Courtesy of Biltmore Estate
Courtesy of Biltmore Estate
Stay on the grounds of an Asheville icon at the Inn on Biltmore Estate.
Overnight at one of these Asheville hotels and you’ll understand what makes this city so special.
In Asheville, the mountains (the Blue Ridge ones, that is) are calling, along with bluegrass music, innovative plays on farm-to-table cuisine, more craft beer than you’ll know what to do with, and a homegrown art scene that’s impossible not to notice. As the city continues to draw more and more visitors, it’s resisted losing its local flavor, making it a tried-and-true place to experience the crossroads of Appalachia and the South.
When planning a visit, know that the best hotels are those that manage to capture Asheville’s essence and turn it outward so guests can experience what makes this city distinctive. Here are 10 hotels in Asheville we recommend.
George Vanderbilt came to Asheville in 1895 to pursue his dream of building a self-sustaining residence. Today, his 8,000-acre Biltmore Estate remains an ecofriendly marvel—there are nine acres of solar panels, which offset 20 percent of the energy used at the estate and its farmland—and is a must-see for anyone visiting Asheville. For an extra special experience, book a room at one of several lodging options on the estate. (Sorry, no overnights in the Vanderbilt’s original home are allowed.)
The most luxurious choice is the Inn, with rooms that exude Old World elegance in the form of dark wood furniture, rich textiles, and plush beds. In between strolling the spectacular gardens and grounds, enjoy the hotel’s heated outdoor pool and hot tub, deluxe spa, fitness center, library lounge, and stately, white-linen dining room with a menu of farm-to-table Southern classics—the ingredients come straight from the estate’s farm. Keep a lookout for grazing Angus cattle, White Dorper sheep, and Berkshire pigs that are humanely raised on the estate and served in the restaurants, and be sure to tour the working vineyard and winery.
Also on the expansive Biltmore Estate is the more casual (and more affordably priced) Village Hotel. The atmosphere is relaxed, with a farmhouse-meets-cottage vibe; rooms feature a white-and-gray color palette, plus natural wood and metal accents.
Village guests also have access to the estate grounds, gardens, and winery, as well as an outdoor pool, fitness center, grab-and-go café, and the Village Social restaurant, where the focus is on sustainable seafood. Menu items include she-crab bisque, shrimp and grits, and North Carolina market fish served with a lemon beurre blanc. Best of all, you can bring your dog—the Village Hotel is pet friendly.
The LEED-certified Hilton Asheville is found in a LEED-ND registered development known as the Biltmore Park Town Square, 10 miles from downtown. Here, guests find state-of-the-art air filtration, a solar hot-water system, and a building made from 21 percent recycled content. All in all, the Hilton Asheville consumes 30 percent less water and 25 percent less energy than a comparable hotel.
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Rooms are comfortable and modern, and there’s an on-site spa, indoor swimming pool, fitness center, and independent, locally owned restaurant called Fork Lore, with menu items like a Black Angus burger with pimento cheese and local trout with brown butter sauce.
The pet-friendly Kimpton Hotel Arras opened in October 2019 as part of a historic transformation of the former BB&T Bank, which was built in 1965 in Asheville’s bustling Pack Square. Now, the building (the tallest in Asheville) features 128 rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, some showcasing impressive views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The decor is inspired by a modern mountain motif, with wood paneling, stone features, custom ironwork, and an original metalwork by local artist Catherine Murphy hanging above each bed. In fact, there’s local work throughout the entire hotel, with nightly art tours available (don’t miss the massive steel sculpture just outside the building, which the hotel commissioned from Asheville artists Chukk Bruursema and Ash Knight to honor the city’s music scene). Guests can also explore the area on complimentary Public bikes and return to use the hotel’s massage room, yoga area, and fitness center.
Opened at the end of 2018, the 87-room Foundry Hotel occupies North Carolina’s former steel foundry (which forged the steel used to build the Biltmore). The boutique property consists of three old steel mill buildings and two new structures and even makes use of several original features, including a pulley elevator, exposed beams, steel-star fastenings, exposed brick, and industrial-style windows.
Take a ride in the house Tesla Model X, play bocce on the lawn, or relax on a rocking chair by one of the outdoor firepits. The hotel works to honor its surroundings—Asheville’s historically Black business district—via tours with a historian and its acclaimed, Appalachian-inspired soul food restaurant, Benne on Eagle, which employs former neighborhood restaurant owner Hanan Shabazz as a consultant and serves many of her recipes. With Shabazz’s mentorship, the restaurant aims to ensure the African American culinary traditions that once thrived in the area will continue to do so for years to come.
To better understand how integral nature is to Asheville’s DNA, escape to the charming Sourwood Inn. Here, 12 rooms—all with wood-burning fireplaces and balconies—plus one stand-alone cabin with a kitchenette are tucked away in the woods with the mountains rising in the distance. Classic, clean-lined wood furniture, oak hardwood floors, colorful textiles, and deep-soaking tubs ensure a refined comfort.
There’s also sparkling wine on arrival, a daily homemade breakfast included in your stay, and a three-course prix fixe dinner offered Thursday through Sunday evenings. Spend your days reading in one of many nooks, hiking along the property’s trails, or playing pool or darts. Fly fishing and falconry experiences are also bookable through the inn, and downtown Asheville is about a 30-minute drive away.
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When you book a stay at Haywood Park Hotel downtown, you’ll be spending the night in a former department store. The historic building was first a Bon Marche (Asheville’s first department store, operating from 1923 to 1937) and then Ivey’s (1937–1975). It became a hotel in 1985, but the lobby still features throw-back touches like brass and Spanish marble, chicly dressed mannequins, a classic car, and display cases with artifacts from the department store period.
The 48 rooms and bathrooms are spacious with a mix of modern and antique furnishings, while a fitness center and French bistro restaurant complete the experience.
A historic resort dating back to 1913, this grand dame of the Blue Ridge Mountains was originally designed to echo the iconic Old Faithful Inn and Canyon Hotel in Yellowstone National Park. Built from granite stones mined from adjacent Sunset Mountain, it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a member of Historic Hotels of America.
Guests of the Omni Grove Park can expect 513 luxurious rooms, plus 36-foot stone fireplaces, elevators hidden in chimneys, and one of the largest collections of arts and crafts furnishings in the world, including more than 400 oak chairs, corner servers, sideboards, writing tables, and lighting fixtures. There are also eight bars and restaurants; a 43,000-square-foot subterranean, rock-wall spa with a grotto-like relaxation pool; a fitness complex complete with indoor and outdoor pools and tennis courts; hiking trails; and an award-winning golf course to keep you busy, although it’s only a 10-minute drive to downtown Asheville.
Since becoming part of Omni Hotels & Resorts, the hotel has donated more than $575,000 to nonprofit partners across western North Carolina during the holiday season. It also gives one meal to a local food pantry for every guest stay.
Inside Biltmore Village, the Eastern European– and Tudor-inspired Grand Bohemian Hotel features 104 spacious rooms and suites, complete with design details like antler-adorned light fixtures, jewel-toned tufted velvet headboards, and curvaceous soaking tubs in spacious marble bathrooms.
Guests can unwind in the lobby among stuffed and sculpted animals or in the Poseidon Spa. European comfort food is on hand at the moody Red Stag Grill, while works by local, regional, and international artists are on display in the Grand Bohemian Gallery.
Fresh off the first phase of a $1.5 million renovation, this six-room bed-and-breakfast occupies the circa 1912 former home of a Navy captain, surrounded by nature but just a short walk from downtown Asheville. Owner Stephen Collins is a cycling enthusiast and a fleet of 3T Cycling bikes is available for guests to use; also on offer are guided rides, cycling camps, and coaching with national road race champion Jonny Brown.
Stephen’s wife, Robin, is a passionate baker and chef and uses locally sourced ingredients like meats from Hickory Nut Gap Farm, dairy from Mills River Creamery, and produce from Encompass Farm in all her breakfasts. She also leads baking classes and hosts occasional chef events for guests.
Decor here draws inspiration from the couple’s home in France, with meticulously sourced antiques and artwork among modern furnishings, including plush Duxiana beds. Several rooms feature gas fireplaces, balconies, and deep-soaking tubs; one room is a stand-alone cottage.
>>Next: The AFAR Guide to Asheville
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