Nestled among the hills in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, you’ll find Hotel Domestique, a new luxury getaway located some 30 minutes north of Greenville, South Carolina. Reminiscent of a European country manor, the 13-room inn appeals to guests who want to unwind, enjoy some of the best cuisine in the Southeast and be active for all, or at least part, of their stay.
The hotel is the shared vision of George Hincapie, the renowned Tour de France cyclist, and his older brother, Rich, also a top cyclist. For them, the area’s terrain, so evocative of the French and Italian countryside, is the draw.
Cycling, not surprisingly, is the theme at Hotel Domestique. It starts with the name. In racing terminology, a “domestique” is the man who supports his teammates throughout the race, setting the pace and letting the leader ride in his slipstream. The allusions continue: Restaurant 17 refers to Hincapie’s world record 17 starts in the Tour de France, while guestrooms are named after villages or climbs along the route.
Twice a year, athletic and well-heeled guests sign up for the exclusive Climb with George package, which includes rides, massages, “skills” discussions, private dinners and fireside wine receptions.
Guests don’t have to be pros—there are plenty of easy routes in the area for recreational riders. No matter their level, cyclists will find their bikes waiting for them every morning at the front door, with routes uploaded to a GPS device.
Non-bikers can arrange golf or tennis at a nearby club or relax in the hotel’s saltwater lap pool. Less than an hour away are Greenville, S.C., and Asheville, N.C., with their restaurants, boutiques and galleries.
A highlight is the cuisine of chef Adam Cook, formerly with Blackberry Farm, and chef de cuisine Gregory McPhee, who helped open Husk Restaurant in Charleston. Both work closely with local growers and artisans to offer outstanding farm-totable creations that are, in the chef’s own words, “local expressions of the finest international dishes.”
For more information, go to hoteldomestique.com or call 864-516-1715.