Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Asheville, NC and the Grove Park Inn

After we had a busy day between the Biltmore Estate and Chimney Rock, we drove around downtown Asheville to check it out. Our guidebook said it was the Paris of the South. I had heard it was a top destination for retiree's, a great artsy and University town.
This plinth to the Vance's was in the center of downtown. They were an area founding family.

Downtown was lively, restaurants, this guy playing the sax in front of the art museum and a complement of artsy looking homeless people.

These turkey sculptures were public art along a walking path in downtown. See the canoe lashed to the car in the middle of downtown?

 The guide book talked about the Grove Park Inn. It was a 102 year old historic hotel. It said that if you drive up and tip the valet, they will let you run in and gawk at the amazing lobby.
At first we thought this was it. It was just a cool looking apt/condo building on the way there.

Then we turned a corner and saw this beauty. It's perched on a hillside in a cool neighborhood, overlooking Asheville. It looks appropriately rustic from the outside, but has some more modern wings built off the back.

Cool white lights over the drive.

The valets were accommodating. And we got out. Immediately you could smell wonderful wood smoke from the fireplace in the lobby.  All kinds of famous people have stayed here, from presidents to celebrities. It was more than we had planned on so we stayed somewhere else.

When you come in the lobby, you can see straight through to the sunset patio. It was wonderful. The fire was going, a three piece band was playing and sun was setting. We were dressed for climbing Chimney Rock, not for eating here, but I would plan on it if I ever go back to Asheville. This hotel also has an amazing indoor pool that I have seen photos of. It is a famous spa.

The lobby with craftsman details.
  See the scones and giant fireplace at the end? And there are rocking chairs all over the South.

We could smell wood smoke an hour after we left.

This guy was like the formal doorman, top hat, red coat. kinda cool.

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