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LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
 
FSA LogoThe Luxury Hotel Insider: Exclusive luxury hotel deals, features and special rates from the luxury hotel experts at Five Star Alliance. 
 
Named one of Tripbase's Best Luxury Travel Blogs for 2011, below are Five Star Alliance's newest articles featuring exclusive information on luxury hotels worldwide including special offers and deals at the world's best hotels.

The Story of The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC

July 12, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

The Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa, recently acquired by Omni Hotels, set atop Sunset Mountain features guestrooms with spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and its lush Donald Ross–designed golf course and is is one of the South's best-loved resorts. Celebrating its Centennial today, the luxurious Grove Park Inn opened on July 12, 1913. Here's the story of how it all began: 

The Grove Park Inn - Then and Now"Edwin Wiley Grove, known as the "Father of Modern Asheville" was born in 1850 on a small farm in Tennessee. After serving in the Civil War he had a very definite plan for his life and career – the pharmaceutical business and the determination to rise from his early poverty to great wealth and success.

He purchased a pharmacy in Paris, Tennessee in his mid-twenties. He put all of his energy into formulating a tasteless quinine to prevent malaria, a life-threatening disease that permeated the South in the 19th century (he suspended quinine in liquid form). After experimenting for several years, Grove introduced Grove's Tasteless Chill Tonic and experienced immediate success. In the late 1890's Grove's Tasteless Chill Tonic, which had become a household staple, sold more bottles than Coca-Cola. After 20 years on the market, Grove had sold over 1.5 million bottles of his Tonic and surpassed his dreams by making millions of dollars. 

Grove himself was often ill, afflicted with periods of bronchitis and exhaustion and his doctors recommended the clean mountain air of Asheville, NC to relax and recover. He spent time in Asheville throughout the year and that is where he would realize his next big dream.

While still pursuing new pharmaceutical inventions, Grove met Fred Seely in Detroit, who was making a name for himself in the pharmaceutical business. While working together in Detroit, the two sparked a friendship and mutual admiration. Grove invited Seely to his summer home in Asheville. One week later he left his position in Detroit to work for Grove and his Paris Medicine Company. But business was not the only thing that interested Seely. When Grove introduced his daughter, Evelyn, to the bachelor, within 24 hours Grove had given Seely permission to wed her.

Grove Park Inn and SpaSeely began working for the Paris Medicine Company in June 1898 and in October of that year married Evelyn. Both men ventured into other businesses including real estate. In Asheville Grove began purchasing property, he had successfully developed residential neighborhoods in Atlanta and was considering doing the same in prospering Asheville. With the expansion of the railroad and publicity surrounding the opening of George Vanderbilt's Biltmore House, Grove was positioning himself as a serious investor in the future of Asheville. In 1909 Grove purchased 408 acres in north Asheville, including what would become The Grove Park Inn. But he would concentrate on residential neighborhoods before ever considering building a hotel.

Two years later Grove began to plan the building of a hotel on Sunset Mountain. In 1911 Seely became involved with the plans. After reviewing the plans of several prominent architects, Grove did not find any of them satisfactory. The consummate visionary, Seely presented a sketch of the proposed hotel to Grove and he not only accepted the plan but gave Seely the enormous task of building the hotel.

Four-hundred men worked 10-hour shifts six days a week. With only the use of mules, wagons and ropes, granite boulders, some weighing as much as 10,000 pounds, were hauled from Sunset Mountain to build the hotel. Seely kept his promise to be open for business in less than one year from the ground breaking.

Just three days shy of one year, The Grove Park Inn opened on July 12, 1913. Secretary of State, William Jennings Bryan, delivered the keynote address to four hundred of the most distinguished men of the South, gathered for the opening banquet. 

Another version of this story is available at http://www.groveparkinn.com/the-grove-park-inn-story

View more photos and check rates and availability for The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa >>


New Ownership for the Grove Park Inn, Hotel Del Coronado Renovations

June 19, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

KSL Resorts have made a couple of new additions to their collection in 2012, and a change in ownership is always an exciting time for guests of a hotel. New ownership means a new philosophy, and often most importantly, an infusion of investment that allows for extensive renovations. KSL has taken over the iconic Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC, and invested in renovating the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, CA.

The Grove Park Inn is a huge attraction for locals and travelers alike, a perfect getaway for a weekend of relaxation for anyone on the East Coast or even just visiting the area. Its spa is top-notch, and it has a real down-home authentic feel to both the rooms and the hospitality. We're excited to see what KSL is doing with their newest addition.

While the Grove Park Inn epitomizes southern luxury, Hotel del Coronado has its feet firmly planted in west coast culture. The 368 have also been completely redesigned and purposed for rejuvenation. The resort itself rests on Coronado Island, sunning itself on the picturesque California beaches. With a distinctly Victorian atmosphere coupled with California's standard of relaxation, its no wonder that the Travel Channel has rated it the number one wedding destination in America. The Hotel Del Coronado is already a great resort, and we're looking forward to trying out the redesigned rooms.

 


Experience the Festival of Flowers at the Grand Bohemian Hotel

April 4, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Grand Bohemian Hotel brings boutique comfort to the beautiful town of Asheville, North Carolina. This welcoming, Tudor-style hotel is located in the famous Biltmore Village and it’s set among the lovely Blue Ridge Mountains. Be sure to stay at the Grand Bohemian Hotel between April 7th and May 20th to take part in the Festival of Flowers. The gardens of the Biltmore Estate come alive with thousands of azaleas, tulips, and other flowers reaching full bloom! The Festival of Flowers is an annual event featuring live music and complimentary garden seminars. Experience the best of spring from the luxurious and art-filled setting of the Grand Bohemian Hotel where exceptional service and gourmet cuisine come together.


Love the Hunger Games? Then Be Sure to Visit Asheville!

March 26, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The big hit movie the Hunger Games was filmed in Asheville, North Carolina, and this southern town is certainly drawing in quite the crowd because of it! The town of Asheville has two 5-star hotels properties and one 4-star hotel. Read on below to explore these luxury hotel options and choose the one that is most suitable for you and your Hunger Games needs!

The Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa

This is one of the most popular hotels on our site, and it is one of the South’s best loved resorts. It offers beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and it overlooks the city of Asheville. The property has a 40,000 square foot spa, a restored golf course, tennis courts, indoor and outdoor pools, child programs, and much more.

Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville Autograph Collection

This boutique hotel is located in the famous Biltmore Village, and it’s set among the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Its 104 rooms and suites have personal touches including stone flooring and custom bedding. This hotel has a fine dining restaurant, spa, lounge, and art gallery all easily accessible and readily available. Experience the elegance of the Old World at this charming and rustic boutique hotel.

Biltmore Village Inn

This 4-star hotel is located on top of Reed Hill, above Biltmore Village. It offers a 360 degree view of the mountains and overlooks the Village and Swannanoa River Valley. This charming, small boutique hotel only has 7 rooms in 2 buildings, so you can expect an extremely personal stay.

Explore these hotel options and be sure to visit the beautiful town of Asheville to get an even more personal connection to the Hunger Games!