Why We Love Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock NC

I cannot tell you how many times we've driven by Chetola Resort during our visits to Blowing Rock over the years. Nor can I tell you how many times we've made comments like "I wonder what that place is?", "We definitely need to try that out sometime" or "I wonder if it's open to the public?".

Well, "trying it out sometime" became a reality for a recent long weekend adventure! We could finally visit Chetola Resort in beautiful Blowing Rock NC, and to say we fell in love with Chetola would be an understatement.

Chetola means "haven of rest" in Cherokee and it definitely delivers. The name perfectly captures what you can expect to experience. We experienced luxury accommodations, excellent food and service, scenic beauty, and amazing guided outdoor sports experiences.

Disclosure: We were invited to stay at Chetola Resort and our stay was complimentary; however, all opinions and information are our own and we were not asked to influence our review/article. What you read below is our honest and sincere perspective on Chetola.

The Inn building and restaurant at Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock NC.

What is Chetola Resort?

Chetola Resort Blowing Rock NC

Chetola Resort is a gorgeous mountain resort in the heart of Blowing Rock NC. Chetola resort has over 70 acres for visitors to see, enjoy, and explore.

Chetola dates back to the 1840s, where it was a private residence. Back in 1982, the estate started welcoming visitors and became the public resort it is today.

Chetola is now a popular mountain resort, offering beautiful scenery and abundant amenities for families looking for relaxation and adventure.

We recently spent a weekend at Chetola Resort and Spa. We stayed at the lodge, dined at Timberlake's restaurant, fly fished with an Orvis endorsed guide, shotguns at the Chetola Sporting Reserve's shotgun and pistol ranges, massages at the luxurious spa, and just enjoyed the quiet and scenic views from our room.

Chetola Resort offers a wonderful blend of history, natural beauty, and modern luxury, making it a perfect destination for those looking for a retreat in the Blue Ridge Mountains. We really enjoyed our weekend stay at Chetola, and would highly recommend it!

Where is Chetola Resort?

Situated in the delightful town of Blowing Rock, North Carolina, Chetola Resort is surrounded by stunning landscapes and a warm community. In the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the resort offers a perfect blend of tranquility, making it an ideal destination for both relaxation and adventure.

Chetola Resort Map

Here is a map of Chetola resort, showing the size of the resort, and the locations of the restaurants, amenities, and accommodations. We picked up the map at the front desk, near Chetola lake.

Chetola Resort Map

Where to stay at Chetola Resort

Chetola Resort offers several options for accommodations based on your needs, preference and budget. They offer rooms in the main lodge, luxury accommodations in the restored Inn above the Timberlake restaurant, and rental condominiums.   

Chetola Lodge

Chetola Resort Lodge

During our recent visit, we stayed at Chetola Lodge which provides 42 well-appointed rooms and suites. Many, like the one we stayed at on the 3 floor, offer breathtaking views of Chetola Lake.

The 3rd floor is decorated with a rustic natural wood theme, complimented by excellent wall prints from a local photographer.   Our room was in the very top right of the above photo.

Chetola Resort Lodge Room

Each room has a large wall mural behind the bed. Ours featured a bear, which was perfect for us - we love the black bears of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

Our room featured a large bathroom and shower, king sized bed, flat screen TV, coffee/tea station, and a desk to work from. Our favorite feature of the room was the private balcony that overlooked beautiful Chetola Lake.

These rooms make for the perfect romantic or cozy getaway.

Let us add that the beds and linens are incredibly comfortable. We've stayed in many hotels over the years, and the beds at Chetola Resort are some of the best we've experienced. We slept well while visiting.

Have a pet? Chetola Lodge is pet friendly, and all first-floor rooms allow pets and feature hardwood flooring.

We were fortunate to stay on the 3rd floor, which has been remodeled and features a rustic decor, including natural wood on the walls and stunning mountain and wildlife photos from a local photographer

Bob Timberlake Inn

Bob Timberlake Inn at Chetola Resort

Immediately next door, and upstairs from Timberlakes restaurant, is the Bob Timberlake Inn. While we didn't stay at the Inn, we were given a tour of these exclusive and luxury accommodations.

The eight individually decorated and named rooms are located upstairs in the historic Manor House, and the Inn is named after the renowned artist Bob Timberlake. Each room has a unique name, after someone that had significant involvement in Chetola's history.

Each luxury room is adorned with Timberlake’s artwork and rustic furnishings and includes large luxurious beds, and jacuzzi tubs, and private balconies.

Guests staying at the Bob Timberlake Inn enjoy special amenities, including access to the inn’s private library, evening wine and hors d'oeuvres, and a gourmet breakfast. The inn radiates an atmosphere of refined relaxation, making it ideal for couples or solo travelers seeking a peaceful escape in the mountains.

Chetola Condominiums

Chetola Resort Condominiums

For families or larger groups, Chetola Condominiums provide spacious and comfortable lodging with all the conveniences of home. The rental condos are privately owned and furnished by the owners.

Guests have access to many Chetola resort amenities as well, including 24-hour guest services, security, and a resort team that is dedicated to making your vacation rental the very best. Full access to the fitness center, heated indoor pool, tennis courts, Chetola Lake, Spa at Chetola, the Sporting Reserve and Clubhouse, and much more. 

Condominium options include spacious and well-appointed 1, 2, 3 or 4-bedroom condominiums with a range of amenities, offering fully equipped kitchens, living and dining areas, and private balconies or patios.

Many condos feature gas or wood-burning fireplaces, making them a cozy retreat during the cooler months. 

Important: Condominiums are not handicap accessible and generally require a minimum 2 night stay.


Our favorite things about Chetola Resort

Jenn and I at the beautiful Chetola Resort Sporting

During our long weekend visit, we were able to experience many of the very best things Chetola has to see and do.

We had so much fun doing so, even with it being a rainy and overcast weekend. Chetola delivers first class activities and opportunities to do things you may have never experienced before.

While there, Jenn shot her very first gun. Both of us shot our very first moving clay targets, and we both caught our first mountain trout while fly-fishing.

We enjoyed fantastic food, incredible lake views, and a spa that would relax even the most stressed out person (trust as we know). During the weeks prior to our visit, life had been throwing some curve balls at us! The Spa and massage was just what we needed and really helped us to finally relax.

But without further ado, here are our personal top favorite things to do at Chetola, and ones we would highly recommend you experience for yourself!

Chetola Fly-fishing with Orvis

Chetola Resort Fly Fishing

While we enjoyed all the activities at Chetola, our favorite experience during our visit at Chetola was the Fly Fishing with Orvis experience. Check out the size of that trout!!

We met our Orvis guide, Dustin Coffey out in front of Timberlake's Restaurant at 8am and followed him out to a private fishing location called Whispering Waters. Our 1/2 day experience was a Wade trip.

Chetola also offers casting clinics and float clinics as well.

Turns out Dustin isn't only the head Orvis endorsed guide at Chetola, but also the 2024 Orvis guide of the year. Dustin is local and from the Boone NC area. Dustin been fly-fishing and teaching others for over 30 years.

We followed Dustin over to whispering waters, which is about 15 minutes from Chetola Resort. Dustin equipped us with fly rods, waders, and some heavy duty rain jackets since it was raining. We then spent a good 30 minutes going over technique and casting before we even got near the water. This was time well spent.

Dustin is not only a great guide, but, even more importantly, an excellent teacher. He is passionate about fly-fishing and can relate fly-fishing concepts to skills we were familiar with. For me, it was playing music on the banjo (Dustin also plays), and for Jenn it was art. This analogical teaching method is incredibly effective, and helped us pick up the basic concepts quickly.

Dustin Coffey Orvis Fly Fishing Guide of the year for 2024

After throwing out some lines a few times, and Dustin teaching us about how to react based on the movements and actions of the fish, we headed down to an open beach like area on the creek. Since this was a private fishing area, there were some monster trout and lots of them. Both rainbow and brown trout.

We caught about 10 different trout, all pretty large. Jenn caught a monster trout, the largest we've ever seen. The area is catch and release, so don't worry, we left a few for you to catch during your visit!

We had a wonderful time, and really enjoyed fishing with, talking to, and learning from Dustin. We learned more about fly-fishing in 4 hours than we have for the past 2 years of trying to fly fish from various videos and articles.

In fact, we enjoyed it so much, we both plan to get some gear and head out on some fly-fishing adventures.

We also learned that Jenn is a much better angler than Larry! #truestory #notafishstory

The Spa

Relaxation room at the Chetola spa

The Spa at Chetola opened in 2009, and offers massages along with facials, hair care, and nail care. The spa is located just off the indoor pool room. 

We returned from fly-fishing, grabbed some lunch at the Come Back Shack in Boone, NC, and grabbed some showers to clean the fish smell off before heading down to the Spa on the 2nd floor of the lodge.

We arrived at the Spa 15 minutes early, as requested, and were seated in the relaxation room. The relaxation room is a large living room like area with a fireplace, chairs, and a bar area and provides the perfect spot to unwind before receiving your treatments and/or massage.

The bar area offers complimentary herbal teas, coffee, and infused water. These enhance your sense of wellness as part of the overall spa experience. 

Refreshment Bar at the Chetola Spa

The host provided us with robes, spa slippers, and locker assignments. She pointed us to the men's and women's dressing areas to get changed and ready for our massages. The staff was super friendly and attentive, ensuring that every detail of our visit was perfect.

We changed and waited for our massage therapists to come get us. I really enjoyed the Blue Ridge Mountain Mint tea from Asheville Tea Company (or new favorite tea company btw). It was even blue!

We were soon called back for our massages, which were in dimly lit individual rooms behind the bar area.

The massage tables were super comfortable with built in warmers. We each had a 50 minute massage, which was wonderful and super relaxing. Both our therapists were super professional, very courteous, and super tolerant of us taking photos and video (thanks guys!).

We left the Spa super relaxed and feeling rejuvenated. We really enjoyed The Spa at Chetola, and highly recommend it. All the other guests we interacted with and observed were also very much enjoying their experience and had good things to say as well.

The Spa is all about relaxation and wellness. Its wide range of treatments, serene environment, and exceptional service make it a standout feature of the resort, and a must-visit for anyone looking to add a touch of luxury and relaxation to their stay. 

We highly recommend a visit!

Chetola Sporting Reserve

Chetola Sporting Resort

For those of you who follow-us, you know that we love some outdoor adventure! If you do as well, then Chetola Sporting Reserve is an unmissable highlight of the Chetola Resort experience.

Chetola Sporting Reserve spans over 67 acres of pristine wilderness, and offers a diverse array of outdoor activities that cater to both beginners and experienced outdoor enthusiasts.

One of the highlight features of the Sporting Reserve is its state-of-the-art shooting facilities, which we were able to experience first-hand. 

We began our adventure by driving out to the facility, which is about 15 minutes from Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock. The drive is a twisty and curvy mountain drive, but beautiful and takes you out to a remote and rustic forest where the reserve lodge is located.

Clay target shooting area at Chetola Sporting Reserve

The main lodge and shooting facilities are gorgeous. We started by shooting multiple clay targets at the 5 Stand Clay Station with Italian 20 gauge shot guns. Our instructor Brett Martin took us out to the clay station, went over the safety guidelines, then loaded up our guns and taught us how to shoot the various clay targets.

I went first and lucked out and hit the very first one. Subsequent attempts took a few more tries each time. It was fun and that gun smoke smell is wonderful (insert Home Improvment grunts).

Jenn was next, and this was her first time shooting a real gun. She did great, but after a few tries, she decided shotguns weren't for her.

Chetola Resort Pistol Range

We hopped onto a side-by-sides and headed up to the pistol range, where we unloaded a few boxes of ammo on the targets. We both really enjoyed the pistols, and with some guidance from Brett, we could hit dead center of the target a few times.

Larry and Jenn at Chetola Sporting Reserve

We then toured the highlight of the sporting reserve, the sporting clay course, which was meticulously designed to mimic natural hunting conditions. The course provides a series of challenges for shooters of all skill levels.

The course has 13 stations set against the stunning backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Guests can test their aim and improve their shooting techniques under the guidance of expert instructors. 

The sporting reserve provides fun for the whole family and includes air guns and archery as well.

The Sporting Reserve also features a luxurious clubhouse, which serves as a welcoming retreat after a day of outdoor activities. The clubhouse offers comfortable seating areas, a fireplace, and a well-stocked bar, providing the perfect spot to relax and share stories of the day’s adventures. 

The clubhouse was our next stop, where we enjoyed a few drinks and relaxed while talking to Brett and learning more about the history of the resort and the sporting reserve. Let me say, the cherry old fashioned was fantastic!

Whether you are a new shooter, an experienced shooter, or simply someone who enjoys exploring the great outdoors, the Chetola Sporting Reserve provides an exceptional experience that is both exhilarating and rejuvenating.

The Views

Chetola Lake at Chetola Resort

Chetola Lake from our room at Chetola Lodge

While it did rain for the much of our long weekend at Chetola, we were able to enjoy the scenic views from our balcony. The views of the 8-acre lake are wonderful. We really enjoyed watching the ducks and swans.

The landscaping and attention to detail at Chetola are exceptional. The maintenance and landscaping crew has really done a fantastic job with the resort. While Chetola is literally in the heart of Blowing Rock NC, it's hard to tell when you're there. 

During the summer, you can also enjoy paddle boats, kayaks and paddle boards to explore the lake.

We did see a little sunshine during our last day there, and enjoyed exploring around the lake and dam and taking photos of the resort.

Here are a few of the photos we captured:

Walking/Hiking

Moses Cone Memorial Park

Chetola Resort itself offers lots of options for walking or running. The low traffic roads throughout the resort are one option, and we saw many people out walking (even in the rain) during our visit. 

There is also a very nice trail that goes around Lake Chetola, that offers nice lake views and access to the wildlife that is there at the lake, including geese, swans, ducks, squirrels and more.

Nearby to Chetola Resort are several different hiking options. You can find more information on these in our Blowing Rock NC guide, including the Blue Ridge Parkway and Moses Cone Memorial Park.

Fitness Center

Chetola Resort Fitness Center

Chetola Resort Fitness Center

If you're into fitness, the Fitness Center at Chetola Resort is a modern, well-equipped facility designed to meet all your exercise needs while visiting.

Featuring state-of-the-art cardio and strength training equipment, the center ensures the ability to get a great workout even when traveling.

Complementing the fitness amenities are an indoor heated pool, hot tub, and sauna, perfect a post-workout. 

Timberlake's Restaurant

Timberlake's Restaurant at Chetola Resort

Timberlake's Restaurant at Chetola Resort offers a dining experience that perfectly complements the resort's luxurious and peaceful atmosphere.

Named after renowned North Carolina artist and designer Bob Timberlake, the restaurant showcases a blend of Southern elegance and rustic mountain charm. Timberlake's artwork and decor makes the interior feel warm and inviting and really captures the feel of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Timberlake's serves breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week. They even serve brunch on the weekends, with Mimosas and other adult-drink options. We enjoyed both dinner and breakfast/brunch during our weekend stay.

The menu at Timberlake's Restaurant is seasonal, and they had just changed over to a new menu before our visit. Here are the different menus at the time of our visit to give you some idea of the culinary delights you can expect to enjoy:

Dinner at Timberlakes

Inn common area at Timberlake's Restaurant Chetola Resort.  There is a warm stone fireplace and comfy leather chairs.

Our first experience with Timberlake's Restaurant was on Friday evening, the day we arrived at Chetola Resort. We were amazed at how beautiful and rustic the main inn building was. There was a cozy warm fireplace, live acoustic music playing, and big'ol comfy chairs to sit in.

We were seated near the windows overlooking the patio and lake, which was gorgeous. There was a wedding going on lakeside, so we enjoyed dinner while watching all the wedding activities, and reminisced about our own wedding many years ago.

After looking over the menu, we started with some drinks, some complimentary cornbread with apple butter and tried the baked goat cheese appetizer. 

For our main courses, we enjoyed the crab cakes and grilled salmon. We couldn't resist their seasonal dessert specials, and really enjoyed the Hummingbird Cake, and a double layer strawberry shortcake.  

Our meal was great, our server was fantastic and the atmosphere very relaxing, and romantic.

Here are some photos we took of our meal, the restaurant, pub, and main inn floor.

Breakfast/Brunch at Timberlakes

Timberlake's server breakfast daily, and brunch on weekends. We enjoyed brunch there Saturday and Sunday morning and it was very good.  

We had the crab cakes benedict and stuffed French toast with some hot coffee. They also have mimosas and other brunch drinks available from the bar if desired.

Overall, Timerberlake's Restaurant delivers a really nice dining experience that enhances your stay at Chetola Resort. But even if you aren't staying at Chetola, the restaurant is open to the public.

Pool, Hot Tub and Sauna

Chetola Resort Indoor Pool

Relaxation is taken to a new level at Chetola Resort with the luxury amenities of the indoor pool, large hot tub, and sauna. The pool is also a wonderful way to keep the kids busy as well.

The Indoor Heated Pool

The indoor heated pool at Chetola Resort is open year-round and perfect for both relaxation and exercise. With its big windows and beautiful views, the pool area is filled with natural light and has a peaceful vibe.

Whether you're staying fit, relaxing, or keeping the kids busy, the pool is a perfect place to unwind.

The Hot Tub

Chetola Resort Hot Tub

The large hot tub is located right next to the pool. The hot tub offers a haven of relaxation. The warm, bubbling waters are ideal for easing muscle tension and unwinding after a day of exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains. With its tranquil setting and comfortable seating, the hot tub invites you to relax and enjoy a moment of pure indulgence.

The Sauna

An added luxury is the sauna at Chetola Resort which provides the perfect way to detox and unwind.

The sauna's dry heat helps relax muscles, improve circulation, and boost overall wellness. The sauna at Chetola is the perfect spot to unwind and feel the serenity that defines this place.

The sauna is located just off from the pool and near the hot tub.

Other things to love about Chetola Resort

Bridge over Chetola Lake at Chetola Resort

While the list above where our personal favorites when visiting, Chetola resort doesn't stop there.  The resort provides many more things to do and see.   

For the kids

Kids Playground at Chetola Resort

Chetola Resort is a family-friendly resort that offers a wide range of activities designed to entertain and engage children of all ages. With its scenic setting and wealth of amenities, the resort ensures that younger guests have just as much fun as the adults, making it an ideal vacation spot for families.

Amenities for kids include:

  • Outdoor playground
  • Tennis and Pickle Ball
  • Fishing Clinics
  • Fishing with fishing rods and bait
  • Paddle Boats, Kayaks, and Paddleboards
  • 9-hole disc Golf
  • Lawn Games
  • Kid's game room with TV, ping-pong table, board games, video games, puzzles and more

The resort often organizes arts and crafts sessions, and movie nights and seasonal events and program tailored for children.

Meeting Rooms

Chetola Resort Meeting Room

Chetola Resort is not only a destination for relaxation and recreation but also an ideal venue for meetings, conferences, and special events. With a variety of versatile meeting and conference rooms, the resort offers a professional and inspiring setting for all types of gatherings, from corporate retreats to social celebrations.

They even offer a variety of catering options to complement any event, from coffee breaks and working lunches to elegant dinners and cocktail receptions. 

What's Nearby to Chetola Resort?

Moses Cone Memorial Park

While Chetola Resort offers a wealth of amenities and attractions within its own grounds, the surrounding area of Blowing Rock, North Carolina, is brimming with opportunities for exploration and adventure. From outdoor excursions to cultural experiences, there's no shortage of things to see and do just moments away from the resort.

The Town of Blowing Rock

Blowing Rock NC

Just a short drive from Chetola Resort lies the charming village of Blowing Rock. Known for its quaint downtown, art galleries, and delicious dining options.  Blowing Rock offers a delightful blend of small-town charm and upscale amenities. 

Take a leisurely stroll down Main Street to browse the unique boutiques and antique shops, or stop for a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants serving up Southern hospitality and regional cuisine. Be sure to visit the famous Blowing Rock attraction as well for incredible views.


The Blue Ridge Parkway

Fall Color at Linn Cove Viaduct

Head out on a scenic drive like no other,  along the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of America's most scenic roadways.

Just minutes from Chetola Resort, this iconic road winds through the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, offering breathtaking scenic views, waterfalls, and opportunities for outdoor adventure. 

Pack a picnic and stop at one of the many picnic areas along the parkway, or lace up your hiking boots and explore the network of hiking trails that crisscross the landscape.


Moses H. Cone Memorial Park

Moses Cone Memorial Park

Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Moses H. Cone Memorial Park is a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

The park features a historic estate built by textile magnate Moses Cone, as well as over 25 miles of carriage trails perfect for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Explore the beautifully landscaped grounds, visit the historic manor house, or simply enjoy the beauty of the park's forests, meadows, and mountain vistas.


Grandfather Mountain

Grandfather Mountain Mile High Swinging Bridge

You can't miss out on Grandfather Mountain if you're into adventure and stunning nature.

Located just a short drive from Chetola Resort, this iconic landmark boasts rugged cliffs, dense forests, and panoramic views that stretch for miles. Take a scenic drive to the summit and walk across the famous Mile High Swinging Bridge, or explore the network of hiking trails that lead to waterfalls, wildlife habitats, and stunning overlooks.


Linville Falls

Linville Falls NC

Discover the natural wonder of Linville Falls, located within the Pisgah National Forest just a short drive from Chetola Resort.

A stunning series of waterfalls plunges into a dramatic gorge, forming a breathtaking exhibition of nature's beauty. Choose from a variety of hiking trails that offer different vantage points of the falls, or pack a picnic and enjoy lunch with a view.


Tweetsie Railroad

Step back in time with a visit to Tweetsie Railroad, a Wild West-themed amusement park in Blowing Rock, and just down the road a bit from Chetola Resort. 

Kids of all ages will love riding the historic steam locomotive, exploring the Old West-themed attractions, and enjoying live entertainment and shows. With rides, games, and interactive exhibits, Tweetsie Railroad offers a full day of old west themed family-friendly fun.

Boone NC

Things to do in Boone NC

Boone NC, located about 15 minutes from Chetola, is a vibrant college town full of shops, restaurants, large city conveniences and more.  

Home to Appalachian State University, Boone boasts a lively arts scene, diverse dining options, and numerous outdoor recreational opportunities.

Explore the historic downtown area, where you'll find eclectic shops, galleries, and cafes. Don't miss the chance to visit the Mast General Store, a beloved local landmark that offers everything from outdoor gear to old-fashioned candies.

About the author

Larry Deane is co-owner of Blue Ridge Mountain Life. He has spent more than 20 years exploring the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and has a deep passion for nature, history, storytelling, and adventure. Along with his wife Jenn, they combined these passions to create Blue Ridge Mountain Life, a travel guide to these stunning mountains they are fortunate to call home.

Larry has more than 20 years of experience as a writer and journalist, and has established himself as a leading voice and expert for Blue Ridge Mountains. He is also an avid hiker, photographer, and videographer. He loves sharing his mountain adventures and knowledge with more than 500,000 people per month on Blue Ridge Mountain Life.


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