8.04.2011

Summer is Sizzling at the Biltmore Estate with Special Travel Offers

There are only a few more weeks until summer vacation is over. Many kids, here in North Carolina, are already back in school on the year-around schedule. My son is on the traditional school calendar, so he doesn't start kindergarten until September 1.  Yes, I have another month to keep him busy.  I may be worn out by the time the school bell rings.  I think this is why I always think about vacations.

Whether your kids are in school or out, if you are thinking of taking a weekend trip, or a longer vacations this month, then now is a great time to explore North Carolina's Biltmore Estate.

I've not made the trip, which is about four hours from my home, yet with my kids, but I have been to the Estate in August, and stayed on property at the lovely Inn at the Biltmore.    Since you know about my luxury-hotel obsession, I'll tell you more about my stay there, but Asheville has lots of wonderful hotels, home rentals, and bed and breakfast inns for every family's budget.


Courtesy of the Inn at Biltmore
Special Rates are now being offered at the Inn
 
Asheville, North Carolina is a thriving arts community nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

It is a gorgeous and sophisticated destination, and is also home to one of the most beautiful, and romantic chateaus in the United States.    The Biltmore House and Gardens, which was built on 8,000 acres overlooking the French Broad River, rivals some of Europe’s finest palaces.


Photo of the Biltmore House taken by my husband
 
More than one million people visit George Vanderbilt’s exquisite mountainside vacation home each year and I had the pleasure of being one of those visitors in 2009.

Vanderbilt created the Biltmore to escape everyday life, and if you really want to experience life as Mr. Vanderbilt intended in the late 1890’s then you must make the Inn at Biltmore your home away from home while in Asheville.   It is the only inn on the Biltmore estate, and as soon as you give the gatekeeper your name, and make your way down the winding, scenic road that leads to the Biltmore House, winery, and the estate's inn, you immediately feel the daily stress of your life disappear.   It’s an enchanting journey!

I was seven months pregnant when my husband and I decided to spend a weekend at the Inn at Biltmore.  We thought it would be nice to take a break from our son, relax, rest, and just rejuvenate before our daughter arrived.     The hotel grounds were beautiful; our room was luxurious, spacious, spotless, and inviting.  The bathroom was superb and it even served as a sitting area for me when pregnancy induced insomnia had me reading “Gourmet” Magazine at 2 am in there with my feet propped up on the marble counter tops so I wouldn’t wake my husband.  It really was the most perfect setting.

Courtesy of the Inn at Biltmore.  Our room was reversed from this photo
Feeling as big as the Biltmore's stable, being 28 weeks pregnant, and recovering from a virus, I could have easily never left the inn the entire two days, and been perfectly content surrounded by magnificent views and down comforters, but we did venture out on the estate to see what it had to offer.   We stayed at the Inn at Biltmore in August of 2009, and surprisingly, the mountains had a slight heat wave that weekend.  It was above average temperatures, not like the heatwave we are currently in right now, but hot for the mountains. The gorgeous, mountainside pool was a great retreat.  

Courtesty of the Inn at Biltmore
We also had a lovely night to dine outside at the Arbor Grill adjacent to the estate’s winery.  I cannot speak highly enough about the food on the Biltmore Estate.  Every meal was truly outstanding and we still talk about our experience from time to time because I do frequently bring up our trips in our conversations because it just makes me happy.  My trips are some of my best memories.

We had an early Saturday lunch at the Stable CafĂ©, and homemade ice cream in the afternoon.  You know a pregnant woman would find her ice cream!   We took a quick ride to downtown Asheville on our last night, but decided to come back to the inn, go to the Library Lounge and have a late dinner sitting on the inn’s Veranda.   We loved being at the inn that clear, bright, starry night.   That impromptu meal on the veranda was a favorite experience, and the view was spectacular.  I still think about that wonderful Pizza Margharita, too.

Me, as big as a barn, in 2009
The Inn at Biltmore not only left a lasting impression on me, but also on my husband.  He enjoys our trips a lot, but never really says much about them except “It was nice!” And of course, since he prefers saving over spending, he never really enjoys paying the checkout bill part.   But in this case, this inn actually got the biggest compliment of any hotel we’ve ever stayed.  He said, “I would definitely go back!”  

The great thing about the Inn at Biltmore along with the Biltmore House and Gardens is that it has a new appeal every season throughout the year.   With so much to do on the estate, one can get a different experience in winter, spring, summer, and fall.   I cannot wait to take our children one day.   And if you think you may like to do the same, then now is the time to plan that trip.  

August is a wonderful time to explore the Biltmore Estate.  The estate is currently featuring a beautiful Tiffany exhibit through October 23, and special rates on admission.  

Next time, I go back to Biltmore, I’m going to stay three nights instead of two, and I’ll definitely be checking out the afternoon tea service and spa.

For a complete list of lodging in the Asheville area, visit Explore Asheville, the city's official tourism site. 
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