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Regardless of the time of year (or time of day, for that matter), Asheville is alive.
Asheville, NC: The Perfect Biltmore Estate Mountain Getaway
May 22, 2008
Category: Asheville Vacation Rental
Asheville, NC is among the fastest-growing cities in the nation, so it should come as no surprise that the city has also become one of the region’s hottest tourist spots. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville offers miraculous natural beauty, coupled with a thriving arts scene and fantastic restaurants, alongside countless other attractions.
Chief among those attractions is Asheville’s magnificent Biltmore Estate, arguably the very finest example of the city’s stunning architecture. A sprawling chateau, the Estate is 175,000 square feet, and stands on 8,000 acres. In 1964, it was designated a National Historic Landmark; in 2007, it was ranked eighth on the “List of America’s Favorite Architecture” by the American Institute of Architects; and today, it draws in a wide range of visitors both familiar with Asheville’s myriad charms and those new to the area.
One of the factors that makes Biltmore Estate enticing is its convenience. It is so centrally located, and offers so much on its own; it is the ideal setting for a weekend getaway. But for those overwhelmed by the prospect of planning such an excursion — be it family vacation planning or a romantic getaway — the immediate concern is obvious: where to begin? Well, perhaps it is best to start with the essentials and then explore your options based on your tastes.
Find an Asheville Hotel
Of course, at the top of the list is finding a place to stay. And for those seeking luxurious accommodations, warm hospitality and convenient location, there is no better option than The Residences at Biltmore, an Asheville, NC hotel that sits in the shadow of the Estate.
“The Biltmore Estate is surely the greatest attraction in Asheville,” James Gibson, Managing Director for The Residences at Biltmore, says. “People come here from literally around the world to experience what it has to offer. And as far as proximity to the Estate goes, we’re as close as it gets.”
Gibson isn’t exaggerating. The Residences at Biltmore sits just outside the gates of the Biltmore Estate. Moreover, this Asheville, NC hotel offers a wide array of luxury accommodations — from flat-screen TVs and whirlpool baths to gas fireplaces and private balconies. It’s a setting that lends itself nicely to the experience of the Estate itself — which reflects such tranquil settings with its own incomparable beauty.
Let a Travel Concierge help with Activity Planning
Now, once you’ve settled on where to stay, you have to find things to do, and the Biltmore Estate offers no shortage, starting with the Estate itself: an actual castle with 250 rooms, art masterworks, 16th-century tapestries, Napoleon's chess set, a library with 10,000 volumes, a banquet hall with a 70-foot ceiling, an indoor pool and a bowling alley. (Guided and self-guided tours of the Estate are offered.)
Once you’ve seen all there is to see indoors, take a step outside, where you can stroll through the Estate’s estimable gardens — designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted — as well as the lush, managed forests. And the outdoor possibilities don’t end there: Biltmore also offers carriage rides, horseback riding, river float trips, biking, hiking, Segway tours and fly-fishing school, among other things. Perhaps its best-known attraction, Biltmore also features the country’s most-visited winery, which offers a self-guided tour, wine-tastings and seminars, and culinary demonstrations.
“Frankly, there’s such a wealth of options that it may not be practical to take them all in over the course of a single weekend,” Gibson says. “However, if you plan your time judiciously, you can really enjoy a varied, exhilarating and relaxing few days here.”
With regard to such planning, The Residences at Biltmore offers travel concierge service — these concierges assist in the oft-overlooked aspects of a weekend getaway, the crucial details that can get in the way, or go by the wayside.
“The purpose of our travel concierge service is to anticipate the needs of our guests, and to be available to them 24 hours a day,” Gibson says of the program offered at his Asheville, NC hotel. “We’re in touch with our guests before, during and— if necessary — after their stays, so that all the little things needn’t be a concern. I’m not just referring to additional clean towels or pillows; I’m talking about making dinner reservations and spa appointments, offering local shopping and dining recommendations, scheduling tours and activities, and so on.”
Needless to say, for those doing family vacation planning, having a travel concierge can come in very handy; it helps to have the minutia handled by someone else, so that you can go about the business of being on vacation.