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“The Perfect Mountain Retreat (although not the best night's sleep)”
Review of Sourwood Inn

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Sourwood Inn
Ranked #20 of 39 Asheville B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
washington, DC
2 reviews
“The Perfect Mountain Retreat (although not the best night's sleep)”
Reviewed October 24, 2008

One of my favorite places to stay! Can't describe the peaceful feeling of soaking in the waterfall tub with a view to the fall (or summer!) foliage. Innkeepers wonderful, dinners and breakfast well above average, and I just love the whole building and property. Yes it is a reatreat, and not for someone who wants to stay in downtown Asheville...but all that is 15-20mins down the hill if you want to go. OK that's the Rave....if I could nitpick, the one slighly sour spot (no pun intended) is the quality of the bedding....everthing else they did here is top-of the line, but the mattresses are pretty low-quality and the pillows too. To top it off there are no real curtains or drapes (just sheers), so depending on the time of year, the sun will wake you very early (I don't WANT to get up at 6am on my vacation) A poor night's sleep does mar the experience, but if the innkeepers would fix these items, I would give this place 10 (ten) stars!!

  • Liked — The beautiful building and views
  • Disliked — bad bedding
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Westroli1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (64)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Atlanta, GA
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed June 15, 2008

I have stayed here twice and both times in the summer months. It is definitely a retreat and a very relaxed place. I don't know why a visitor complained about the lack of air conditioning because the website states there is none. Also both times I called to make a reservation, the person reminded me of that fact. I think the visitor knew that going in. The breezes with the balcony doors open kept the room cool enough for me and at home I keep the a/c on 72F!
You will enjoy this place if you want to stay out of Asheville but close enough to drive in.

  • Stayed July 2006
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank nanseb1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Va
Level Contributor
145 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2008

Sourwood is our favorite getaway and we are lucky to live close enough to Asheville that we can drive there for a visit at least once yearly. Arriving there is like visiting an old friend -- comfortable and welcoming. The common areas are decorated in an Arts and Crafts style and wood burning fireplaces abound. The rooms are simply furnished, so if you like frilly Victorian B&B's this is not the place for you. Also, if you are a cell phone freak or internet junkie, <please> go somewhere else. This is a place to relax and destress. I love the soaking tub and the open shower, especially after a nice walk on the trails around the inn. Breakfast is hearty and ample. Dinners are delicious (even the brussel sprouts!). If the weather is going to be iffy, it is definitely better to have dinner at the inn. Fog can make the drive up the mountain quite unnerving. Also, it is good to call ahead to make sure that the Parkway is open if you plan to take that route to the inn. Our favorite reason why we keep coming back, though, are the people who run the inn. Susan, Jeff, Anne, Nat and staff are just the best.

  • Liked — friendly owners & staff, comfortable furnishings, woodland retreat
  • Disliked — the drive if it is icy outside
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank JediTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tennessee
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 10, 2008

There's a lot of things and people that this inn isn't suited for. That being said, for those it IS suited for, it serves it's purpose wonderfully. Yes, it is definitely a good 20 minute drive from pretty much anything you would want to do outside the inn. I was pleasantly surprised to find, though, that the time required for this drive comes from the slow speed at which one has to travel the very, very windy road, not a long distance. We were worried that staying so far out would make our trip even more costly because of how expensive gas is getting, but the inn was actually only about 10 miles from downtown. There's also an Ingles right at the base of the mountain, so if you want to grab some snacks or drinks on you way in or out of the inn, it's easy and convenient. The drive is, as other reviewers have said, pretty daunting (we're talking several hairpin turns on your way), but you pass several gorgeous homes and enjoy a wonderful view on the way up (just not the driver - eyes on the road all the way!) so it's by no means a tedious drive. We thought it was actually pretty enjoyable going up and down the mountain. The night we drove in it was very dark and pretty foggy, but we still managed to find our way with little trouble... so the drive is nothing to be afraid of. The driveway to the inn itself, though, is a little frightening. It's REALLY steep, and narrow with a drop-off on one side and a ditch on the other. It was nothing difficult to navigate, and it wasn't dangerous as long as we were careful, but if that sort of thing scares you this probably isn't the inn for you. We seek the small thrills in life so we thought it was actually pretty fun. :) We were met by a smiling face at the front desk and given a tour of the inn before being shown to our room. Our room was simple and tastefully decorated, not inundated with frills and poofs like many other B&B's. Everything was spotlessly clean. The bathroom was laid out with soap, shampoo, bubble bath, sewing kit, shower cap, hair dryer, and glasses. The entire bathroom was impeccable... so clean it felt like it had never been used. The towels gleamed they were so white and clean (and they were plenty big and fluffy). The sink and vanity is separated from the room by a pocket door, and the bathroom, shower, and tub are separated from the sink by a frosted glass door. It was a nice layout to allow privacy in the bathroom if needed. The tub was wonderful!! It was nice and large and deep, with plenty of piping hot water available to fill it and refill it again and again. We really enjoyed drawing a hot bath and then opening the windows adjacent to the tub to allow the cool air to breeze in across our faces. The bathroom lights have a dimmer switch so you can take a relaxing nighttime bath in gentle light.The view from the tub was spectacular, but I imagine it would have been even better from the second floor. The shower is not in a separate stall from the tub, there's just a shower head on the wall separating the toilet from the tub/shower area. The whole area is tiled with a drain in the center. This arrangement is fine unless you're staying with someone with whom you're not intimate enough to be nude - in which case you can't use the bath and the shower at the same time. There is an earlier review saying you can hear running water in the room from the bathroom, which is true (although pretty unavoidable in my opinion), but the wall separating the bathroom was insulated enough to avoid hearing much of any, er, toilet noises... because let's face it - as comfortable as you may be with your partner, it still ruins the ambiance a little when you can audibly hear them doing their business in the next room. The bed and bedding were not high-end, but were still perfectly comfortable. The sheets were soft, the blankets were warm, the mattress was supportive and in good condition. The pillows were a little flat, but we got lots of them so we just stacked them up and it was fine. It was definitely way, way more comfortable than the mess of wires covered in a polyester bedspread that chain hotels call a bed. The balcony was small but nice, with available shades to let down on either side so you can shield yourself from view from your neighbor's balcony. They weren't especially private, but hey, you can't be perfectly secluded all the time. The views were still wonderful. One unfortunate thing about this inn is that you can hear people walking around in the hallways and the upper floor... that's the nature of the beast with all hardwood flooring, though. It wasn't very disturbing, but it interrupted the otherwise total silence in our room. We didn't eat dinner at the inn, but the breakfasts were great. There was always cold cereal, fruit, and yogurt, and we also had selections like egg casserole, hashbrown casserole, bacon, sausage, french toast (which was TO DIE FOR), hard boiled eggs, muffins, etc. We were worried by the comment about cold breakfast so we hurried there at 8AM on the dot the first morning, but even after lazing in bed the second morning and arriving at about 9, we found the food to still be warm. Their coffee and juices were excellent. All around we had a great romantic experience at this inn.

All that being said about why you should stay at this inn, here's a few reasons why some people should not.

-No cell phone reception. None. If people NEED to reach you on your cell phone, don't stay here.
-The shower and tub are both kind of slippery, the tub being a little difficult to enter and exit (both because of it's height and the slipperiness). This might make it difficult for someone elderly to fully (and safely) enjoy the wonderful bathrooms of this inn. I would also be worried about having children use this bathroom because there is enough room for them to gain a little momentum running around, and they could slip on the tile.
-Unless they have a handicap-accessible room I don't know about, this is definitely not the place for someone with a disability. The tub would probably be impossible for someone with mobility issues to use, and the shower has no bars or supports to hold on to.
-If you really want people there to attend to your every need at all hours of the day and night, this may not be the place for you. There's no one at the front desk after about 9.

  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank carlyyy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
centered
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2007

Really fantastic place. Beautiful Arts and Crafts building; well maintained and excellent service from staff. Are always impressed with dinner provided by Kesha: as good as any food (even far more expensive in Asheville). We've stayed in hundreds of inns and small hotels in North American and Europe, and this is one of our all time favorites. You have to love this place.

We were amazed at the comment that common rooms are not well kept up. We've been coming to the Sourwood since it opened, and we have NEVER experienced this. Maybe it's an idiosyncratic reaction?

  • Liked — fantastic owners; views; architectural vision
  • Disliked — driving back to the inn after dark--which we avoid
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank centered
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia Beach, VA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed October 31, 2007

We spent a heavenly two nights at the Sourwood Inn this past October.
A beautiful Inn, with lots of arts and crafts/mission style. Gracious
hosts and staff did all they could to make this a great respite for us. Wonderful breakfast. The dinner smelled fantastic too, but my husband doesn't eat seafood so we had to pass.

The fall colors were spectacular and we loved walking the trails of the property accompanied by their two Labradors.

The room was spacious with a wonderful wood-burning fireplace. A great bathroom with a large soaking tub and huge windows opening out to the forest of trees right outside. Otherworldly...listening to the
night sounds while soaking in a tub of steaming water.

If I had to make one suggestion, it would be to insulate the walls of the bathrooms. It was quite loud when others were showering and disturbed the otherwise blissful bathing experience.

We loved this place, tucked away high on a mountain top and we'll be back. Thanks for the heavenly hideaway!

  • Liked — Almost everything
  • Disliked — Loud sounds of running water in bathroom
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank always anjuli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, NC
Level Contributor
27 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2007

We visited the Sourwood for a special quiet getaway - its remote location was just the bit of peace and quiet we needed. We didn't find the drive to the inn as intimidating as other reviewers have described, but to be fair we didn't drive it in pitch dark.

Our room had its own balcony, but we also spent time in the rocking chairs on the main porch. There are no TVs in the rooms, but you shouldn't be looking for one here. The bathroom was large with a walk-through shower and a huge tub. Everything was immaculate (the grout in the shower gleamed white), and the craftsman style with a fireplace in the room is soothing.

Sourwood has a lodge feel, and with no A/C you leave the windows open at night and let the mountain air in.

We made plans to have dinner there one night and were pleased with the experience. Imagine dining al fresco on the pack patio under lanterns with a firepit and fountain for ambiance. You need to bring your own wine, but the advantage is you can linger over your 3-course local, organic meal and don't have to drive down winding roads afterwards.

Breakfast is buffet style, and there are ample hot items like grits, eggs and pancakes to choose from. Afternoon snacks are also available, in the form of iced tea, nuts, dips and cookies.

This will be a favorite place when we need to just get away from it all.

  • Stayed June 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank dav205
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sourwood Inn

Property: Sourwood Inn
Address: 810 Elk Mountain Scenic Hwy, Asheville, NC 28804-1762
Phone Number:
Location: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Mountains > Asheville
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 39 B&Bs / Inns in Asheville
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sourwood Inn, constructed of cedar and trimmed with stone, sits on one hundred acres of hilly terrain at an elevation of 3,200 feet. Each of Sourwood Inn's guest rooms has a private balcony overlooking the Reems Creek Valley, a wood-burning fireplace, and a tub with a view. It was created to provide a retreat where our guests can experience the delights of the Blue Ridge and still easily access the arts and sophistication of downtown Asheville.Outdoor activities in the Asheville area include hiking, whitewater rafting, fly fishing, mountain biking, and horseback riding. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sourwood Hotel Asheville

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