Once a near urban desert for accommodations, with the opening of the Aloft and Indigo hotels, the renovation and upgrading of the Haywood Park Hotel and Renaissance hotels, along with the debut of several small independent suites places, including the Windsor Boutique Hotel and even a hostel or two, Downtown now offers visitors a number of excellent choices for lodging, in all price ranges. Asheville added two new Downtown hotels in 2016, including the 140-room Hyatt Place at the corner of Haywood Street and Montford Avenue and a 140-roon Hilton Garden Inn at Asheville City Centre at Charlotte and College streets.
A number of other new hotels are under construction or are planned for the Downtown area, including The Parisian on Patton Avenue, the Hotel Arras on West Pack Square (a conversion of the former BB&T Building), Embassy Suites on Haywood Street, the Cambria Suites on Page Avenue near the Grove Arcade, the Element on College Place, AC Hotel on Broadway and Asheville Foundry Inn, a Hilton Curio hotel on a site on Eagle, Spruce and Market streets.
Very Expensive Over $300 double
Expensive $200-$299 double
Moderate $100-$199 double
Inexpensive $50-$99 double
Very Inexpensive Under $50 double
Rates shown do not include sales and accommodations tax, usually a total of 11% for properties with five or more rooms, or service or parking charge, in any.
Aloft Asheville Downtown 51 Biltmore Ave., Downtown Asheville, 828-232-2838 or 877-462-5638, www.starwoodhotels.com, Hotel, Expensive to Very Expensive
This 115-room Starwood property opened in late 2012. The location is excellent, near many of Asheville’s best restaurants on Biltmore Avenue and Pack Square. There’s handy parking in a new public garage under the hotel (some spaces are reserved for hotel guests). You usually enter through a “sub-lobby” at the garage level (though you can also take a garage elevator directly to the main lobby). This sub-lobby has a huge blackboard where guests and others scribble their thought of the day. You can then take an elevator or a flight of stairs up to the main lobby, with its colorful decor, a bar and mini-restaurant. The hotel targets a younger, hipper crowd, although we’ve seen many older folks here, too. Rooms are not overly large but have 42” LCD TVs. The decor leans toward a Scandinavian minimalism. Not a part of the hotel but in the main level retail space is the Blackbird restaurant, and many other top Asheville restaurants, including Cúrate, Limones, Chestnut, Rhubarb and Wicked Weed Brewery, are within a block or two. Asheville’s largest nightclub and private music venue, The Orange Peel, is close by, so you can rock late if you so desire. There’s an art movie theater across the street and plenty of bars, coffee houses and shops nearby. With some in-season rates over $300 a night, this hotel is priced higher than you’d expect.
Asheville Hostel 16 Ravenscroft Dr., Downtown Asheville, 828-423-0256,
www.aahostel.com; Hostel, Inexpensive
In an older house a few blocks south from the center of town, within walkable distance of most restaurants and attractions, Asheville Hostel has clean private rooms in the $60 double range. There’s a common kitchen and free make-your-own waffles, coffee and tea. Free wi-fi. Minimum stay two nights on weekends, maximum stay seven days. The owner also has the Asheville Arthaus Hostel in the same area.
Four Points by Sheraton 22 Woodfin St., Downtown Asheville, 828-253-1851 or 866-716-8133, www.fourpointsashevilledowntown.com; Hotel, Moderate
Across the street from the Renaissance Hotel at the north edge of Downtown, this 150-room Four Points by Sheraton property might be an option for you if you want to be within hiking distance of most Downtown attractions. That is, if you are willing accept dated decor, some down-at-the-heels hallways and other spaces and lack of first-class amenities such as an indoor pool. Moderately priced most times of year, a few high-season weekends are in the Expensive range and occasionally weekday rates are in the Inexpensive range. Just keep your expectations in check.
Haywood Park Hotel 1 Battery Park Ave., Downtown Asheville, 828-252-2522, www.haywoodpark.com; Hotel, Expensive to Very Expensive
The location of this boutique, 33-suite, four-story hotel can’t be beat. It’s centrally located, near many restaurants, galleries and the Grove Arcade. Formerly the site of Ivey’s and Bon Marché department stores, the hotel references that with canned elevator announcements like “Third Floor, Children’s Department.” It’s an all-suite property, and the accommodations (from about 400 to 1,200 square feet) recently received a much-needed upgrade and renovation. There are flat-screen TVs in the main room and also in the bathroom. On arrival in the lobby, you’re saluted with a player piano and receive a glass of complimentary champagne. The hotel has two dining venues, the Haywood Park Café in the atrium and Isa’s Bistro, the hotel’s main restaurant at the corner of Haywood and Battery Park, which opened in 2013 and has received generally positive reviews. The chef at Isa’s Bistro, Duane Fernandes, worked for Per Se in New York before moving to Asheville as chef at Gabrielle’s at Richmond Hill Inn (which was destroyed in a fire) and at Horizons at the Grove Park Inn. Isa’s serves food influenced by the cuisine of Mediterranean France, Spain and Italy and features locally sourced seasonal dishes. Free valet parking and wi-fi. The Haywood Park owner has announced plans for a 141-room Cambria Suites at Battery Park and Page avenues near the Grove Arcade.
Hilton Garden Inn Asheville City Centre, 309 College St. at Charlotte St., Downtown Asheville, 828-255-0001, www.hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com/; Hotel, Moderate to Expensive.
This new 140-room Hilton Garden Inn, located near the Asheville City Building, Buncombe County Courthouse, Pack Square and within a short walk to restaurants and other attractions on Biltmore Avenue and around Pack Square, opened in August 2016. The four-story hotel, one of more than a dozen brands in the Hilton famijly, features an industrial feel. It has an heated outdoor pool, fitness center and and free wi-fi. Guestrooms and suites have a microwave, mini-refrigerator, coffeemaker and 42-inch HDTV. Parking (self-park $9 a night, valet not available) is in a 254-space parking deck shared with Asheville City Centre office tenants and BB&T Bank customers.
Hotel Indigo 151 Haywood St., Downtown Asheville, 828-239-0239 or 877-846-3446, www.ihg.com/hotelindigo; Hotel, Moderate
Indigo is the InterContinental and Holiday Inn group’s effort to reach a younger, hipper audience. The Asheville edition is right at the north edge of town, overlooking to the north the I-240 Expressway, but within easy walking distance of the Grove Arcade and the restaurants, shops and clubs in the northwest part of Downtown. What were supposed to be condos on the upper floors didn’t sell well and have been converted to suites.
Hyatt Place 199 Haywood St. at Montford Ave., Downtown Asheville, 828-505-8500, www.ashevilledowntown.place.hyatt.com/; Hotel, Moderate to Expensive.
Opened in spring 2016, the new eight-story 140-room Hyatt Place is a short walk to the Grove Arcade and most restaurants and places of interest in the heart of Downtown Asheville. The hotel features a rooftop bar and lounge (opening June 2016), meeting space for up to 200 people, an indoor pool and gym and several food service options, including lobby dining and bar. There's also a Starbucks kiosk in the lobby. Room rates start at around $190 plus tax. Self-park is $5 a night in a parking deck with 60 covered and 74 open spaces. Valet parking is available.
Renaissance Asheville Hotel 31 Woodfin St., Downtown Asheville, 828-252-8211 or 800-741-5072, www.marriott.com; Hotel, Expensive
This 12-story, 277-room Marriott property is one of the older Downtown properties, but a renovation was completed in early 2013, making the hotel more appealing. The location, while more at the north edge of Downtown rather than the heart of it, is convenient to many businesses, some restaurants and the Buncombe Courthouse and government offices. Rates in-season are in the mid to high $200s double, but some do include buffet breakfast. It’s what you’d expect in a large Marriott property, with decent-size rooms with first-rate beds, bar, a restaurant (not particularly noteworthy), gift shop, indoor pool and fitness room. Free parking in a large surface lot behind the hotel.
Sweet Peas Hostel 23 Rankin Ave., Downtown Asheville, 828-285-8488, www.sweetpeashotel.com; Hostel, Very Inexpensive to Inexpensive
Under the same ownership as Lexington Avenue Brewery (LAB), though the entrance is on Rankin Avenue above LAB, Sweet Peas is a somewhat upmarket Euro-style hostel with loft-style accommodations with bunk beds ($28), private pods ($35) and private rooms ($60 single or double). There's a fully equipped common kitchen, a living room with TV and a coin laundry. The best thing is the handy location in the middle of Downtown. The brewpub below can be noisy at times, but the hostel provides free earplugs. Free wi-fi. Breakfast not included but many breakfast spots and restaurants are nearby.
Windsor Boutique Hotel 36 Broadway St., Downtown Asheville, 844-494-6376, www.windsorasheville.com; Small Suites Inn, Expensive to Very Expensive.
In a beautifully renovated 1907 building, the new Windsor is a small, boutique hotel with 14 suites in a primo location Downtown. The suites, which vary in size, feature designer furnishings, exposed brick, wood floors, wi-fi and lots of art. Each has a kitchen and a washer and dryer. You're only a few steps from some of Asheville's best restaurants and bars. On the downside there's no swimming pool and no parking lot at the hotel (public parking lots are not far away, and street parking is sometimes available), but the great location makes up for it.
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