How do you choose where to stay when visiting Asheville, NC? Where can you go that will make you want to come back again and again?
Asheville has many faces. She twirls her bohemian skirt to the trendy, hippie vibe of downtown. She flaunts her elegant visage of Biltmore Estates and nearby Biltmore Village.
The rustic and natural countenance of the Blue Ridge Parkway, nearby waterfalls and hiking spots glistens like dew drops against her daredevil smile.
At times she has a contemporary flair, with her proximity to shopping areas and modern day conveniences.
Other times she wants to show off her sister cities and the adventures they offer, such as the Native American culture of Cherokee and historic Morganton.
Then there’s Dillsboro, the town that looks like it’s been plucked out of a Hallmark Christmas movie, or the day train you can catch in in Bryson City to explore the Nantahala Gorge.
Asheville truly has something for everyone.
Where you choose to stay can greatly impact your over-all experience. It’s wise to check out the differences and select which is best for you, your budget and your desired Asheville experience.
If you follow my YouTube Channel, Happily 4 Evers After, you already know how much I adore the quirky, hippie vibe of downtown Asheville. As a result, I tend to share that aspect of Asheville quite a bit. A disproportionate amount, actually. Yet, I realize downtown isn’t everyone’s cuppa tea, and that’s OK. Asheville is a fascinating lady and deserves to be loved for her colorful and multi faceted personalities.
I’ve realized that I need to be fair to this amazing city that I love, so I’ve sought to expand my horizons and stay in area’s that I’ve never explored before.
It’s a rough job, but hey! Someone’s got to do it! I am up for the task!
Most recently had the pleasure of spending a full 24 hours in an area of Asheville that I didn’t know existed. Let me introduce to you (*insert drum roll here) BILTMORE PARK! (*insert cheering crowd with wild applause)
Biltmore Park/ What and Where?
Once apart of the massive farmland of Biltmore Estates, George Vanderbilt’s descendants, George H.V. Cecil and son John F.A.V. Cecil, combined the vision of two companies, Biltmore Farms and Crosland to design . . . “Asheville, NC’s first mixed-use community, Biltmore Park Town Square is meant to serve as a blueprint for a smarter, more sustainable way of creating community spaces that are livable, functional, energy efficient, environmentally-friendly and people-focused..”
In other words, they created a community with old-time values in mind. Good food, walk-able shopping, entertainment and environmentally friendly concepts of sustainability that goes back to Biltmore Estates founder . . . a safe place where people can live with seasonal (yet pandemic restricted) farmers markets, concerts and other gatherings with plenty to do and eat so you can ditch your car and don’t have to get back in again unless you want to. Heck, you don’t even need a car at Biltmore Park. You can grab a taxi or take the Hotel Shuttle from Hilton Biltmore Park and you’re good!
If you want to take time to see other parts of Asheville . . . no worries.
*It’s only about 8 miles, or approx. 14 minutes from Biltmore Estates.
*Roughly 15 minutes or 12 miles to Downtown Asheville,
*and only about 4 miles or 8 minutes from the Asheville airport.
While Biltmore Farms has four hotels in the Asheville area, Biltmore Park currently offers only one property, the Hilton Biltmore Park. “The AAA 4-Diamond Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park offers sustainable luxury in a modern, mixed-use community, overlooking the French Broad River.”
As a matter of fact, I could see people rafting down the French Broad River from my room!
The Low-Down on Hilton Biltmore Park
If you want to ditch motor transportation and immerse yourself in Biltmore Park, you need to stay at the Hilton Biltmore Park, the only hotel in this particular area. Yes, there are other hotels in Biltmore farms and the surrounding vicinity, but if you want the pedestrian-friendly, car-ditching experience, Hilton Biltmore Park is THE ONLY place to be!
Not only are you within walking distance of EVERYTHING that Biltmore Park has to offer, Hilton Biltmore park also;
A. Is Pet-friendly
B. Has Free Wifi
C. Has Free Parking
D. Free Airport Shuttle
E. Has Indoor Pool & Fitness Area
F. Onsite Spa
G. Has Digital Keys (This is huge if you forget your key or don’t want to carry a key around. Oh, and let’s not forget the good ol’ “my key was demagnetized by my phone.” yeah, good times. I’d be rich if I had a dollar for every time through-out my life that my key suffered death by phone. Not at Hilton Biltmore park, tho. The digital key allows you to open your room door, hassle free, with zero extra trips to the front desk. (*insert angelic choir here)
H. With 165 guest rooms and 3850 sq. ft. of meeting space, this is a great location if your planning a retreat, event or conference!
I. Hilton Clean Stay Program! Naturally you may be wondering about Hilton’s policies and procedures when it comes to keeping guests and employees safe during a pandemic. Their Clean Stay Program places a seal with a QR code over your door so you can see all that has been done to clean and sanitize your room up to standards.
You can do whaaaaa in 24 hrs?
Grab your shoes and hat, I’m gonna take you for a ride. Are you ready for the possibilities of what there is to do in 24 hours in Biltmore Park? You are? Sweet! Let’s go!
Up and At em! Rise and shine! We only have 24 hours in Biltmore Park, not a moment to spare!
First order of business. Breakfast. Assuming you’ve taken my advice and you’re staying at Hilton Biltmore Park, you should take advantage of that fact. If you need a little extra time to get ready for the day, no worries. Order in room service and start your day in the privacy of your room. But for those of you that are bright eyed and bushy-tailed . . . enjoy a hot, made-from-scratch, locally sourced breakfast from Fork Lore, a locally and independently owned onsite restaurant.
I had a made-to-order omelet with potatoes, fruit and whole wheat toast. YUMMMM! I will be sure to order that again when I return!
Shop Til You Drop!
Your belly is full, got your comfy walking shoes on, now it’s time to hit the shops!
The book lover in you will be head over reading glasses that Barnes and Nobles is only a few steps away. Once you’re done with books, books and more books, you’ll find clothing boutiques, REI, OP Taylor’s Toy store, (where I caught a mad game of ping pong taking place!) Talloni Shoe Salon, where, ironically enough, you’re welcome even if your dogs are barking. :/
Speaking of dogs, a trip to Asheville wouldn’t be complete without Fido having a store dedicated specifically to him. Stop in Woof Gang Bakery to pick up a goodie for your fur baby.
The Lunch Bunch
Whew! All that shopping has made me hungry! Luckily there is plenty to choose from. Hilton’s Fork Lore is open for lunch, but if you’d like to venture outside the hotel for an afternoon bite, you can choose from familiar spots such as Brixx Pizza or Which Which. Or if you’d like to keep it healthy, let me suggest Tasty Greens. Super healthy and yes! I can attest. Healthy and tasty! They offer both indoor and outdoor seating, or take it back to your room. No matter what their adequate portions will leave you feeling healthy and satisfied.
I ordered a Mediterranean bowl with Greek Chicken for my meal and a Greek salad to take back to the room for late night snack. They were both filling, delicious and fresh. I’ll be sure to order both of these entrees again!
Late Afternoon Delights
You’re belly is full again, so what to do? What to do?
If you’ve already Shopped til you dropped, maybe Sensibilities Day Spa is calling your name.
Or, maybe you need to spend some time in Hilton’s work-out center so you can unashamedly indulge in Cold Stone Creamery or Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory without worrying about the extra calories. Then again, “Calories shall not exist whilst on holiday.” 1st Vacations 24:7
You’re on vacation after-all, so why not get your drink and creativity on at Painting with a Twist, or enjoy a brew and meet new friends at the Thirsty Monk.
Dinner and a Movie
I know, I know, I know, It’s already been a full day and you’ve done so much, but you only have 24 hours. You don’t want to waste it, do you? No. Of course not.
It’s been a full day of shopping and activities, now it’s time to treat yourself to dinner and a movie.
You can choose to eat at a more well-known restaurant like Hickory Tavern, or choose one of the locally owned haunts like Nine Mile or Luella’s Barbeque. Luella’s closed down for a bit during the height of the Covid 19 pandemic but have re-opened their doors after installing the Reme Air Purification System and welcome their guests to dine in or order online for curbside takeout and delivery.
Now it’s time for a movie at the Regal Biltmore Grande! Don’t worry if you’re exhausted because it’s literally across the street from the Hilton Biltmore Park. You won’t have far to walk in order to get back to you room and pour yourself into bed after a full day of walking, shopping & dining.
Pro’s & Con’s
There are so many Pro’s to staying at Biltmore Park I hope I don’t forget to mention them all. If I forget something, please don’t hesitate to nicely and respectfully let me know what I left out in the comments. Some of the pro’s include but are not limited to;
- Close to Airport
- Close to Biltmore
- Close to Downtown
- Pedestrian Friendly
- Free Parking
- Pet Friendly
- Plenty of shops, restaurants & entertainment options
- Don’t need a car
- Safe environment
For the con’s I would say that if you’re looking for a unique Asheville experience, this isn’t the place to find it.
Don’t get me wrong. You can find some shops and restaurants that are unique to Asheville in Biltmore Park, yet the over-all feeling is one that you could get in any mixed-use community in any city. Which, of course, is perfectly fine, if that’s the type of experience that you’ll enjoy. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s simply important to know if you long for the artsy edge of the River Arts District, or find pleasure in street performers and one-of a kind restaurants and boutique shops that can only be found in Downtown, or you want to Immerse yourself in the Vanderbilt’s extravagant life at Biltmore Estates. . . you won’t get that same immersive feeling in Biltmore Park.
That being said, as much as I love Downtown, and Biltmore Estates, I will stay in Biltmore Park again. I loved the Hilton Biltmore Park, I love the proximity of the theater, shopping and restaurants as well as how safe the area felt. Yeah, sure, I still love staying downtown and at Biltmore Estates, but this is an area worth returning. I will be back and I can’t wait to bring my family and fur babies back along for the ride!