Posts By : Rich Hincapie

A Festive Season: Join Us For The Holidays

Like many of you, we look forward to the Holidays each year in the Carolinas. Rich and I chose Greenville, SC and the Upstate region as our headquarters for many reasons: the beautiful setting, miles of scenic mountain roads, the vibrant lifestyle, a friendly community, and the year-round mild climate. This is our home. Each holiday season I’m reminded of how much this place means to me, and how welcoming everyone has made us feel. We are truly fortunate to be able to raise our children here, in this wonderful corner of the world. And we want you to share the joys of this season with us. We have a full December Calendar of fun events and dinners for you and your loved ones to celebrate as well.

The holidays come just once a year and that’s what makes them so special. Rich and I look forward to seeing you and sharing in the celebration.

Happy Holidays,



Wednesday, 12/24: Christmas Eve Dinner at Restaurant 17

Chef Adam and his team are preparing a delicious culinary experience on one of the most magical nights of the year. With a truly one-of-a-kind menu that features a number of subtle interpretations of traditional holiday dishes, Restaurant 17 is the ideal place to start a new Christmas Eve tradition with your family. See our Christmas Eve Menu.

Wednesday, 12/31: Ring in ’15 at 17

What an eventful year it has been. If 2015 is anything like 2014 then it promises to be full of close friends, good times, and lifelong memories. We will be kicking the year off right at Hotel Domestique and Restaurant 17 with a New Year’s dinner and celebration for the ages. Learn more about our New Year’s Eve celebration.

Tuesday Nights (recurring): Cena Italiana, 3 Courses for $30

Every Tuesday Chef Adam will serve Cena Italiana (Italian Supper) with a unique menu of handmade pastas. See the current Cena Italiana menu.

The 2014 Gran Fondo: A Homecoming

Saturday, October 25, 2014 will go down as one of the most rewarding and enjoyable days of my life. Having opened Hotel Domestique and Restaurant 17 late last summer, last year’s event was more of a kick-off, an introduction of things to come. With a full year under our belts it was a whole different experience this year, as we were able to share this pivotal moment in time with friends and family—not only from the Upstate area, but from all over the country and world. It was deeply gratifying for both me and Rich.

Along the home stretch
At one point during the ride, as we were rounding a climb with the view of the mountains (that are every bit as scenic and awe-inspiring as the countryside in Italy and France) I remember thinking to myself how fortunate we are to live here. To be able to start a family here in this area, to work here, and become part of this great community has truly been a blessing. The memories we made, not only this day, but over the course of the past year, have been something I will treasure the rest of my life. I look forward to the year ahead, creating new memories with family and friends, on the road and at the Hotel and Restaurant. It’s home after all.

Thank you all for making the Gran Fondo Weekend so special this year!


See the 2014 Gran Fondo Gallery

2014 Gran Fondo: Looking forward to a peak experience

Everything is coming together perfectly for the 2014 Gran Fondo this weekend (Oct. 25). The fall leaves are peaking. The weather’s going to be ideal. And lots of friends, family, and fellow cycling enthusiasts will be on hand for what promises to be an epic weekend in the Carolina Mountains. It’s hard to believe that it’s been a full year since we unofficially kicked off the hotel and restaurant at the 2013 Gran Fondo. It’s been a busy and rewarding 12 months, and now that the time has come again it gives me great pride and pleasure to be a part of this weekend.

Making memories on the bike and off
Rich and I have always had a fondness for this area: the mild year-round weather, the natural beauty of the countryside, the winding mountain roads—it’s why we chose to make this place our home. One of our goals for Hotel Domestique and Restaurant 17 was to create a place that people could visit and feel at home themselves. We love to be able to share these experiences, like the Gran Fondo, with the many people we have either grown up with, or grown close to over the years. My hope is that we will continue to draw more and more people each year that not only appreciate the sport of cycling, but enjoy making memories with their loved ones in this beautiful region. That is what this ride is all about.

Hope to see you this weekend!


Fall is looking bright

As a cyclist, fall has always been my favorite time of year, especially in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s a big reason why my family and I chose to make Upstate South Carolina our home, and why we decided to build a luxury hotel and restaurant in this picturesque region. In addition to having some of the best roads and trails for cycling in the country, the area has four distinct seasons, each one spectacular in its own unique way.

Summer blows out in epic form
It’s been a quick, eventful year. In late August we threw our “farewell to summer” party by celebrating the USA Pro Challenge, sometimes referred to as “America’s Race.” I couldn’t have been more proud of how the Hincapie team performed, not only that week in Colorado, but throughout the summer season. Highlights included the Tour of Utah, in which Joey Rosskopf took second place to Cadel Evans in Stage 6; and of course, the team’s biggest victory to date: Robin Carpenter’s impressive Stage 2 win at the Pro Challenge out in Colorado. It was truly remarkable, as was the Pro Challenge Party we held at the Hotel. We had 75%20 riders show up for a fun, spirited ride, and then celebrated afterward with great food and drink prepared by our very own Chef Adam Cooke and his staff at Restaurant 17.

Fall breezes in with high expectations
It’s hard to believe that this time last year we were putting the finishing touches on Restaurant 17 in preparation for the 2013 Gran Fondo in October. It was a swirl of activity that culminated in a great weekend—despite the wet weather. With a full year under our belt since then, it is a great time to reflect on the many successes we have had—that includes those on and off the bike. Both the hotel and the restaurant have really been on a roll, and with fall on the horizon the calendar is filled with guests from all over coming to stay, tour the area, hike, bike, and enjoy what we feel is one of the most elevated hospitality experiences in the country. We also have some big events coming up, including the 2014 Gran Fondo in October. The interest is even greater this year and we expect a huge turnout. It will be a full weekend of cycling, delicious cuisine, fine wine, and southern hospitality—all part of what has become multi-colored fall destination that is unparalleled for its beauty, elegance, and camaraderie. Come join us.

We hope to see you soon, on the roads and off.

A few thoughts from our 1st XD Camp

One of the goals we have at Hotel Domestique is to give guests an experience that they’ve never had before — something truly unique that goes beyond the typical hospitality and service you can find at most luxury hotels. An example of this is our Experience Domestique (XD) Cycling Camps. We held our very first one last month (late March).

The purpose of these 3-Day Cycling Packages is to give small groups a personal training experience led by me, along with a host of premium hospitality features to round out the camp, including luxury accommodations, morning yoga classes, specially prepared meals, daily massage, and elegant three-course dinners (paired with fine wines) prepared by our own Chef Adam Cooke. I’m happy to say that in spite of the unseasonably cold, rainy weather we had for this particular weekend, the first camp was very special for me and I will take away some great memories.

We had a great group for our inaugural camp, comprised of diverse individuals, at different levels of training, each one with a personal objective. Some of the climbs were quite a challenge — especially in the biting rain — and sometimes the fog made it eerily surreal. But what I will takeaway most is that, through it all, each of the campers showed tremendous willpower and positive energy that the whole group fed off of. Each of these individuals was a true Domestique over the course of these three days, and I hope they gained as much from the experience as I did.

Next XD Climbing Camp is April 20-24
With special guest rider Christian Van Velde

I am very excitied to have my friend and former teammate along for this climb. Christian and I have a lot of great memories together and I’m sure this weekend will be another. Call soon to make a reservation before this Camp fills up. See you on the road…


Mountain Leaf Season, A Masterpiece of Color

One of my favorite things about the Blue Ridge Mountains is watching each new season creep in and slowly reveal it’s unique wonders: the winter majesty of snow-capped mountains…the regenerating magic of spring flowers…the rich green tapestry of summer forests…and, of course, the vivid multi-colored splendor of the leaves in the fall. The latter, in particular, draws visitors each year from all across the country. Indeed, it was during an October visit 10 years ago that I made the decision to permanently relocate to this mountain playground. But that’s another story.

Leaf Fact: There are more than 850 varieties of trees in the Carolina Mountains

The best thing about leaf season in the Blue Ridge Mountains is the fact it lasts so long. Depending on the elevation, you can behold the reds, yellows, and variety of greens as early as mid-September in the high country — and track their descending glory all the way down to the foothills through late October. One of the many benefits that guests at Hotel Domestique can take advantage of is that we are just a stone’s throw from all of it. A scenic drive by car (or bike!) will take you to both the higher elevations or the foothills. We are literally surrounded by mountains on all sides. And with all the rain we have been blessed with this year, it promises to be a spectacular, and extended, leaf-viewing season.

Optimal Fall Leaf Viewing in Carolina

Higher Elevations: Mid September to early October
Western Carolinas: Early to mid October
Central Carolinas: Mid October to late October
Valley Floor: Late October to early November