailborn Highlands, referred to by many as the Aspen of the East,  sits in the charming  mountain town of Highlands, North Carolina – a destination that has long attracted adventure and nature seekers with its pristine beauty, temperate climate and prime location in the Blue Ridge Mountains,” said Mike Weiss, Co-founder and Co-CEO of Castle Peak Holdings and Trailborn. “With Trailborn Highlands, we’re bringing a design-forward, vibrant boutique hotel to the area, and marking a continuation of our mission to create unparalleled hospitality experiences in the heart of our country’s iconic outdoor destinations.” 

Surrounded by 4.5 acres of lush woods, Trailborn Highlands will open as a newly renovated hotel comprised of 63 guest rooms, The Highlands Supper Club – a destination restaurant and bar serving Southern fare in a historic log cabin – a spacious lobby lounge with a central fireplace, breakfast area and dedicated partnership pop-up space, as well as a curated onsite retail market featuring an assortment of local goods and brand-name merchandise. The lounge serves as a gathering space with coffee and light fare in the mornings and tea time in the afternoons. Just off the lobby, the Azalea Room will serve as a hospitality suite and provide flexible seating, a meeting space, and a patio for private events. The Cottage is available for private gatherings and programming. The lobby lounge opens up to a sprawling deck and backyard with picnic tables and fire pits that functions as social gathering space, rentable private space, and venue for regularly featured programming and live music. Additional outdoor spaces include a lily pond, flower gardens, and a Nordic spa complete with a sauna and cold plunge showers to create a unique year-round amenity for guests to stay refreshed and rejuvenated. Trailborn Highlands will offer on-site culinary events, live music, and craft classes, and off-site excursions like guided hikes  and mushroom foraging. The property is within walking distance to the town’s charming restaurants and shops, a few minutes away from waterfalls and hiking trails, and is within driving distance to The Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the two most visited national parks in the country.

Trailborn Highlands

Guest room (Photo: Brian Ferry).

“The upcoming opening of Trailborn Highlands is a momentous step in expanding the brand’s portfolio, and affirms our commitment to bring Trailborn’s distinct hospitality approach to destinations that inspire us,” said Ben Weinberg, Co-founder and Co-CEO of Castle Peak Holdings and Trailborn. “We’re honored by the opportunity to join the Highlands community and create a new space for locals and visitors to come together, and a new way for travelers to experience one of the country’s most beautiful regions.”

Trailborn drew inspiration from the abundance of wildflowers in the region – a motif that’s woven through the property’s logo and decor. Guests are given custom flower seed packets at check in and can enjoy floral design workshops onsite. All Trailborn properties are designed to provide everything guests need to enjoy the great outdoors, from bespoke Field Guides to branded coolers to savvy team members that help guests personalize their stay.

Inspired by the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains, New York-based design studio, LOVEISENOUGH, worked with the Trailborn team to create a palette of earthy hues like forest green, dark cyan, maroon, cream, and golden yellow to amplify the hotel’s public spaces. Decorative elements were brought in to highlight the region’s abundance of talented artists with references to quilting, printmaking, and pottery. The guest rooms at Trailborn Highlands are thoughtfully designed as spaces to recharge. Cherry wood adds warmth alongside fresh cream walls. In-room amenities will feature exclusive quilted tapestries of the Blue Ridge Mountains through a collaboration with Haptic Labs, custom Parachute robes, Grown Alchemist bath products, Fellow kettles, portable Trailborn coolers, a curated mini bar with cold beverages and dry goods, Tivoli Bluetooth Radios, 50″ Smart TVs with streaming and Hi-speed WiFi. A selection of guest rooms will feature private patios or balconies and gas fireplaces. Pet-friendly rooms and amenities are available upon request.

The property’s crowning jewel is a historic log cabin adjacent to the hotel. Originally built in 1924 by regionally renowned carpenter, Joe Webb, using local materials and hand tools as a residence for a local family, the historic structure has been reimagined as The Highlands Supper Club – an approachable Southern restaurant focused on exceptional execution of regional Appalachian favorites. Local ingredients and rich smoky flavors shine with menu items like grilled North Carolina oysters and Webb’s Chicken Two-Ways: Oven Roasted or Buttermilk Fried. The beverage program celebrates spirit-forward cocktails, unpretentious wines, and local beers. The restaurant will serve as a destination in its own right, a hub for locals, warmly lit evening gatherings, and indulgent weekend brunches.

Trailborn Highlands will be the brand’s second location and third hotel opening, following the recent openings of Trailborn Rocky Mountains and Trailborn Rocky Mountains Outpost in Estes Park, Colorado, with properties opening later this year in the Grand Canyon; Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina and Mendocino, California.

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Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.