I grew up visiting the Omni Grove Park Inn at Christmastime to enjoy the National Gingerbread House Competition. Given this past year’s circumstances, the in person event is cancelled but the event is being conducted virtually. There were still plenty of activities to safely enjoy so Scott and I took a small vacation to experience the Grove Park Inn Christmas and get in the holiday spirit after a difficult year!
Arriving and Dining at the Omni Grove Park Inn
Our arrival was perfectly timed with a cold front bringing snow showers to Western North Carolina. We arrived later in the evening, got checked in, and then unpacked and explored the inn. There was time for a quick workout and then we set off in search of a casual dinner. We found the cozy and casual Edison Craft Ales + Kitchen located in the Grove Park Inn. There were several fires for lounging with patrons dining at safe distances.
Dinner at Edison Craft Ales + Kitchen
Scott and I started with two salads, the Pear + Pistachio Salad and the Ivy Creek Greens Salad. Both were substantial and large enough to serve as an entree. That did not stop us though, we also ordered two entrees. I ordered the Scottish Salmon which was served with a delicious side of squash. Scott ordered the Bison Meatloaf and it was amazing! We finished with the best dessert, the famed Snickerdoodle Cookies which were served warm with ice cream. These cookies were a dream and so soft on the inside. If you visit the inn, you must make your way to Edison and order these by the fire! We finished the night with a drink on the patio by the fire and watched as the first snowflakes began to fall.
Waking Up to Snow in Omni Grove Park Inn
The following morning, we woke up to the most beautiful treat. Our room came with a mountain view and when we opened the curtains, the grounds were blanketed in a dusting of snow. We got dressed and went outside to explore and enjoy the snow before it melted later in the day. We spent the morning at the gym and relaxing before heading out to nearby Asheville for the day. You can read more about exploring Asheville here and another nearby Great Smokies Getaway here.
Lodging at Omni Grove Park Inn
Our room came with the most beautiful view of the mountains. It overlooked the golf course and looked out at the mountains and Asheville. Our room came with a cozy and comfortable king bed and a nice seating area for viewing the mountains. The bathroom had a nice seating area for getting ready and beautifully tiled shower. While we did not spend much time in our room, it was a nice place to retire in the evenings. We spent a majority of our time using the amenities and sitting by the grand fireplaces.
Amenities at Omni Grove Park Inn
The Omni Grove Park is known for it’s ambiance and wonderful amenities. There are several dining options. In my opinion, they have the most beautiful spa, with it’s underground caverns and amazing treatments. There is a golf course and a large recreation center. We spent several hours using the gym where there was indoor tennis, racquetball, and an Olympic swimming pool available. The exercise facility also included a large cardio room filled with cardio machines like treadmills, ellipticals, and pelotons. The adjacent weight room housed several free standing and stationary weight lifting options, along with dumbbells, medicine balls, and more.
Experiencing a Stunning Grove Park Inn Christmas
Virtual Activities for Fans At-Home:
- Baking Spirits Bright: Gingerbread Making Class Series: Starting Oct. 21, learn how to make Gingerbread Houses at-home via a three-part series featuring All-Star Chefs & Competition Judges (including celebrity chef, Carla Hall). A portion of the proceeds goes to ACFEF’s Chef & Child Initiative so the more you bake, the bigger difference you make. Class takers also receive 15% off future stays Jan. – Mar. ‘21. Check www.omnihotels.com/bakingspiritsbright for details.
- The 12 Days of Gingerbread: A new way of celebrating the 2020 National Gingerbread House Competition Finalists together while staying apart. From Dec. 1-12, the hotel will announce one Finalist, per day, with the Grand Prize Winner revealed on Dec. 12 (National Gingerbread House Day!). Tune in via Facebook (@omnigroveparkinn) & Instagram (@omnigrovepark).
In-House Guest Activities:
- Best In Dough: Gingerbread Finalist Showcase: A rare view of the Finalists’ entries via a docu-style film for hotel guests from Nov. 23-Jan. 3. Including interviews with Competitors, Judges and 360 footage of the finalists’ confectionary creations to create an up-close experience. Tickets are available exclusively to overnight guests to ensure safety measures remain intact and can be reserved as part of their stay.
- Holiday Mountain Magic Package: Create lasting holiday memories surrounded by the sights and sounds of the season. Lavish decorations at every turn with the warmth of two thirty-six-foot fireplaces creating the perfect mountain setting to celebrate the holidays for stays through Nov. 23-Dec. 31. Guests can pay it forward via Omni Hotels & Resorts’ “Say Goodnight to Hunger” program, which includes a donation to MANNA FoodBank for every stay.
- The Great Gingerbread House: The Great Hall will be transformed into a holiday destination, with a life-sized Gingerbread House modeled after the historic hotel. Guests can enjoy housemade hot chocolate, specialty craft brews and sweet treats by the glow of the iconic Grove Park Inn fireplaces.
For Baking Spirits Bright pricing & information, visit: https://www.omnihotels.com/bakingspiritsbright