Monday, August 11, 2014

A Trip To The Biltmore Estate

What does Last of the Mohicans and The Odd Life of Timothy Green have in common? Scenes from both of these movies were shot at George Vanderbilt’s grandiose home; Biltmore Estate, in Asheville, North Carolina. If you’re unfamiliar with this location, you will certainly have your eyes opened to one of the most luxurious destination spots in the United States, that many celebrities have stayed at, including, President Obama.

Biltmore “Inn” was our next stop, and where we’d be hanging our hats for the next two days. We would be living like the Vanderbilt’s, or close enough with the 5-star hospitality, incredible award-winning cuisine, and jaw-dropping scenery at the Castle and the various other gems that make up Biltmore Estate.

No,  this is NOT  the Castle but the back of their hotel on the grounds if you can believe  it.  Just in case you might be confused.

The backyard of Biltmore Inn. All photos by: Melissa Arditti

Some interesting facts about the Estate as a whole:
  • It is on 8000 acres of land (The House  is 175,000 square ft).
  • Biltmore employs over 2000 workers/ 60 are just for landscaping.
  • It is the 2nd largest employer in all of Asheville.
  • They raise angus cattle, sheep, free-range chickens, etc.
  • Biltmore has over 10,000 visitors per day at Christmas time, and generates over 1.2 million visitors per year.
  • Daily operations feature several sustainable and clean energy practices, such as using solar power, planting a 60-acre canola field whose seeds will be harvested and pressed into a food-grade cooking oil and using vegetable oil as a bio diesel fuel for powering equipment used on the estate — now that is innovative thinking.

As my dad went to check in, I went around to take some photos of the stunning lobby. From the photo you can see the detailed oriental rugs, over-sized iron wrought chandelier, and vibrant flowers/plants that really welcome you into the Inn. There are also doors that lead out to a beautiful veranda that faces the Blue Ridge Mountains and the French Broad River.

This view was heavenly.

Before heading up to our room, I spotted an abundance of fresh apples by the front desk and so as the saying goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away! It was a nice healthy and refreshing snack. The little things that I notice. ;)

The Inn has 213 rooms and 9 suites to choose from. Here is a photo of our room, including a luxurious bathroom.

Speaking of concierge service, a quick story. After double checking that I had everything in my luggage for the trip, I soon realized that I didn’t pack my razor! I wanted to wear a dress that day and so I called the front desk in a bit of a panic. This was the conversation:

Front Desk: “Good morning Ms. Arditti, how may I assist you today?”
Me: “Do you have any razors that I could have, I forgot mine.”
Front Desk: “Of course. Is there a specific kind and how many would you like?”
Me: “Anything you have is great. 2 would be fine, if that’s not a problem.”
Front Desk: “No problem at all. I’ll send someone right up. Is there anything else I can do for you?”
Me: “No that would be all, thank you very much.”
Front Desk: “Have a great day.”
Me: You too.

I literally put down the phone and walked toward my luggage to get my hairbrush when I heard a gentle knock at the door. I was pretty shocked at how quickly my request was granted. I have never experienced service like that before, so it certainly started the day off on the right foot. It may seem trivial, but to me, it is the little things that truly make a good hotel stay.

Another first for me was the complimentary nightly turn-down service with chocolates that the Inn offers each of their guests. After a long day walking around in the sunshine, it was nice to walk into our room and know that it was freshly cleaned and I didn’t have to fight with the covers (every hotel seems to tuck them in so tightly) I just slid right in and was ready for a restful sleep.

Plan your next stay here