Friday, April 22, 2011

Biltmore Randomness

The mansion has four acres of floor space including more than 250 rooms, 34 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms and 65 fireplaces. There is an underground swimming pool, gym and bowling alley. It took six years to build and was finished around 1895.




The property is 8,000 acres, filled with gardens, statues, fountains, trails, farm land (originally) and a winery. There are spectacular views in every direction. The landscaper was the same guy who designed New York City’s Central Park.

It’s in or adjacent to Asheville NC, a town of 80,000 people, but when you’re on the grounds you never see any indication that a town is anywhere near the place.

There is a modern 200-room hotel on the property now. It is built to fit in with the aura of the estate and, as you would expect, it is wallet-challenging. If you want to stay there Friday, May 6th, it’ll cost you $334 for that night, in a room with two double beds. That’s about what I paid for three nights at a fairly nice hotel east of downtown Asheville.

This is a view from the hotel veranda. I won’t tell you what we spent on ONE drink each. I will say it was worth it for the relaxing view.




I spent six hours on the grounds and didn’t see everything, although I did see the important stuff: the mansion, the gardens and the wine-tasting room at the winery.

You have to see it yourself to even begin to understand the scale, power and opulence of the mansion. Eliz and I said the word “awesome” dozens of times, but that is a baby word compared with other adjectives that could paint the picture.




Vanderbilt was probably the Trump of his era but I doubt even The Donald’s properties could compare with the sheer over-the-topness of Biltmore (how’s that for an adjective?).

Check my Photo Bernie blog for a few more of the 200 pictures I took.

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