A member inn of the Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association has new owners.
And they’re fantastic.
By Hope S. Philbrick
Let me state for the record upfront that I adore the new owners of the Chestnut Street Inn. I never met the former owners, so this is not a comparison, rather a revelation: This couple is warm, welcoming, friendly, experienced in top-notch hospitality, great cooks with finely-honed palates, and everything you’d want to find in innkeepers—plus, they’re sommeliers, speak multiple languages, adore travel, and (in one case at least) fulfilled a childhood dream by moving to Asheville, North Carolina. In short, these are my people. When you meet them, you may not feel (as I did) like you’ve found new best friends, but I can’t imagine that you are not going to like them.
Take, as one example, the story of a guest who admitted that he liked chocolate chip cookies yet thought they were all the same. Emilie prepared him a fresh batch daily using different recipes as proof chocolate chip cookies can, indeed, vary. As you can imagine, he was persuaded and lip-licking satisfied.
But even if for some reason you retreat to your guestroom for solitude, there’s much to like about this inn.
Chestnut Street Inn (a grand Colonial Revival home circa 1905) has some built-in great stories: As one example, there’s a bench at the foot of the staircase that a former doctor owner built for his daughters; a courting ritual, of sorts, it curves to prevent any suitors from getting too close and cozy. The lovingly-restored home also boasts ornate mantles, high ceilings, large outdoor porches, gracious décor and works by local artists.
Each guestroom is individually decorated with inviting color schemes from yellow to lavender. Each comfortable bed is dressed in upscale linens. Several guestrooms have gas fireplaces and comfortable sitting areas. All have private baths: One boasts a whirlpool tub, another a steam shower. Some suites are available. You may want to return to Chestnut Street Inn multiple times so you can try them all.
If you’re not immediately won over as a guest, wait until breakfast when you’ll likely swoon. Once the couple decided to operate a bed and breakfast (they’d initially planned to open a wine bar in Asheville), Emilie got private egg-cooking lessons from a chef trained at the Culinary Institute of America. It’s no exaggeration to say that she has mastered eggs: Her straightforward French omelet is too scrumptious to skip one bite. Of course, her light and airy pancakes drizzled with fresh-made lemon syrup (a recipe from her grandmother) are just as likely to have you licking the plate. Arturo scoured the earth in search of the best-tasting coffee and gosh-darn if he didn’t find it.
Emilie and Arturo have big plans for this bed & breakfast, and I can’t wait to share the news of every enhancement they offer. But even if they change nothing else, Chestnut Street Inn is already a wonderful place to stay and enjoy.
- Located in Asheville’s Chestnut Hill National Historic District
- Chestnut Street Inn received the “Griffin Award” for excellence in historic preservation and is also a certified “Treasure Tree Preserve”
- Located within walking distance of Trader Joe’s, Harris Teeter, several restaurants, and historic downtown Asheville
- Located a short drive from Biltmore Estate, the Grove Park Inn and the Blue Ridge Parkway
- Guestroom TVs offer HBO and Showtime
- Free Wi-Fi access
- Free parking
- Breakfast is served at 9 a.m.
- Afternoon tea and award-winning cookies
- Guests are welcome to enjoy a bit of port wine before bed
- No Discrimination: All guests are welcome from all walks of life at Chestnut Street Inn, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity
Chestnut Street Inn
176 E Chestnut St.
Asheville, NC 28801
– Photos © HSP Media LLC
Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion.