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Ashville at Christmas

maryk

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We are thinking of doing the Biltmore at Christmas.

Are there any timeshares nearby that you would recommend?
 

DianneL

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I don't know if there are any timeshares in or near Asheville but if you plan to do the Biltmore at Christmas, and especially if you want to do the nightime candlight tour, you must get reservations. I would check on this right away. We did that several years ago and it is outstanding. We stayed in Gatlinburg and drove over to Asheville and back. I will tell you that it is a long lonely drive at night back to Gatlinburg. If I did that again, I would spend one night in Asheville and drive the next day.
 

Miss Marty

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Vacation Like a Vanderbilt in Asheville, NC

Stay at the beautiful Inn on Biltmore Estate
 

jme

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even better...

Stay at the beautiful Inn on Biltmore Estate

even better, stay at the Grove Park Inn across town, with a gorgeous view of the valley. It's a famous old stone hotel which has its own fantastic history. You won't regret it.

the new inn on the Biltmore estate is, well, too new (opened March 2001).....it's lovely, but doen't have anywhere near the charm, the scenery, or the restaurants.

see www.groveparkinn.com.

btw, Biltmore House at Christmas is beyond wonderful.....something every family in America has to do, and it's seldom mentioned!!!

To me, it's akin to visiting Empire State Bldg, Washington DC's Capitol bldg, etc., etc. It's a very special place, never to be forgotten. As good, or better, than any castle in Europe, and we've seen many....

jme
 
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pcgirl54

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I visted last year between Xmas and New Years. We stayed at a Marriott Courtyard across from the Asheville airport about 20-25 minutes away. Biltmore is indeed beautiful and something I wanted to do for a long time. Go really early around 8am before the crowds show up. You can buy tickets online and do get the headsets.

No timeshares in Asheville. Eat at The Stable next to the estate when you visit but get in line early about 11:30 to get a booth in the stall.

I would not spend the time waiting in line at the winery which is on the property or the little farm where there are a few sheep. The line was so ,so long. Instead you can sample and buy wines in the gift shop next to the main house where The Stable restaurant is.


Grove Park Inn we visited and ate the buffet breakfast. What a place! Giant fireplace in the lobby. There was a gingerbread house contest with all the entries displayed throughout the resort. Incredible spa 7-8 stories below the hotel.

There are TS's in Gatlinburg. We also drove to Pigeon Forge which I actually liked a lot. The Apple Barn is a nice place to eat there. Also we did not have time but there are factory outlets and in town a really super Christmas store that Marty told me about. The people were so friendly in both towns.
 
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J

JoeMid

No timeshares in Asheville.
The TS's in Lake Lure are the closest to Asheville.:)
Vacation Club Villas is located in the beautiful mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. All guests have access to outdoor tennis facilities, an outdoor pool, fitness room, and business center. Villas overlook the verdant fairways of the resort's 18-hole golf course. Asheville has an abundance of creative things to do. Vacationers can take a scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, window shop through lovely downtown Asheville, check out the nightly entertainment at a wide assortment of restaurants and clubs, or visit the historic Biltmore Estate.

One Resort Drive
Asheville, NC 28806

828-254-3211
www.ashevillecp.com
 

Lisa P

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If you come to the Asheville area at Christmastime, do also visit the Grove Park Inn!!! There's no fee to just visit and look around at this beautiful, historic lodge hotel. Go early in the day to avoid long lines to see the gingerbread houses and villages that were entered into their National contest (chefs come from all over the southeast to enter, and sometimes further). Enjoy a beverage in a rocker by the massive lobby fireplace, all decked out for Christmas... or have a meal at a 4 Diamond restaurant. This place is definitely worth your time. It's quite different, of course, from Biltmore Estate and also simply gorgeous over the holidays! Valet parking is available. If you decide to book a couple nights, their grotto-style Spa is reputed to be excellent.

The only Asheville timeshare resort is Vacation Club Villas (ASH in II), which used to be a Peppertree. The buildings have that characteristic round shape. They're very close to the downtown area but set back in rolling hills behind a shopping center and a hilly golf course. Recreation is primarily in the Crowne Plaza Resort next door, which seems to manage the timeshare buildings as well.

You have a couple other options for timeshares, fairly near Asheville. Each has something nice to offer, especially if you want a secluded, relaxed stay in a pretty area.

Lake Lure, NC, ~45 min drive: Wyndham at Fairfield Mountains (0195), Foxrun (FXR, 4305), Fairways of the Mountains (FWM, 5587) - also winding roads, ~10 degrees warmer than surrounding regions since it sits in a "thermal belt." If you can handle the moderately winding roads and if you want golf in winter, the warmer temps may make this a great choice. We like the lake here too.

Maggie Valley, NC, ~45 min drive: Peppertree Maggie Valley (MAV, 5022) - probably the easiest drive to Asheville, of these 3 areas, all interstate highway (I-40, west of Asheville), less winding back roads. The area has dramatic mountain views. A few units are located directly on a semi-busy road with a fair amount of car traffic and these have smallish rooms too. For these reasons, this is my last choice. But the condos with golf views look much better, if you can get one of those. It's a shorter, easier drive to a local grocer and rural shops from here than from the other two destinations as well. It's only 20 minutes to Cherokee's attractions and 1.5 hrs to Gatlinburg. So Maggie Valley may be the first choice among commuting locations.

A third option is Sapphire Valley/Cashiers, NC, ~60 miles but ~1.5 hrs drive due to low speeds on winding back roads: Wyndham at Fairfield Sapphire Valley (0590), Fairway Forest (FWW, 3420), Foxhunt Town Villas (FXH, 3421) - has snowmaking for tubing & a little ski hill in winter, pretty but very winding roads! We're used to winding roads here in the mountains but these are not for the faint of heart, especially if it's snowing. If you get into the Mountain Laurel section of 0590, this section is closest to the recreation buildings. We still really enjoy it here and recommend it if you'll be spending most time at the resort with only a couple day trips out to Asheville. From SV, it's an hour to Cherokee.

ALL of these above resorts (in Asheville, Sapphire/Cashiers, Lake Lure and Maggie Valley) require use of a car, even to get to their recreation centers and indoor pools. IIRC, they also ALL have fireplaces in their 2BRs (and some larger 1BRs) - cozy during a winter stay.

A last option is Burnsville, NC, ~45 min drive: Alpine Village (0621) - haven't visited so can't give firsthand info but it's Gold Crown with RCI reviews that say it's small, very quiet, minimal activities, secluded. The drive isn't bad so I'd think it'd be in the running too if you just want a home base for sightseeing. HTH!
 
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pcgirl54

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A few other things in winter months!

Thanks for the update Joe and Lisa on the TS in Asheville.


I went to Lake Lure with my SIL who lives on the South Carolina border but for us it we did not want to drive that far each day and there is not much to do there so we opted for a reasonably priced Marriott hotel with a 20-25 minute drive to Biltmore and Asheville center. It may have been $99 or so a night. There are restaurants nearby and a grocer within 15 minutes.

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/avlcy-courtyard-asheville/

It takes time on those country roads of which there may be no street lights.

BTW when we visited Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge for the day during the holidays between Xmas and New Years in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg there was a massive teen Christian convention in the area so traffic was backed up. Very well behaved group with many families but you need to wait in line at restaurants. I am not sure if this is an annual event. I wish we had stayed overnight to enjoy the area more.

Warning!!!!- We could not cross through the Smokey Mountains to Gatlinburg after driving many miles and had to back track then go around to the highway. This was after reaching the peak which had a road closed sign for the winter. It wasted a lot of time and there were no signs about it until we got to the peak. Pretty hairy driving toward the peak in some areas as there was zero visability. It must be gorgeous in the other seasons. Lesson learned. The weather was mild 50-60 compared to the chilly Northeast.
 

sfwilshire

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Be aware that hotels in Asheville often fill up solid and rates can be high at certain times. Not sure what drives this, but I've paid triple the rate for basically the same thing a different weekend.

Sheila
 

mecllap

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When you plan a trip to Asheville for Biltmore, be sure to thoroughly read everything at biltmore.com. Tickets are cheaper online (altho there's also a transaction fee). If you buy tickets at the front Welcome Center on the Estate, you still have a half hour of "travel" before you get to the house, so factor that into your travel time (that applies to any arrival, sometimes it takes even longer from the front gate). It's two hours to Gatlinburg (at least, depending on weather and traffic). Ticket prices vary, usually cheaper in Nov. than Dec.
The Vacation Villas are at the Crowne Plaza, up behind Sam's club, so a little awkward to find; you'll need a car. Biltmore is going to be even more spectacular this season, with some outside lighting effects. For a day visit, allow 4-6 hours. The Candlelight evenings will be crowded over Christmas break, so if you can come earlier, it will be more leisurely for you. It's the busiest time on the Estate; the Inn may already be fully booked. There are lots of wonderful places to stay around town, including B&B's.
Asheville's a great place to visit (and to live!)
 

jme

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also great at Thanksgiving

Christmastime is wonderful at Biltmore House and Grove Park Inn, but don't forget about Thanksgiving!

We love Thanksgiving just as much, if not more ...the Christmas trees go up the day after Thanksgiving, especially the BIG one in the Great Hall at GPI, so Christmas is still very much in the air!!!)......GPI has a real FEAST on Thanksgiving day, and the Grand Ballroom hosts the spectacle. It's simply amazing......looooong tables overflowing with delicious food, and life-size ice sculptures of pilgrims . Also, there's a live stringed instrument band, which makes the family time a real treat.

We visited GPI at Thanksgiving time for 6 or 7 years running, and our kids (now in college) say that's one of their favorite memories growing up. (Just to be different, we most recently have visited Nashville's Opryland Hotel for 3 years at Thanksgiving, also a real treat.)

This year we will return to GPI to continue our love affair. The kids said they missed it too much. The Autumn leaves are still awesome then....and there are several streets in Asheville which are lined with HUGE old Maple trees ablaze in orange/red/yellow color. Asheville is an amazing city. jme
 

maryk

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hotel in Asheville

Since doing a TS in Asheville do not seem like a good option.

Can anyone tell me anything about either the Holiday Inn - East or the Holiday Inn - West.?

Both got good reviews on TripAdvisor.
 

csxjohn

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I didn't realize this thread was from '08. Sorry.
 
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