The Swag is a mountaintop treasure. At an elevation of 5,000 feet, the resort borders the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where the views are spectacular and the rustic inn provides a luxurious getaway from the hustle and bustle of life. And with just 14 rooms, this nationally-recognized and awarded country inn is as intimate as it is luxurious.

The Swag’s 37th season in 2018 was a memorable one — not only for guests who enjoyed The Swag’s upscale rustic charm and hospitality — but also for David and Annie Colquitt, who purchased the iconic inn from long-time owners and founders, Deener and Dan Matthews. 

The Colquitts, members of the Haslam family of Knoxville, Tennessee, honeymooned at The Swag in 2011, and fell in love with the peaceful, beautiful aura of the property.

“We love people and nature and are excited to bring it together in this special place,” Annie said. 

“What a year 2018 was,” David said. “What makes The Swag so special is not the incredible views, the wonderful food or the beautiful rooms, but rather, it’s the people — the guests who come visit our little corner of the world and the people who work at The Swag.”

The accolades keep coming

Condé Nast Traveler recently announced the Readers’ Choice 2018 Top Resorts in the South — and The Swag was named to The Top 10 list at No. 7.

“Annie and I are familiar with several of the resorts on the 2018 Top Resorts in the South, and we are honored to have The Swag included alongside them,” David said.

Earlier in 2018, Travel+ Leisure ranked The Swag as the No. 3 Hotel in the American South and the No. 11 Best Hotel Resort in the Continental United States.  

“Whether it is Condé Nast, Travel + Leisure, or any other publication, we are incredibly honored,” David said. “These rankings are a testament to the vision of Deener and Dan Matthews, the hard work of staff and The Swag guests, who have supported this mountaintop hideaway for nearly four decades.”

2019 events to delight

The Swag is literally steps from the Great Smoky Mountains NationalPark, making it a perfect place to learn about the Great Smoky Mountains and wildlife.

The inn’s 38th season kicks off Good Friday, April 19. And, holidays and special occasions are celebrated at The Swag.

“We look forward to celebrating our first Easter at The Swag,” said David. “Holidays at The Swag are a very special time and we hope people will consider celebrating a special day with us.”

The events are included for overnight guests; non-overnight visitors are welcome to make meal reservations for private picnics, Wednesday gourmet picnics at Gooseberry Knob, romantic and special occasion dinners, Thursday night barbecues and Sunday brunch.

Events highlight nature, mountain life

Old and new events span the season. All of last year’s events leaders are returning, to the delight of guests who like to book when a special leader is in residence. 

And, there are new events this season, including hikes and photography lessons with Steve Yocom and an exclusive Synchronous Fireflies Excursion with Esther Blakely and Cataloochee Valley Tours.

The Swag may be adding events, so check the schedule and description of events at

The Swag events schedule 2019:

April 19 - 28 — Songs from the Hearth, Doug and Kathy Peters

April 20 — Easter celebration

April 28 - May 3 — Explore and Enjoy, Joel and Kathy Zachry

May 7 - 11 — Smoky Mountain Nature, Charles and Janice Maynard

May 12 - 17 —Walks in the Woods, Esther Blakely

May 19 - 26 — Walks, Painting, Printmaking, Gay Bryant

May 26 — Memorial Day celebration

May 28 - June 2 — Hikes & Photography Lessons, Steve Yocom

June 3 and June 6 — Synchronous Fireflies at The Swag, Esther Blakely

June 4 - 5 —  The Swag Cooking School, executive chef Jake Schmidt

June 9 - 14 — Explore and Enjoy, Joel and Kathy Zachry

June 20 - 23 — Songs from the Hearth, Doug and Kathy Peters

June 30 - July 5 —  Birding and Wildflowers, Bob and Louise Collier

July 4 — Independence Day Celebration

July 14 - 19 — Walks in the Woods, Esther Blakely

Aug. 5 - 6 — The Swag Cooking School, executive chef Jake Schmidt

Aug. 11 - 16 — Walks in the Woods, Esther Blakely

Aug. 17 - 31 — Black Bears & ‘Unhuggables,’ Michael Pelton and Tamra Willis

Sept. 1- 6 — Birding and Wildflowers, Bob and Louise Collier

Sept. 8 - 13 — Explore and Enjoy, Joel and Kathy Zachry

Sept. 16 - 20 — Hikes & Photography Lessons, Steve Yocom

Sept. 22 - 29 — Songs from the Hearth, Doug and Kathy Peters

Sept. 30 - Oct. 1 — The Swag Cooking School, executive chef Jake Schmidt

October 1 - 6 — Hikes & Photography Lessons, Steve Yocom

October 7 - 13 — Walk & Talk, Donald Davis

October 13 - 18 —  Birding and Wildflowers, Bob and Louise Collier

October 20 - 25 — Explore and Enjoy, Joel and Kathy Zachry

Nov. 3 - 10 — Songs from the Hearth, Doug and Kathy Peters

Nov. 10 - 17 — Walks, Painting, Printmaking, Gay Bryant

Nov. 17 - 23 — Hikes & Photography Lessons, Steve Yocom

Nov. 24 - 30 — Black Bears & "Unhuggables," Michael Pelton and Tamra Willis

Nov. 28 — Thanksgiving 

“While we are looking forward to all of the special events, we are most looking forward to the Synchronous Firefly Tours June 3 and 6,” David said. “These will be two very special nights — and are already sold-out.”

Music with barbecue

Last fall, The Swag began hosting well-known local musicians Thursday nights, to accompany Thursday evening barbecue feasts. Guests were treated to musicians including Balsam Range members Darren Nicholson and Marc Pruett and bluegrass, with the Hill Country Band. Music kicks off Thursday, April 25, with the Darren Nicholson Band and runs several Thursdays a month through Nov. 14. 

The Swag is an all-inclusive mountaintop resort at 2300 Swag Road, Waynesville. For information on special events or dining reservations, call 828-926-0430 or 800-789-7672. Follow events on The Swag’s Face Book page.

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