Open the gate to romance in Asheville, North Carolina.
By Hope S. Philbrick
Full disclosure: I’m not a morning person. So the idea of setting an alarm to rush downstairs for breakfast at a B&B isn’t exactly my idea of a great time. And yet the breakfast at the 1889 WhiteGate Inn & Cottage turned out to be more than worth the effort.
For starters, the food was plentiful and tasteful. But the company and conversation are what most made the meal into a memory. Frank Salvo, who owns the Inn along with his partner Ralph Coffey, draped himself over the back of an unoccupied chair and launched into a series of amusing anecdotes about the place—including revelations about how and why he and Ralph decided to welcome only guests age 18 and older, a move we heartily support (even before we’d heard about the misbehaviors of previous guests). Even better, all the other guests seated around the formal dining room table were supportive, not defensive—in short, they were our people. “We have four children,” said one husband. “And we would never bring them to a place like this, a place that’s meant for a romantic getaway!”
To that we cheer our greatest praise: 21 Plus Salute!
Once we all bonded over our shared enthusiasm for adult time and spaces, conversation flowed easily among guests and host. Everyone shared tips about what to see and do in Asheville, where and what to eat, how to get around, and other recommendations. It was authentic fun.
This is a place where the odds of encountering children are zero, but the chances of meeting people with whom you genuinely share a point of view are high. Plan a romantic escape and if you meet other guests in the halls or common rooms they very may well be on a romantic escape of their own. An instant kinship with fellow guests adds to the welcoming vibe of this place.
Raise a toast to that! The Inn makes doing just that easy: guests can sip complimentary water, soda and/or amaretto, which are always available in the solarium and living room. You may want to linger in these rooms to admire the antiques, art and garden views.
Guestrooms are named to honor authors: Robert Frost, Walt Whitman, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Maya Angelou, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emily Dickinson, Carl Sandburg, Oscar Wilde, Joyce Kilmer, and Dorothy Parker. Retreat into a space honoring your favorite poet or book a stay with a different writer on each subsequent visit. Each guestroom has either a king or queen mattress, a private bathroom, and may offer other luxuries like a whirlpool tub, fireplace, sun room, and/or kitchen. Décor varies by room, but expect upscale finishes, distinctive elegance, and, for reading pleasure, features volumes of poetry by the room’s namesake author.
Of course, staying at a B&B is, as Forrest Gump’s mom would have said, like a box of chocolates: You don’t know what you’re going to get, or who you’ll meet. But you can trust the Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association to include the best and tastiest options—including the 1889 WhiteGate Inn & Cottage—among its members.
Asheville is an adults-oriented destination that warrants multiple visits; the same can be said of 1889 WhiteGate Inn & Cottage. We hope to see you there!
- WhiteGate Inn is a AAA 4 Diamond property
- Listed on the National Register of Historic Places
- Free Wi-Fi
- Free parking
- Three-course breakfast is served promptly at 9 a.m. in the dining room. Meals are prepared by Chef Stephen Sauer
- No smoking
- Award-winning gardens
- Check-in 3-6 p.m.; bungalow check-in 4-6 p.m.
- If you’re staying in the main Inn, you’ll stroll through the front door only at check-in; afterwards, you’ll have an access code to use the back door
- Dogs are only welcome in the guest cottage, Oscar Wilde Suite and Joyce Kilmer Suite. There’s a $50 fee and other rules apply
- In-room massage spa treatments, picnic basket, romance packages, or chocolate strawberries can be arranged in advance
- This is the closest B&B to downtown Asheville
- Located minutes from Biltmore Estate
- Odds of Encountering Children: Zero! No guests under age 18 permitted
1889 WhiteGate Inn & Cottage
173 E. Chestnut Street
Asheville, North Carolina 28801
– Photos © HSP Media LLC
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