Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Orchard Inn - What's New and Improved in 2014

The spacious front porch welcomes guests
How about a cozy room with a view!
A mix of business and pleasure brought me back to the Historic Bed and Breakfast in Saluda over the weekend. Western North Carolina still simmers in summer's heat during early September, and we experienced temps in the mid-80's with high humidity and scattered rainshowers. The Orchard Inn keeps a tradition of being open air, and it works well since they are on a ridgetop and on a heavily wooded property that retains cooler air. Still, each room in the Inn has a small window unit for patrons to utilize when ready, like perhaps overnight during sleep. In the big picture, things are not about to change when it comes to the warmth and service that is standard for all guests. Likewise, the Orchard Inn is in good shape and nothing will change the already welcoming and comfortable look inside according to owner Marc Blazer.

Scrambled eggs and Organic sausage - YUM
The Canine Committee
During my weekend stay I did find a few new wrinkles to expand and improve the experience for guests. First, the Internet signal is much improved after an upgrade, and I was able to post a blog from the comforts of my upstairs room. The number of bedrooms with a King mattress has increased to three after repeated requests from customers, and a few of the upstairs bathrooms are set for renovation in the next 12 months. A name change adopted in September of 2014 means that the Orchard Inn is now home to Neuman's Restaurant. All of the food will still be served out of Marianne's Kitchen, but the addition of the restaurant name will raise awareness that the public can choose to dine at the Inn for dinner or Sunday brunch, without having to stay overnight. While weddings are not new at the Orchard Inn, new ground was broken on Sept. 8 when the first fashion show and fundraiser was held. Lastly, on the 'green' front the Orchard Inn is in negotiations with Tesla electric cars to establish a plug-in station for all travelers with electric autos.

Sunrise from my room window on Sept. 7
A reminder about some of the already great experiences at the Orchard Inn include being greeted by the friendly boxer breed dogs upon arrival at the Inn. The hardwood floors are well worn but still beautiful and shows that the railroad outfit that built the structure did not spare any materials during construction. The baby grand piano in the main room saw two guests play freely one night, which makes me think that more music should be made in the future at the Orchard Inn. My upstairs room had a great view of the nearby mountain peaks, and once again I could smell the bacon cooking downstairs before breakfast was served at 8:30, and it's a great motivator to rise and get moving. Starting one's day with juice, fruit, granola, scones, and two happy eggs (from happy chickens) provides the sustenance to walk the hiking trails and enjoy the splendor of the Western N.C. Outdoors for much of the day.

To view past blog entries from the Green River Games click on 2014 or 2013.

To view past blog entries about The Orchard Inn click here.

To view past blog entries from Saluda click on Coon Dog Day or Pearson's Falls or Sky Top Orchard.

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