Checking into a bed and breakfast should be a transportive experience. As you drive onto the property, or step across the threshold of a good B&B you should have a sense that you’ve left the ordinary world behind and are about to enter into a special space -- one that offers all the comforts of home while at the same time making you feel that you are thousands of miles from home.
I have never been to a B&B that accomplishes this better than the Inn at Wintersun, located just 15 minutes east of downtown Asheville, NC. Enter the code at the gates, drive onto the grounds and as you wind along the half-mile long paved path through the breathtakingly spacious wooded grounds, you truly feel that you’ve left “ordinary” far behind.
Whimsical bronze statues cavort along the drive, towering trees create a sense of natural reverence, and wide open fields dotted with a grazing horse or two add a sense of old world sophistication.
The home that awaits you after rolling back and forth through this magical landscape, well rewards your efforts. It is a grand affair with large and welcoming porch looking out over the fields and rolling distant mountains. Although the house was purpose-built in the late ‘90s it seems as though it emerged -- fairytale-like -- from the landscape itself hundreds of years earlier.
Inside, the grandeur continues with a gorgeous wooden staircase that leads to an open wrap-around balcony and the two wings that house the rooms. Off the entry way to one side is the enormous yet cosily furnished parlor and to the other is the palatial dining room. Beyond this is the cozy kitchen and den.
Soaring fieldstone fireplace mantles punctuate rich wood paneling and hardwood floors in every room and this is all softened by an expert blend of classic contemporary fabrics. The overall impression is that you’ve just arrived at the country hunting estate of someone who read a lot of fairytales when young.
The true star of the show here room-wise is the Wintersun Luxury Suite, which is almost as big as the other rooms combined. This first floor 900-square-foot haven consists of a bathroom that is bigger than most people’s bedrooms, with a large Jacuzzi set beneath an in-wall gas fireplace and punctuated by a wall-to-wall dressing table. The bedroom is down the hall and features its own fireplace and double-door access to a large and private portion of the expansive deck. It’s hard to imagine a more special space for celebrating life’s milestones.
The food itself is simple, but extremely well prepared and includes choices like french toast made with local Amish bakery cinnamon raison bread or a fritatta made with spinach mushrooms tomatoes and cheese. Local jams and honey provide a sweet touch to all meals.