Let’s face it traveling since the pandemic has had many challenges. I travel every week for work and it has been frustrating to see the service diminish at almost every hotel chain across America. Hotels are understaffed to the point where service has suffered and rooms are not even cleaned daily providing a deterioration in quality and hospitality that really puts a damper on most hotel experiences.
As I booked a recent getaway to see the Fall leaves change colors in the Great Smoky Mountains, I was determined to pick a hotel where the service was fantastic so I could relax and enjoy the views. I settled on a visit to The Biltmore Estate and a stay on the property at The Inn. The Biltmore is a 5.5 hour drive from home so it is the perfect trip for a long weekend.
As you tour the Biltmore Estate, your tour guide will tell you the history of the home that was built by the Vanderbilt family as a country home where they prided themselves on magnificent parties and hospitality for guests. This history of hospitality is carried on today with the service and hospitality that you receive at The Inn.
Before arrival I called the hotel to make sure my room was feather-free since I have a down feather allergy and it was taken care of quickly and accurately. I also wanted to add a guided roof-top tour and make dinner reservations at the restaurants on the Estate. The concierge who spoke with me was super patient as I reviewed menus and helped choose restaurants that met the desired times for dinners and additional tours. He moved our originals tour around to accommodate all of our choices and helped us get a reservation for The Dining Room at The Inn which is a four-star award winning restaurant that evening upon arrival.
Immediately upon arrival you can see the five-star service begin. There are plenty of staff to help unload the car and hold all the doors open for guests upon entry. You immediately feel the hospitality with smiles that greet you. You also have the option to self-park very close by without an extra charge or you can have valet service for an additional charge based on your preference.
The check-in was seamless and the room was ready upon arrival. The hotel has 210 beautiful guest rooms including nine elegant suites. Our room was a Deluxe King accommodation featuring a king-sized bed, a desk with two chairs, a lounge chair, walk-in shower, complimentary Wi-Fi, Nespresso® coffee maker including tea and coffee. The room decor was traditional with pillows and toiletries featuring the Vanderbilt crest in the room.
My favorite feature of the room was the shower which is usually a detail that I do not pay attention to when traveling. The water pressure was perfect, the water was immediately warm and the shampoo and conditioner were a relaxing combination of mint and rosemary scents. It was a luxury that I didn’t even know that I needed.
I also opted for the Estate Escape offer which included a Chef’s breakfast each morning in The Dining Room, a daytime visit to the Biltmore House with audio guide and self-guided tour, a Biltmore souvenir guidebook, and access to the Estate Gardens and Grounds. The breakfast was fantastic with a breakfast buffet full of hot options and homemade breads.
After arrival, we changed and headed to dinner downstairs at The Dining Room at the hotel. The concierge had told me that the restaurant may be crowded but it wasn’t. The service was flawless with marvelous mountain views. A large fireplace is the centerpiece of the restaurant to provide a warm and welcoming environment with the white tablecloth formal service.
The small details such as a menu that lit up for better visibility and a seasonal menu of locally sourced items provided a near-perfect meal. The meal started with a homemade bread service and then we chose a Caramel Apple Salad and Crab Cake for the first course, Iberico Pork Chop for a second course and homemade Apple and Goat Cheese Doughnuts with Walnut Ice Cream for dessert.
Staying at the hotel was a quiet retreat near Asheville and even though it was a busy season as the Fall leaves were at their peak color and the Biltmore was being prepared for the Christmas it never seemed crowded anywhere that we went on the property. The entire staff seems to enjoy working on the property and tells stories of working onsite for many years with the Vanderbilt family. Many generations of the same families have even worked at the Estate over the years.
Other amenities at the hotel include an outdoor pool and hot tub, fitness center, access to Biltmore–America’s largest home–and much more. Concierges are in call at all time and eager to assist if you have any questions or need help.
Overall the visit to The Inn was the perfect getaway and we would give it 5 out of 5 stars. The visit gave me hope that hospitality is still alive. I lived in Tennessee for many years and can’t believe it took me so many years to visit The Biltmore but now I will definitely be back for more time at The Inn.