Romantic, AAA Four-Diamond Estate Overlooking Great Smoky Mountains
With Greek-style columns at its back veranda, Christopher Place is majestic in its own right—but especially so considering its location in the Great Smoky Mountains. The estate’s romantic allure cannot be denied, as guests can settle into white adirondack rocking chairs on the elevated portico and look to the blue-tinged peaks in the distance as they crest above swaying treetops. The intimate resort’s 200 wooded acres overlook Great Smoky Mountains National Park, helping to earn Christopher Place recognition as 1 of the Top 10 Romantic Inns of 2010 from iLoveInns and as a prestigious AAA four-diamond resort for 15 consecutive years.
Quiet suites have king or queen beds and PrimaLoft hotel pillows, with each enveloping guests in a distinct style. In the Lion's Den, a window opens to expansive views of the forested mountain ridge or lush foliage in the estate's gardens. The Tournament of Roses is a secluded guesthouse with a separate entry and a wood-burning fireplace. A full breakfast awaits guests each morning, with a daily changing menu that may include options such as pancakes, waffles, egg frittatas, and fresh fruit.
Recreation is stressed just as much as relaxation; lodgers can stay active at the outdoor pool, the tennis courts, and the gym. A mile-long hiking trail on the resort grounds funnels wanderers up the scenic English Mountain. Back at the inn, chef Karen Valentine creates a gourmet four-course meal six nights a week at the Mountain View Dining Room restaurant. Marston's Library Pub, the resort’s more casual eatery, serves pub fare such as bangers and mash, with no reservations required.
Newport, Tennessee: Private Portal to Great Smoky Mountains Recreation
Newport is situated 11 miles from the Cosby entrance of the popular Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which offers about 800 miles of trails embellished with rolling hills, wildflowers, and cascading waterfalls. Among the hikes, Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the park at 6,643 feet with a viewing distance of up to 100 miles on a clear day. The 4.4-mile hike to Hen Wallow Falls culminates at a 90-foot waterfall. An 11-mile bike ride on Cades Cove Loop Road passes by restored 19th-century home sites and natural ecosystems rife with wildlife engaged in poker tournaments. Starting in May, bicyclists have the road to themselves on Wednesday and Saturday mornings.
In nearby Gatlinburg, shoppers can peruse the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community, an 8-mile loop of more than 100 independent shops. Artisans showcase candles, baskets, quilts, pottery, jewelry, clothing, paintings, and photography.