Cozy guest rooms with unique Arts and Crafts furnishings and views
Hiking trail starting right at hotel
Indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, and full gym
Peaceful North Asheville location just 10 minutes from downtown
Supervised camps and programs for kids day and night
Shops on-site offer everything from candy to swimwear to boutique clothing
Often very high nightly rates
Buffet breakfast, dining, and valet parking are very pricey
Bathrooms aren't as luxe as some may expect at a four-pearl property
The Grove Park Inn is geared toward luxury travelers and has the price tag to prove it, along with expensive meals and valet parking. The upscale 513-room hotel is spectacularly beautiful inside and out; built from stacked stones and dating back more than 100 years, it is surrounded by one of the most revered golf courses in the area, and comes equipped with an enormous spa and several restaurants and bars. In addition, there are spacious indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, and a National Geographic-approved outdoor adventure center on-site. Guest rooms are elegant and cozy, with period Arts and Crafts furnishings and views of the mountains or courtyard through lovely, wood-trimmed windows. Kids' programs and camps are offered daily and nightly.
Constructed from granite stacked stones in 1913, this Omni hotel has the look of a medieval castle surrounded by a classy terrace and an incredible golf course. Situated on Sunset Mountain, the property makes the most of its location, offering gorgeous views of mountain peaks and nightly sunsets from its array of patios and terraces. The entrance is rustic-luxe, lined with several wooden rocking chairs where guests can take in the landscape. Inside, the Great Hall lobby area has stone floors and stacked stone walls, vaulted ceilings with square-shaped lamps, and clusters of colorful armchairs and rocking chairs around an enormous stacked stone fireplace. The place is dotted with classy relics highlighting the hotel’s history, such as an old car and gas pump. Even the elevator is set in a cave-like stacked stone enclave. The restaurants and bars are less rustic, combining simple modern furniture and sleek light fixtures with stacked stone, vintage paintings, and flat-screen TVs; amazing views are available from each setting.
The hotel is located in North Asheville on Sunset Mountain, with views of the surrounding mountains in the distance. It is about 10 minutes from downtown Asheville by car and, depending on traffic, about 15 minutes from Biltmore Estate and Biltmore Village. A shuttle travels to downtown (and back) in just over 15 minutes, and the hotel is convenient to Route 240 running east and west, and to Route 25 running north and south. Asheville Airport is about 30 minutes away, and the mouth of the mountains at Appalachian Way is about 15 to 20 minutes away.
Traditional Rooms in the Main Inn are cozy yet elegant, if a touch generic, with original Arts and Crafts furnishings and windows looking out at the sweeping countryside and stacked exterior stone walls. None have balconies, however, and bathrooms are quite small -- some feature elegant modern basin or pedestal sinks, but others are in need of an overall update. Just about every room has a beautiful view of the mountains or golf course, and a modern coffeemaker, flat-screen TV, and free Wi-Fi access. Themed rooms and suites are also available, including The Cottage, which hosted President Eisenhower in 1947 and sits in a private garden.
Luxury features bring back well-heeled travelers and celebrities
When the rich and famous come to Asheville, this is where they stay and hang out. The Donald Ross-designed golf course is a hit with guests and visiting golfers alike, the spa offers all-day pampering of every variety, and there are indoor and outdoor pools replete with snack and cocktail bars. Kids have access to a number of supervised daytime and nighttime outdoor activities, as well as arts and crafts. There are indoor tennis courts, and a vast promenade of shops selling clothes, coffee, and gourmet candy. A hiking trail on-site leads up and around Sunset Mountain, and an outdoor adventure center organizes outdoor adventures, guided hikes, and bike rides. There are eight restaurants to choose from – the Sunset Terrace for an evening cocktail, Blue Ridge for its farm-to-table buffet breakfast, Edison for pub fare, or Elaine's Dueling Piano Bar for nightlife. There are huge ballrooms and presentation areas for weddings and events, plenty of valet or self-parking (paid), and all matters of room service, concierge planning, or babysitting service available. The downstairs fitness center is dark but spacious.