This resort is a great resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Sapphire, North Carolina to be more precise. If you want to get away from your everyday hustle and enjoy a little of Mother Natures’ gifts this is a great place to start.
Video by Unsettled Journey
Day One Travel & Arrival at Diamond Resorts Fairway Forest Resort
I drove to the resort. I live in Virginia so it is not a long drive. My father and my grandparents were born in North Carolina. My Grandfather called it God’s country. Not based on faith or observance of the number of churches. Instead, what I believe he meant was that it was so beautiful.
This resort and its location are the same kinds of beautiful. The lake here and the view are amazing. There is just something about getting away from it all and spending time in nature. I like resorts that offer that sense of escape, or the ability to unplug. They are not my choice every time but they do really help you reset your mind, and kind of clear out the cobwebs.
I love tourist towns and all the trappings that go with them. But going to a resort that is an escape from the every day is special as well. Sometimes (especially these days) unplugging from social media, the internet, and your normal work life is of tremendous value. It may not be the only type of vacation you need or want, but, if you need to unplug or disconnect there is nothing like it.
Sometimes we take a vacation because we want to relax, or do fun things. Sometimes it is a little of both. This resort is a great option for both especially if you love mother nature.
The room is spacious and clean. You will see some recent reviews mention that the rooms are outdated. But really when you are in the woods and in the middle of all this nature, it would seem odd to have a brand new modern villa. They clearly have updated appliances and the beds are comfortable. I think people are just referring to the decorations, which as a guy I could care less about that. As long as a villa is clean, and everything works I am a happy person.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- Ice Maker
- In-Room Safe
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- Free WiFi
- Outdoor Pools
- Fitness Center
Resort is in process of refurbishment. 2-Bedroom units old and worn; 1-Bedroom units new and nice. Our check-in process was smooth, and the clerk was friendly and helpful. Checkout was also smooth. A car is necessary. The office, located in a strip mall on Rt 64, is about 2.7 miles from the units, which are located at the Sapphire National Golf Club. This is common in this area. We stayed at a nearby Bluegreen resort and had the same setup. The recreation facilities are located at the Sapphire Valley Resorts across the road from the check-in facility and are owned and operated by the Sapphire Valley Association. We did not mind the 2.7-mile drive to the recreation center, and it was interesting to talk to some of the local people who also use the facilities through their community associations. There was plenty of parking and plenty of room in the pools. The recreation facility was nice and included 3 pools (1 indoor), an exercise room, a game room, and a putt-putt course. They also had complete locker rooms for those that preferred to change there. We had a two-bedroom unit that looked over a babbling stream. The unit was old and worn (inside and outside), but Hilton was in the process of refurbishing the units. According to the front desk clerk, they completed the 1-bedroom units and are beginning work on the 2-bedroom units. We spoke to a couple who were staying in a 1-bedroom unit, and they said it was nice. Our 2-bedroom unit was split into 2 floors with the entrance, living area, kitchen, dining area, bedroom, and a bath on the top floor and the master bedroom and master bath on the lower floor. Each floor had a balcony overlooking the creek and forest. It also had a functional wood-burning fireplace – a plus in winter.
We just got home yesterday. This place was clean and literally surround by nature. The fun nature stuff is really close by. But you do have to drive. They had an indoor pool, pool table, golf, mini golf, ping pong, and private lake with boat rental reasonably priced) and fishing, snow skiing, sauna (that actually worked) and waterfalls close by. The master bathroom had a huge jacuzzi!
If someone is complaining about the place being outdated, it’s because there are some of the units that are outdated and they actually don’t want you staying in those. They push the updated units but if you want a jacuzzi tub you have to stay in the outdated ones. Diamond resorts are very clean. We had a nice quick getaway and enjoyed our stay here. The people in the rec area were really helpful. The workout area is really nice.
Great stay overall- nestled near the Nantahala Forest. Lots of hiking to beautiful waterfalls (Dry Falls) and scenic mountain views (Whiteside mountain). You have wonderful quality food choices, local farmers’ markets, and shops. The Fairway forest resort is on the Sapphire golf course and was excellently remodeled with a farmhouse vibe. The linens and towels were of excellent quality, and the bed was super comfortable. The shower had a rainfall showerhead that was excellent! We had a minor issue and it was taken care of immediately. The amenities were offsite (not a big deal) hot tub and pool were great and not crowded when were there. My only recommendation would be for the resort to add smart TV ( big Netflix fans) other than that 10 out of 10! Would absolutely stay again!
My family and I stayed in the 2 bedroom townhouse. It had a beautiful view; we loved it. The ladies at the registration office were amazing, very friendly, and helpful. Great resort for adults or family with kids.
Cool place. Wish we would have been able to have one of the updated units though. It was hard to find in the dark. The rental car GPS does not work well up in the mountain! We saw wildlife, dear with 2 fawns off our back balcony! Saw a small bear cross the road while driving. Cool to see but made me nervous about driving the winding, twisty roads. Lots to do. Nice indoor and outdoor pool. Rented a fishing boat, that was nice.
Pros: Very spacious place. I felt like I was at home. It had all the amenities you needed in the kitchen to make a small meal. The Wi-Fi was great and didn’t give us trouble at all. Streaming videos were a breeze. The place was very clean and well kept. Very pretty area in the mountains, which made for a nice weekend getaway. Cons: The walls are a little thin. We could hear our neighbors talking the whole time we were in the living room upstairs, and they weren’t being loud. We stayed downstairs the majority of the time, so it didn’t bother us too much. The cell service isn’t that great in the area. Make sure you load your Google maps directions while you’re connected to Wi-Fi before you leave!
Day Two Visiting Waterfalls
Visit a waterfall and enjoy the best of mother nature in the area. The area has a number of waterfalls that include Whitewater Falls, John’s Jump Falls, White Owl Falls, Turtleback Falls, and Fairfield Falls. There are other smaller waterfalls in the area as well. If you are spending time in Sapphire Valley, NC, and love, the best Mother Nature provides another falls to visit in the area is Rainbow Falls. Rainbow Falls is a waterfall in Western North Carolina, located near Brevard. The falls are located on the Horse Pasture River. It is on Pisgah National Forest land just outside Gorges State Park. It is one of several falls that are reached by hiking. Any good hike should have an itinerary and plan. This is true for beginners and experienced smoky mountain hikers alike. Having a hiking plan and sharing that planning help you stay safe.
It is amazing how many waterfalls are in this region of North Carolina. I have listed a few for you here, but there are too many to list in this area. Do some homework and find the ones that you want to see. I chose to visit 3 today starting with the amazing Whitewater Falls. My choice to make this first on my list was the photos available online. This waterfall drops over 400 feet with a series of cascading falls. I think it is the series of drops that make it particularly impressive.
My next fall visit today was actually several in a State Park, Gorges State Park. Gorges State Park is set in the midst of plunging waterfalls, rugged river gorges, sheer rock walls, and a high concentration of rare species, and exploration of this unique environment often begins at the expansive visitor center with its museum-quality exhibits, augmented by picnic grounds and shelters. Backcountry-style recreation is a hallmark of Gorges with distance hiking, backpack camping, trout fishing, mountain biking, and horseback riding, welcome in various parts of the rugged interior. The 7,500-acre park incorporates a portion of the long-distance Foothills Trail and touches Lake Jocassee at the South Carolina border. Trails and campsites continue to be developed at this relatively new state park.
Day Three Fairfield Lake & Beach
Fairfield Lake & Beach is open for access from 9 AM-7 PM, 7 days a week. Here you can rent a canoe, kayak, and paddle boat. They also have fishing boats and fishing poles for rent.
The lake here is over 55 acres in size and is well-stocked with fish. The views here are amazing. When you are on the lake you can see the tree-lined peaks of the surrounding hills or mountains.
Winter in this area brings skiing on some of those same slopes and plenty of snow in the season. The lake is a part of the Sapphire Valley Resort. This means there are plenty of options right near the lake including several restaurants.
I spent most of the day around the lake or on it, enjoying the views and feel of the area. If you are an outdoor fan, this place is amazing. The entire area has more waterfalls than I have seen in any area of the country. It is a hidden gem and truly magical.
After a day out, I went back to the villa to refresh and change, then I headed for my reservation at the Library. I had not been before and I was not aware that they had bar-like seating in front of the kitchen to watch the staff work and prep your meal. That works well for a single person to be able to belly up to the bar. I do not mind eating alone, some days I prefer it. But I do feel bad if the restaurant has to place me at a table for 4. I know even when I tip well I still might impact the waiter’s or waitress’s income from that table.
The food here was excellent, and it is a small enough venue where the chef comes out and interacts with the customers. It is a nice warm touch and he and his staff seemed dedicated to a great experience.
Do you want your own dream mountain vacation? Make sure to book this resort through Tzort.