Historic building with ideal location in central downtown Asheville
Isa's Bistro offers good people-watching on the patio and elegant seating indoors
Free champagne on arrival and chocolate turndown service
Atrium with four-story vaulted glass ceiling for events
Private dining area in the cozy, brick-lined cellar
Bright, spacious rooms have free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs
Free valet parking
Spacious fitness center
Massage and skincare services available
Pricier than most hotels in the area
Furnishings and accessories could use a refresh
Guest rooms are awkwardly configured and somewhat cold
Free breakfast is not very extensive
As central as it comes in downtown Asheville, the Haywood is a boutique gem. Set in a 1920s classic revival style department store, the upper-middle-range 33-room property comes with a hefty price tag, however. While rooms are enormous and bright, the style is somewhat dated. The hotel is home to two restaurants with outdoor seating, and the hotel offers nice extras like free valet parking, free champagne upon arrival, available massage and skincare services, and turndown service with local chocolates. Best suited for adult tourists and business travelers -- there's a lovely glass-ceiling atrium for meetings and events -- the hotel lacks family-focused offerings like a pool.
Somewhat bland with playful nods to historic department store setting
The 1920s-era classic revival style building has a simple white brick facade, with a few trees and gray awnings out front. Inside, there are nods to the building's department store past: glass-encased fashion mannequins, and playful floor names near the elevator, such as Fourth Floor: Women’s Wear. The vast lobby -- with its dark carpet, brass touches, and floor-to-ceiling pillars -- indeed feels somewhat more like a store than a hotel. It's easy to envision the place lined with clothes racks and makeup counters -- even in the breakfast atrium there's a vague sensation of being in a shopping mall food court. This vision ends at Isa’s Bistro, however, which has an elegant modern style: beautiful wood floors, glass-beaded curtains, tall red vases, and a generously sized wrap-around bar. There's also a lovely outdoor patio with iron tables and chairs under a red awning, offering diners a delightful view of downtown.
Central downtown location, with trolley access and a chocolate shop nearby
Smack in the middle of downtown Asheville, The Haywood sits across from Wall Street and the Grove Arcade, and all downtown attractions (including great restaurants) can be reached by foot within 15 minutes. Biltmore Village and Biltmore Estate are, depending on traffic, a 10- to 15-minute drive away. The hotel overlooks the Flat Iron Building on Wall Street and is connected to the Chocolate Fetish where an open window allows passersby to watch chefs create sweet treats. Just outside the hotel, guests can access the Gray-Line Trolley Tour or the Historic Trolley Tour of downtown.
The Haywood used to be a department store, and its 33 rooms are set on appropriately themed floors. Vast, long, and rectangular, the rooms have a somewhat awkward shape and feel. Each has a massive window, and is decorated with a brass chandelier, antique chair, and desk. Decor is somewhat bland, with cream-colored walls, dated blue carpeting, and heavy taupe drapes. Each has free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV, iPod docking station, and closet with mini-fridge, coffeemaker, and small sink. Bathrooms are spacious and marble, with big soaking tubs, separate stall showers, and bathrobes.
A glass of champagne upon check-in lets guests know they're in for a treat. Dining and drinking continues at Isa’s Bistro, which serves exquisite American fusion cuisine for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. The on-site Haywood Park Cafe serves free -- although lackluster -- breakfast and Starbucks coffee. There's also a cozy cellar for private dining, and a glass-ceiling atrium event space that fits up to 150 guests. In addition, there are two smaller meeting rooms. The nightly turndown service includes handmade chocolates from neighboring The Chocolate Fetish, and guests receive a small gift upon departure. There is also a large (although oddly carpeted) fitness center on-site, and massage and skincare services are available.
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