Pack your bags we are headed to the East side of the US!
Second on our List in Romantic Getaways for Valentines Day is a trip to the most spectacular family home – The Biltmore Estate!
Just to be clear, these posts are not sponsored in any way. These are trips that over the years my husband and I took for Valentines Day and we love ROMANTIC GETAWAYS!
Many people are familiar with the nearly 175,000 square foot home, with its gardens and views, but in comparison few are privy to the Inn on the Estate that invites us to stay on the grounds and experience the Estate as visitors to the home may have in days gone by.
I was so excited to share this experience with my husband who had never before toured the Vanderbilt Home. As we approached for our 5 night Valentine Stay there was an unusual and fresh coating of snow on the area. The drive winding through woods is enthralling anyway, but with the snow lined branches it was like a fairy tale, then all of a sudden you see in person the scene below. I mean Downton Abbey has nothing on this Estate!
What a privilege to not only look at this castle of sorts from afar, but imagine that you actually get to tour the interior listening to the audio presentation as you go from room to room and floor to floor. With 48 fireplaces, many large enough for us to actually stand in, it is hard to consider the hauling of wood and the continuous maintenance just to warm the 250 room mansion.
The Library fascinated me. The second story of books with the iron railed balcony to walk along is accessed by the ornate spiral staircase pictured in the corner to the right of the fireplace. The mantle, the desk, the hidden passage and the relief above the mantle is just beyond words.
During your walking tour there are photos showing the solarium in the active days of the house filled with guests for breakfast. Their dress was more formal than we wear at any time in this century. They would come and stay for several months to visit and there were several dress changes per day. Each activity had its own fashion for both women and men.
Below is the Lobby of the Inn at The Biltmore Estate. The staircase takes you to the main dining room with fabulous food presented as you would expect by a Chef in a 5 star dining establishment. They were also very attentive to my food allergies and sensitivities. One evening we had a table by the fireplace. Another day we ate near a window with a view. We were always impressed with the service as well as the flavors.
Every room at the Inn has a view. You can see it here, the Appalachian Mountains for as far as you can see. The rooms feature Robes, a well-appointed bath, luxurious bedding and we never heard a thing in the halls. Restful sleep was enjoyed nightly. My husband had ordered Wine, Roses and Chocolate Covered Stawberries this time.
Any season is a great season to visit the Estate. The fall colors are breathtaking. Spring has massive blooming of Azaleas. Summer everything is in bloom. Christmas, well, you can see the decor is impressive and worth the risk of snow! A little snow makes for something even prettier than any other season.
Every room has its impact. Here Mrs Vanderbilts bedroom moldings, bed canopy and the shape of the space are all so regal in their presentation.
This is one time I skipped the spa. We were enjoying so many activities around the Estate that I sacrificed the usual amenity that is just the icing on the cake. But here is a peak into a couples massage room. As with everything the Biltmore offers, luxury is in the forefront and you are sure to melt into relaxation with a visit to their spa.
I remember stepping out here and taking it all in. The audio guide explains how this Loggia was used in the days that the Vanderbilts entertained.
The Village offers an on site area to explore and enjoy. The Inn is featured above the village on the hill. We shopped in an Orvis store, gift shop, and got hot cocoa as we sat out on the patio. One of the very memorable activities we chose was “The Bubbles Tour” and that was an education on how the family began making Champagne. There were plenty of samples and by the end we knew what the bubbles meant in the ranking of a good bottle of Champagne. The Wine Shop has so many great wines from the onsite vineyards. We purchased gifts for everyone. They also have a wine club for those serious about their drink.
I love The Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg and that is most certainly a romantic sight to visit, but just a little bit further to the East and you can land in the quaint town of Asheville. You can learn all about how the city actually came to be because of the building of this huge mansion. Another Historic Landmark with lots of history, it surely tops our list of Romantic Valentine Getaways. “Lady on the Hill” was a favorite keepsake book we took home with us, along with an ornament. I wouldn’t mind having a full set of the Vanderbilt China Pattern!
Tomorrow will be my 3rd trip to somewhere romantic! Join me there, but while you’re here, I would love to hear if you have stayed at this property. Also I am interested in hearing about your romantic places to visit. There are so many and I am always looking for a new one!
On the road again,