Our Memorial Day Weekend just ended and it was a good one. It was good not only because we had lots of folks here, but also because of the quality of those guests.
First, we had a family reunion consisting of old friends and regular guests from Oklahoma enjoying a special time together. There were other repeat guests here as well, coming for another “Hemlock Experience”. We love our regulars and are humbled they return to visit so often. But we also had a fair number of guests who were here for the first time. We like to spend as much time as we can with every guest, but we are always intrigued by new folks. We can’t wait to sit down over dinner and get to know them. The group this weekend was especially delightful.
The first that comes to mind was a young couple from London. They flew into Atlanta late at night for a two week visit to the states. Hemlock Inn was their first stop. They loved their stay in our mountains, spending their days hiking in the Smokies and seeing all they could before heading to Nashville, Memphis, and New Orleans. Someone at their table asked them how they ended up at our small inn in a small town in western North Carolina. I was not at their table for this conversation, but was told their response was …”We were looking for a place like this…”. They wanted a place that was small and friendly; that was steeped in the culture of the area and whose food was genuine cuisine of the region. They were delighted to discover an added bonus with our family style meals and lazy susan tables. They loved getting to know other guests and sharing experiences. They were not looking for cookie cutter place and certainly not a chain with everyday meals. They wanted a unique experience and found it.
First of all, it goes without saying that our guests love visiting the area with its natural beauty and outdoor activities. But that conversation peaked my interest and I started paying more attention than usual as to why our new guests specifically chose our inn when they decided to visit the area. What I discovered was heartwarming and affirming. Some were referred by friends telling them if they came to this area, they HAD to stay at Hemlock Inn (there is no greater compliment than to have our guests refer their friends to visit us). Character and real homespun hospitality was very important to others. It was important to them to find a place that was genuine and exhibited the values they admired. Most found us on searches using the internet or social media, but all were looking for something different than the routine. They wanted an experience, not just a room. None of our new guests this weekend knew anyone else here when they arrived, but they left with hugs and exchanged addresses.
Summer is upon us. Schools will be letting out for the summer soon and the traditional vacation season will begin. We encourage you and your family to take trip and experience America. There are wonderful things to see and do all throughout our country. And there is no substitute for family time. If your travels brings you to the Great Smoky Mountains in Western North Carolina, we invite you to try Hemlock Inn. If you have been here before, you know what to expect. If you have never visited us, you may find that we were just the place you’ve been looking for….
Hope to see you soon