Christmastime at The Biltmore Estate! I ended 2016 by striking another location off my travel bucket list! Thanks to a TravelZoo deal my husband and I took a quick 2 day road trip from Atlanta to Asheville North Carolina. Have you heard of The Biltmore Estate? It was built by George Vanderbilt in the late 1800s. He is from the same Vanderbilt family of Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper. George Vanderbilt and his wife Edith first opened The Biltmore House, located on the estate, to guests on Christmas Eve in 1895. Therefore, Christmastime at The Biltmore Estate has been a tradition for 121 years!
The Estate: Before arriving to spend Christmastime at The Biltmore Estate, I had no idea of the size of the property. The estate is 8000 acres! After entering through the main gate, you are directed to either The Biltmore House and Gardens or in the other direction towards The Inn, Antler Hill Village & Winery, The Village Hotel or a few other landmarks. The entire property is decked out with Christmas decorations. It is all done in a very sophisticated manner which matched the service and style of the resort. The distance from The Inn to the Biltmore House is 4 miles. The distance from Antler Hill Village & Winery to the Biltmore House is 5 miles. The great news is there are shuttles than run every 15 minutes to locations around the resort. You can park your car and never have to drive again while staying there. However, you must allow enough time for shuttles to be full and different shuttles come to different locations so give yourself 30-45 minutes to get from one side of the resort to the next.
We stayed in the newest hotel on the property-The Village Hotel. It is located adjacent to the Antler Hill Village and Winery. I read that it is more affordable than the luxurious Inn on the estate. We found it to be very pleasant with large comfortable rooms and bathrooms. There was a restaurant on site-Village Social- and a coffee and snack bar in the lobby. We enjoyed a very filling breakfast prior to exploring on our second day.
Since it was walking distance to the winery that was our first stop! The winery is located in Antler Hill Village and has complimentary tastings of Biltmore wines. You can also do specialized tastings for a cost such as the chocolate and red wine tastings and Biltmore Bubbles Wine tastings. During Christmastime at The Biltmore Estate, you are able to experience their limited release red and white whites. I am not sure why but I was surprised at how delicious their wines were especially the white wines. I was particularly fond of the Riesling, the Chenin Blanc and the Christmas at Biltmore white and red wines. We took a few bottles home 🙂
The Biltmore has so many restaurants to choose from it was a tough pick. There are buffets to bistro fare to fine dining all across the estate. I chose the dining room at The Inn for a fine dining and romantic experience with my husband. The dining room was so beautiful and cozy! There were Christmas trees and a fireplace right next to our table. They offered a three course pre-fixe menu and all of the courses were delicious. The service was impeccable as well. On entering The Inn, I took notice of the library on the first floor which looked like a great place to relax and have cocktails.
Candlelight Christmas Evenings: During Christmastime at The Biltmore Estate, you can experience touring the Biltmore House by candlelight. Regular tickets are $70 and during peak times are $85. There is a self-guided audio tour for adults and one for children at an additional cost. The Biltmore house is dimly lit and filled with Christmas trees, elaborate decorations, carolers and live musicians. There is a path that leads you through three floors of the four storied home as well as to the basement. We used the booklet given to us at the entrance as a guide. It took approximately one hour to tour The Biltmore House. It was built in the style of a French Chateau. During the tour you pass by many of the 33 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms and 65 fireplaces in the house. There are also 3 kitchens, a banquet hall, a two story library, a gymnasium, an indoor bowling alley and an indoor swimming pool! The Bachelor’s Wing includes a billiard room, a smoking room and even a gun room. There was opulence all around you and you can tell no expense was spared. Flash photography was not allowed inside the house so forgive the quality of some of the photos. However, I did want to share with you what the inside of this extraordinary mansion looks like!
As you can see, the architect of this “house” thought of any and everything. I don’t think the mansions and estates of our time can even compare.
Before you leave the Biltmore House area, be sure to stop by the shops and cafes located to your left when you exit. Perfect for Christmastime at The Biltmore Estate you will find these stores: A Christmas Past, Toymaker’s and a Confectionary. A friend recommended the milk chocolate truffles to me and they could be the best truffles I have ever had!
Christmastime at The Biltmore Estate was a lovely experience that definitely put me in the Christmas spirit! I highly recommend it! Have you been there? If so share your thoughts with us below!