Asheville, North Carolina is an inspiring destination year-round, but it’s especially festive during the holidays for one special reason—The Biltmore halls are really decked.
This month, the Biltmore Estate looks like a Christmas fairy tale. Surrounded by the dazzling Blue Ridge Mountains, and nestled in bucolic farmland, the Biltmore features Candlelight Christmas Evenings when glowing candles and crackling fireplaces fill the grand home accenting the sparkling ornaments and decorations. Wreaths are hung on the grand staircases, and the grounds lit with twinkling lights.
The tradition is reminiscent of the time when American aristocrat George Vanderbilt and his family hosted elaborate Christmas parties here. Vanderbilt built this mansion in the late 1800’s, and opened it to his guests on Christmas Day in 1895. Today, during the holidays, almost every room is filled with uniquely decorated Christmas trees, including a 35-foot high Frasier Fir in the Grand Banquet Hall.
Staying at the Inn at Biltmore Estate is a splurge worth considering. This resort offers idyllic views from every window, and convenient access to all estate activities. The heated, complimentary buses drive guests to shops, wine tasting, Land Rover Riding, and a variety of dining options including Afternoon Tea in the Library Lounge. The hotel’s guest rooms are luxurious yet comfortable, and the service impeccable.
Some of the many highlights of touring the Biltmore is a visit to the Biltmore Winery. The Winery is one of the rare American vineyards in the East producing sparkling wines. And what’s better than sparkling wine for the holidays? I loved the Biltmore Bubby Tour, where for $18 per person, guests tour the champagne bottling room, learn about their sparkling wine-making process by expert vintners, and then have the opportunity to sample all six of Biltmore’s sparkling wines. You’ll also love shopping in the Mercantile; a market with a charming bookstore, confectionary, toy store and gardening shop.
A superb destination year-round, but during the Christmas holidays, the Biltmore Estates is a magical place—truly beautiful and sublime.
Inn at Biltmore Estate—A resort with all the amenities, along with Southern elegance and hospitality.
One Lodge Street, Asheville, NC 866-336-1245 Biltmore.com/stay/inn
Candlelight Christmas Evenings (until January 3, 2015)
Fall and Holidays Rates (September- December) Weekdays $269-$400, Weekends $400-$500 per night
To see photos of the decorations in the Biltmore Estate visit RomanticAsheville.com
Or read the Blue Ridge Highlander’s post