Asheville, chosen as one of the Top 25 Arts Destinations in 2008 and 2009 by AmericanStyle Magazine, entices visitors with a moderate climate and a mountain location. Motel chains are well represented in the area, but plenty of old-style motor courts are still in business. Properties tend to cluster around the interstates or in-town points of interest.
The Biltmore Estate, completed in 1895 by George Vanderbilt, is America’s largest private home and Asheville’s most recognizable tourist attraction. The Inn on Biltmore Estate rents luxury rooms, has a full-service spa and several dining options. More affordable options, outside the estate’s massive gatehouse, center in and around Biltmore Village, a town built by Vanderbilt to house his employees. Howard Johnson, Baymont, Doubletree, Guesthouse and Sleep Inn maintain motels in the area. Biltmore Village Inn is a high-end bed and breakfast housed in a restored Victorian mansion.
Around Asheville Mall
Asheville Mall is on the east side of the city, easily accessible by Interstate 240 and Tunnel Road. Several chain motels, including Extended Stay, Super 8, Econo Lodge and Days Inn have properties along the road near the mall. Tunnel Road was once the main highway to Charlotte, and a number of privately owned motor court motels dating from the 50s, 60s and 70s vie for customers. The area has a number of restaurants within easy walking distance, including an Asian buffet and an Irish pub.
Whispering Pines Motel
Whispering Pines Motel in west Asheville retains its original funky lighted road sign, reminding travelers that this economical motel has been around awhile. No-frills rooms have one or two beds, microwave ovens and mini-fridges. The single-story motel provides Wi-Fi for guests. A dozen chain motels are a short distance away at the Interstate 40 interchange with the Smoky Mountain Highway. Restaurants, a super market, and big box businesses like Home Depot are nearby.
Sweet Peas Hostel
Sweet Peas Hostel, in downtown Asheville, offers affordable accommodations within walking distance of restaurants and attractions like the Thomas Wolfe Memorial and the Grove Arcade. The hostel has two bunk areas with eight beds each, small single rooms with extra-long twin beds and a private sink, and Private Pods. Pods, similar to couchettes on trains are beds enclosed on three sides with walls and shelving units. An acoustic curtain on the fourth side provides privacy. The hostel provides linens and Wi-Fi.