Dinner is served on a terrace at Chops, the restaurant at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa.
Meg McKinney and Allen Rokach
The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa, Asheville, North Carolina
I've fallen under the spell of this place. I can't help it. I'm totally charmed--and the Pink Lady hasn't even tickled my toes yet.
I'm staying in the Main Inn at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa in the room where Henry Kissinger lodged when he visited in 1990. He probably wouldn't recognize the place now. It has a cushy feather-topped bed and a new shower. F. Scott Fitzgerald's room is just down the hall. And the Pink Lady haunts room 545 on the floor above. She's a ghost who's been pulling pranks around here since she fell to her death in the atrium in the 1920s. They say she likes to tickle guests' toes when they're asleep.The Pink Lady must be tickled herself about all the changes that have happened at the resort. There have been more than $65 million in improvements over the past seven years. All of the 510 guestrooms are refreshed. You can feel the changes down to the comfy mattresses specially made for the resort. The Main Inn, built of boulders hewed from Sunset Mountain, has the feel of a national park lodge, filled with luxurious amenities. During dinner on the terrace at Chops, guests watch fiery sunsets. The golf course, where players walk in the footsteps of Bobby Jones and other legendary players, is restored to the way Donald Ross originally designed it.
A $42 million spa opened in 2001. Reached by rock-walled passageways, The Spa is an incredible subterranean oasis. Waterfalls tumble into pools. Fiber-optic lights dance above guests swimming laps. You can float in a mineral pool, complete with underwater speakers, or plunge into a vat chilled to 67 degrees.
In the interest of science, I sign up for one of the most elaborate treatments in the spa, a $300 extravaganza called the Sanctuary of the Senses. For 80 minutes, a therapist named Nadia scrubs me with something that feels like sandpaper, slathers me with essential oils, and wraps me in a huge sheet of foil like a baked potato. Then she puts a warm eye pillow over my face. I can't see a thing, but someone is tickling my toes. I knew it. Pink Lady, is that you?
When You Go
The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa: 1-800-438-5800 or www.groveparkinn.com.
This article is from the June 2004 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.