I’ve been to Asheville, NC several times over the years and it’s such a lovely little city in the mountains and not a bad drive at all from Atlanta. There is much beauty and lots of artsy things to do in Asheville, including the Biltmore House, antiques shopping, and plenty more. Last weekend, I was up in Asheville for a Southern Living Plants garden party and it was such a fun time with my friend, Carmen, who is a lifestyle and garden expert with Southern Living Plants. The Grove Park Inn was hosting the event and I got invited to stay there and take part in the plant party. My longtime friend, Vicki, went along with me on the trip and it was such a fun girl’s weekend away.
NC as a state is near and dear to my heart, as my family took many vacations there as we were growing up and we experienced so many wonderful memories as an extended family in this fine state.
(I borrowed this shot from the Grove Park Inn website, what a gorgeous pic!)
I have heard so many fantastic things about the Grove Park Inn and to get to see it in person for the first time was just amazing. It truly is a beautiful sight to behold and the service and accommodations are outstanding. I knew I would be in for a treat and I was!
I really knew nothing about the history of the Grove Park Inn, except that it was old and had been here for a long time. It’s a very interesting story how the Grove Park Inn came to be, but the short story is it was built by pharmaceutical mogul, Edwin Wiley Grove and it opened in July of 1913, making it just over 100 years old. I know wings have been added onto the inn over the years and the original structure was painstakingly built by hand, with workers bringing those huge granite rocks up the mountain to be placed. What a feat that was, but how beautiful it is 100 years after the fact. At the keynote address by Secretary of State, Williams Jennings Bryan, he proclaimed that the Grove Park Inn was “built for the ages”.
I’d say that is definitely a true statement.
The magnificent views of the Blue Ridge Mountains are what draws people to this part of NC. The views, it’s all about the views!
The exterior of the Grove Park is just amazing and beautiful to look at. I should have taken more pics inside the hotel of the portraits lining the halls of celebrities an dignitaries of those who have visited the Grove Park Inn over the years. Quite an impressive list.
The exterior terraces and patios are works of art and add to the ambiance of the place. You can imagine lunch or dinner outside enjoying the views and the sunshine. We got to experience a little bit of sun the first day we were there, but the next day was chilly and windy, so we didn’t get the chance to take in the patio for a meal. You can bet I’d love to go back and experience it all over again.
More of the views.
The hotel is HUGE with 2 big wings on either side of the original hotel structure.
An outdoor fireplace.
Another of the large and vast terraces at the Grove Park.
We couldn’t get over how beautiful it all was and I imagine that is the reaction of everyone who stays here.
Inside the lobby, there’s a definite mountain lodge feel with cozy seating in this huge welcoming space, enormous fireplaces flanking either end of the room with rockings chairs in front of each of them. There’s a comfy spot to read or people watch every where you look.
Again, the outdoor spaces can’t be rivaled for beauty.
There are several restaurants to choose from at the inn, but we mostly tried out Edison, one of the newer ones. The food at Edison was delicious and we got to sample all sorts of tasty treats.
The Grove Park Inn was something I have never experience before, but hope to do again.
It’s truly a one of a kind experience like none I’ve had before. It’s really a destination all it’s own with so many attractions and things to do. I hear it’s a first class wedding venue, and with spa, golf, dining, and other amenities, you won’t be bored. After hearing about the Grove Park Inn for decades, it was finally great to see and experience it in person. I’ve heard that Christmas is an extra special time there too and I hope to get back again myself.
Have you ever been to the Grove Park Inn? Tell me about it!
We absolutely loved The Grove Park Inn! We stayed in the older part and rode up in the elevator in the side of the fireplace. Very tiny and spooky but so much fun.
[email protected] Designs says
The Grove Park Inn is indeed spectacular…from the “inn” to the wonderful restaurants…My favorite time there is around Christmas time…the display of the Gingerbread Houses for the National competition is something that everyone should see…Glad you had a great time!…
Vicki Crowe says
My husband surprised me with a visit here one Christmas. Loved it. This is where the big Gingerbread House competition is jusged every year and we got to see all of those entries. Plus there was a rudolph ice sculpture outside when we pulled in the drive and so charming as the men in top hats escourted us from our car. I was hooked! Combine that with a night time tour of the Biltmore with snow on the ground and it was just a truly magical time for me!
Becky Cochran says
I live just 5 miles SE of Asheville in a little spot called Fairview, have been to the Grove Park many times. You should plan a trip around Christmas to see all the trees there and try to take more pictures inside. There’s an old Catholic Church downtown, just across from the old civic center, sorry the name escapes me, but if you enjoyed the architecture of the Grove Park you would certainly enjoy that church too. Also there is Montford, the historic district. We rented a house there when we were first married, what an experience. I felt like I was living in Gone with the Wind. While you’re in Asheville, since you like DIY and repurposed things you must visit the Screen Door. Then stop by Moe’s bar b que just down the street, this is all near Biltmore Village. If you head out Fairview way stop in at Piazza where my son in law is the manager, good Italian food, or go to the sister restaurant, Reza’s where you might spy my daughter, hostessing a few days a week, the food there is more Middle Eastern, and quite delicious. If you go to Fairview, keep going and visit all the wonderful spots on the way to Lake Lure. Come in October and enjoy the colors. You can stop and buy apples along that route, keep going, it will be around a few bends and up a bit, you’ll be looking for Hickory Nut Gap. There are so many nooks and crannies to explore in Asheville and the surrounding area, it’s worth a few more trips back to visit.
Thank you, Becky for all the extra details about Asheville, I do love the area! It seems I’m always on an agenda when I go up there, but I would love to explore more. I have been to Screen Door a couple of times and it is awesome!
Bart Fargo says
Or they could just stay up North or in Florida.
This place looks incredible! I love NC as a whole but Asheville is especially lovely.
Kristin S says
I’ve stayed there many times and run conferences there as well. I haven’t been there since the finalization of the Omni takeover and completion of the renovation. Thanks for sharing photos so I could SEE it. Oh, I really hope to get back someday. The Omni purchase has popped it out of our non-profit price range for conferences.
Hey Rhoda, I’m in eastern N.C. We love living here. We’ve never been to the Grove Park Inn. It looks like a beautiful place to stay. Great photos, very informative.
Shelly Efland says
My husband just surprised me this past weekend with a trip to the Grove Park Inn for our 25th wedding anniversary. It was fabulous. We stayed in the original part of the Inn, had dinner at the
Sunset Terrace, relaxed in front of one of the fireplaces in the Main Hall and just simply took in all the beautiful scenary. All the staff was so nice and helpful with everything, from the moment we arrived until we checked out to leave. Would highly recommend it….hope to get back there in the near future especially at Christmas…..
I’ve been going there for over 30 years! Love it! I especially like to stay in the older part.
[email protected] LifeAtLydiasHouse says
Apparently I am the only person in the world who has had a less than wonderful experiences there although they were a number of years ago. They created such a bad taste that I didn’t want to go back! The last one, was getting stuck in the elevator. When a maintenance man finally got the door open I asked him if that happened often. His reply was “It happens.” Translation: yes it does. I was appalled that the management never even apologized! In my opinion, very poor customer service for a very high dollar hotel! I trust that the new owner/management will do a much better job.
I stayed at there last year and it was a wonderful experience. Great shops/food/atmosphere.