Monday, July 29, 2013

The Grand Bohemian - Asheville, NC

Part of the Marriott group of hotels under the Autograph Collection (stand alone unique properties with a high level of service) – the Grand Bohemian in Asheville, NC is adjacent to the Biltmore Village and the hotel sits at the busy intersection to the entrance to the Biltmore Estate. However the Biltmore House is so far removed that there is not a chance of a view of the legendary house. 

The only option for parking is valet. There is some off street parking, but we opted to valet as did all the other posh cars that were sat in the drive way. The valets were friendly but not really interested in helping us unload the car and directing us into the hotel.

The interior of the Bohemian is a mixture of a Scottish castle, mounted animal heads, interesting art work, and busts of what looked like Roman Emperors. After looking around like a bemused Harry Potter upon entering Hogwarts for the first time I made my way to two large wooded desks which was the check-in station. The front desk person was polite, chatty and was able to make dinner reservations for later that evening in the Red Stag Grill. There was never an offer of help with the luggage nor was there any direction to the elevator – I had to ask.

The halls leading to the rooms are elegant at every turn. The room itself was beautiful and funky with drapes not walls closing off the bathroom to the rest of the space. Music was playing, but no lights were on to welcome me in. 

The first order of business was a relaxing drink in the bar. Good local beers were on tap including Highland Gaelic Ale. Service was nice yet I got the feeling the bartender didn’t want to leave his bar and venture out to the tables. I think he half expected us to walk up to the bar and order a la a pub in England. The bar staff also liked to congregate in one area and tell tales of their weekend adventures. Annoying to say the least.

Dinner later that evening in the Red Stag Grill was nice. Fantastic service, a nicely cooked steak and a lovely and inventive Caesar salad. However how nice it was - the meal certainly came at exorbitant hotel prices. I guess that is the price you pay to stay! 

Our dinner view - the fancy Biltmore McDonald's!

No one came by for turn down service during the evening.

When checking out of the hotel the next morning a different lady at the big large wooden desk reception area was more interested in trying to sell us on the hotel restaurant for breakfast than answering our questions regarding the nearest ATM.

One of the four valets standing around outside offered to get our car and some bottled water for the road. No one asked if help was needed with luggage once again.

The Autograph Collection prides itself on unique properties with character and the Marriott high standard of service. While I found the Grand Bohemian to be charming and unique there was hardly any level of outstanding service that really set this hotel apart. An altogether comfortable yet disappointing stay. What a shame for it should be top notch. 

No comments:

Post a Comment