Best Places to Stay Near Downtown Asheville

Including Biltmore Village, Montford, North Asheville, West Asheville, East Asheville/Tunnel Road, South Asheville

 

Rates

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 charge, in any.

 

 

Biltmore Village/Biltmore Estate Area

The Biltmore Village/Biltmore Estate area is a mixed bag of accommodations, ranging from a group of chain motels to upscale hotels to several B&Bs. Be aware that with only a few exceptions, most of the lodging options are not directly in Biltmore Village nor within easy walking distance to the Biltmore Estate entrance. Keep in mind that Estate covers some 8,000 acres, and the main entrance to the Estate is miles from the Biltmore House itself or the winery. Given the heavy traffic on Biltmore Avenue/U.S. Highway 25 and nearby streets (though the Village itself is fairly quiet and walkable) you’ll probably still want a car to get to the Village and to and around Biltmore Estate. On the Biltmore Estate grounds itself is one of the premier hotels in the region, with prices to match.

 

 

Asheville Green Cottage 25 St. Dunstans Circle, South Asheville near Biltmore Village, 828-707-6563, www.ashevillegreencottage.com; B&B, Moderate

 

Located near the Biltmore Estate and Mission Hospital, in a residential area off Biltmore Avenue, Asheville Green Cottage is a house originally constructed in the 1920s in the Arts & Crafts style, built from granite blocks. The B&B strives to be as eco-friendly as possible, using natural materials, and is a member of the Green Hotels Association. The four rooms are decorated in themes from the owners’ world travels in Africa, India and elsewhere. Rates are $115 to $165 for weekends in-season, slightly lower at other times.

 

 

Baymont Inn & Suites 204 Hendersonville Rd., South Asheville near Biltmore Village, 828-274-2022 or 800-337-0550, www.baymontinns.com; Motel, Moderate

 

If you want a moderately priced motel within a few blocks of the Biltmore Estate entrance, and a short walk to the main part of Biltmore Village, this is a good option. The 71-room Baymont, part of the Wyndham chain, is modern, clean and a continental breakfast is included. Note that this motel has a policy of not accepting guests who live within 50 miles of the inn.

 

 

Biltmore Village Inn 119 Dodge St., Biltmore Village, 828-274-8709 or 866-274-8779, www.biltmorevillageinn.com; B&B, Expensive to Very Expensive

 

This B&B is on a low hill above Biltmore Village and the old Biltmore Hospital. It’s a bit of a hike to some of the restaurants in Biltmore Village and to the Biltmore Estate entrance, but you’ll likely have a car anyway. The three-story 1892 Queen Anne-style Victorian house, redone in 1973 and in 2007, was originally known as the Samuel Harrison Reed House and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For a time it was the Thoms Rehabilitation Hospital. The inn has five spacious, deluxe rooms in the main house, plus two rooms in the carriage house. All the rooms are luxuriously decorated and all but one have gas or electric fireplaces. Rates, which include gourmet three-course breakfasts, range from around $200 to $335 double.

 

 

Cedar Crest Inn 674 Biltmore Ave., South Asheville, 828-252-1389 or 800-252-0310, www.cedarcrestinn.com; B&B, Moderate to Expensive

 

One of the longest-established B&Bs in the area, Cedar Crest is located a few blocks north of the Biltmore Estate entrance and Biltmore Village, and about a mile south of Downtown. There are 10 rooms in the main house, an 1891 Queen Anne painted pink. It has some stunning wood paneling in the public space, plus six rooms and suites in nearby cottages and a carriage house. Some rooms have gas fireplaces and whirlpool tubs. The grounds of this romantic inn are large, about 4 acres. Your stay at Cedar Crest includes free Wi-Fi, tea, coffee and pastries, wine and a three-course breakfast.

 

 

Corner Oak Manor B&B 53 Saint Dunstans Rd., South Asheville, 828-253-3525 or 888-633-3525, www.corneroakmanor.com; B&B, Moderate

 

In a 1920s-era Tudor-style house, this three-room B&B in a quiet residential area between McDowell and Biltmore avenues is a short drive to the Biltmore Estate. Even in-season, rates are lower than at many other B&Bs in Asheville. A delicious breakfast is included.

 

 

Festiva Biltmore 8 Village Lane Biltmore Village, 828-337-3140, www.festiva-biltmorevillage.com; Vacation Rental/Timeshare, Expensive to Very Expensive

 

Eight one- and two-bedroom condos are available for vacation rental. Decorated in an upscale style with granite counters and plush bedding, most have fireplaces, kitchens, washer-dryers and other modcons, but some units do not have telephones. They are ideally located at the edge of Biltmore Village, in part of what was the old Biltmore Hospital (where the author of this guide was born). It’s an easy walk to all parts of the Village and to the Biltmore Estate entrance. This property is part of a large timeshare/interval ownership group with properties around the U.S., in Mexico and the Caribbean; it is based in Asheville.

 

 

Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Asheville-Biltmore 115 Hendersonville Rd., Biltmore Village, 828-274-1800, http://doubletree3.hilton.com; Hotel, Expensive

 

Just south of the entrance to the Biltmore Estate is this Hilton property. It’s not one of the newer properties in the Doubletree chain, but it’s well maintained and very convenient to Biltmore Village and to the Biltmore Estate. Generally solid service and good hotel breakfasts (extra charge). Indoor saline pool. A TGIFriday’s restaurant is attached to the hotel. In the same area and operated by the same management company -- Biltmore Farms, owned by a branch of Biltmore’s Cecil family -- is the more economical Sleep Inn (117 Hendersonville Rd., Biltmore Village, 828-277-1800, www.sleepinn.com; Motel, Moderate). A continental breakfast is included, and guests may use the pool at the Doubletree.

 

 

Grand Bohemian Hotel 11 Boston Way, Biltmore Village, 828-505-2949 or 866-599-6674, www.bohemianhotelasheville.com; Hotel, Expensive to Very Expensive

 

Part of a small chain of upscale hotels, the Grand Bohemian, which opened in late 2009, is the closest lodging to the Biltmore Estate (excepting the Inn on Biltmore Estate, which is on the estate grounds.) In fact, the “Tudor-inspired” hotel is directly across the street from the entrance. Note that while the location is convenient to the Estate and to Biltmore Village (and to a McDonald’s across the street, itself designed to blend into Biltmore Village architecture), is it at the heart of a very busy intersection. Most of the rooms and suites -- some are in an annex next door -- are spacious, with plush bedding and tufted velvet headboards. Vegetarians beware: The hotel’s lobby, with a central four-sided fireplace, and the restaurant, the Red Stag Grill, go for a hunting lodge decor with chandeliers of antlers and stuffed animal heads on the walls. Heavy on the dark crimson, the bar evokes more of a New Orleans bordello ambiance. You book the hotel through Marriott. It is listed as part of the Marriott Autograph group.

 

 

The Inn on Biltmore Estate  1 Antler Hill Rd., Biltmore Estate, 828-225-1600 or 866-336-1245, www.biltmore.com; Hotel, Expensive to Very Expensive

 

The Inn on Biltmore Estate enjoys a stunning hilltop setting in a private area of the Biltmore Estate. The architectural design echoes (but does not attempt to duplicate) the chateau style of the main Biltmore House. Rooms are impressively decorated but, except for the suites, are on the small side. Many guests say it’s worth a little extra to get a room on a higher floor with a better view. On a chilly day, it’s pleasant to sit in the lobby and enjoy a drink by the large stone gas fireplace. Staff and service are excellent. Surprisingly, although there’s a large outdoor pool open seasonally the hotel has no indoor pool. There is a spa. Packages are available, especially in the off-season and for 12-month passholders, that bring the normally Very Expensive rates ($500 or more on some in-season weekends) down to near $200. Some rate packages include admission to Biltmore House, spa treatments and some meals. (However, staying at the inn doesn’t automatically guarantee admission to Biltmore House.) The inn’s restaurant, on the floor below the lobby, available only to hotel guests and to those with paid admission to the Estate (including 12-month passholders), is one of the best in Asheville for dinner, with a gentile ambiance. Breakfast is expensive and not particularly exceptional. However, there are several other good dining options on the Estate, and of course you can leave the estate to sample Asheville’s great restaurants. There is a free shuttle van to take you anywhere you wish to go on the Estate.

 

Revisit 2015:

If you're looking for glitz or bling (does anyone use that word anymore?) you won't find it at the Inn on Biltmore Estate. This is more like a low-mileage Rolls Royce from the 1980s or 1990s, back when Rolls was still hand-built at Crewe, England.

 

Everything is in good taste. Everything works. Everything fits. Staff is friendly but not pushy.

 

In the high season in summer or October, you'll pay a pretty penny to stay here -- $300 to $500 a night or more.  With tax, valet parking ($18), tips, House tour, breakfast and perhaps dinner it will be much more, easily $600-$700 a night for two.  But we're annual passholders and took advantage of the $109 weekday double rate (plus tax) in deepest winter and parked our own car. For that we got a very tasteful fifth floor room with two double beds. It had lovely views west over a small vineyard and Antler Hill to the mountains at sunset.

 

Our room, like most of those we've seen at the Inn, isn't large, hardly larger than a regular room at, say, a Hampton Inn,  but the beds are remarkably comfortable, the shower purrs and there a few amenities such as Keurig  coffee maker, designer toiletries, robes and slippers, and free wi-fi. There are also free shuttles to the House and Winery, though unless you buy a package just staying at the Inn doesn't include admission to the House, though you have access to the grounds, gardens and much else that makes Biltmore special.

 

We had dinner in the Dining Room (reviewed separately, in the Best Restaurants Outside Downtown Asheville section), which was very good.

 

The hotel wasn't full, but neither was it deserted, with quite a few people in the Library dining area, bar and the main Dining Room downstairs. Our arrival day  turned out to be beautiful, sandwiched between two very cold periods, and we did tour the Biltmore House before checking in, even though we've seen it many times before. The audio tour players (normally an extra $10) were free, and the audio tour definitely adds something to the experience.

 

Let us put in a plug for the 12-month pass.  It's an extraordinary bargain, especially if you live in or near Asheville. Even if you're from out of town and only plan to come a couple of times a year, you'll save money and get unlimited visits to the House, grounds and gardens. Besides the unlimited free visits (they do not include, however, the special Christmas nighttime tours) you get some other benefits -- for example, discounts on dining and in Biltmore's shops. In January-February, with 12-month pass a coupon mailed to passholders, you get 25% off on purchases in Biltmore's shops and 15% off all dining.  The 12-month passes start at $89 each, plus tax. Look for special pass discounts, and if you enter on a regular rate currently you can upgrade your ticket to a 12-month pass for $49 while you're on the estate.

 

See also the Village Hotel below, another option for lodging on the estate grounds.

 

 

North Lodge on Oakland 84 Oakland Rd., South Asheville, 828-252-6433, www.northlodge.com; B&B, Moderate

 

Originally built in 1904 as a three-story shingle-style cottage, a first floor stone exterior and stone porte-cochere were added in the late 1940s. The house, which had deteriorated over the years, was extensively renovated and expanded by new owners in the 1990s. The present owner, Greg Adkins, bought the property in 2008 and turned it into a B&B. The inn is located in a quiet residential area off Victoria Drive near the A-B Tech campus a short drive from Mission Hospital, Biltmore Village, Biltmore Estate, River Arts District and Downtown Asheville. The six rooms and suites in North Lodge are moderately priced, around $120 to $160, with discounts off-season and on weekdays.

 

 

Oakland Cottage B&B 74 Oakland Rd., South Asheville, 828-994-2627, www.vacationinasheville.com; B&B, Moderate

 

A fairly modest, value-priced B&B in a residential area near the A-B Tech campus and a short drive to Biltmore Estate and most points of interest in Asheville. The Arts & Crafts-style house dates to 1910. There are two suites and four rooms, with prices from around $110 to $160. Discounts available weekdays.

 

 

Residence Inn Asheville Biltmore 701 Biltmore Ave., South Asheville, 828-281-3361, www.marriott.com; Motel, Moderate to Expensive

 

Due to its proximity to Mission Hospital, this extended stay Marriott brand and other lodging properties along Biltmore Avenue north of Biltmore Village get a good deal of business from the families of patients at Mission. The Residence Inn also gets guests wanting to be within a short drive of the Biltmore Estate and of Downtown. Rooms and suites have kitchenettes, and there’s a complimentary breakfast daily, with a free manager’s afternoon reception with snacks and light drinks Monday-Wednesday. The motel has been renovated recently.

 

 

Sweet Biscuit Inn 77 Kenilworth Rd., East Asheville, 828-250-0170, www.sweetbiscuitinn.com; B&B, Moderate to Expensive

 

This seven-room B&B in a 1915 brick Colonial Revival house in the Kenilworth section is about one-half mile from the Biltmore Estate entrance. It has been a B&B since 1999, and Claudia and Christian Hickl took over as innkeepers in 2012. Rates are $139 to $199, with the carriage house going for $209 without breakfast (breakfast is an additional $15 per person.)  The carriage house accepts pets. There’s a two-day minimum for all rooms on most weekends.

 

 

The Residences at Biltmore 700 Biltmore Ave., South Asheville, 828-350-8000 or 866-433-5594, www.residencesatbiltmore.com; Suites Motel, Moderate to Expensive

 

Don’t confuse this with either the Marriott’s Residence Inn or with the Inn on Biltmore Estate. Instead, it is an all-suites property just off Biltmore Avenue a little north of Biltmore Village. A total of 55 studio, one-, two- and three-bedrooms units are offered. Attractively decorated suites feature kitchens, washers and dryers, stacked stone fireplaces and hardwood floors. Most have whirlpool tubs.

 

 

Village Hotel Antler Village, Biltmore Estate, South Asheville, 866-336-1245, www.biltmore.com; Hotel, Expensive.

 

Opened in late 2015, the Village Hotel is a new addition to the lodging options on the Biltmore Estate. The four-story property is a more casual and less expensive alternative to The Inn on Biltmore Estate (see above). It is located in the Antler Village near the winery. The smallish rooms have one king bed or two double beds, 400-thread count linens, shower, refrigerator, Keurig coffee maker, free wi-fi and 42-inch plasma TV. The 400 sq. ft. studio suites have about the same amenities but in a larger space. We've heard a few complaints about the rooms are being soundproof. The Village Hotel has an outdoor pool (closed in winter), fitness room and casual dining. The bar has a fireplace. Several restaurants at Antler Village are a short walk away.  In high season (summer), room rates are a little over $300 a night, with suites around $425, plus tax and gratuities. Rates lower in the spring and winter and higher in October and at Christmas. Self-parking is free.

 

 

Montford

The Montford area just north of Downtown Asheville is Asheville’s unofficial bed and breakfast district, with nearly 20 B&Bs in the area. You can walk to Downtown from anywhere in Montford, although B&Bs at the north end of the district require a hike of six to ten blocks to the edge of Downtown. Most are in late 19th or early 20th century large homes. Nearly all of the B&Bs in this area offer the expected modcons, including air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, cable TV (some only in a common room). Many are truly luxurious, with rates to match, but more modest and more affordable B&Bs are also in Montford.

 

Breakfast is included, except where noted. Rates are higher on weekends, with discounts often available on weekdays and from January to March. Rates in most cases are for either one or two persons, and additional persons usually incur an extra charge. Not all of the Montford B&Bs are suited for children. As noted, rates listed do not include sales and accommodation tax or a service charge, if any (service charges are rare).

 

Free parking is offered at all B&Bs, though in some cases it is on the street. The B&Bs here are gay-friendly, and some are gay-owned, specifically targeting LGBT guests as a significant part of their market.

 

If you have any mobility issues, keep in mind that most of the B&Bs in Montford and elsewhere in Asheville are in older homes, most of two or three stories with flights of stairs and no elevators. When booking, mention any issues you have and ask for an accessible, first floor room.

 

 

27 Blake Street 27 Blake St., Montford, 828-252-7390, www.sheville.org/27blake/; Inn, Inexpensive

 

Affordable, long-established spot with just one room in an 1897 house within a short walk of Downtown. Rates are around $85 but do not include breakfast (there is morning coffee available). Not suitable for children. No pets.

 

 

1900 Inn on Montford 296 Montford Ave., Montford, 828-254-9569 or 800-254-9569, www.innonmontford.com; B&B, Expensive to Very Expensive

 

A 1900 Arts & Crafts-style house designed by Richard Sharp Smith has been turned into a luxury B&B furnished with antiques by owners Ron and Lynn Carlson. There are four rooms and a suite in the main house, and three large suites (all pet-friendly) in a modern cottage out back. All the suites and rooms have gas fireplaces, flat-screen TVs and deluxe furnishings. The Cloisters mega-suite in the cottage is 1,300 square feet with a two-person whirlpool and two-person shower, 50-inch and 40-inch TVs and kitchenette; it goes for $325 to $625 depending on time of year. The Fitzgerald room in the main house has a king bed, bathroom with two-person tub, walk-in shower and fiber optic lighting on the floor and ceiling, a 47-inch TV, and brick fireplace; rate ranges from $215 to $325 depending on the season. A three-course breakfast is served. The same owners have a cabin for rent in a rural area north of Asheville.

 

 

A Bed of Roses B&B 145 Cumberland Ave., Montford, 828-258-8700 or 888-290-2770, www.abedofroses.com; B&B, Moderate to Expensive

 

This 1897 Victorian gem is located less than six blocks from downtown.  The B&B has four lovingly decorated rooms plus one suite, for $109 to $209. The owners serve a two-course included breakfast.

 

 

Abbington Green B&B 46 and 48 Cumberland Circle, Montford, 828-251-2454 or 800-251-2454, www.abbingtongreen.com; B&B, Moderate to Very Expensive

 

One of Asheville’s top-rated B&Bs, Abbington Green is known for its beautiful, award-winning gardens and English-style main house by architect Richard Sharp Smith, built in 1907. The same owner has run this B&B for more than 20 years. Abbington Green has four rooms and a suite in the main house and three suites in the carriage house. All have fireplaces, along with flat-screen TVs and Wi-Fi. Organic, mostly locally sourced breakfasts are included in the rates, which range from around $160 (two rooms off-season in the main house) to $425 (two-bedroom suite in the carriage house, peak season). Abbington Green is located a bit farther from Downtown than some of the other B&Bs in Montford, but it’s still walkable to Downtown restaurants and attractions. Parking is available on the grounds.

 

 

Applewood Manor Inn B&B 62 Cumberland Circle, Montford, 828-254-2244 or 800-442-2197, www.applewoodmanor.com; B&B, Expensive

 

Applewood is one of Asheville’s most popular B&Bs. The inn is a wood-shingled Colonial Revival house on about an acre and a half. The accommodations – four rooms and a suite in the main house, plus a separate cottage -- are named after varieties of apples, Winesap, Macintosh, etc. Amenities include individually controlled heating and air-conditioning, a social hour with complimentary drinks, a turndown service with chocolates and Wi-Fi throughout. Rates in-season range from $170 to $230, breakfast included. It’s about a 25- to 30-minute walk to Downtown.

 

 

At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn 254 Cumberland Ave., Montford, 828-253-4085 or 888-743-2557, www.cumberlandfalls.com; B&B, Moderate to Expensive

 

Nearly everyone who stays at this B&B loves it. They like the location, within walking distance of Downtown; they like the gourmet breakfasts; they like the gardens; they like the owners, Gary and Patti; and, most of all, they like the Victorian house with six comfy rooms. Rates range from $135 to $259, depending on the season and day of the week. There are some discounts off-season and mid-week, and two-day minimum stay is required on some weekends. Rooms have whirlpool tubs and some have a fireplace or wood stove.

 

 

Asheville Seasons B&B 43 Watauga St., Montford, 828-263-9494, www.ashevilleseasons.com; B&B, Moderate

 

Although in the Montford Historic District, this B&B is something of a hike – about a mile --to Downtown Asheville. Most of the five rooms in this three-story early 20th century house have gas fireplaces, and the inn has central air and heat.

 

 

Black Walnut B&B Inn 288 Montford Ave., Montford, 800-381-3878, www.blackwalnut.com; B&B, Expensive to Very Expensive

 

Originally built in 1899 and designed by Richard Sharp Smith in the English vernacular style for which he was known, with half-timbered pebbledash exterior, this large home also has Queen Anne elements. Beautifully restored, the Black Walnut is now a luxury B&B ideally located on three-quarter-acre grounds and gardens on the main street through Montford, within a few blocks of Downtown. The six rooms in the main house and two in the carriage house go for $235 to $325 per night on weekend nights in-season, with lower rates mid-week and in winter. There is a two-night minimum. The owners formerly operated bakeries in Martha’s Vineyard and Palm Beach, so you can expect delicious pastries and breads in the included breakfast. Hors d'oeuvres and wine served each afternoon.

 

 

Carolina B&B  177 Cumberland Ave., Montford, 828-254-3608, www.carolinabb.com; B&B, Moderate to Expensive

 

Completed in 1902, this is an unpretentious but pleasant pebbledash stucco house by Richard Sharp Smith, done in his English vernacular style, with an Arts and Crafts front porch. Rooms have heart pine floors. There are six rooms and one cottage, with rates from $160 to $225 for in-season weekend nights. There is a two-night minimum on most weekends.

 

 

Lion and Rose B&B 276 Montford Ave., Montford, 828-255-7673 or 800-546-6988, www.lion-rose.com; B&B, Moderate to Expensive

 

Adjacent to the Black Walnut B&B just a few blocks from Downtown is this elegant rose-colored B&B, beautifully restored and maintained and with extensive landscaping. Completed in 1896, the house combines Colonial Revival, Neoclassical and Queen Anne elements. A special detail is the large stained glass Palladian window at the top of the oak stairs. Tommy French, one of the characters in Thomas Wolfe’s novel, Look Homeward, Angel, was said to live in this house. Rates in the five rooms for weekend nights in-season are $160 to $225, with lower rates mid-week and from January through March.

 

 

Louisa’s Porch Home Stay B&B 55 Cumberland Ave., Montford, 828-242-5224, www.louisasporch.com; B&B, Moderate

 

Small two-room, casual B&B within a short walk of Downtown.  Rates are around $160 to $190 in-season.

 

 

Pinecrest B&B 249 Cumberland Ave., Montford, 828-281-4275 or 888-811-3053, www.pinecrestbb.com; B&B, Moderate to Expensive

 

Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast is in a 1905 Tudor Revival home, with walking distance of Downtown. It is another popular Montford lodging spot that gets high ratings on TripAdvisor and other crowd-sourcing hospitality sites. Rates for the five guest rooms are $165 to $220. The owners and their daughter serve a delicious full breakfast, included. Complimentary wine and sweets are offered in the afternoons.

 

 

1899 Wright Inn and Carriage House 235 Pearson Dr., Montford, 828-251-0789, www.wrightinn.com; B&B, Moderate to Expensive

 

The Wright Inn is one of Asheville’s largest B&Bs, with 10 rooms plus a three-bedroom cottage. Originally built for local businessperson Osella B. Wright and wife Leva D. Wright, the Queen Anne-style house was from a design by George Franklin Barber, a Knoxville architect who marketed his home plans across the United States by mail order. Eventually Barber sold more than 20,000 house plans, and homes from his designs were built in all states in the U.S. and in several other countries. The Wright house was renovated in the 1980s for use as a B&B and has been operated by several different owners since then. The current innkeepers are Barbara and Bob Gilmore.

 

 

 

North Asheville

 

North Asheville ranges over a wide area, from Broadway Street to the west to the Grove Park area to the northeast, and off the Merrimon Avenue corridor heading toward Weaverville. A few of the lodging choices are within a hike of Downtown, but in most cases you'll need a car to get around.

 

 

1889 White Gate Inn 173 E. Chestnut St., North Asheville, 828-253-2553 or 800-485-3045, www.whitegate.net; B&B, Expensive to Very Expensive

 

Romantic inn with lovely grounds and gardens, within walking distance of Downtown, the White Gate Inn has eight suites, two rooms and one cottage, with in-season rates from $250 to $389, plus tax, with the highest rates on weekends and in October. Several of the suites have fireplaces and whirlpool baths, and two have kitchens. A three-course breakfast with custom-blended coffee is included.

 

 

Albemarle Inn  86 Edgemont Rd., North Asheville, 828-255-0027 or 800-621-7435, www.albemarleinn.com; B&B, Expensive to Very Expensive

 

This upscale B&B is a stunning 1907 Neoclassical Revival mansion in the lovely North Asheville Grove Park residential neighborhood. For a short time it was home to Hungarian composer Béla Bartók. He lived here in the early 1940s, creating his "Asheville Concerto," the Third Concerto for Piano. You can stay in his room, now called Bartók’s Retreat, on the third floor ($190 plus tax on weekends, higher in October and at Christmas), though some of the other 10 suites and rooms are more deluxe. Some rooms have working fireplaces and canopied beds. Gourmet breakfasts are included. The inn is just a bit too far from Downtown for an easy stroll, but if you enjoy a little exercise it’s walkable. Originally the home of Dr. Carl Von Reynolds, a noted Asheville physician who helped found the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health, the home was later a school for girls. It was turned into a B&B in the 1990s by a Connecticut couple, both lawyers; the new innkeepers are Fabrizio and Rosemary Chiariello.

 

 

Asia Bed and Breakfast Inn and Spa 128 Hillside St., North Asheville, 828-255-0051, www.ashevillespa.com; B&B, Moderate

 

A somewhat non-traditional B&B in the Five Points area of North Asheville, the five-room Asia B&B describes itself as a “retreat” and focuses on providing a relaxing getaway. Asia has a “private spa” and offers a steam shower and sauna.

 

 

Beaufort House Inn 61 N Liberty St., North Asheville, 828-254-8334 or 800-261-2221, www.beauforthouse.com; B&B, Expensive

 

This B&B in the Chestnut Hill Historic District about a one-half mile from Downtown is one of Asheville’s most popular inns. The rambling Queen Anne-style Victorian house was built in 1894 for North Carolina Attorney General and Asheville Mayor Theodore Davidson. For a short time in the 1940s it was the home of actor and National Rifle Association leader Charlton Heston. The architect was Allen L. Melton, who also designed the Drhumor Building Downtown. There are eight rooms in the main house and attached terrace, plus three cottages in the carriage house. Beaufort, by the way, is pronounced BO-fort, as with the North Carolina coastal town, not pronounced like the South Carolina town, BEW-fort.

 

 

Bunn House, 15 Clayton St., North Asheville, 828-333-8700, www.bunnhouse.com; Boutique Hotel, Expensive.

 

Opened in mid-2015 after a two-year renovation by the mother-daughter team of Ridgely Dubel and Ashley Dubel, Bunn House is a five-room boutique hotel in the Charlotte Street area. The brick Colonial Revival house was built in 1905 by Albert Bunn, a brickmaker from England. Throughout the hotel are polished wood floors and exposed brick. All rooms have either a balcony or terrace. They are elegantly furnished and have 49-inch LED TVs, fridges stocked with complimentary wine, beer, sodas and water. There's a Nespresso coffee and espresso machine in each room. King beds with top-end mattresses made in Asheville are fitted with Italian linens. Rates range from around $205 in winter to $400 in peak periods. A keyless entry system gives guests access to the hotel and room at entry time. Bunn House is within walking distance of Downtown.

 

 

Chestnut Street Inn 176 E. Chestnut, North Asheville, 828-285-0705 or 800-894-2955, www.chestnutstreeinn.com; B&B, Moderate to Expensive

 

This B&B in a 1905 Colonial Revival house has eight rooms, with rates from $169 to $249 plus tax (lower rates mid-week). It’s a fairly short walk to Downtown.

 

 

Crooked Oak Mountain Inn 217 Patton Mountain Rd., North Asheville, 828-252-9219 or 877-252-9219, www.crookedoakmountaininn.com; B&B, Moderate

 

This six-room B&B in a rustic octagonal house on three acres is on a mountainside above the Grove Park Inn, about 3 miles from Downtown. There’s a stone fireplace in the common room and wrap-around decks. Rates are $145 to $185 per night, plus tax, with a two-night minimum.

 

 

Grove Park Inn 290 Macon Ave., North Asheville, 828-252-2711 or 800-438-5800, www.groveparkinn.com; Resort and Conference Hotel, Expensive to Very Expensive

 

The grande dame of Asheville hotels celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2013. Its first century has seen many high points and some low ones, as the original six-story, 150-room hotel, inspired by the New Canyon Lodge in Yellowstone National Park and by other national park hotels in the West, evolved into the present-day 551-room resort and convention hotel with its own Donald Ross-designed golf course, award-winning spa and full resort and meeting facilities. Ten U.S. presidents (Taft, Wilson, Coolidge, Hoover, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Nixon, Bush, Clinton and Obama) have stayed at the inn, along with many famous movie stars, celebrities and writers.

 

The Grove Park was the idea of Edwin Wiley Grove, a Tennessee patent medicine multi-millionaire who also built Asheville’s Grove Arcade and the second Battery Park Hotel. Grove and his son-in-law, Fred Seely, a developer, designed the inn, with some consultation with New York architect Henry Ives Cobb, but it is fair to say that the massive hotel was built without the benefit of an on-site architect.

 

The original inn was constructed of huge granite boulders, some weighing as much as five tons, mined nearby on Sunset Mountain. It also used local chestnut, oak, pine and other woods for the rooms and the nearly 10,000 square foot lobby, which is bookended by two huge stone fireplaces, all crowned by a striking red tile roof. Four hundred men worked 10-hour shifts six days a week, using mules and hand tools, and completed the hotel in just a year.

 

The Grove Park has gone through a series of owners since E. W. Grove’s day. The longest-tenured owner was Charles Sammon, an insurance magnate, who bought the inn in 1955 and whose company owned it until 2012. Sammons added the 202-room Sammons Wing in 1984 and the 166-room Vanderbilt Wing in 1988. The additions, along with the purchase of the Asheville Country Club golf course in 1976 and the opening of a large spa in 2001, have made the resort much more viable as a business, but the new wings are architecturally inferior to the original section, imitations of the classic original construction.

 

In 2012, the Grove Park Inn was sold by the Sammons company to KSL Capital Partners, a private equity firm in Denver and then in mid-2013 it was sold by KSL to Omni Hotels and Resorts. Omni operates around a dozen resorts including Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, Omni Cancun and Omni Hilton Head, plus several dozen Omni Hotels.

 

The inn offers grand views of Downtown Asheville and the golf course from the Sunset Terrace off the main lobby. The furnishings in the lobby and in the rooms of the original section are by Roycrofters, the famous Arts and Crafts collective in East Aurora, N.Y., near Buffalo. The lobby has paddle arm sofas and chairs of wormy chestnut. The Grove Park Inn has the largest collection of Arts and Crafts furniture in the world.

 

The hotel has seven dining and drinking spots. Most are just hit and miss – on several recent visits the food at the spa, for example, has been laughably bad, especially considering the excellence of the spa itself. The most upscale of the restaurants is Horizons, open for dinner only, but it is still not on par with the top Asheville independent restaurants. Edison is the Grove Park’s new casual bar and eatery, featuring Southern food and craft ales.

 

Sadly, in its struggle to achieve and maintain profitability in a highly competitive business, the Grove Park has not always succeeded in totally satisfying guests. The hotel needs a thorough renovation and upgrading, and a new dedication to high quality dining and gracious service, a hugely difficult and expensive undertaking. Perhaps the new Omni ownership will be able to manage the upgrade this place deserves. Still, if you can overlook its occasional physical, staff, food and service shortcomings, the inn remains a stunning statement of the glory of the Golden Age of hospitality, as translated to contemporary tastes. The inn’s location and atmosphere are unmatched, and the grounds and its resort facilities generally are superb. To stay here, when things go right, can be a magical experience. Just to have a cocktail by the fire in the lobby on a glorious autumn evening is something you will never forget.

 

 

Hill House B&B 120 Hillside St., North Asheville, 828-232-0345 or 855-447-0002, www.hillhousebb.com; B&B, Moderate to Expensive

 

This B&B is in a Craftsman style home constructed in 1885 for local furniture manufacturer James Hill. For most of the 20th century it was an apartment building. In the mid-1990s it was turned into a B&B. There are eight rooms in the main house and two additional rooms in cottages. Hill House is in North Asheville, about midway between Merrimon Avenue and Broadway Street, within a (longish) walk to Downtown. It has a casual, down-to-earth atmosphere, rather than a formal one. Rates are around $100 to $240, with discounts for mid-week stays, for business travelers and for visitors under 30. David Raphael Smith is the current owner.

 

 

Princess Anne Hotel 301 E. Chestnut, North Asheville, 828-258-0986 or 866-552-0986, www.princessannehotel.com; Inn, Moderate to Expensive

 

Completed in 1924, the Princess Anne opened as a hotel for the families of tuberculosis patients but went through several owners and uses. Among the owners were the father of songwriter Johnny Mercer and the Maharishi Ayurveda University, for a time spiritual advisors to the Beatles. The three-story, flat iron-shaped Shingle-style building was renovated in 2003-2005 by local preservationist Howard Stafford who returned it to its original use. It has 16 rooms and suites. Rates in-season start at around $150. The location is a fairly long walk to the heart of Downtown.

 

 

Reynolds Mansion 100 Reynolds Heights, North Asheville, 828-258-1111 or 888-611-1156, www.thereynoldsmansion.com; B&B, Expensive

 

Located in an historic Colonial Revival brick mansion built in in the 1840s, this B&B on 4 acres on Reynolds Mountain scores among the top B&Bs in the U.S. on TripAdvisor and often is ranked number one in Asheville. The location is a bit unexpected, in a mixed-used residential and retail development, Reynolds Village, about 4 miles north of the heart of Downtown.  The mansion has been a B&B since 1970. The current Reynolds Mansion owners, Billy Sanders and Michael Griffith, purchased it in 2009 and after restoration re-opened it in 2010. They must be doing a lot of things right. Unusual for a B&B, there’s a swimming pool, open Memorial Day to Labor Day. There are 12 fireplaces in the inn, and reportedly 3,000 square feet of porches. The mansion, which was built by Daniel Reynolds and 15 slaves over a period of three and a half years, was constructed of bricks made from clay mined from the bottom of nearby Beaver Lake.

 

In the 20th century it was the home of the colorful and controversial Senator Robert “Bob” Rice Reynolds, who served North Carolina for two terms in the U.S. Senate starting in 1932. Some historians say that Reynolds, even during World War II, was a Fascist apologist and an outspoken anti-Semite. President Franklin Roosevelt attempted to get the isolationist Democrat Reynolds defeated after Reynolds’ first term, but he failed. Reynolds was married five times. His fifth wife, Evalyn Washington McLean, was a daughter of Washington Post publisher Edward Beale McLean, the last private owner of the Hope Diamond. Reynolds married Evalyn in 1941 when he was 57 and she was 19. Evalyn died of a sleeping pill overdose age five years later. Some attribute the death to the curse of the Hope Diamond. The national Democratic Party finally succeeded in getting Reynolds out of the Senate in 1945, and he lived in Asheville until his death in 1963, practicing law and real estate.

 

 

Sourwood Inn 810 Elk Mountain Scenic Hwy., North Asheville, 828-255-0690, www.sourwoodinn.com; Inn, Moderate

 

The Sourwood Inn, built in the 1990s, is constructed of stone and cedar.  It sits on about 100 acres off Elk Mountain Scenic Highway near the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Asheville.  The twelve rooms in the main house are casually chic, each with wood-burning fireplace and a bathtub with views of the woods. There’s also a cabin. Rooms range from $155 to $185 a night, and the cabin is $190.  All rates plus tax. Initially, the inn didn’t have air-conditioning, with the owners claiming that at 3,200 feet it was cool enough even in July. Not all guests bought that, given the warming climate, so finally the inn broke down and added A/C, a good move. Breakfast and afternoon refreshments are included in the reasonable rates, and the inn serves dinner (advance reservations required) for $30 per person. It’s BYOB, as alcohol isn’t sold at the inn. Sourwood, by the way, is a small native tree that blooms in July, and honeybees make a delicious, very light-colored honey from the nectar.

 

 

 

East Asheville/Tunnel Road

The Tunnel Road area east of Downtown is home to the Asheville Mall, by far the largest mall in the region, and most fast food and casual chain restaurants known to humankind. Save for the heavy traffic, often bumper-to-bumper, staying here offers fairly convenient access to Downtown and to the Biltmore Village area.

 

 

Country Inn & Suites 199 Tunnel Rd., East Asheville, 828-254-4311 or 800-830-5222, www.countryinn.com; Motel, Moderate

 

This 77-unit motel is about typical of the chain, with free Wi-Fi, included continental breakfast and coin laundry, although it also has a heated indoor pool.

 

 

Courtyard by Marriott 1 Buckstone Place, East  Asheville, 828-281-0041 or 800-321-2211, www.marriott.com; Motel, Moderate to Expensive

 

A mid-priced Marriott brand designed for business travelers and families, this Courtyard near the Asheville Mall and many casual chain restaurants has a heated indoor pool. There’s a buffet-style breakfast, (extra charge), but no dinner is served. Free Wi-Fi.

 

 

Hampton Inn Tunnel Road 204 Tunnel Rd., East Asheville, 828-255-922 or 800-426-7866, www.hampton.com; Motel, Moderate

 

This Hampton Inn is a little larger than average, with five floors and 119 rooms. As usual, you get complimentary breakfast and free Wi-Fi and local calls. Recently renovated. Heated indoor pool. It’s near busy Tunnel Road and the Asheville Mall, but it sits a bit away from the heavy traffic.

 

 

Holiday Inn & Suites 42 Tunnel Rd., East Asheville, 828-225-5550 or 800-439-4745,

www.holidayinn.com; Motel, Moderate

 

This six-story, 111-unit motel with heated indoor pool is one of the best Holiday Inn chain properties in the Asheville area. Note, however, that the company lists this as being in Downtown Asheville, which it is not.

 

 

Homewood Suites by Hilton 88 Tunnel Rd., East Asheville, 828-252-5400 or 800-225-4664, www.homewoodsuites.com; Motel, Moderate to Expensive

 

An extended stay motel, this Homewood Suites has 94 suites with kitchenettes on six floors. Breakfast and free Wi-Fi included in the moderate rates (expensive on certain fall or event weekends). There’s a manager’s reception weekdays with free drinks and virtually a complete dinner.

 

 

 

West Asheville/Asheville West Area

There are two main conglomerations of accommodations, mostly chain motels, in West Asheville (which is a fairly well define Asheville neighborhood) and the more general Asheville West areas.

 

One area is off Exit 33 of I-26 at the Biltmore Square Mall, which is converting from a regular mall to an outlet center. The general location offers easy access to Asheville via I-26 and also I-240 and I-40, and there are several good, inexpensive restaurants nearby, including Papas and Beer (Mexican), Moose Café (country), Stone Ridge Tavern (burgers and casual food) and Harbor Inn (seafood). Among the motels here are Country Inn & Suites, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Comfort Suites.

 

The other is off Exit 44 of I-40 at U.S. Highway 19-23/Smoky Park Highway. This is a major interstate exit and has plenty of gas stations, fast food places and casual chain restaurants including IHOP, Applebee’s, FATZ and Cracker Barrel. Motels here include Holiday Inn, Country Inn & Suites, Red Roof Inn, Ramada Inn and others. It offers good access to Asheville via I-40 and I-240.

 

 

Bon Paul & Sharkey’s Hostel 816 Haywood Rd., West Asheville, 828-350-9929, www.bonpaulandsharkys.com; Hostel, Very Inexpensive to Inexpensive

 

This hostel in an old frame house in West Asheville may be a little too funky for you, but the dorm room bunk beds are $25 per person, a private room with shared bath is $66 double, and a small cottage is $88 (if the latter seemed overpriced, which they are, camping in the back yard is $18.) Simple breakfast included, and usually there is a free spaghetti supper on Friday and Saturday evenings.

 

 

Country Inn & Suites Asheville West 1914 Old Haywood Rd., West Asheville, 828- 665-9556 or 800-830-5222, www.countryinns.com; Motel, Moderate

 

Newer, well-run Country Inn & Suites at the Exit 44 interchange of I-40 near Smoky Park Highway.  Don’t confuse this with the Biltmore Square location of the same chain. It’s near a plethora of fast food and casual chain restaurants.

 

 

Country Inn & Suites Biltmore Square 845 Brevard Rd., West Asheville, 828-670-9000 or 800-830-5222, www.countryinns.com; Motel, Moderate

 

Slightly above-average Country Inn & Suites with reasonable prices. Outdoor pool, continental breakfast included. The failed Biltmore Square Mall is converting to an outlet center.

 

 

Crowne Plaza Resort One Resort Drive, West Asheville, 828-254-3211 or 800-733-321l,

www.ashevillecp.com; Hotel, Moderate to Expensive

 

This resort hotel opened as a Hilton in the 1960s and has gone through a number of changes since, not all of them positive. On about 125 acres it has a 9-hole golf course, 20 tennis courts (10 indoor), three pools, a large fitness center, and, believe it or not, a zipline. The location is a little unexpected, just on the west side of the Capt. Jeff Bowen Bridge, formerly the Smoky Park Bridge, behind Asheville’s first shopping center, Westgate. The Crowne Plaza makes a valiant attempt to provide first-class accommodations and resort services, and occasionally succeeds.

 

 

Fox & Fiddle 31 Toms Rd., Candler (Asheville West), 828-665-9830, www.foxandfiddle.net; B&B/Inn, Inexpensive

 

This little B&B (well, they don’t serve breakfast Monday-Friday) is in an old farmhouse in the Candler area. It has only four rooms, some with shared bath. The appeal is the downhome atmosphere and the low prices, $50 to $60 a night, plus $15 if you want breakfast (Saturday and Sunday only). The owners are bluegrass musicians. No air-conditioning. Make of it what you will.

 

 

Hampton Inn Biltmore Square 1 Rocky Ridge Rd., off Brevard Rd. at I-26 (Asheville West) 828-667-2022, 800-426-7866, www.hampton.com; Motel, Moderate

 

Typical Hampton Inn, with indoor pool, decent included breakfast and free Wi-Fi. As with other motels in this area, there’s easy access to Asheville via I-26, I-240 and I-40.

 

 

Holiday Inn Biltmore West 435 Smoky Park Hwy. at Exit 44 of I-40 (Asheville West), 828-665-2161 or 888-465-4329, www.ihg.com; Motel, Moderate

 

Formerly a Ramada Inn, this property right at Exit 44 of I-40 was substantially upgraded a few years ago when it was reflagged as a Holiday Inn. The swimming pool is in the lobby, a remnant of the old Ramada design. The name, apparently designed to take advantage of the Biltmore Estate draw, is confusing because it’s at least a 12-minute drive via I-40 to the Biltmore Estate entrance, longer in traffic. The motel is near plenty of fast food spots and casual chain restaurants.

 

 

Holiday Inn Express 1 Wedgefield Dr. off Brevard Rd. at I-26 (Asheville West), 828-665-6519 or 888-465-4329, www.ihg.com; Motel, Moderate

 

About average Holiday Inn Express, with easy access to Asheville via I-26, I-240 and I-40. Reasonable rates for Asheville.

 

 

Honey Hill Asheville Inn and Cabins 2630 Smoky Park Hwy, Candler, (Asheville West), 828-633-1110, www.honeyhillasheville.com; B&B and Cabins, Moderate to Expensive

 

About 15 minutes west of Downtown Asheville, Honey Hill has four rooms and a suite in an 1885 Queen Anne-style home, plus six cabins on 12 acres. Rooms, with air-conditioning, ceiling fans, four-poster beds and Wi-Fi and some with fireplaces and claw foot tubs, are $169 to $229 in-season on weekends, and higher in October. Cabins are $179 to $279, with higher rates in October. Some weekday and other specials are available. Three of the cabins accept pets. There’s a two-night minimum on both rooms and cabins.

 

 

 

South Asheville Area/Airport

This area has mostly chain motels serving Asheville Regional Airport overnighters and passers-through on Interstate 26, along with some guests doing business with manufacturing plants and other businesses in the fast-growing South Asheville area. In addition to the airport area motels listed below (the best of the bunch), there also are units of the Clarion Inn, Econo-Lodge and Comfort Inn chains near the airport. Note that the Hilton is not at the airport but at Biltmore Park, about 5 miles north of the airport via I-26.

 

 

Fairfield Inn Airport 31 Airport Park Rd., Fletcher (South Asheville), 828-684-1144 or 888-236-2427; www.marriott.com; Motel, Moderate

 

Standard Marriott Fairfield Inn set up, with comfortable, affordable rooms, included continental breakfast and free Wi-Fi.

 

 

Hampton Inn & Suites 18 Rockwood Rd., Fletcher (South Asheville), 828-687-0806, 800-426-7866, www.hampton.com; Motel, Moderate

 

Convenient to the Asheville Regional Airport and WNC Ag Center, this 96-unit Hampton Inn & Suites offers the usual Hampton quality, but prices are a little above what you’d expect. Included breakfast and free Wi-Fi.

 

 

Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park 43 Town Square Blvd., Biltmore Park Town Square, Off I-26, South Asheville, 828-209-2700 or 800-445-8667, www.hilton.com; Hotel, Expensive

 

Located in the Biltmore Park multi-use planned community just off I-26 in South Asheville, the Hilton offers the expected Hilton amenities, including spa, restaurant and bar. Within walking distance are a number of mostly chain restaurants, such as P.F. Chang’s, a large multiplex cinema and a number of boutiques, galleries and stores, including an R.E.I. and a Barnes & Noble.

 

 

Mountain Laurel B&B 139 Lee Dotson Rd., Fairview (South Asheville), 828-712-6289; www.mountainlaurelbnb.com; B&B, Inexpensive/Moderate

 

This gay- and lesbian-friendly three-room B&B in a rustically modern house is set on a hilltop south of Asheville in Fairview. The deck and common areas have great views of the surrounding mountains. Rates for any of the three rooms are $100. Mountain Laurel B&B has an extensive library of library of GLBT books and films.

 

All content copyright © Lan Sluder except selected photographs used by permission and brief quotations or other fair use text, which are owned by the copyright holder.

We have made every effort to confirm the accuracy of information on this website, and in the Amazing Asheville book and ebooks, but travel information is subject to frequent change, and no warranty is made, express or implied. Please notify us of any errors or omissions, and we will attempt to correct them as soon as possible. All opinions expressed are those of the author, Lan Sluder, unless otherwise noted.