Once a near urban desert for accommodations, Downtown now offers visitors a number of excellent choices for lodging, though most are Expensive to Very Expensive. Properties of special note for quality or setting are in RED.
AC Hotel by Marriott Asheville Downtown 10 Broadway St., Downtown Ashe-ville, 828-258-2522, www.marriott.com; Hotel, Expensive to Very Expensive
This is another of Asheville’s new crop of Downtown hotels. The AC Hotel has a fine location just north of Pack Square. Besides attractive rooms and the usual Marriott amenities, it boasts what arguably is Asheville’s best rooftop bar, Capella on 9, with amazing views of Downtown and the surrounding mountains. Capella on 9 also has a tapas-style menu with various small plates.
Aloft Asheville Downtown 51 Biltmore Ave., Downtown Asheville, 828-232-2838 or 877-462-5638, www.starwoodhotels.com; Hotel, Expensive to Very Expensive
This 115-room Starwood property opened in late 2012. The location is excellent, near many of Asheville’s best restaurants on Biltmore Avenue and Pack Square. There’s handy parking in a public garage under the hotel (some spaces are reserved for hotel guests). You usually enter through a “sub-lobby” at the garage level (though you can also take a garage elevator directly to the main lobby). This sub-lobby has a huge blackboard where guests and others scribble their thought of the day. You can then take an elevator or a flight of stairs up to the main lobby, with its colorful decor, a bar and mini-restaurant. The hotel targets a younger, hipper crowd, although we’ve seen many older folks here, too. Rooms are not overly large. The decor leans toward a Scandinavian minimalism. Not a part of the hotel but in the main level retail space is the Blackbird restaurant, and many other top Asheville restaurants, including Cúrate, Limones, Chestnut, Wicked Weed Brewery, Posana and others are within a block or two. Asheville’s largest nightclub and private music venue, The Orange Peel, is close by, so you can rock late if you so desire. There’s an art movie theater across the street and plenty of bars, coffee houses and shops nearby. With some in-season rates over $300 a night, this hotel is priced higher than you’d expect.
Asheville Hostel 16 Ravenscroft Dr., Downtown Asheville, 828-423-0256, www.aahostel.com; Hostel, Inexpensive
In an older house a few blocks south from the center of town, within walkable dis-tance of most restaurants and attractions, Asheville Hostel has clean private rooms, most in the $65 double range. There’s a common kitchen and free make-your-own waffles, coffee and tea. Free wi-fi. Minimum stay two nights on weekends, maximum stay seven days.
Cambria Downtown Asheville 15 Page Ave., Downtown Asheville, 828-348-4850, www.cambriadowntownasheville.com; Hotel, Expensive to Very Expensive
New in 2019, the Cambria enjoys a desirable location directly across from the Grove Arcade, within an easy stroll of shops and restaurants in most of Downtown. The main hotel entrance is set up for cars going into the garage (valet parking with unlimited in-and-out privileges, fee) but not ideal for pedestrians entering the lobby. Overall the interior design is fairly minimalist, although some of the rooms are striking, with woods floors and a brick-design wall. Hemingway’s, the hotel’s Cuban restaurant, is on the fourth floor with an outdoor patio bar with lovely mountain views. Since it faces west, the sunsets are stunning from the outdoor bar.
The Foundry 21 S. Market St., Downtown Asheville, 828-552-8545, www.foundryasheville.com; Hotel, Very Expensive
Opened in late 2018, The Foundry is part of Hilton’s Curio collection. Located in what is called “The Block,” once the center of the African-American business area of Asheville. You’re only a short walk from some of Asheville’s best restaurants and the center of town.
The hotel incorporates several buildings from an old steel foundry, along with new construction, around a courtyard. The public spaces retain the brick walls, plank floorings and artifacts from the steel mill. Rooms are deluxe and modern, with remote-controlled blackout drapes, 49-inch TVs, espresso machines and wet bar. Benne on Eagle, operated by James Beard nominee John Fleer, is the hotel’s restaurant. The food is an unusual combination of Appalachian and Low Country soul food dishes.
Four Points by Sheraton 22 Woodfin St., Downtown Asheville, 828-253-1851 or 866-716-8133, www.fourpointsashevilledowntown.com; Hotel, Moderate
Across the street from the Renaissance Hotel at the north edge of Downtown, this 150-room Four Points by Sheraton property might be an option for you if you want to be within hiking distance of most Downtown attractions. That is, if you are willing accept dated decor, some down-at-the-heels hallways and other spaces and lack of first-class amenities such as an indoor pool. Moderate priced most times of year, a few high-season weekends are in the Expensive range and occasionally weekday rates are in the Inexpensive range.
Haywood Park Hotel 1 Battery Park Ave., Downtown Asheville, 828-252-2522, www.haywoodpark.com; Hotel, Expensive to Very Expensive
The location of this boutique, 33-suite, four-story hotel can’t be beat. It’s central near many restaurants, galleries and the Grove Arcade. Formerly the site of Ivey’s and Bon Marché department stores, the hotel references that with canned elevator announcements like “Third Floor, Children’s Department.”
It’s an all-suite property, and the accommodations (from about 400 to 1,200 square feet) recently received an upgrade and renovation. There are flat-screen TVs in the main room and also in the bathroom. On arrival in the lobby, you’re saluted with a player piano and receive a glass of complimentary champagne. The hotel’s main dining venue is Isa’s Bistro. Free valet parking and wi-fi.
Hilton Garden Inn 309 College St., Downtown Asheville, 828-255-0001, https://hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com; Hotel, Moderate to Expensive
The 140-room Hilton Garden Inn, opened in 2016 (the 700th unit in the chain), is at the east edge of Downtown, near Asheville City Building and Buncombe County Courthouse. It’s a fairly short walk along College Street and through Pack Square Park to the main part of Downtown.
Hotel Indigo 151 Haywood St., Downtown Asheville, 828-239-0239 or 877-846-3446, www.ihg.com/hotelindigo; Hotel, Moderate to Expensive
Indigo is the InterContinental and Holiday Inn group’s attempt to reach a younger, hipper audience. The Asheville edition is right at the north edge of town, overlooking to the north the I-240 Expressway.
t is within easy walking distance of the Grove Arcade and the restaurants, shops and clubs in the northwest part of Downtown. What were supposed to be condos on the upper floors didn’t sell and have been converted to hotel suites.
Hyatt Place Asheville 199 Haywood St., Downtown Asheville, 828-505-8500, www.hyatt.com; Hotel, Expensive to Very Expensive
This is pretty much what you’d expect in a mid-range Hyatt property: spacious at-tractive rooms, good service and a convenient location, with access to the I-240 express-way and by foot to most of the northwest Downtown area including the Grove Arcade and also to the Montford section. Speaking of Montford, one of the hotel’s best features is its Montford Rooftop Bar, with craft cocktails and great views of the mountains.
Kimpton Hotel Arras 7 Patton Ave., Downtown Asheville, 828-255-0303 or 833-221-9044, www.hotelarras.com; Hotel, Very Expensive
Developed by the same group that did the AC Hotel across the street, the Hotel Arras is expected to open in late 2019. The 128-room property is part of what was Asheville’s tallest building, the 17-story BB&T Building. The hotel is on the lower floors while the upper floors are luxury condominiums. You couldn’t ask for a better location, right on West Pack Square (though the address is Patton Avenue).
The redevelopment of the 1960s-era skyscraper, patterned on the famed Seagram Building in New York, greatly improved the look of the exterior, and the hotel rooms also turned out beautifully. Rooms feature a mix of wood, brass and marble, accented by art from local artists and with floor to ceiling windows with views of Downtown and the mountains.
The hotel’s restaurant, Bargello, has Mediterranean-inspired dishes, including pastas and hearth-fired pizzas. The bar, District 42, offers shareable small plates from the hotel’s main restaurant.
Renaissance Asheville Hotel 31 Woodfin St., Downtown Asheville, 828-252-8211 or 800-741-5072, www.marriott.com; Hotel, Expensive
This 12-story, 277-room Marriott is one of the older Downtown properties, but a renovation was completed in 2013, making the hotel more appealing. The location, which faces the north edge of Downtown rather than facing into Downtown, is convenient to many businesses, some restaurants and the Buncombe Courthouse and government offices. It’s what you’d expect in a large Marriott property, with decent-size rooms with first-rate beds, bar, restaurant, gift shop, indoor pool and fitness room. Free parking.
Sweet Peas Hostel 23 Rankin Ave., Downtown Asheville, 828-285-8488, www.sweetpeashotel.com; Hostel, Very Inexpensive to Inexpensive
Sweet Peas is a somewhat upmarket Euro-style hostel with loft-style accommoda-tions with 16 bunk beds, 24 private pods and two small private rooms, priced from $32 to $75, a bargain for Downtown Asheville. There's a fully equipped common kitchen, a living room with TV and a coin laundry. The best thing is the handy location in the middle of Downtown. There’s no parking at the hostel, but nearby are two city parking garages with a maximum day rate of $12. The brewpub below the hostel, Collaboration by CANarchy, can be noisy at times. Free wi-fi. Breakfast not included but many break-fast spots and restaurants are nearby.
Windsor Boutique Hotel 36 Broadway St., Downtown Asheville, 844-494-6376, www.windsorasheville.com; Small Inn, Expensive to Very Expensive
In a beautifully renovated 1907 building, the Windsor is a small, boutique hotel with 14 suites in a primo location Downtown. Suites, which vary in size, feature designer furnishings, exposed brick, wood floors, wi-fi and lots of artwork. Each has a kitchen and washer and dryer. You’re only a few steps away from some of Asheville’s best restaurants and bars. On the downside, there’s no pool and no parking lot at the hotel (public parking is about three blocks away), but the great location makes up for it.
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