The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville is one of the South’s best-loved resorts. You don't have to be an overnight guest there to enjoy its history, elegance and wonderful amenities. Stop by for a drink in the Great Hall by one of the massive fireplaces. Enjoy a lunch or dinner on the Sunset Terrace with fabulous views. Or, dine in EDISON craft ales + kitchen or VUE 1913 American Brasserie. Play a game of golf. Shop in their boutique stores. Or, enjoy one of the top-rated spas in the country and one of the top hotels in western North Carolina.
Built in 1913 with granite stones mined from its Sunset Mountain, Grove Park provides majestic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and downtown Asheville. With its distinctive undulating red clay tile roof and original Roycroft furnishings and fixtures, The Omni Grove Park Inn captures the essence of the Arts and Crafts movement.
The lobby is known as The Great Hall — and for good reason. Measuring 120 ft. across, the hall features 24-ft. ceilings and two gigantic 14-ft. stone fireplaces. It’s famous for the elevators cleverly hidden in the chimneys of the stone fireplaces (put there to conceal the noise of the machinery), which continue to transport guests to their rooms. Throughout its massive lobby, words of inspiration from noted authors and anonymous sources are etched in stone. Take a peek inside the Penthouse Suite.
The legendary Sunset Terrace is outdoors, adjacent to the Great Hall. They feature the finest hand cut steaks, premiere chops and fresh seafood with amazing sunset views over downtown Asheville.
Find a variety of other restaurants on-site: EDISON craft ales + kitchen serves NC craft beers, small batch bourbons, handcrafted cocktails and regional food in a contemporary, artistic setting (their outdoor terrace is photo above). The Blue Ridge Dining Room is home to their award-winning Friday Seafood Buffet, Saturday Prime Rib Buffet and Sunday Brunch. VUE 1913, An American Brasserie has a comfortable and stylish setting for a leisurely dinner. Make dining reservations in advance!
The Spa is more than 43,000 sq. ft. in size, 20,000 of which are amenities for you to enjoy before and after your treatment. Float in mineral pools with their soothing underwater music and nearby waterfall pools. Enjoy exhilarating contrast pools, a lap pool, an inhalation room, sauna and a eucalyptus-infused steam room. See our photo tour of the Spa at Grove Park Inn.
The Omni Grove Park Inn, built by Edwin Wiley Grove, is an earnest attempt to erect an honest building with no substitution of contemporary popular design for classic construction forms, all the more remarkable because an amateur architect designed it during an era of architectural pretension. Grove, the owner of a pharmaceutical company manufacturing Bromo-Quinine, arrived in Asheville in 1900 and found the mild climate so much to his liking that he purchased a large tract of land on Sunset Mountain. Grove had the idea for a magnificent lodge, grand enough to mirror the majesty of the mountains that would provide its foundation. Grove's concept called for a building with the natural rough stone of the mountains surrounding the lodge. After finding that no local architects could grasp his concept, Grove entrusted his son-in-law, Fred L. Seely, to design the building. Seely had no formal training in architecture but undertook the project as both designer and contractor. The Omni Grove Park Inn was completed in 11 months and 27 days and opened on July 12, 1913. The unusual and striking intimacy between the building and its natural environment is one of the factors of the continued success of The Omni Grove Park Inn and perhaps the chief factor in its architectural significance.
The Inn was built in five sections that join end-to-end and step terrace-like along the mountain ridge. Native uncut granite boulders quarried from Sunset Mountain form the wall surfaces and chimneys of the inn. Grove himself ordered that "not a piece of stone was to be visible to the eye except it show the time-etched face given it by thousands of years of sun and rain that had beaten on it." The Omni Grove Park Inn has enjoyed a long and colorful history with many distinguished guests. During the summers of 1935 and ’36, author F. Scott Fitzgerald resided in Room 441. He’s just one of the American luminaries to have stayed there, a list that includes Harry Houdini, Will Rogers, George Gershwin, Thomas Edison, Eleanor Roosevelt and Henry Ford. Not to mention presidents — William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard M. Nixon, George H. W. Bush, William J. Clinton and Barack H. Obama. Federal agencies controlled the property from 1942 to 1946 during which time the State Department used the Inn as an internment center for Axis diplomats. Philippine government officials were in exile at this time and were also located in one of the guest cottages. The United States Navy has also used the Inn as a rest and rehabilitation center. Substantial renovations occurred in 1955 and additional wings were added to the Inn in 1958 and 1963. A major expansion, completed in February of 2001, added a spa to the grounds.
Pink Lady Ghost of The Omni Grove Park Inn
The mysterious Pink Lady at The The Omni Grove Park Inn has been seen, felt and experienced by hotel employees and guests for more than a half century. Little was known about the Pink Lady - just a swirl of stories about a young woman dressed in pink who fell to her death in the Palm Court atrium around 1920. Mere rumors, tales and lore weaving through the inn's rich history. In 1996, the hotel conducted in-depth research on the Pink Lady phenomenon and the resulting evidence focused on room 545, two stories above the Palm Court atrium floor.
A painter from the late 1950s or early 60s and the hotel's current engineering facilities manager have reported strikingly similar tales about room 545. Both got cold chills on their way into the room so severe they never again attempted to enter. Interestingly, neither employee knew of the other's experience, or about room 545's connection to the Pink Lady. Another employee who has seen the Pink Lady several times over the past five years describes the apparition as "a real dense smoke - a pinkish pastel that just flows. It's a real gentle spirit, whatever it is."
The Inn's guests have also had encounters with the Pink Lady. Guest Mike Mooney read about the Pink Lady before traveling to The Omni Grove Park Inn. At about 11:00 on the night of his arrival, Mooney went through the atrium to get a soda from the vending machine. No one else was in the atrium. Mooney describes the experience: "The room felt heavy when I walked in but I didn't think anything of it. However, when I returned with the soda and passed the old bench chair, the hair on the left side of my body just stood on end and bristled. I also felt something tugging at my left ear as I passed the chair. I paused for a second but as soon as I went passed it, the hair went down and I ran like hell back to the room!"
While the research left too much evidence to write off the Pink Lady as just a fantasy, there are no definitive answers - after all, the Pink Lady is a ghost.