Grove Park Getaway

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Curated By

Elizabeth Lamb-Scronce

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Grove Park Getaway
Curator’s statement

There are more than a few reasons why Asheville, North Carolina, is such a trending destination: craft breweries, a bustling downtown, and a thriving art scene… all nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. With all that’s new and exciting in Asheville, you may not think of it as a city that’s big on history, but I recently discovered one of its iconic gems. Just a short drive from downtown, The Omni Grove Park Inn is a mountain getaway that combines all the charm of the past with the luxury you’d expect from any world-class resort today.

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Where to stay

The Omni Grove Park Inn

The Omni Grove Park Inn offers the tradition of southern hospitality amidst the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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A Place for Gathering

As soon as you turn into the Inn’s driveway and the stone facade comes into view, you immediately get a sense of this resort’s historic grandeur. That sense of grandeur continues as you enter the Inn’s lobby, known as The Great Hall. With its high-ceiling, wood and stonework, and original Craftsman style details, this is a space that’s warm and welcoming year round (especially in winter, when you can cozy up next to one of the two giant fireplaces).

If the weather is nice during your visit, make your way through The Great Hall, opposite the main entrance, where you’ll find The Sunset Terrace restaurant and The Sunset Cocktail Terrace. From there, you can enjoy the mountain view while sipping a craft cocktail or local beer, or take the path that meanders down to the spa entrance.

Arts, Crafts, and Shopping

Back inside, the Vanderbilt wing leads from one side of The Great Hall. Here you will find Craftsman furniture displays that are original to the inn’s opening in 1913, along with quiet spots to relax and a row of shops. This is a resort that has the feel of a small town, so you can get everything you might need (and want), from boutique clothing and spa products to local treats and made-to-order drinks from the coffee shop. On the other side of the historic inn, there is a seasonal holiday shop, outdoor gear and apparel and a gallery featuring local artists.

Accommodations

Accommodations at The Grove Park Inn are spread across three wings. Rooms in the original historic inn are furnished in the craftsman style that The Grove Park is known for. The Sammons and Vanderbilt wings were added more recently, and this is where you’ll find rooms and suites that are a bit larger and more modern in style. Some rooms in the newer wings are pet-friendly (and the concierge is equipped with doggie treats so your pooch feels just as spoiled as you do).

We chose a Club Level suite in the Vanderbilt wing and it did not disappoint! With a mountain view, separate seating area, and a separate shower and jetted tub, this suite provides plenty of space to relax. We also enjoyed the complimentary cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres, complimentary breakfast, and the coffee station on the club-level floor.

Dining

The Grove Park Inn has four sit-down restaurants, along with the marketplace, a spa cafe, cabana grill by the outdoor pool (seasonal), a lounge and wine bar and a dueling piano bar. You definitely won’t go hungry, but I recommend making dining reservations ahead of time because all four restaurants are extremely popular - including with locals.

We were there for a last-minute stay, which meant we missed out on getting dinner reservations. If that happens to you, don’t worry! The Great Hall bar serves light bites (and because this is the South, you can expect these light bites to be filling). The crispy fingerling potatoes with chimichurri and applewood-smoked bacon are a can’t-miss, along with The Grove Park Sparkling Sangria.

For sit-down dining, choose The Blue Ridge for a casual farm-to-table meal or Vue 1913 for a special occasion. Of course, the one thing you can’t miss is the gorgeous view from The Sunset Terrace (ideal at, you guessed it, sunset). The icing on the cake is that each of these restaurants boasts gorgeous mountain views, so you can’t go wrong whichever one you choose.

Despite not having a reservation, we managed to get lunch at Edison, the inn’s newest restaurant, which puts an inventive spin on Southern staples. Our lunch was delicious, and despite being decidedly Southern, this restaurant has some drool-worthy vegetarian and vegan options. I was tempted by the vegan beer brat made with local Highland Brewery Gaelic Ale.

Sports, Spa, and Golf

Asheville is a Four Seasons destination, and The Grove Park Inn makes sure its guests can take full advantage of the area’s beauty. The sports complex includes a fitness center and classes, an indoor and outdoor pool, tennis courts, racquetball, and even a hiking trail. The property also features an award-winning golf course and one of the top spas in the U.S.

We missed out on the spa, again, due to this being a last-minute getaway. So be sure to make your spa reservations as soon as you book your stay. One of the things I love most about this resort is how committed they are to highlighting the local nature and culture. In that vein, I will be booking the Mountain Honey Wrap as soon as I get an opportunity to go back!

Why The Grove Park?

My dad’s family is from Asheville, so it’s a city that’s like a second home to me. I don’t know why I waited so long to check out The Grove Park Inn, but now that I have, I can’t wait to return. It’s a world-class resort that embraces its historic charm, while giving its guests the best in modern amenities. This makes it the perfect home base to explore Asheville and its surrounding mountains - but I wouldn’t fault you if you never left the property.

Need to Know

Who is The Grove Park Suited For?

Everyone! I’m only partly kidding when I say The Grove Park Inn has something for everyone. I may not take small children except in summer when the outdoor pool is open. But the inn specializes in Christmas fun that’s perfect for all ages, especially during the National Gingerbread House Competition. And even though it’s family-friendly, it’s ideal for a romantic couples getaway as it oozes with the romance of a time gone by.

This trip report is part of our ongoing series on travel to Asheville. In need of further inspiration? Check out Kristen Pupa’s guide, 4 Days in Asheville, NC and Surrounding Areas.

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Travel Advisor

Elizabeth Lamb-Scronce

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