Searching online for the perfect place to stay when you’re traveling can be stressful. If you’re like me, you look at lodging websites, carefully examining ALL the photos – especially shots of breakfast, if it’s offered. Then you go to TripAdvisor, Yelp, or both, reading reviews and looking at ALL their photos.
Your search for places to stay in Asheville just became easier! After a most wonderful opportunity came my way in the form of an Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association invitation to tour some of their Inns along with my friend Nichole Livengood, of Gap Creek Gourmet, I feel confident recommending any of their member Inns.
Who knew there were so many unique Asheville area Inns and Innkeepers!?! We’re not talking cookie-cutter by any stretch of the imagination. This article is part of a series in which you’ll get a feel for some of the seventeen B&Bs that are part of the Asheville Association.
Traveling East on I 240 (the semi-circular half-beltway on Asheville’s north side), I’ve always wondered about the homes perched high on the hills overlooking downtown. Wonder who lives up there? Wonder how the heck they get up there? Wonder what the views are like?
Last month, I finally got the chance to find out. As guests of the Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association, my friend and I had been invited to tour Crooked Oak Mountain Inn before heading into town for dinner.
You would never know Crooked Oak is just ten minutes from Asheville dining and entertainment. As soon as you head out Town Mountain Road, you can feel it. You’re leaving the city behind. Take a hard left onto Patton Mountain Rd, then take a hard right – around the water tank. After a few zigs and zags, while the road seems to get narrower by the mile, you’re there!
Crooked Oak comes into view as you reach the top of a short driveway. The scene that greeted us was pure fantasy. Partly round, partly rectangular, built on a hillside and surrounded by fun landscape features, this is a unique and beautiful place to stay.
We warmed up and enjoyed a lovely spread put out for guests while touring the common rooms and a couple unoccupied guest rooms. All the guest rooms we saw were spacious and nicely decorated. My friend ooed and ahhed over bed linens, while I tried to get a good picture of the thick, resort-type robes that are in each room (fail). See photos of guest rooms here.
Someone at the Inn has a good eye for holiday decorating.
Cozy seating for breakfast, game-playing, or relaxing throughout the day can be found on the main level. Instead of the more common large dining table, smaller tables are placed throughout the fire-place-anchored dining area. They’re spaced far enough apart for private conversation, but close enough to visit with other guests if that’s your thing.
There’s a cool loft off the dining room with seating and lots of books, and a lower level area with cushy sofas, also warmed by a fireplace.
But, the heart of Crooked Oak is the kitchen fit for two chefs. That’s because both Patti and Bear have worked in the restaurant industry and have run their own catering company. Can you say, “Good food found here!”?
On a personal note, I’ve always hesitated to hang pots front and center in my kitchen because even though they’re clean, they might not look as nice as Patti and Bear’s.
Outside, a wonderland of trails, a nice water feature, an outdoor fireplace, and a killer view.
We filled our wine glasses and joined Inn guests out at the fireplace. There were plenty of comfy seats and lap blankets for those who wanted them. My friend and I joked about canceling our dinner reservation in favor of an evening by the fire, overlooking the lights of downtown Asheville.
Conversation around the fire was lively. A horse veterinarian who vacations regularly at Crooked Oak, her friend, and the other guests all shared fun stories. After an hour or so, we did pry ourselves away and headed back down the mountain for dinner.
Perhaps a “staycation” here might be in the future for me and my husband . . .
Crooked Oak Mountain Inn
217 Patton Mountain Rd
Asheville, NC 28804