updated 4/23/2007 9:51:02 AM ET 2007-04-23T13:51:02

Beaufort House Victorian Inn
Designed in 1894 by A. L. Melton, a well-known local architect, this landmark Queen Anne confection is among the top two or three B&Bs in Asheville. It lies half a mile from the center of town, in the Grove Park district. The house is operated by Jacqueline and Robert Glasgow, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The individually decorated guest rooms are full of antiques. One accommodation occupies the top floor, and another is in a carriage house with a loft bedroom, kitchenette, private deck, and living room. Three of the four units in the main house have whirlpools. All units have well-kept bathrooms, most of which have tub/shower combinations. The country breakfast with freshly squeezed juice is a serious reason to stay here. No smoking.

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61 N. Liberty St., Asheville, NC 28801. tel. 800/261-2221 or 828/254-8334. Fax 828/251-2082. www.beauforthouse.com. 11 units. $145–$285 double. Rates include full breakfast and afternoon tea. MC, V. Amenities: Breakfast room; lounge; nonsmoking rooms. In room: A/C, TV, dataport, hair dryer.

Cedar Crest Inn
A stay here is like entering a time capsule and going back to the Victorian era. This Queen Anne mansion is one of the largest and most opulent residences surviving from Asheville's 1890s boom. The mansion has a captain's walk, projecting turrets, and expansive verandas, and the inside is a fantasy of leaded glass, ornately carved fireplaces, and antique furnishings, with a massive oak staircase. Owners Rita and Bruce Wightman have indulged their romantic and whimsical imaginations in furnishing the guest rooms: All have period antiques and individual decor -- a canopied ceiling in the Romeo and Juliet room, a carved walnut bed in another room, and brass bedsteads in a third. Each room has a private bathroom with a tub/shower combination (Jacuzzi tubs), and several contain working fireplaces. A cottage with two suites is adjacent to the main house.

674 Biltmore Ave., Asheville, NC 28803. tel. 800/252-0310 or 828/252-1389. Fax 828/253-7667. www.cedarcrestvictorianinn.com. 11 units. $170–$255 double; $230–$300 suite. Rates include breakfast and afternoon refreshments. AE, DC, DISC, MC, V. Free parking. No children under 12. Amenities: Breakfast room; lounge; nonsmoking rooms. In room: A/C, TV, dataport, kitchenette (in some), hair dryer, iron.

Crowne Plaza Resort
This is Asheville's leading motor hotel, lying directly off I-240, 3 miles from the center of town. The Crowne Plaza chain took over this former Holiday Inn resort and recently completed a $4-million renovation. Standard double rooms have new, comfortable beds and such extras as refrigerators, coffeemakers, and complimentary Wi-Fi. There are tennis courts and an 18-hole golf course nearby. The restaurant, popular with families, serves typically American fare.

1 Holiday Inn Dr., Asheville, NC 28805. tel. 877/277-6963 or 828/254-3211. Fax 828/285-2688. www.ashevillecp.com. 272 units. $145–$185 double; $208 suite. AE, DC, DISC, MC, V. Amenities: Restaurant; bar; outdoor pool; 18-hole golf course; 4 tennis courts; fitness center; sauna; limited room service; babysitting; indoor soccer center; sand volleyball court; nonsmoking rooms; rooms for those w/limited mobility. In room: A/C, TV, dataport, minibar, coffeemaker, hair dryer, iron.

Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa
This resort, built in 1913, is one of the oldest and most famous in the South. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it's a favorite year-round destination, providing panoramic views of the city's skyline and the Blue Ridge Mountains, old-world charm, and a long tradition of hospitality. Completely renovated in recent years, it's our favorite choice in the entire western section of North Carolina.

The two newer wings reflect the spirit of the original design. Novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald stayed at the hotel while his wife, Zelda, spent her nights in a sanitarium nearby. The hotel offers a romantic-getaway package called the Great Gatsby, although Fitzgerald's stay was hardly romantic. Over the years, the resort has hosted some of the most famous names of the 20th century, including Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Harvey Firestone. Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson also slept here.

The inn is built on the side of Sunset Mountain at an elevation of 3,100 feet. Its great-hall lobby is flanked by 14-foot fireplaces; comfortably padded chairs and sofas create a feeling of coziness despite the size of the 120-foot-long room. Twenty-eight of the bedrooms are oversize, containing such extras as whirlpools. All units contain well-kept bathrooms with tub/shower combinations.

Horizons Restaurant, featuring an innovative but classic cuisine, is the finest in the area. Guests can also dine in the moderately priced Blue Ridge Dining Room, which has a legendary outdoor dining veranda. The Carolina Cafe also overlooks the mountains. Elaine's has reopened as a dueling piano bar, the only one in Asheville.

290 Macon Ave., Asheville, NC 28804. tel. 800/438-5800 or 828/252-2711. Fax 828/253-7053. www.groveparkinn.com. 510 units. Summer $325–$675 double, $1,300 suite; off season $265–$525 double, $750 suite. AE, DC, DISC, MC, V. Amenities: 3 restaurants; 3 bars; 2 pools (1 indoor); 18-hole golf course; 6 tennis courts; fitness center; health spa; sauna; limited room service; babysitting; laundry service; dry cleaning; nonsmoking rooms; rooms for those w/limited mobility. In room: A/C, TV, dataport, kitchenette, coffeemaker, hair dryer, iron, safe.

Haywood Park Hotel
In the heart of downtown Asheville, this rather elegant all-suite place is the leading hotel in the city center. The suites are crisp and airy, a blend of luxury -- some have Iberian marble bathrooms, recessed closets, showers with oversize tubs and whirlpools -- combined with practical details such as computer hookups. All beds are either queen- or king-size. The hotel's deluxe restaurant has a Continental menu specializing in French, German, and Indian cuisine, as well as an extensive wine list. It also has a beer garden.

1 Battery Park Ave., Asheville, NC 28801. tel. 800/228-2522 or 828/252-2522. Fax 828/253-0481. www.haywoodpark.com. 33 units. $200–$425 suite for 2. Rates include continental breakfast. Children 17 and under stay free in parent's room. AE, DC, DISC, MC, V. Free parking. Amenities: Restaurant; bar; fitness center; sauna; limited room service; laundry service; dry cleaning; nonsmoking rooms; rooms for those w/limited mobility. In room: A/C, TV, dataport, minibar, coffeemaker, hair dryer, iron, safe.

Staying Nearby
The Greystone Inn
Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller once whiled away their summers on the 14 miles of leafy shoreline around Lake Toxaway. Set on a wooded peninsula along the lake, this imposing Swiss Revival mansion, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was created for Savannah heiress Lucy Armstrong Moltz as a seasonal "cottage." Refurbished in 1985, it welcomes guests with an engaging mix of antique furnishings and modern comforts. Each guest room has its own character, and many have working fireplaces; all have well-maintained bathrooms with showers and whirlpools. The stone fireplace is also a focal point in the oak-paneled living room, the library is a tastefully appointed oasis, and the terrace is the ideal setting for before-dinner drinks. For dedicated do-nothings, there are wicker rocking chairs on the glassed-in sun porch overlooking the lake.

Meals in the Lakeside dining room (for guests only) feature such gourmet selections as seared Texas antelope and Georgian pecan chicken. Dinner is a six-course affair.

Greystone Lane, Lake Toxaway, NC 28747. tel. 800/824-5766 or 828/966-4700. Fax 828/862-5689. www.greystoneinn.com. 33 units. Nov–Apr $280–$415 double, $465 suite; May–Oct $345–$535 double, $565–$615 suite. Rates include breakfast, dinner, champagne, afternoon tea, and sports activities except golf. MC, V. Amenities: Restaurant; bar; outdoor pool; 4 tennis courts; health spa; sauna; limited room service; massage; babysitting; laundry service; dry cleaning; nonsmoking rooms; rooms for those w/limited mobility. In room: A/C, TV, dataport, coffeemaker (in some), hair dryer (in some), iron.

Inn on Biltmore Estate
Here's your rare chance to have a glimpse of what it was like to stay on the lavish Vanderbilt estate at the turn of the 20th century. A. V. Cecil, Jr., great-grandson of George W. Vanderbilt, poured $31 million into the creation of this elegant inn, set 2 miles from the French Renaissance country estate originally built by the tycoon himself. The hotel lies deep within the grounds of the Biltmore Estate. No one can drive up to it without proof of a reservation or a general pass to tour the compound. Most rooms are sold as part of packages that include admission to the grounds and mansion.

Each season brings new pleasures here -- cozy fireside evenings in the library, tranquil Indian summer afternoons rocking on the big veranda, or spring brunches on the dining terrace as daffodils burst into bloom. The inn faces Mount Pisgah, with 270 degrees of uninterrupted wilderness on view from the windows.

Guest rooms are spacious, comfortable, and elegantly furnished, with state-of-the-art bathrooms. Suites are sometimes named for friends of Vanderbilt, including the suite honoring novelist Edith Wharton. The fine furnishings throughout were inspired by English and French manor houses. The cuisine -- one of the reasons to stay here -- is among the finest in western North Carolina.

1 Antler Hill Rd., Asheville, NC 28803. tel. 800/624-1575 or 828/225-1600. Fax 828/225-1629. www.biltmore.com. 249 units. $259–$319 double; from $500 suite. AE, DC, MC, V. Amenities: 2 restaurants; bar; outdoor pool; fitness center; Jacuzzi; 24-hr. room service; babysitting; laundry service; dry cleaning; nonsmoking rooms; rooms for those w/limited mobility. In room: A/C, TV, dataport, coffeemaker, hair dryer, iron, safe.

The Lion and the Rose
This inn opened in 1987 in a Georgian/Queen Anne–style home in the historic Montford district. The house was built in 1898, during the heyday of Asheville's summer resort boom. Restored to its original grandeur, the inn is run by Jim and Linda Palmer. Oriental rugs and antiques, some of which are precious family pieces, are used throughout the inn. Sherry (served on the porch) and discreetly placed fresh flowers add grace notes that make this a tranquil retreat -- one of the best-run B&Bs in Greater Asheville. Guests dine around the fireplace in cold weather or on the porch in summer. For breakfast, try the fresh blueberry blintzes and banana pecan waffles with butter rum sauce. The traditionally styled guest rooms have queen-size beds, and some have a sitting area with a couch. The two-bedroom suite is decorated with white wicker and lace. One bedroom has a queen-size bed, and the other has twin beds; there are also well-kept bathrooms with walk-in shower or tub/shower combinations, and a private balcony. Children 13 and over are welcome on weekends only.

276 Montford Ave., Asheville, NC 28801. tel. 800/546-6988 or 828/255-7673. Fax 828/285-9810. www.lion-rose.com. 5 units. $135–$195 double; $195–$220 suite. Rates include full breakfast and afternoon tea. AE, DISC, MC, V. Free parking. Amenities: Breakfast room; lounge; limited room service; nonsmoking rooms. In room: A/C, TV, dataport, hair dryer, iron, Wi-Fi.

Old Reynolds Mansion
An antebellum brick house -- one of the few left in Asheville -- this three-story inn, set on 4 acres, dates from 1855, when Colonel Daniel Reynolds built it just before the Civil War. It was substantially altered over the years before falling into disrepair. Helen Faber rescued it from the bulldozer and earned it a position on the National Register of Historic Places. Today the inn is furnished with antiques, and some of the beautifully decorated guest rooms have fireplaces or 12-foot ceilings and provide panoramic vistas of the mountains. The mansion also has one cottage located on the grounds, with a queen-size bed, a living room with fireplace, a kitchen, and a sleeper sofa; it's generally rented to a party of three guests. All units have private bathrooms with either a tub/shower combo or a stall shower. Breakfast can be served by the fireplace (on nippy days) or on the veranda. A 1930s swimming pool is nestled among the pines. Children 6 or older are accepted Monday to Friday only. On Saturday and Sunday only, children ages 12 and up are accepted.

100 Reynolds Heights, Asheville, NC 28804. tel. 800/709-0496 or 828/254-0496. www.oldreynoldsmansion.com. 10 units, 1 cottage. $105–$160 double; $105-$190 suite; $160 cottage for 2. Rates include full breakfast and afternoon wine and snacks. AE, DISC, MC, V. Take U.S. 25 for a 10-min. drive north of the center, past Beaver Lake. Amenities: Breakfast room; lounge; outdoor pool; breakfast-only room service; nonsmoking rooms. In room: A/C, TV, hair dryer, Wi-Fi.

Owl's Nest Inn and Engadine Cabins
On 12 acres of landscaped grounds with beautiful mountain views, this discovery lies just a 15-minute drive west of downtown Asheville. Built by a Confederate captain in the army after the Civil War, the small inn has been sensitively restored and is a charmer. Walking paths lead in many directions, and there are also picnic areas. The house retains much Victorian character, and the guest rooms are handsomely furnished and spacious, each with a private bathroom with tub and shower or just shower. In cooler months, guests gather around the fireplace in the living room. On warm days, you can take in the views from the house's wraparound porches or from benches in the meadow. Each room, from the Captain's Room to the Howell Room, is decorated differently. The Engadine Suite is very private and romantic, with a queen-size iron canopy bed and a whirlpool built for two. On a hilltop overlooking the inn, three cabins are rented, each with a kitchen, living area, bathroom with whirlpool, and panoramic porches. A hearty breakfast is served (try those cheese grits!).

2630 Smokey Park Hwy, Candler, NC 18715. tel. 800/665-8868 or 828/665-8325. Fax 828/667-2539. www.engadineinn.com. 9 units. $145–$170 double; $225 suite; $150–$210 cabin. AE, DISC, MC, V. Amenities: Breakfast room. In room: A/C, hair dryer, ceiling fans.

Richmond Hill Inn
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this inn was named one of the "Ten Outstanding New Inns in America" by Inn Review Newsletter. Constructed in 1889 of granite, slate, and local woods, the house was designed by James Hill, the supervising architect of the U.S. Treasury buildings. The place is Asheville's premier remaining example of Queen Anne–style architecture. The main building is a spacious two-story mansion, painted yellow, with a wraparound porch. The interior is graced by family-heirloom portraits and the house's original oak paneling. Guest rooms are charming, featuring bathrooms with showers and claw-foot tubs, balconies overlooking a small stream, canopied beds, and fireplaces. The seven rooms on the second floor are preferable to the smaller rooms on the third. Nine cottages containing rooms and suites, all with small porches and rockers, are across the way. Other than the much-larger Grove Park, this is our favorite address in Asheville. The inn also has an excellent restaurant, Gabrielle (named for the former mistress of the house), featuring American contemporary cuisine.

87 Richmond Hill Dr., Asheville, NC 28806. tel. 800/545-9238 or 828/252-7313. Fax 828/252-8726. www.richmondhillinn.com. 36 units. $195–$295 double; $275 suite. Rates include full breakfast. Children 16 and under stay free in parent's room. AE, MC, V. Free parking. Amenities: Restaurant; lounge; fitness center; massage; babysitting; dry cleaning; nonsmoking rooms; rooms for those w/limited mobility. In room: A/C, TV, dataport, coffeemaker (in some), hair dryer, iron.

For a complete listing of Frommer's-reviewed accommodations, visit our online hotels index.

Frommer’s is America’s bestselling travel guide series. Visit Frommers.com to find great deals, get information on over 3,500 destinations, and book your trip. © 2006 Wiley Publishing, Inc. Republication or redistribution of Frommer's content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Wiley.

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