The Omni Grove Park Inn: Couples Getaway or Family-Friendly?
Updated: Oct 18, 2019
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Omni Grove Park Inn is well-known for its rich history, exquisite culinary experiences, and of course its world-class spa. BUT, is it family friendly?
The answer, yes! Although the Grove Park Inn would make for the ultimate couples retreat, this luxurious resort is more than just a destination to escape with your spouse. With amenities like an indoor and outdoor pool, kids club, Omni Kids Crew, and stunning walking paths - it's a resort that the whole family can enjoy. Plus, it also hosts the National Gingerbread House competition!
Ready to explore the family-friendly side of this high-class resort?
Whether you're looking to step back in time with a room furnished in timeless decor, or if you're seeking something a little more modern, there's something for everyone at the Omni Grove Park Inn.
The Main Inn
We chose to stay in a mountain view resort room in this area of the hotel. Rooms in the historic Main Inn are located in the center of the action and are accessed through the main lobby via an old-style elevator. (I thought this was a unique element and actually enjoyed having an elevator attendant shuttle us to and from floors!) Although the rooms are smaller than the other wings, they provide a heightened experience as they are decorated in Arts and Crafts furnishings.
A mini refrigerator, coffee maker, complimentary bottled water, plush robes, and blackout curtains (that actually kept the room dark) were all added bonuses!
The Sampson and Vanderbilt Wings
Rooms located in either of these wings are a short walk from the main lobby and are slightly larger in size with modern furnishings and decor. Guests can also choose from views of Asheville's skyline, the Spa gardens, golf course, or that of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
With 11 on-site dining options, The Omni Grove Park Inn restaurants run the gamut from casual juice bars and brunch buffets to fine dining with stunning mountains views. Whatever your dietary needs or dining preference, there are numerous ways to satisfy your palate.
It's worth noting that I'm not really a brunch gal, or a buffet gal. But this. The Sunday Champagne Brunch Buffet at Blue Ridge was one of those extraordinary culinary experiences. And the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains? Breathtaking.
A glass of complimentary champagne is offered upon entering and as you're escorted to your table, you'll pass through three MASSIVE rooms that literally offer EVERYTHING. You'll enjoy incredible options ranging from a doughnut bar, fresh salads, cheeses, to pancake, omelet, prime rib stations, and so much more! And be sure to save room for dessert because dozens of decadent indulgences await.
** Pro-tip: Make reservations well in advance as this is a very popular dining event.
Children 5 and under eat free with an adult, too!
Now if you're looking for a quick bite or a refreshing juice, the Spa Cafe is a great option. Adjacent to the Spa, they also offer healthy breakfasts, fresh smoothies, hearty salads, and sandwiches.
Needing a sweet treat or morning pick-me up? The Marketplace in the Vanderbilt Wing is where you'll find an assortment of breakfast pastries, hand crafted lattes, and for dessert, ice cream!
Edison Craft Ales + Kitchen
Family-friendly with regionally inspired foods and open air seating, Edison Craft Ales + Kitchen hits all the high marks. Named for Thomas Edison and his frequent visits with his 'Vagabonds,' this upscale restaurant was my favorite during our stay.
Per the waitresses recommendation, the Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup received two thumbs up all around!
** Pro-tip: None of the restaurants at The Grove Park Inn offer crayons or coloring paper for kids, so bring your welcome bags (see below)!
Located just off the lobby, Sunset Terrace is another outdoor, fine-dining venue with views that will not disappoint. And if you're seeking hand-cut steaks, chops, or fresh seafood, Sunset Terrace is definitely for you.
Like The Gallery at The Ballantyne, the waitstaff at the Sunset Terrace was exceptional with our tiny entourage. Immediately upon being seated, they quickly removed all of the glassware and extra silverware, and promptly returned with plastic replacements.
Great Hall Bar
Before retiring for the day, swing through the lobby and stop into the Great Hall Bar for a night cap or mouth-watering dessert. (The thick, warm homemade chocolate chip cookies were to die for!)
**Pro-tip: Live music is performed nightly at 7 PM. Arrive early and snag a seat in front of one of the two 36-foot massive fireplaces while your littles dance the night away.
There are over half a dozen other dining options at the Omni Grove Park Inn, BUT there's only so much you can do (and eat) in 2-days! We found the restaurants above to be family-friendly, with superior service, and had dishes that satisfied all of our unique needs.
You've stuffed yourself to the brim, so naturally, it's time to get active! Luckily, at the Omni Grove Park Inn there are numerous ways to stay fit and explore nature. And if cardio isn't your thing, then you can brush up on your history knowledge or splurge at the shops!
With both indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a racquetball court, an indoor pool, and a separate fitness center, this 50,000 sq foot space has everything you need to keep your fitness in check while away.
There is also an outdoor pool located adjacent to the golf course that is a short walk (or free shuttle ride) away, however it is only open on a seasonal basis.
One of our favorite parts of visiting a resort for the first time is always exploring the beautifully manicured grounds and surrounding landscapes. And being that the Omni Grove Park Inn sets atop Sunset Mountain, there's no shortage of beautiful views there!
**Pro-tip: Take the staircase from Sunset Terrace to capture some seriously stunning Instagram-worthy shots! Continue to follow the stairs and you'll end up in front of the waterfall fountain on the Spa Terrace.
Upon check-in the girls received ‘Kids Welcome Bags’. These super cute drawstring bags were filled with crayons, activity books, cards, and other fun games.
Later that evening, after returning back to our room from dinner, there were homemade chocolate chips cookies and milk in the fridge waiting for the kids.
** Pro-tip: The Grove Park Inn is family-friendly but not necessarily a family resort. Bringing these welcome bags to meals and downtime was key is keeping our kids entertained during periods of waiting.
The Omni Grove Park In also offers a Kids Club for children ages 5-12. One day we will take advantage of these!
Ranked as one of Conde Nast Travelers ’Top Spas in North America,’ you know I had to experience this. Built within cavernous rock walls, this subterrean spa is the ultimate atmosphere for healing and restoration. In fact, they recently instituted a no electronics policy. (As much as I wanted to share with you it’s beauty, I needed to allow myself to completely disconnect.)
I’ve always wanted to try a unique experience at a spa and I must say, the ’Wellness Pod with Deep Meditation‘ was an excellent decision.
Space is not guaranteed, but guest passes may also be available if you’re looking to simply enjoy its over twenty water features or variety of steam rooms. Either way, I highly recommend it!
All members of the Graves family LOVE shopping. So when we discovered that the Omni Grove Park Inn offers over half a dozen shops, we were delighted to say the least. Whether you're into outdoor gear, home goods, fine jewelry, designer clothing, or even a stuffed pink pig or holiday ornament, there's literally anything and everything you may desire for purchase as a memento of your family vacation.
Blue Ridge Mountains
Whether you’re seeking mile high climbs, impressive waterfalls, or simply looking for a scenic drive, the Blue Ridge Mountains has it all.
During this family adventure we chose Graveyard Fields Trail, a very popular hike located off the Blue Ridge Parkway (and for good reason - look at the view!) You can vary the length of your hike depending on whether you want to see both the Upper and Lower Falls, or add on the Fields Loop. This hike was perfect for any family with young kids: short and sweet, and without any real elevation gain. And seriously, who doesn’t love a waterfall?
** Pro-tip: Located less than an hour from the Grove Park Inn is ‘America’s Favorite scenic drive,’ The Blue Ridge Parkway. This was definitely on my Asheville bucket list but sadly the fog was SO thick during our visit that we missed out. (So please go check it out for me!)
For anyone who’s been to Maine, it’s like Portland, but smaller and even more eclectic. Filled with countless farm-to-table restaurants and numerous unique activities, this hip city won our hearts.
Known as the ‘San Francisco of the east’ it’s like no other place I’ve ever visited. From the plethora of farm-to-table, organic eateries, the talented street performers and musicians, to the vibrant arts scene - it is unique to say the least!
Breakfast: Sunny Point Cafe
Shopping: Mast General Store
My first impressions on the Grove Park Inn’s customer service towards families with kids? Exceptional.
Everywhere we went, a friendly staff member was chatting it up with the kids. I never felt like we were out of place with young children as the staff made us feel very welcome.
High class amenities, fine dining, and personalized service are just a few of many reasons why you should consider the Omni Grove Park Inn for your next family vacation. And although the vast majority of guest were couples without children, we never felt out of place visiting with our young children. Throughout our stay the staff went above and beyond to cater to our family, making our visit even more memorable.
With so much to see and do we can't wait to return to explore more of the family-friendly activities offered at the Omni Grove Park Inn!
What's the most picturesque resort you've visited with your family?