Posts Tagged : Cycling

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!

George

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.

USP Pro Challenge Party and Ride

A ride with George is always fun…sometimes mellow, and other times quite spirited. Yesterday’s USA Pro Challenge Party Ride was a great mixture of both. 75%20 riders rolled out in the sultry afternoon heat to wind our way over the hills around Hotel Domestique and end with a drag race up Chinquapin Road. Ice cold beer and a delicious buffet of savory and sweet hors d’oeuvres awaited guests while Stage 4 of the USA Pro Challenge showed on the big screen. It was a perfect night to celebrate the Hincapie Development Team’s success this week at the USA Pro Challenge while enjoying a beautiful August evening with friends out under the stars.

Ride with some fast company

Experience Domestique Camp: August 24-28, 2014

Strap your helmet on for an incredible experience—and an absolutely amazing week. This will be a one-of-a-kind opportunity to ride not only with Big George, but a couple of fellow countrymen and cycling champions: Christian Van Velde & Craig Lewis. Not only are these two of the biggest American names in the sport of cycling, they are great individuals and a true inspiration to any cyclist, regardless of age or experience.

Two of cycling’s greats
Christian is a Tour de France veteran and long-time teammate and friend of George Hincapie. In 2012 he won the USA Pro Cycling Championship and is highly regarded among elite cyclist for his work ethic and determination. Craig is a native of South Carolina and was an understudy to George early in his career. During his professional career, that spanned from 2007-2013, Craig raced throughout Europe and the United States, winning numerous criterium and road races, as well as the 2011 Giro de Italia Team Time Trial and a stage of the 2012 Tour de Beauc.

Sign Up Today for the August XD Camp
Spots for this special edition XD camp are limited, and filling up fast. This is a rare opportunity to ride alongside three of cycling’s greats and listen to their stories about the Tour, and get training tips as well.

Don’t let this impressive peloton pass you by. Contact us today to sign up: 864.516.1715

Staff Rides at Hotel Domestique

Cycling on the roads surrounding Hotel Domestique is always a highlight for our guests. Many who stay with us come exclusively for the scenic bike rides through the foothills and countryside of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Our hotel and restaurant staff have also gotten the two-wheel bug and started to take advantage of the world-class cycling the area has to offer. It’s not uncommon to see the Restaurant 17 crew sneak out for a quick ride before they begin a meal prep.

George has taken notice of the staff’s cycling enthusiasm and has organized scheduled team-building rides. Of course George’s version of “team building” actually means “race each other up the climbs.” The champion of these rides is determined at the top of the final one-mile climb leading up to the entrance of the hotel. On today’s staff ride, Chef Adam Cooke threw down the figurative spatula at the sprint finish and is now the reigning champion of Hotel Domestique. (Note: Adam, please don’t switch careers to professional cycling. We would miss your beef short-ribs at Restaurant 17 too much.)

We would also like to encourage guests to join us. The Hotel has a full fleet of rental BMC road bikes available to guests. So bring along your friends, family members, or associates on your next visit and enjoy some team building or even a little spirited competition along the beautiful roads of upstate South Carolina. And beware of Chef Adam’s patented sprint to the finish.

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…

-George











Christian Vande Velde to attend April Experience Domestique Camp

We are pleased to announce that Christian Vande Velde will be joining George Hincapie as host of the April Experience Domestique cycling camp. Christian is a Tour de France veteran and winner of the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge. George and Christian are longtime friends and raced together as teammates during the early parts of their careers. Ride alongside Christian and George on April 20th through 24th and listen to their stories of the Grand Tours as they lead you through the climbs of the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains.

To reserve your place alongside the pros, call 864-516-1715. Spaces are limited.

Hotel Domestique Announces New Café 17, Featuring Gourmet Coffee and Pastries

Additional Updates Include New Outdoor Seating at Restaurant 17 and a Bike Shop

Greenville, S.C. — With the arrival of spring’s warmer temperatures and summer not far off, Hotel Domestique, the new luxury boutique inn catering to sophisticated travelers and active lifestyles, is set to unveil a number of updates including a new café, bike shop and outdoor seating at Restaurant 17.

Café 17, anticipated to open in late May or early June, will feature gourmet coffee by Intelligentsia, pastries and baked goods, fresh vegetables based from the hotel’s new gardens, and a selection of other locally sourced grocery items.

“Café 17 is a natural extension of Restaurant 17,” said Executive Chef Adam Cooke. “It’s a way for us to highlight our growing pastry program, and certainly an added amenity for our hotel guests and local visitors. We hope to welcome the local Traveller’s Rest community, which doesn’t currently have a offering quite like this.”

Visitors to Restaurant 17 will also notice a few changes. New this spring, an outdoor patio seating area will offer stunning views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains and guests will find a number of new items on the menu. In keeping with the kitchen’s Au Terroir, or “of the earth” philosophy, the spring menu will feature new seasonally appropriate dishes and benefit from the addition of a pizza oven, expected to fire up in June.

“As a chef I’m always looking for new ways to make really good food more approachable,” chef Cooke said. “The new pizza program is one expression of that, we’re also going to be offering a special family-style Italian menu on Tuesdays. It’s something that was done here previously, and we’re excited to put our unique twist on it.”

New Bike Rental Program Rolls Out
Hotel Domestique, which has become a haven for cyclists under the Hincapie family’s ownership, also added a bike shop. With a fleet of carbon BMC road bikes available for rent, the shop will serve guests with bike fitting and maintenance, eventually including retail goods. Staff will also make ride recommendations and provide Garmin computers with convenient, preset routes ranging from eight to 80 miles. Guests can review routes on in-room iPads to pick their adventure before setting off.

Additionally, with spring’s arrival week group rides will also begin, which visitors and locals alike can join to explore the area.

The Greatest Ride

Join us August 10th through 13th for what is sure to be an epic cycling adventure. Guests will begin at Blackberry Farm with an opening dinner, shared with ride leaders retired Pro Cyclist George Hincapie and Blackberry Farm Proprietor Sam Beall. The next morning, guests will ride over 90 miles to Waynesville, NC on the parkway and scenic roads, where they will stop at The Swag, a private mountaintop inn, for a great dinner and a night’s rest. The next morning, guests will depart on another 80-mile ride to Hotel Domestique (owned by Big George), a European-styled luxury hotel in Traveler’s Rest, SC. Here, guests will enjoy an incredible finale dinner in the hotel’s restaurant. This will be a very intimate experience, with a limit of only 10 riders. And with over 10,000 feet of climbing each day, this event is for those who are avid riders only.

How to book this event? To reserve your place in this event, please call 1-800-557-8864 or email reservations@blackberryfarm.com for accommodation reservations and event participation pricing and confirmation.