Ok so I’ll admit, I had never written “Asheville, North Carolina” down on my extensive bucketlist of #PlacesToVisitBeforeIDie…but after spending four gorgeous days & nights there, I realized that was totally an oversight on my part. The trip was a SUPER spur of the moment decision that was based on there being a Wheel’s Up hot flight available from Orlando > Asheville. I packed in less than 24 hours [see my post on how to successfully last minute pack!] & we chose/booked our hotel while IN the air on the way to North Carolina!
[shop my plane look]
While I was scrolling through allll of the different possible accommodations [mid air] – the Biltmore caught my eye; for several reasons, 1] there was a WINERY on the property 2] it’s actually a famous historic estate full of beautiful gardens & art & 3] there were tons of unique & well rated dining options on site [& room service.] Let’s be honest, I was sold after I scrolled the first few photos on their website…but they actually have 3 different choices for staying overnight on the Biltmore property, there’s The Village Hotel, The Inn & The Cottage – we ended up choosing a “Premier King Room with a View” at The Inn on Biltmore Estate; which is described as “The finest amenities. An oasis of service, style, and charm. A stay overnight on the estate means experiencing the same gracious hospitality enjoyed by George and Edith Vanderbilt’s guests. You’ll feel at home in any of our guest rooms and nine suites, surrounded by casual elegance and catered to at every turn.”
The websites description did not disappoint – after landing in Asheville [& immediately appreciating the lack of humidity in the air] we took an uber to the property… it was super scenic & definitely had a historic feel to it right off the bat. We were a little early for the 4pm check-in, but the front desk graciously held our items & suggested the perfect Sunday brunch spot which we could take the complimentary shuttle to to pass the time…
Deerpark Restaurant was adorableeee – the whole ambiance was exactly what I would envision when thinking about “southern charm“. It’s a huge space, I assume they regularly hold events & wedding receptions there, where you are sitting basically outside so you get to enjoy the breeze & beautiful NC weather. For brunch, it’s buffet style, & when I tell you it’s OVERWHELMING – I’m not joking. There’s literally SO many options of all different types of cuisine & it all looks amazing. I thought the bloody mary bar was an especially cute/unique touch & I honestly loved all of the dishes I tried – if it was possible, I would’ve consumed more.
“Mouth-watering Southern regional cuisine served buffet-style in a peaceful, natural setting with plenty of rustic charm and sweeping views of estate pastures from its front door. A wall of windows overlooks an interior courtyard that’s perfect for relaxing after the meal. Saturday Lunch Buffet features a seasonal Taste of the South menu of regional specialties. Sunday Brunch Buffet expands to include farm-to-table breakfast favorites, hand-carved meats, and chilled seafood. Enjoy live, local music each week. Deerpark Restaurant received the 2016 Diner’s Choice Award for OpenTable’s Top 100 Best Brunch.”
After we finished eating the equivalent of 3 meals at brunch, our room was ready – so we took the shuttle back to check in. We stayed in a premier king room “with a view” & in my opinion, the view was definitely worth the upgrade – the gorgeous grounds & sprawling mountains were the perfect thing to wake up to every morning. The room itself was very “Vanderbilt”-esque; it felt luxurious, old fashioned but classic & southern inspired. We were exhausted from the day of traveling, so we relaxed the rest of the evening & ordered room service for dinner.
The next morning, embarrassingly enough, we ordered room service again for breakfast [it was that good!] The service was impeccable & anytime we called down to ask for anything it was brought up in a timely manner & the staff were all extremely polite. There were tons of options on the room service menu to choose from at any time of the day, which is a major key. I also loved the touches of the Vanderbilt crest on all of the dishes & throughout the room!
Even though technically we were visiting Asheville, it kinddd of felt like we came JUST to visit the Biltmore – there was SO much to do on the property, all within shuttle distance, we literally didn’t have to leave! Antler Village is the main “town” area where the winery is & several dining options & shops. We headed there to do the complimentary wine tasting we received tickets to… we got to try more than 20 of their handcrafted wines as the wine host took us on a journey through their reds, whites, and rosés.
For lunch, we stayed in Antler Village & dined at Cedric’s Tavern – a cute little place that had satisfying pub fare alongside robustly-flavored American & global cuisine, craft beers, spirits, & Biltmore wines. There was a full bar, live music & outdoor seating – which we took advantage of because it was another perfect day. Lunch features tavern favorites like fish & chips, shepherd’s pie, a classic Reuben sandwich, and great burgers, along with a variety of small plates. I had a delicious seasonal meal consisting of pumpkin spice sangria & a bowl of butternut squash soup. [Cedric’s Tavern received the 2015 Open Table Diner’s Choice Award.]
For dinner that night, we tried to eat in The Dining Room, but they were fully booked – so we relaxed in the Library Lounge & ordered off of their late night dinner menu. The drinks were great but the view was even better. You can dine there anytime of the day & apparently they even have a traditional full-service afternoon tea with an assortment of finger sandwiches, scones, and pastries!
On our first day on the property, we had stopped by the activity center in Antler Village to see what we could sign up for while we were there – we ended up scheduling a skeet shooting session for 2 days later, first thing in the morning. It was my first time EVER shooting like this, so I was pretty nervous that I was going to make a fool of myself. Our guide picked us up at the Inn & we drove out to their extensive shooting site… the activity we had scheduled technically didn’t include lessons, but our guide was amazing & helped me step by step. He was such a good teacher that I nailed my first 5 targets in a row [#humblebrag]! It was actually so much fun & I found myself getting super competitive/into it.
[shop my skeet shooting look]
Fun fact: I actually shot barefoot the whole time because our guide was nervous one of my heels would slip & get caught in between the wood when I was shooting.
After shooting, we FINALLY ventured outside of the Biltmore property to go on a Foodie Tour of Downtown Asheville that I had found on groupon! You can read my full review of the tour here: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g60742-d10778652-r434870668-Moveable_Feasts_Food_and_Culture_Tours-Asheville_North_Carolina.html#REVIEWS
It was the perfect day full of good food, shopping & unique art around the downtown area!
Overall, Asheville was such a pleasant surprise & I’m SO happy with our choice to stay at the Biltmore during our time there – I would highly recommend it to anyone planning a trip [I already want to go back for Christmas time!]