Welcome to the Grove Park Inn
Built in the Grand Tradition of the Great 19th century National Park Lodges, The Grove Park Inn combines Rustic Ambiance with Luxurious Amenities, Fine Dining and a Great View
We often take our visiting friends to the Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa so that they can experience the resort's amazing rustic grandeur and see the incredible mountain views from the terrace and walkways. Majestically positioned on the slopes of Sunset Mountain in north Asheville, the scale and grandeur of the Grove Park Inn Resort is hard to grasp. Built in 1913 with thousands of tons of local granite, the vast lobby is flanked by two fireplaces built of massive boulders - each large enough for an adult to walk into. These fireplaces are so huge that the elevators to the guest rooms are hidden inside the chimneys!
The Grove Park Inn Resort is renowned for its comfortable elegance, and is one of the best places to stay and dine when visiting Asheville. But the Grove is also a fun day destination located just minutes from downtown Asheville. Visitors can stroll through the rustic inn and enjoy exceptional views of the Asheville skyline and the Blue Ridge Mountains from many vantage points, enjoy drinks by the massive fireplace and have a meal in one of the three fine restaurants.
For day visitors, the resort offers an impressive range of activities. Those who enjoy being pampered will find luxurious massages, soothing hydrotherapy and a variety of decadent treatments awaiting them at the renowned Spa at the Grove Park Inn. If you are a golfer, you can tee off on one of the southeast's finest 18 hole courses surrounded by panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Asheville. Next door to the Grove Park Inn, the acclaimed Grovewood Gallery presents the works of 500 talented craft artisans. Hand-crafted furniture and an exquisite choice of fine ceramics, glass and jewelry are highlights in this splendid two-story gallery. Here too are the Homespun Museum and the Estes-Winn Antique Car Museum.
Medicinal tonic and real estate mogul Edwin Wiley Grove decided to build his massive rustic resort on Sunset Mountain using the grand design proposed by Fred Seely, his talented business manager and son-in-law. Construction began in 1912, and just one year later the inn opened with a grand celebration dinner featuring a keynote address by William Jennings Bryant, Secretary of State. Situated near the top of Sunset Mountain, this splendid rustic mountain lodge quickly became a relaxing respite for rich and famous visitors seeking a mountain hideaway.
The best place to start your tour of the Grove Park Inn Resort is just outside the lobby entrance. Here you can see that the massive multi-story stone exterior of the inn is softened and made more inviting by the curves of the red English Cottage style roof. Stepping inside the Great Hall is as magnificent and breathtaking as it was in Edwin Grove's day.
With a lofty ceiling supported by massive pillars, each end of the vast lobby is punctuated by a giant boulder fireplace capable of burning 12 foot logs. Surrounding the fireplaces are rocking chairs and casual groupings of furniture that invite fireside relaxation. The antique Roycroft grandfather clock standing against one of the central columns in the Great Hall is the Grove Park Inn's most famous Arts and Crafts piece. The inn boasts one of the largest collections of Arts and Crafts antiques, and the lobby is furnished with antique rockers, sofas, tables and lamps in this style.
One of our favorite things to do when visiting the Grove Park Inn is to find and read the many quotations and clever sayings carved into some of the larger stones in the vast lobby. Near the lobby elevator, guests on the way up to their rooms are reminded to "Think of your own faults in the first part of the night when you are awake, and the faults of others when you are asleep." Some of the quotations are by noted authors like Thoreau and Emerson, while other sayings come from anonymous sources.
Across the lobby from the main entrance is the Sunset Terrace. Many people come to the Grove Park Inn Resort just to have lunch on the terrace and admire the delightful alfresco view of the nearby mountains and the Asheville skyline far below. In the evening the Sunset Terrace Restaurant features steak and seafood fine dining, and offers a great vantage point to watch as the sun sets behind the distant mountains. But you don't have to have lunch on the terrace to enjoy the view. Just head to the far right end of the lobby and walk out onto the terrace to enjoy the delightful view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. From here you can descend the outdoor stairway and explore the resorts tidy grounds.
The renowned Spa at the Grove Park Inn Resort is located down the mountain, at the far end of the walkway and within the rock grotto. On most Mondays through Thursdays, casual visitors who don't want to indulge in a massage or spa package can obtain a Spa pass for the day to enjoy the pools and water features. Arrive early if you are interested, as passes are available on a first-come basis.
The Grove Park Inn Resort's award-winning, historic 18-hole Donald Ross designed golf course is surrounded by the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and offers challenging slopes and a great view of Asheville and the mountains. Inquire at the Pro Shop if you want to sign up for a round of golf.
Return to the lobby and head toward the Great Hall Bar, which is adjacent to one of the two mammoth fireplaces. This is a cozy place to savor a drink, appetizers or desert while enjoying the grandeur of the Great Hall. Or, pick up your drink and take it with you as you stroll through the inn. You will discover many quiet nooks along the way with small tables or comfortable seating placed to take maximum advantage of the Blue Ridge Mountain views.
Follow one of the two interior glass-walled hallways that extend from either side of the Sunset Terrace. Each of these promenades is fun to explore, with stunning mountain views frequently visible through the great expanses of glass windows. Here and there are comfortable chairs set before large windows where you can sit and enjoy the view.
The hallway walls are lined with photos of the Grove Park Inn's many famous guests, ranging from Thomas Edison to Barry Manilow, as well as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Harry Houdini, George Gershwin, Will Rogers and eight presidents. Here too are photo displays of the lodge's construction and exhibit cases filled with decorative and commemorative items from the resorts early years. There is even a collection of the patent medicines produced by Grove's company, including a bottle of the best known, "Grove's Tasteless Chill Tonic."
There are several shops located along each of the two main floor hallways. Most feature the type of logo sportswear and gifts common to a high end resort. Two exceptions: Tastings, a gourmet gift and coffee shop, and Gallery of the Mountains, which offers finely crafted artwork, clothing and jewelry.
But these two shops are just a warmup for the stunning Grovewood Gallery with its dazzling selection of hand-crafted art, crafts and furniture, located next door to the Grove Park Inn. Also here are the Homespun Museum and Estes-Winn Antique Car Museum. Both museums are free but welcome donations. The easiest way to get to the Grovewood Gallery and museums from inside the Grove Park Inn Resort is to take the elevator down to Elaine's Piano Bar level and walk outdoors across the parking lot and into the charming two-story English Cottage style Grovewood Gallery.
If you happen to be here from mid-November through December, you are in for a treat. The Grove Park Inn Resort goes all out for Christmas, displaying exquisitely decorated trees in the Great Hall lobby and along the main floor hallways. This is an especially festive time to visit the Grove Park Inn, and many families return each year to admire the decorated Christmas trees and to see the hundreds of charming and elaborate gingerbread houses that are on display during the annual Grove Park Inn Gingerbread Houses competition.
In addition to the Sunset Terrace Restaurant, there are two more upscale Grove Park Inn Resort restaurants. One of these restaurants can be found at the end of each of the two lobby level hallways.
Blue Ridge Dining Room offers breakfast, lunch and dinner menus as well as the inn's sumptuous weekend buffets. The Friday night Seafood Buffet, Saturday evening Prime Rib Buffet and the Sunday Brunch are all very popular.
Horizons is the resort's AAA Four Diamond Restaurant, considered to be one of the best dining experiences in the Asheville area. The cuisine is innovative, and there is an exceptional wine list.
Diners at the window-front tables in each of these fine restaurants have spectacular city skyline and Blue Ridge Mountain views, but be sure to make dinner reservations ahead of time, and far in advance for a prime table with a stunning view.
Elaine's Piano Bar, on the lower level, offers a cozy spot for a late evening drink accompanied by talented musicians who play an extensive repertoire of popular tunes and encourage sing-alongs and audience participation.
Grove Park Inn Resort Visitor Information
To get to the Grove Park Inn Resort, just take the Charlotte Street exit, 5B, off the I-240 and drive north on Charlotte Street for about .7 miles. Turn right on Macon Avenue and proceed for .8 mile. The resort entrance is on the left.
The resort is open daily, and there is no charge to visit the Great Hall, admire the views and explore the main floor hallways. Reservations are usually required for dinner or accommodations. The Spa offers Day Passes for visitors Monday through Thursday, as well as an extensive selection of spa packages. The golf course is open to the general public, but reservations are required.
You might want to pick up a map and brochure at the information desk located in the Great Hall of the Grove Park Inn Resort before you explore the rest of the lodge.
Be sure to take an hour or two to see the exceptionally fine crafts and artisan furniture at the Grovewood Gallery, the Estes-Winn Antique Car Museum and the Homespun Museum that are located just next-door to the inn. There is no charge to visit the museums or gallery.
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