Hill House’s owner David Smith had previous careers as a banking/real estate journalist in Washington, D.C., a commercial real estate appraiser in Tampa Bay and Orlando, and a restaurant waiter in New Orleans. David grew up in Pensacola, Fla, and has family roots in Louisiana.
Crystal Barnwell, the former manager of Chateau on the Mountain in Fletcher, N.C., and Nat Allister, a director/producer of performing arts events and sometimes disc jockey, are Hill House’s assistant innkeepers. Katie Nagel and Joe Gill, who have years of experience running the Asheville hostel Bon Paul and Sharky's, are Hill House's resident managers and take the lead with afternoon guest concierge work. They all tell David what to do.