Even more reasons to visit this great resort in Asheville, North Carolina.
By Hope S. Philbrick
Before I ever visited the Omni Grove Park Inn, which is located in Asheville, North Carolina, I was told that the historic hotel looks like an artist’s rendering of a fairytale castle.
That is a very accurate description.
It seems more drawn than real. Made of stone and topped with a red roof that looks like it was molded out of clay by huge fingers, it’s artistic and unusual. It seems like the sort of structure a crafty lonesome giant might have built by thoughtfully piling up rocks in the hopes that he might lure gnomes, fairies, trolls, ogres and hobbits to come visit. Since the main floor is always buzzing with guests who are checking in and out, touring the property, shopping, eating, drinking, and rocking in chairs while admiring the massive fireplaces and/or spectacular views, it would seem that giant got his happily ever after.
The truth of the Inn’s storied past is even more impressive than make-believe: It’s housed many U.S. Presidents, celebrities, and writers from F. Scott Fitzgerald to David Sedaris. Guests have been flocking to the Inn since 1913, wowed by its luxuries, top-notch service, dining, and panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The hotel’s exterior occupies a fantastical class of architecture of its own, but the style inside is authentic Arts & Crafts. Throughout the property, you can spot genuine antiques along with new pieces that blend perfectly with the old.
The AAA Four-Diamond Hotel—a rating Omni Grove Park Inn has held since 2001—hosts special events throughout the year, but it’s a great place to visit anytime you need to escape the realities of life. Come in any weather, for any reason, whether it’s to celebrate a special occasion or mourn a devastating one; to explore Asheville or find amusements on site; whether you’re traveling solo, with a special someone, friends or family; whether you want to get all dolled up and sip champagne or prefer to nibble snacks while standing poolside in a dripping wet swimming suit; mingle with strangers at a themed shindig, or hide in your guestroom while wearing pajamas and stuffing your face with sugary treats—and I should know, I’ve done all of that at this resort. Omni Grove Park Inn is an exceptionally versatile place that consistently exceeds expectations, whatever your reason for visiting. But why wait for an official reason?
As if there weren’t already enough compelling temptations to book a stay at Omni Grove Park Inn, even more has been added. Among what’s new…
Sammons Wing Renovations
All 204 guestrooms in the Sammons Wing have been recently renovated (completed July 2017). Renovations stick with the Arts & Crafts style while also meeting modern travelers’ needs. Expect sweeping views of the golf course and mountains, convenient access to underground parking as well as all the resort has to offer from the fantastic Sunset Terrace to the on-site boutique shops and beyond, up-to-date bathrooms with touches of Arts & Crafts tiles, and comfort—genuine comfort, from the cushy mattresses to the rooms’ spaciousness, the lounge chairs to the tech plug-ins, the relaxing views to the relaxing mood that permeates the space.
This Arts & Crafts-style pavilion adds event space for weddings, family reunions, corporate meetings, catered parties and other group happenings. The pavilion (opened January 2018) is brand new but appears to have been there all along, it’s so gracefully set into the property. Design features include reclaimed wood, a large fireplace, polished concrete flooring and modern technical amenities. Six pairs of floor-to-ceiling doors and windows ensure anybody in the pavilion can appreciate the view of the golf course and mountains. Take a peek at this place and you might want to start planning an event…perhaps a 25th anniversary party?
Relax Well Pod
The newest addition to the world-class Spa is a Relax Well Treatment Pod (summer 2017). Billed as “first-class relaxation and cutting-edge wellness technology,” it is used in several new innovative body treatments. The multi-sensory pod includes 12 different programs, including: adjustable thermal sauna, whole body massage vibration and gem therapy, calming rejuvenating aromatherapy, mood enhancing ambient lights, healing salt mist and soothing music.
This all sounds super enticing, but honestly, they had me at Spa.
Cabana Grill and Bar
Technically, this dining option is less brand new than summertime seasonal, but it was new to me on my recent visit. As I was on my way to meet a friend there, she called and told me to drive rather than walk to it from the main Inn—good thing, it’s quite a distance! As I drove I was struck by how extensively the resort grounds sprawl. Indeed, Omni Grove Park Inn is so expansive—plus offers ever-expanding programming—that new discoveries happen with every visit.
The Cabana Grill and Bar, which is near the Golf Pro Shop and outdoor pool, has a relaxed fresh-air vibe that feels like you’ve really “gotten away from it all.” It’s a full-service hideout with attentive service and a menu focused on fresh flavor, as proven with its new “Summer of Mango” offerings. I taste-tested as many drinks and dishes off the new menu as I could squeeze into my mouth and stomach. Every sip and morsel was delicious; don’t miss the spicy mango margarita, avocado salad or blackened mahi-mahi tacos.
New Foodie Experiences…
In addition to new menus and seasonal fare, five new foodie experiences are available at Omni Grove Park Inn…
- No Taste Like Home—Join famed forager and educator Alan Muskat and learn how to safely gather, serve, and preserve wild mushrooms, plants, and other extreme cuisine. Bring your foraged finds back to the Inn and a chef will use them to create a personalized complimentary appetizer just for you in Vue 1913.
- VIP Foodie Experience—Visit the local farmer’s market with one of the Inn’s lead chefs on Saturday morning to purchase local ingredients that will be used in an exclusive multi-course meal that evening in EDISON or Vue 1913. This exclusive experience is offered May-September only once per weekend for 2-4 people. To schedule, call 828.210.7813. Cost is $200 per person, including tax and gratuity but not beverages.
- Libations—Sip cocktails that include tea as an ingredient in the Presidents Lounge. Local Liquid Desserts combine North Carolina spirits with locally roasted coffee or a house-made truffle. Local craft brews are poured throughout the resort and now, too, local soda from Waynesville Soda Jerks is available.
- Warm Gourmet Cookie Bar—Master chocolatier and new Executive Pastry Chef John Cook is offering a new Warm Gourmet Cookie Bar in the resort lounge that features house-made “Pastry-Tarts” and various truffles in seasonal flavors.
- Hyper-Seasonal Pop-ups showcase Western North Carolina products and ingredients in different types of cuisine at various venues across the resort. As one example, in “Soil Food” vegetables take center stage of each plate.
Omni Grove Park Inn
290 Macon Ave.
Asheville NC 28804
— Photo Credits: property images courtesy Omni Grove Park Inn; food images © 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.