Rejuvenating a historic property – The Greystone Inn

October 10, 2019

Husband and wife team Geoffrey and Shannon Ellis own and operate The Greystone Inn on Lake Toxaway. Shannon holds an MBA and is responsible for managing the business, while Geoffrey focuses on operations. But Geoffrey says their success is due entirely to the incredible team of people they work with.

Tell us the basics about your business.

Shannon and I purchased The Greystone Inn on November 1, 2017 after it had been closed for almost four years. The property was badly neglected and needed major renovations. Thanks to the help of many people, we were able to do a two-year renovation in six months.  The Greystone Inn opened its doors again on May 9, 2018. The Greystone sits on a beautiful peninsula on Lake Toxaway with 30 luxuriously appointed guest rooms and suites, a lakeside restaurant, fire-lit bar and intimate spa. The Greystone is open to the public year-round.

Where did your vision begin? How has it grown?

We stayed at The Greystone while on a family holiday in 2014 with our daughter who was climbing Looking Glass. The location of the property was incredible but sadly it needed a lot attention. Soon after, we heard the owners closed the doors and were actively trying to sell it. We knew the property and community was incredibly special. After long discussions with each other and our team at our sister property in SC, we began the long due diligence process to purchase the property.

Our vision was to bring back the charm and beauty of the property with a renovation that would highlight the rich historical details and combine them with the modern amenities and personal touch of a hotel focused on creating special experiences for each and every guest. We want each guest to feel welcome and at home, whether they are spending the night with us or just coming to enjoy the property for a meal, a drink or a spa service.

What has been your greatest challenge? Your greatest victory?

The Greystone Inn has never been open year-round.  We whole-heartedly believe The Greystone should be open year-round and our guests agree.  The winter is the most beautiful time in the mountains of North Carolina!  Each season brings different opportunities for guests to explore, relax and reconnect, but winter is special.  Most people think that hiking is best during the winter months, the leaves are gone and the views are incredible.  We see more people snuggling up by the fires in the winter, playing games and reading books, enjoying intimate dinners and relaxing in the spa.

Learn more about The Greystone’s history or plan your perfect getaway at