I just love short weekend trips where we can get away, relax, and re-energize. Neal and I did just that and had the privilege of staying at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina, just a couple of weeks ago. I had been there many years ago when I spoke at a convention but had not been there just to relax.
If you are looking for a great getaway place for you and your husband or for a girlfriend getaway, this is the place. Let me be the first to say that you will love the food here. We met the most delightful chef, James Lumley, at VUE 1913, one of the restaurants in the hotel. He was so creative in his menu offerings. He is from Florida and loves citrus so many of the dishes are infused with tasty citrus flavors. He stole our hearts with the Lobster-Scallop dish from his Taste of the Mountains menu. I wish I could even come close to preparing a dish like that.
The Spa at the Grove Park Inn is a treat. It is an award-winning spa offering services for women who want to be pampered. Don’t we all? I saw countless groups of friends piling in for their girlfriend day, and in speaking with them, I learned that this has become an annual event. Now that’s a great idea!
Now I have to tell you this. When we arrived and were escorted to our room, we had a couple of hours before time for dinner. As we were contemplating what we were going to wear, Neal realized that all our clothes were still hanging in the closet back in Birmingham. With the help of a lovely lady named Cecile Brim, we were directed to a store where we could quickly find “black pants and two tops” that we women are all known for. She pointed out quickly that the entire hotel is casual and all about relaxing. Her job was to make sure her guests stay relaxed and taken care of completely—mission accomplished!
I think the picturesque setting of the mountains makes this a place of serenity. Eating lunch at the Sunset Terrace was a highlight for me. With the gentle breeze blowing through the open-air restaurant, the splendor of the mountains was spectacular. I love to dine outside, and this was a treat. The food was exceptional and featured locally grown produce.
If you love history as we do, this hotel has some of the greatest stories to tell just through seeing the collection of memorabilia that is displayed. I can’t imagine even building a place like this with the massive stone fireplaces and porches—what an engineering accomplishment. I have the book written about the inn and just reading the stories of the people that designed, built, and have owned this inn amazes me.
Rocking chairs abound. With fall here, I can think of nothing more wonderful than rocking while loving the extraordinary show of fall foliage from a rocking chair on the porch of the inn while sipping hot coffee—paradise.
If you love modern, then you’ll love the part of the hotel that is very new and modern. If you are like me and love the old historical styles, then the main inn building will delight you.
We took a day trip to Blowing Rock and enjoyed every moment of strolling through that little village. There is something about local artisans and their work that just makes me giddy. We found potters, glass artisans, farmers with fresh produce, garment designers, tea and spice experts, and yes, the ice cream store. Antiquing is a passion of ours, and Asheville has a plethora of stores from which to choose. The Antique Tabacco Barn antiques store is our favorite, as we love prowling through zillions of vintage and antique things.
As the departure time came and we left the beautiful Inn, we knew this would be a place that we would visit many times. Plan a trip for the weekend, and soak up the beauty of the Grove Park Inn. You will love it.
Where is your favorite place to take a weekend getaway?