The Orchard Inn
Table Of Contents
No matter where you start, The Orchard Inn is a perfect destination. If you are coming from the north, you’ll descend through the lower mountains and valleys of the Blue Ridge to just below the village of Saluda, whose entire downtown area has been designated on the National Historic Register. From the south, you wind from the upper piedmont into the foothills; then, by the “old road,” a Scenic By-way,’ up through the Pacolet River gorge past rocky falls so close they mist your windshield.Either way, as you approach your destination up the long winding driveway, the rest of the world falls away and you enter a mountain top escape on 20 peaceful acres.
In addition to the nine guest rooms in the main building, there are five cottage suites complete with fireplaces, whirlpool baths, and private decks. All are comfortably furnished with period pieces and antiques, many with queen-size four-poster beds. After your quiet night’s rest, your day begins with a full breakfast served on the glassed-in dining porch overlooking the Warrior Mountains to the east. You won’t find a lovelier place to enjoy the great outdoors – hiking, fishing, kayaking, and view from orchard inn birding are all nearby activities, as well as golf and tennis within a few minutes’ drive. More structured activities include a trip to nearby Connemara, Carl Sandburg’s home; the Biltmore House, Gardens and Winery; the Flat Rock Playhouse, North Carolina’s State Theater; and the internationally known Brevard Music Center.
Fresh homemade breakfast greet you every day. Plus finely prepared fresh and local food in our restaurant each night. Try our recipes out at home and relive the experience.
About Marc & Marianne Blazar: In 1978 Marc and Marianne were both independently owner/operators of 40′ sailing charter boats in the Virgin Islands. Marianne had left Vienna Austria to spend a year in the tropics, Marc from Newport, RI in search of adventure. The two met serendipitously over a photo Marianne took of Marc’s rainbow spinnaker sailing down the Francis Drake passage off St. John. Little did she know Marc was himself a photographer or that this would be the beginning of their star crossed destiny together. They both chartered for four years – taking guests from St. Thomas for week long cruises Island hopping in the British Virgin Islands.
Since they were both chefs on their respective boats, preparing 3 gourmet meals a day in a tiny galley, they often remarked at what a dynamic duo they would be working together. As landlubbers on the beautiful Island of St. Thomas, the two were very involved in the local community, their four one hour photo shops, raising three wonderful sons, and traveling the world doing corporate event photography for Fortune 100 clients.
While staying at 5 star resorts and hotels from Bali to Paris, on deluxe cruise ships and small ultra luxurious tented camps in the Maasai Mara, the Blazar’s took copious notes while dreaming of owning their own small hotel one day. Three years of crisscrossing America in search of the perfect B&B ultimately ended in Saluda with the Orchard Inn. Innkeeping is the culmination of experience for Marc & Marianne, who are the quintessential host and hostess.
Join us for Dinner
The Orchard Inn typically serves dinner Thursday through Saturday by reservation only. On dinner evenings, complimentary hors d’oeuvres are offered prior to seating between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Jackets are suggested for gentlemen. The Inn sells beer and wine to complement the four-course dinner ($49 plus tax and gratuity). Local, small production and organic products are used when possible.
For dinner reservations, please call 1-800-581-3800 or 828-749-5471
- Sundried Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup
- Potato and Root Vegetable Soup
- Fresh Local Farmers Greens with Cherry Tomatoes,
- Hearts of Palm, Yellow Peppers, 3 Spice Goat Cheese Bites,
- Roasted Sunflower Seeds and
- Orchard Inn Dressing
Organic Grass fed Beef Tenderloin with Apple Horse Radish Sauce, Whipped Potatoes, Fresh Asparagus
Fresh Sunburst Trout Almandine with Rice Pilaf, Fresh Asparagus
Duck – Hunter’s Way: Mushrooms, Red Wine Cabbage, Whipped Potatoes, Cranberry Sauce
- Mini Pawlowa with Fresh Berries
- Chocolate Decadence
- Viennese Apfel Strudel
For the ideal mountaintop wedding or wedding party, The Orchard Inn provides an elegant, intimate setting enhanced by the warm hospitality that is our signature. Picture yourself with your friends and family in our spacious living room with the mountains as your backdrop, or perhaps toasting with champagne by our grand fireplace or under the arbor on our picturesque back deck.
Let us accommodate your next retreat or family reunion! Nestled in the scenic North Carolina mountains, The Orchard Inn is the ideal getaway spot for a variety of groups (Boards, Administrative Teams, Sessions, Vestries, Book Clubs, Section Groups, Offices, etc.). Our conference room, living room and dining porch are spacious areas conducive to your business meeting needs. Here you will find a space that is quiet, comfortable and personalized to your group’s liking. For information on booking a group at The Orchard Inn, please contact us at (800) 581-3800 or email us.
Looking for exciting incentives or rewards for your staff? Ask us about discounts on multiple gift certificates!
“A fabulous place for a retreat – business or personal!”
5 of 5 stars TripAdvisor Review – July 26, 2011
I recently facilitated an executive retreat at The Orchard Inn , where innkeepers Marc and Marianne and their staff provided exceptional service, wonderful food and great hospitality. The setting was fabulous – comfortable, casual chic quaint rooms, a beautiful wooded setting and a large open sitting area for us to hold our meetings and a great deck and porch for relaxing in the evening or having private conversations. I stayed in the Keeping Room, which I learned was the residence for previous innkeepers. It was large and comfortable with a sitting area, fireplace, modern bathroom and a door to the front porch. Marc selected great wine to go along with the fabulous meals prepared by Marianne. Their boxer, Rocco, was the center of attention and had an open invitation to join our meetings :-) I highly recommend The Orchard Inn for either business or pleasure.
- 5 of 5 stars Value
- 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
- 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
- 5 of 5 stars Service
Unlike many of the old inns of its time in places like Linville and Cashiers, The Orchard Inn was not originally open to the public. Built by the Brotherhood of Clerks for Southern Railway in 1926, the simple farm-house style lodging was created as a summer getaway for railroad employees and their families. Located at an altitude of 2500 feet and part of the thermo-clime, the temperatures were considerably cooler than South Carolina, Georgia and Louisiana, where most of the clerks resided.
Deep porches on all four sides of the Inn, originally called the Mountain Home, allowed guests to circumnavigate the building as they sought the coolest spots throughout the summer days. Sitting in rocking chairs or playing cards or checkers was the primary pastime. The second floor was originally designed with 10 guestrooms having separate men and ladies communal bathrooms on opposite ends of the hallway designated for clerks with families. Unmarried clerks were given more primitive quarters in one of the three bachelors’ bunk rooms on the first floor. Three meals a day were originally served downstairs in the basement dining room. All the guests shared the spacious first-floor lobby, which served as the living room. The area – with its wood floors, timber posts, numerous windows and doors opening to porches on all sides – was, and remains, a breezy retreat.
Also first built in 1926, to accommodate the Inn’s staff, were the Paulownia, Boxwood and Twin Poplar Cottages. They were originally very simple structures which were modernized in the 1950′s.
Many local citizens found jobs working at the Mountain Home or providing services for its visitors. Mr. Bill Pace, a native of Saluda, and his family supplied wood and coal as well as transporting guests with their baggage from the train depot in town to the Inn for 25 cents per person.
The Mountain Home was sold in 1963 and fell into a state of disrepair and neglect. From 1974-75 it was owned by Ms. Ella Sue Smith of Beaufort, SC who called it the White Stag Inn. It was then purchased by the Watson family from Florida, called the Wayside Inn, and operated as a dinner only restaurant until 1978. Peter Vassil then purchased the property, calling it the Railroad House, and operating it as a restaurant for three years. In 1981 the Inn was closed and all the furniture and fixtures were sold at public auction. In that same year Ken and Ann Hough from Charlestown purchased the property and completely renovated the main building, and eventually the cottages, creating the wonderful B&B it is today. They ran the Inn for 12 years, then leased it to Newell & Ronnie Doty from 1995-97. Bob & Kathy Thompson purchased the Inn in 1997 and ran it very successfully for 13 years. Now the Orchard Inn is in the stewardship of Marc & Marianne Blazar who searched for 3 years to find the perfect B&B. They knew the moment they walked up the front steps of this wonderful historic building that their quest was over, and they had found the place of their dreams.
The Inn is on the National Register of Historic Places as the Railway Clerks’ Mountain Home.
Saluda is noted for its steepest graded railroad track, its orchards, its climate, its art, crafts, antiques, its biking, hiking, white water kayaking, and fly fishing. There’s also great food and music. Plus, Saluda is possibly the only town in America whose entire downtown business district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
This Blue Ridge village of about 600 is also the site of the annual Coon Day Festival, which takes place the first Saturday after the fourth of July each year.
It used to take a lot of pull to visit anyone in Saluda – by train that is. The 3 mile haul westward from Melrose to Saluda remains the steepest main line standard gauge of railroad track in the country. The railroad, which used to deposit passengers at a depot a couple of hundred yards east of today’s bridge overpass, started after the Civil War, to connect Spartanburg with Asheville. Convict laborers began laying track in Polk County in 1873 and reached Saluda in 1878. It was the first track to cross the Blue Ridge in North Carolina. According to the book “The North American Railroad” the Saluda Hill section had to climb to a crest of at an average 243 feet per mile (a 4.7 % incline).This forced builders to construct ” a shelf along the hill slope….to reach Saluda in a crease in the edge of the uplands,” extending to Asheville for 35 miles.
Railroad passengers found Saluda charming because of its beautiful mountain scenery and its thermo-clime – a weather phenomenon that reduces frost and dew, resulting in an extraordinary variety of plants and wildflowers. As a result, Saluda became a summer resort especially for people living in Columbia, SC. The end of regular passenger train service in December 1968 has not reduced Saluda’s appeal for tourists, who now frequent the area all year round. With its close proximity to Historic Hendersonville, Flat Rock and Asheville there are an abundant number of activities and things to see and do here.
The following are some of our recommendations
- Fly Fishing
- Biltmore Estate
- Pearson Falls
- Chimney Rock
- Carl Sandburg Home
The Perfect NC Location
Convenient to all area airports. Click here for our maps and directions. Travel time to The Orchard Inn from:
- Asheville, SC - 25 minutes
- Spartanburg, SC - 45 minutes
- Charlotte, NC - 1 1/2 hours
- Columbia, SC - 2 hours
- Greensboro, NC - 3 1/2 hours
- Charleston, SC - 3 1/2 hours
Looking to find us via Bing! or an airplane:
Our Latitude is: 35.22973132709939
Our Longitude is: -82.336944937706