Complete with hiking paths, caves, archery, and more!

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Smithmore Castle in snow

A snow-draped castle nestled in the woods with a nearly 4,000-foot mountain view sounds pretty dreamy for this time of year, if you ask us. Turns out that vacation can be a reality if you book a stay at Smithmore Castle on English Knob Mountain in Spruce Pine, North Carolina.

The 100-acre property is an outdoor and fantasy lover's dream. Hiking paths dotted with Old English riddles, three caves, archery lessons, a Scottish-themed bar, gourmet dining in the original castle hall, multiple European-themed guest suites, and more await at this straight-out-of-a-fairytale stay.

Rob Smith bought the almost 50-year-old castle in 2008 and refurbished it with his family, he says. He opened the property to events in 2017 and eventually listed it on VRBO and Airbnb in 2019. "We loved it so much that we wanted to open it up to other people," Smith says.

The castle, formerly titled "Castle Inn," was renamed with Smith's last name and the property's idyllic surrounding in mind. "Our view is the Eastern Continental Divide, the Toe River Valley, Black Mountain, and Mount Mitchell, which is the highest point on the East Coast," Smith says, "so we have this spectacular view and the word 'more' from Old English means 'upland, rolling hills;' it just fit."

Smithmore Castle currently hosts up to 16 guests at one time, but that will soon change to 22 guests at the beginning of the new year. Guests have the option to book the whole castle or any number of the suites, which are decorated with French wallpaper original to the castle. Some of the suites also feature balconies looking out from the castle turrets and hot tubs.

Past guests' online reviews praise the concierge team and Chef Benjamin Epicure for their hospitality and the unique experiences offered to them. Each stay is curated to exactly what the guests are celebrating, Epicure says. A stay at Smithmore Castle is unlike a stay at any other resort or hotel because of the time and attention devoted to guests throughout their stay, he adds.

For the first time ever, Smithmore Castle will be decorated for the holidays complete with towering Christmas trees, garlands, wreaths, a roaring fire, and a visit from Santa. Local community members can visit Santa at Smithmore Castle on Thursday, December 2, and Friday, December 3. Tickets for Thursday are already sold out, but there are still some slots available for Friday.

If you're hoping to book a stay at Smithmore Castle, act fast! Reservations for January 2022 are quickly filling up, and we can only imagine how lovely a stay during the winter months would be.