The Lakeview At Fontana
Grab Your Girlfriends And Indulge In A Little Rest And Relaxation
Monica and I have been best friends since college, but for the past 10 years, we’ve lived in different states. In between demanding jobs, families and, well, life, we don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like. So, at least once a year, we drop everything and rendezvous for a few days to relax and reconnect. This year, we decided to head to the mountains of western North Carolina, a halfway point between my home in Tennessee and hers in Georgia.
We couldn’t have picked a better retreat than Lakeview at Fontana, a self-proclaimed “rustic-chic” resort and spa nestled in the hills of Swain County.
Lakeview is the perfect cross between a European villa and a Smoky Mountains hideaway. Down comforters, Aveda bath products and aromatherapy candles are just a few of the in-room touches that make guests feel special.
But perhaps Lakeview’s greatest amenity is its location – minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Nantahala River.
Owner Tetia McMichael doubles as the resort’s official tour guide and can point guests in the right direction regardless of interest – from a wet-and-wild adventure jet boating on Fontana Lake to a leisurely drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
One evening Monica and I ventured into the town of Sylva in neighboring Jackson County for dinner. Sylva’s quaint, downtown shops were just what the doctor ordered for two recovering shopaholics, and our meal at local favorite Lulu’s on Main rivaled that of any big-city bistro. We spent another afternoon touring the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, which is only a 45-minute drive from Lakeview.
But there’s no need to leave the resort’s 45-acre campus to enjoy the region’s scenic beauty. Lakeview sits on a hill overlooking Fontana Lake, and the view from the spring-fed pool and cabana alone is worth the visit.
If the cool mountain air, peace and quiet, and picture-perfect sunsets aren’t enough to relax you, don’t worry. Lakeview’s spa offers a full, yet affordable, menu of services, from manicures and facials to body treatments and massages.
I treated my stress-soaked skin to a European facial that seemed to instantly subtract years from my face. I’ve had massages before, but it was my first time experiencing a hot-stone treatment. The stones’ smoothness combined with the warmth can take you to new levels of tension release. Monica was even more adventurous. She chose Lakeview’s signature green tea detoxifying wrap, which exfoliates, refreshes and de-stresses the entire body.
Girls Just Want To Have Fun
Our resort-mates included a mother and daughter from Alabama (the latter was taking a much-needed break from her first year of medical school), a couple with a dog in tow (the resort is pet-friendly) and a group of girlfriends reuniting for a few days on bonding. In fact, Lakeview is known for its Girls’ Night In package that includes three (or five) nights’ accommodations, two spa treatments per guest, breakfast and spa lunch in the café, yoga classes, popcorn, books and magazines, and in-room s’mores maker. What more could a group of girls ask for?
McMichael admits Lakeview is not as fitness-oriented as other spas. She says most of Lakeview’s guests come to relax and escape from everyday life. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ample opportunities for a girl to flex her muscles.
Lakeview offers daily (and sometimes hourly) yoga classes. Each morning, Monica and I received a 60-minute lesson in stretching, strengthening and relaxation techniques. For guests looking for a more rigorous regimen, the resort’s mile-long, uphill hiking/biking trail offers just that, and the breathtaking view and complete silence at the summit are well worth the workout.
My Kind Of Room Service
While the bungalows are purposely furnished without telephones or televisions (remember, you’re here to relax and escape), Lakeview does offer a guests-only gathering area with overstuffed sofas, a fireplace and an extra-large, flat-panel television. Plus, the entire campus is wireless for those who can’t live without their laptops.
On our last night there, Monica and I retired to the TV room to bond over our favorite program. Having overheard our ravings about the café’s notorious hot-fudge sundae, McMichael hand-delivered sundaes to us so we wouldn’t miss a minute of our program. Now that’s what I call room service.
Note: Lakeview at Fontana is open from mid-March until October.
By Teree Caruthers, courtesy of Journal Communications
added: December 20, 2008
updated: June 25, 2009
Ideas & What To Do
The Grove Park Inn is a legendary North Carolina hotel with a history…
For more than two hundred years, people have been drawn to Madison…
Monica and I have been best friends since college, but for the past 10…
Nestled in the heart of the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains is the Westglow…
When you first arrive at the Old Edwards Inn & Spa, a historic…
The designated welcoming committee at the Yonahlossee Resort & Club…