Asheville, NC – Holiday Inn @ Biltmore East

Destination: Asheville, NC
Date: May 2015
Hotel: Holiday Inn
Brand: IHG
Status: Platinum (with the IHG branded credit card)
# of travelers: 2

Hotel & Brand: Making the Decision

image from IHG website

Justin and I had been planning to return to Asheville since February, but we hadn't made it back since. Right around Mother's Day, we picked a date and decided to just go. I looked everywhere and couldn't find a low-cost hotel to stay at, so I decided on an AirBnb house located near a lake. The owners requested that if you only intended on staying one night that you book within 48 hours of your stay. So that's what we did.

We had some errands to run that morning before we drove to Asheville and while we were out and about, I received a message on AirBnb that our home renting had been denied for whatever reason. :( Luckily, I had spent some time the night before checking out other hotels in the area and had decided if, for whatever reason, the AirBnb fell through, we would stay at the Holiday Inn Asheville-Biltmore East. It looked pleasant in the pictures, provided a picturesque view of the mountains, and offered a lower cost than Hotel Indigo, which was Justin's first choice.

Getting There, The Lobby, Checking-In, & Status

Obviously, as usual we drove. I have to say 4 hours of scenic mountainous views definitely isn't the worst experience in the world. ;) I may have slept the majority of the trip as Justin listened to monotone podcasts. When we finally arrived, an hour before check-in, I was thrilled that the manager, Brian, helped us. One bat of my eyelashes and he had us upgraded to a room with a view. Score! He also gave us a coupon for $2 off a drink and 500 bonus points for being an IHG platinum member.

image from TripAdvisor

The lobby itself was pretty rustic with deer antlers on the walls, a tv, a fireplace, cozy furniture, and books. It was somewhere between comforting and odd. I wasn't entirely sure if I was staying in a log cabin, a hotel from the 70s, or something else.

Parking, Room, & View

image from IHG website

When we checked in, Brian recommended Justin and I drive around to the back of the hotel and enter from the back for the quickest access to the elevator and our room which is just what we did.

Our room was on the third floor just beyond the elevators and to the right. We were on a pet friendly floor, and Justin claimed to have seen a bunch of dogs during his stay. (Oblivious me, on the other hand, not so many.)

Using the key card, you just touch the door lock and it unlocks! Nice!

Our room was decently spacious and fairly old-looking. There was stain on one of the curtains. :( But overall, the view was nice and the rustic room offered plenty of space for a couple to spread out. There was a couch and a desk on one side of the room, a king size bed in the middle, a decent-size bathroom with toiletries and a blow dryer, and an awkward-to-get-to cupboard between the bathroom and the exit door in a weird and unexpected cubby space. Clearly, this hotel was trying to use all of the available space they could to offer their clientele as much room as possible.

Disability Access, Property, & Pool

Justin and I didn't explore the hotel property too much, because the weather was overcast and rainy during much of our stay. The property, as seen from the hotel entrance and our room, looked lovely. As we discovered, the pool area with outdoor swings is closed and locked after 10pm, which made me a bit sad since we didn't have much (read: any) spare time to visit when it was open. :(

As for those with disabilities, I'd say this hotel is definitely a decent retreat. Obviously staying on the first floor is ideal since the one elevator in the whole hotel is extraordinarily slow and stairs (for the non-disable) are difficult to find and lead to the outside rather than any place actually useful. (What do people do when there is a fire? Or the elevator needs to be fixed?) I'm guessing, however, that lower room floors also won't provide the mountainous view you come to this hotel for, which would make it less worthy of the money spent than it might otherwise be. Aside from those issues though, this hotel isn't nearly as disability-unfriendly as some of the hotels my husband and I have seen in Europe. That, my friends, would be enough to keep a person home.

Free Breakfast & Hotel Restaurant

image from IHG website

One of the key elements I look for in a hotel anymore is a free breakfast. Justin gets grumpy if he doesn't eat breakfast and have his coffee within a few hours of waking up. I usually don't care enough about breakfast to deal with long lines, and I get aggravated having to spend precious money on Starbucks when a glass of water could be gotten for free. That said, the free breakfast makes it so that we can go on about our day without focusing on where we are eating or whether or not we have enough time to wait in the long lines.

This hotel's breakfast was very similar to most other hotel breakfasts in the US. They offered make-your-own waffles, low-fat yogurt, plain scrambled eggs, scrambled eggs with peppers, sausage, bagels with cream cheese, and muffins to eat as well as coffee, hot chocolate, milk, water, and orange juice to drink. There was plenty of seating in the dining room, and we even saw some groups eating outside.

We did not try to the hotel restaurant (located in the same place as the buffet breakfast), but Trip Advisor has good reviews.

Other food options include the snack foods you can buy right in the lobby – water, candy, cookies, crackers, and chips. They also sell postcards, mugs, magnets, and other traditional traveler goodies. The prices did look pretty high though beginning at $2 for a water bottle.

image from IHG website

Overall Review:

★★★ (average)

Nothing stood out and made this hotel a must-see for me. The staff was very nice and accommodating and it felt good to be given "extras" for my status. The parking was easy to access and the room, although old, was decent. We were visiting while the weather was overcast so our view wasn't as good as it could have been, but there was nothing the hotel could do about that. We didn't get to enjoy the property or pool as much as we would have liked due to the early closing times, and the breakfast was merely decent and enough to fill our bellies before we started our day. If you have a pet, this a fantastic location to get away; however, if you are anybody else, you might find better hotels for the price elsewhere in Asheville… Then again, seeing as I haven't, you might not…

Your Turn

If you were to go to Asheville, where you would you stay? Have you been to this hotel, the Crowne Plaza Resort, or the Town Country Inn & Suites? What makes a hotel stay worth the money in your mind?

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    Whenever I visit the USA, I travel a lot. I pick up my car and then I'm off to visit family and friends who are plastered throughout the States. I have wonderful family in Kinston North Carolina. So, we stay there but we usually choose a motel, either Wingate, Hampton Inn, or Comfort Suites and Inn and stay overnight while traveling to Kinston so that we can arrive fresh and relaxed after a long drive.
    I've never been to Asheville but maybe one day I will.
    This was a nice informative post.
    Great job.


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