Alternative Lodging: Glamping, Retro Resorts, Motor Courts & Restful Retreats
Asheville’s eclectic style and reverence for nature are apparent across its diverse accommodation options—travelers have their pick of mountainside resorts with Blue Ridge views, historic bed-and-breakfast inns with modern amenities, family-friendly resorts with attached adventure and luxurious downtown hotels with award-winning dining. Flying more under the radar are alternative lodging options including wellness retreats, campsites with class and rentals with retro vibes.
- It only takes a quick look at Instagram to see why Asheville Glamping is a lodging destination with private, whimsical options including secluded skylight domes, Airstreams, safari tents, chic tipis, a colorful vintage trailer and tree house. New on the glamping scene and minutes from Asheville is Pisgah Glamping at Lake Powhatan with adorable, fully furnished platform tents with covered decks just steps away from the North Carolina Arboretum and 6,000-acre Bent Creek Experimental Forest trail system, one of Asheville’s top destinations for hiking and biking.
- Colorfully restored 1950s campers, just 12 minutes from downtown Asheville, are available at JuneBug Retro Resort, a 50-acre property that transports visitors back in time to when folks vacationed in the original tiny houses.
- Listed on the National Register of Historic Places with original buildings dating back to 1917, Asheville’s Log Cabin Motor Court allows guests to travel back to the 1930s and the golden age of the American road trip. The one-story Rustic Revival-style saddle-notched cabins are precious, affordable and a beloved piece of local history, even appearing in the 1958 Hollywood Classic “Thunder Road.”
- OM Sanctuary retreat (reopening this fall) offers renewal with expertly curated and personalized wellness programs for travelers seeking holistic methods for stress reduction (yoga, sound therapy, forest bathing, hiking, meditation and numerous movement practices) and sustainable practices on a scenic 52-acre campus just above the French Broad River. Just minutes from downtown Asheville, the property offers garden-view rooms/suites, woodland cottages with private entrances and Sanctuary Pavilion sleeping rooms with skylights and nature views.
Stay: Your Own Private Mountaintop
Surrounded by 1 million acres of forest and the highest peaks east of the Mississippi, the Asheville area is ideal for travelers looking for private mountain accommodations. Perfect for luxury seekers or families/groups wanting to stay together, local rental properties offer expansive deck views of sunrise and sunset, hot tubs next to natural waterfalls, pools with mountain views, access to private hiking trails, solitude and the feeling of having a mountain all to yourself. Asheville-area cabins and cottage rentals can be found here.
- Historic Compound Retreat on 18+ Acres: Yonder Luxury Vacation Rentals offers Laurel Falls, a four-house rental that sleeps 18 people total. Four luxury homes were originally built by a Florida craftsman in 1924 as a mountain summer retreat. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the indoor spaces offer modern upgrades paired with original stone porches and fireplaces. Property guests enjoy natural waterfalls, streams, wooded hiking trails, rock outcroppings and stellar mountain views all to themselves. Yonder also offers the Scenic Mountain Retreat with a private pool and a sweeping skyline view of Asheville and the surrounding mountains.
- Mountaintop Sanctuary: Angels Lookout, offered by Carolina Mornings, is a private, airy retreat with tons of natural light, surrounded by 82 acres of wilderness and accessed by a half-mile wooded drive. Outdoor seating areas offer multiple spots to catch the “sea of clouds” phenomenon that the Asheville area is known for, when mountaintops rise above a bank of clouds in the valley. Other private retreats from Carolina Mornings include Mountain Cove, a contemporary “earthy” décor with an expansive screened deck, and Red Wolf, a cozy mountaintop A-frame with no neighbors nearby.
- Secluded Cliffside Log Home: This spacious log home, Paradise on Cliffledge from Greybeard Rentals, is just under 5,000 square feet and located on 10 private acres. The craftmanship of the home is highlighted by the large interlocking logs on the exterior and throughout the interior spaces. Decks offering mountain views wrap around most of this large retreat. Other highlights from Greybeard include Blue Ridge Bliss set atop 10 wooded acres with sweeping, high-elevation views and modern amenities with rustic charm. More secluded mountain retreats from Greybeard Rentals can be accessed here.
Asheville Cares Stay Safe Pledge + Businesses with Modified Operations
Asheville-area businesses have stepped up to protect workers and guests with safety measures that go beyond state guidelines, including the Asheville Cares Stay Safe Pledge, a shared commitment with travelers to keep everyone safe with extra precautions. Understand the extent of the protections that the Buncombe County hospitality industry is putting in place—click here to read the Asheville Cares Stay Safe Pledge. Explore Asheville is also keeping a list of businesses with modified operations with safety and sanitation protocols in mind.