The Inn on Biltmore Estate in Asheville: The South's Great Estate
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.
A beautiful marriage of sophistication and charm, the elegant Asheville inn is impressive 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 in every season. Just as the Vanderbilts maintained a Nonsense Book in which visitors could leave their whimsical musings, poems, drawings (anything that struck their fancy, really) the inn keeps a similar log in the lobby and invites travelers to share their own Biltmore experiences for posterity. It's this mix of the familiar and familial that makes these gorgeous lodgings feel so inviting.
This particular property, which opened in 2001, got a major refresh a few 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'll be just a short drive from downtown Asheville, where you can find restaurants, breweries, and local shops for browsing the day away. The bustle of the city is close by, but from your room at The Inn on Biltmore Estate, you'll still feel worlds away thanks to the property's lush landscape and woodlands. The beautiful French Broad River (where you can rent a vessel and dip a paddle) is also nearby, and there's also the Biltmore's renowned winery, an award-winning jewel in the crown of the Vanderbilts' 250-room château and formal gardens.
At first, all the Gilded Age grandeur might seem at odds with 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 as 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, and that commitment to social and environmental responsibility continues to put stately Biltmore—still a thriving farm—right in sync with its happening hometown. Dining options at Biltmore are extensive and include such restaurants as Cedric's Tavern, The Dining Room, Bistro, Village Social, The Creamery, The Bake Shop, The Biltmore Dairy Bar, and the Wine Bar at the Winery, among many more. During your visit you'll never be far from a memorable meal or delicious treat.
You can find more information about The Inn on Biltmore Estate (and start dreaming about your next visit) at biltmore.com.