Experience the best of both worlds at The Inn on Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.

By Carrie Lee
March 10, 2020
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Credit: Robbie Caponetto

Relax in an armchair worthy of an aristocratic library, sip a glass of local Cabernet, and gaze through soaring windows as a thunderstorm rolls across the Blue Ridge Mountains. The experience will surely stir your inner Vanderbilt. That’s a pretty common phenomenon at The Inn on Biltmore Estate, the first of two hotels built on the now-8,000-acre pastoral wonderland created in the late 19th century by owner George Vanderbilt, architect Richard Morris Hunt, and the legendary landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.

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A beautiful marriage of sophistication and charm, the Asheville inn is elegant but not stuffy, grand yet still warm. On the front office team, guest historians keep in touch with visitors who stay at the resort several times a year or spend special occasions there—all to ensure impeccable service.

Frequent guests greet longtime doorman Bert Miller with the affection and deference of a beloved family member. Just as the Vanderbilts maintained a Nonsense Book where visitors could leave their whimsical musings, poems, drawings—anything that struck their fancy—the inn keeps a similar log in the lobby, inviting travelers to share their own Biltmore experiences.

This property, which opened in 2001, got a major refresh four years ago, with Turkish marble floors in the lobby and other public spaces, along with new resort-room furniture inspired by the Biltmore estate. Check in here, and you’re a short drive from downtown Asheville, but you’ll feel worlds away, thanks to the lush landscape and woodlands, the beautiful French Broad River (where you can dip a paddle), and a renowned winery—all of it crowned by the Vanderbilts’ 250-room château and formal gardens.

At first, all the Gilded Age grandeur might seem at odds with hipster Asheville, known for its food and brew scene and an overall vibe that’s as eco-friendly as it is artsy. But George Vanderbilt was way ahead of his time, an early pioneer of sustainability and farm-to-table cooking. Long after his death, his widow, Edith, remained devoted to the hardworking families of western North Carolina. That commitment to social and environmental responsibility puts stately Biltmore—still a thriving farm—right in sync with its happening hometown.

biltmore.com, 800-411-3812, 1 Lodge Street, Asheville, NC 28803