5 Things You'll Absolutely LOVE about the Biltmore Estates
The Biltmore Estates is a beautiful 8,000 acre stretch of land nestled in the heart of the quaint city of Asheville, NC. With breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, beautiful gardens and endless trails, this place has a little something for everyone. Keep reading to discover 5 Things You Will Absolutely LOVE About the Biltmore Estates!
Every year I like to do it BIG for my birthday. Let’s be honest, if it weren’t for our birthdays none of us would be here, so it’s a must that we celebrate and do so with style.
Since I had to cancel my 2021 birthday trip to St. Lucia due to the good ole Pandemic, (the resort I was booked at had an outbreak and shut down for a month) I decided to do something I have never experienced since living in Charlotte; visit the Biltmore Estates. What better way to spend a landlocked birthday without getting on a plane?
So, after hosting my covid-safe Balloons and Bubbles Tea Party (aka Rue-La-Palooza), it was off to the beautiful Biltmore Estates in the picturesque town of Asheville, NC.
As I learned during my most recent trip to Asheville, people travel far and wide to visit the Biltmore, but those of us who live in Charlotte are lucky enough to live a quick 2-hour drive from this stunning property.
There are tons of things to do at the Biltmore and spending a full 5 days there was more than enough time to enjoy it's offerings (although I could have stayed longer). In today’s post I’m going to share what I found most amazing while visiting.
1. The Accommodations
When it comes to accommodations, the Biltmore has 3 offerings; the Village Hotel, The Inn and The Cottages.
The Village Hotel
The Village Hotel is the estate's casual digs and is closest to “Antler Hill Village” which is where most of the action is. It’s a quick walk to the winery where you can indulge in a complimentary wine tasting and try some of the Biltmore’s signature vino. If you’re staying at the hotel you can also walk to the nearby restaurants and the creamery to grab some locally made ice cream. There’s also a cute little café in the lobby of the hotel where you can buy wine and coffee and snacks and there is a restaurant on the upper floor of the hotel that was open for breakfast and lunch when we were there. The food was “Rue Approved”.
The Inn sits on top of a hill on the property and is rated at a luxurious Four-Stars. It is going to be a bit pricier than the hotel and has more of a refined feel as opposed to the modern décor you will find at the hotel. They offer valet parking and an impeccable full-service concierge staff that rolls out the red carpet upon arrival! This place offers a royal experience from the time you walk through the front door. Staying at the Inn will definitely take your Biltmore experience up a notch! You'll have to drive to get from the Inn to Antler Village but it's less than a 5 minute drive.
Lodging at the Biltmore can get a bit pricey and some budgets don't allow for it. But you don’t have to stay at the Biltmore to enjoy its beauty. Here are a few nearby hotel suggestions that are super comfortable, range in price and are Rue Approved!
2. Touring America’s Largest Home
Another amazing thing about visiting the Biltmore is that you get to tour the mansion! Taking this tour is worth experiencing at least once.
The 250-room French Renaissance château is filled with exquisite furnishings, intricately detailed décor and houses enough history to dig into for years. Although there were tons of beautiful rooms, one of my favorites was the library. It was just breathtaking and was definitely giving "library goals" inspo the entire time I was there.
A really cool thing about the house is that if you do plan to visit it more than once, they change the theme throughout the year. Christmas at the Biltmore is very popular, but they also do a Halloween theme and in the past they’ve done a Harry Potter theme; super creative! Below I share a few tips with you on how to maximize your tour experience.
Purchase your tickets in advance.
Plan to spend at least 4 hours to tour the mansion and its surrounding grounds. There is so much to explore and take in once you get to the mansion that you’ll want to be sure you have enough time.
If you’re staying on the property, you’ll need at least 30 mins to drive from the Inn or the hotel and park before your tour's time so be sure to build that into your plan
Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes. I wore my Yeezy’s, the most comfortable pair of shoes I own, and still needed a foot massage afterwards (one of the best I’ve ever had btw).
Purchase the audio guide. Learning the story of the Vanderbilt’s and the dream and passion with which the estate was planned is nothing short of inspiring. The audio guide allows you explore the home at your own pace and learn about the home's details, secret rooms and interesting lives of the Vanderbilts, the staff and their friends.
3. Indulging a Spa Day
For me, no birthday is complete without a day at the spa so it's perfect that the Biltmore has one on-site! My spa experience of choice: a birthday mani-pedi and a much needed 60-minute massage.
It is a small boutique spa and the ambiance was zen with a splash of chic. The staff was very friendly and there was a super cute gift shop full of lovely things to buy, most of which I already have but of course I couldn’t resist myself. (As if my beauty room needed another bath bomb.)
The Spa is only open to those who are staying at the Biltmore or those who are members of the Biltmore so be sure to plan accordingly.
4. The Dining
Of course this wouldn't be a The Vino Chronicles post if I didn't talk about the food. The restaurants at the estate were wonderful and the food was lovely!
The Dining Room, the restaurant located at the Inn, is exquisite and has a bold whisper of sophistication. This is where we dined for my birthday. It was so classy I didn’t dare whip out my camera, even I have limits to where I will take a selfie.
(okay, I pulled my camera out, but only once and that was because I just had to get a picture of my cute little after dinner birthday treat, also, no one was watching so it's kind of like it didn’t happen at all 😊).
Although we didn’t take pictures there, I remember being struck with a feeling of “awe” upon entering the long beautiful stairway that led to the elegant dining room that was flawlessly decorated with tables covered with white linen cloths throughout. We sipped wine from crystal and had the craft cocktails that were absolutely to LIVE for!
As for dinner, I had the scallops on what will go down in history as the greatest grit cake I’ve ever eaten. Paired with a Biltmore Reserve white wine, crème brulee for dessert and finished the meal by sipping coffee from their fine China collection. I’d have to say this place left the birthday girl more than satisfied. Reservations are a must here so be sure to book and book early!
Below are some pics from other restaurants I indulged in while there.
5. Complementary wine tasting
So, if the mansion, the dining, the spa and the grounds weren't enough for you, (as if you needed more of a reason to visit) the Biltmore has an on-site winery with complimentary wine tastings and several wine shops throughout the property.
You heard me right COMPLIMENTARY!
So, of course my first question was, “So, if I want to do a wine tasting every day is that okay?” Their answer, “Absolutely”! It was like I hit the vino lottery, people! Free wine tastings every day. That’s 7 free wine tastings if you stay a week and in my humble opinion that is magical mathematics!
I ended up doing about 4 tastings and I tried different wines each time. After the first tasting I knew I would be joining the wine club (they had me at “hello”) so I wanted to have an idea of what I’d want to take home that day and what to expect in my future deliveries.
*semi-fun fact, one of the reasons I was never really pressed to visit the Biltmore is because when I first moved to NC I tried their wines and was not impressed. At that time their wines were very "muscadine-forward" and not my cup of vino, for a lack of better words. Anyway, the good news is, they have since hired a new winemaker who is from California and the rest is history. Their wines are absolutely delicious and they definitely get my vote.
I am in love my quarterly wine deliveries from the Biltmore, it’s like Santa dropping off a box of adult-filled joy every three months.
Welp my friends, there you have it. My list of 5 Things You Will Absolutely LOVE About the Biltmore Estates. This place could easily become my NC happy place and is highly recommended by yours truly. Like, for real, this is like the adult Disneyland… with unlimited wine, an absolute must.
Have you ever stayed at or visited the Biltmore? Let us know in the comments and share your highlights and recommendations for the those planning a trip in the near future. Until next time!