We planned to spend most of our recent trip seeing Biltmore House and Estate and chose this hotel because it looked like a nice, luxurious place for a getaway, offered packages including estate admission and was the most conveniently located - right on the estate with shuttles to the house and other estate attractions like gardens and carriage rides. Overall, we enjoyed our stay and would highly recommend this hotel for anyone planning to spend a lot of time visiting Biltmore (as opposed to downtown Asheville, which has a lot of other hotels located much closer to it). From the estate entrance gate, it's a drive of a couple miles over fairly narrow, winding roads that are quite dark at night, just to get to the hotel. But once you are there you won't need your car as long as you stay on the estate, as the shuttles staffed with very friendly drivers run regularly and take you right where you need to go, usually dropping you off closer and with less hassle than if you tried driving around in your own car.
The hotel itself is nice with a vintage feel, even though it's only a few years old. It features beautiful vistas of the estate from the public areas and restaurants - and probably from some of the rooms too, though we didn't want to pay the premium cost for a room with a fancy view when you can enjoy it from the spacious public areas. The hotel has several restaurants and we ate in the formal "Dining Room" for breakfast (included with the package) and dinner, and the Library Lounge for afternoon tea. The food and wait service in both places was very good, and the servers were very nice. All the hotel staff we dealt with were extremely friendly and helpful, right down to the telephone operators, and the friendliness was really a cut above the sometimes snooty service you get other places.
The room decor is pretty standard "fancy hotel" but the room itself is very comfortable. Ours featured a large TV, a very comfortable king-sized bed, and Wi-Fi that was free (though a little bit slow). I was disappointed in the bathroom though. Usually, higher-end hotels have deep or Jacuzzi tubs (unless they have modern shower stalls). Our room had the standard type of bathtub you'd find in a business hotel like a Marriott - nothing special at all, though the bathroom itself was huge. Also, the room was lacking in food- and drink-related amenities such as a minibar, a refrigerator (for leftovers from that fancy restaurant or for casual snacks), or even wineglasses and a corkscrew (a particularly glaring omission given that the estate pushes the wine very heavily and the hotel gift shop has racks of it on sale). I realize you could probably get a corkscrew from room service, but then you have to tip them or at worst pay for the use of the corkscrew, and most rooms just have one already there.
Our terrace room did have a pleasant outdoor seating area, which we utilized (especially because for some reason our cell phones and blackberries did not work inside the structure - they did work outside). However, the Inn website had made it look like the terraces faced out on a rolling hillside and trees, when actually ours faced out on a hedge and a hotel entrance/ exit path. I considered asking for a room change but since we would be spending a lot of time out of the room seeing the estate attractions, I decided to keep the room we had. However, I probably would not pay for a terrace room again since there was zero view - it was like being outdoors in some apartment shrubbery.
Our biggest issue concerned the Dining Room. Apparently there's some disorganization down there. We called more than 24 hours ahead and made a dinner reservation for Saturday night (figuring Saturday would be a busy night), we were assured that our reservation was all set, only to arrive and find that our reservation was nowhere on the list. The restaurant managed to seat us anyway, but we were placed next to a table with a very large family group including two children under age six and one baby in arms who screamed (not cried like a baby does - I mean screamed, at an earsplitting level) for the next hour. There were also kids' handprints all over the window we were looking out of (although we noticed they had been cleaned the next day). We decided not to ask to be moved because at this point we were like "What next?" and the restaurant was quite full. The entire experience detracted from our dinner and caused us to cut it shorter than we would have if the atmosphere had been more relaxing. A shame because there are several other nice restaurants either at the Inn or on the Estate and if we'd known we'd have so much hassle we would have made our reservation elsewhere. Also, since the Dining Room is the only hotel restaurant that serves breakfast (which is included in many of the hotel packages), there is sometimes congestion getting a table at breakfast time and no way to make a reservation for a specific time in advance. It would have been nice to have another breakfast option besides room service, maybe something a little more casual, or else set up the packages with a "breakfast included/ no breakfast included" option as I don't really want a big fancy breakfast every single morning anyway.
Overall, this Inn gets four stars, mostly for the great service, and we would definitely come again if we were going to tour the Estate. However, we would avoid the Dining Room and would hope the rooms eventually get a bit of an "amenities upgrade" considering that they are not cheap.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience Biltmore's tradition of warm, gracious hospitality as an honored guest at the Inn on Biltmore Estate. Choose from 210 beautifully appointed guest rooms including nine elegant suites. Flawless service. Fine dining. Marvelous mountain views. A relaxing veranda. Afternoon tea in the library. Other amenities include an outdoor pool and hot tub, fitness center, access to Biltmore--America's largest home--and much more. Concierges eager to assist you. Carefree transportation around the 8,000-acre estate. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Inn On Biltmore Estate Hotel Asheville
- Hotel On Biltmore Estate
- Biltmore Inn Asheville Nc
- On Biltmore Estate Asheville
- Inn Biltmore Estate