Last updated August 30, 2023
Maybe it’s the 100-plus-year-old history of Grove Park. Or the well-deserved reputation and accolades; the Omni Grove Park Inn and Spa has been named one of the finest resort hotels in the world. Maybe it’s the expansive on-site sports complex with weights, fitness classes and Peloton bikes. Maybe it’s the otherworldly subterranean spa.
Yes, it’s definitely the spa.
But it is all of this combined that makes the spa at Omni Grove Park Inn a wellness travel bucket list destination.
Primed For Wellness (& Sunsets)
Travel is the best form of wellness and self-care. Craving a wellness escape myself, I recently visited the Omni Grove Park Inn, overlooking Asheville, North Carolina, from the top of Sunset Mountain.
This architectural jewel dates back more than 100 years, with a fascinating history with deep roots in wellness. Edwin Wiley Grove, a pharmaceutical businessman, built the inn as a sanctuary for health.
Enjoy a farm-fresh meal at one of the eight dining options and experience Southern hospitality in addition to five-star service.
Watch the sunset and enjoy the splendor of the Blue Ridge Mountains. And make sure you set aside time for self-care, in the indoor pool, on the tennis court, on the golf course, at the award-winning spa and on the hiking trail.
The all-levels Sunset Trail, located near the hotel, will bring you up Sunset Mountain. Similar to the hotel, Sunset Trail has a rich history. It opened in 1913 to provide guests access to the clean mountain air. The trail feels like a fairy tale, lined with waterfalls and moss-covered bridges.
The hotel itself also feels magical. Take an elevator to the historical rooms in the main building. The elevator is run by an attendant, which we found pleasant to have someone to chat with about the hotel. Plus, it added an air of personalization (and it harked back to the hotel’s historical roots).
Staff at the Omni Grove Park Inn were some of the most hospitable people in the South (and that’s saying something if you know a thing about Southern charm). Especially the club floor employees, who went above and beyond to take care of us.
Food was terrific, too, and it was easy to find healthy options, even at the buffet dinner. Think chia seed yogurt.
Guest rooms and suites have Serta mattresses and spacious desks. If you’re looking for a quieter or romantic stay, book a room on the adults-only floor, a unique offering that shows how Omni Grove Park Inn looks out for the various needs of its guests.
The Spa at Omni Grove Park Inn
And then there’s the spa at Omni Grove Park Inn—an incredible, underground, grotto-like space that is unlike any other spa I’ve ever visited.
As history goes, Native Americans first discovered and used the Asheville area as a natural restorative spot centuries ago. Asheville is built on a huge white quartz deposit, which some believe contributes to people’s spiritual and physical well-being.
The spa itself boasts relaxation pools, contrast pools, a lap pool, saunas, essential oil-infused steam rooms, inhalation rooms, therapeutic waterfalls, an oversized hot tub looking out at the mountains and more.
This spa at Omni Grove Park Inn is one of the only spas in the U.S. and on the East Coast that truly emphasizes the European concept of hydrotherapy. They recommend arriving at least an hour before your treatment to take advantage of the hydrotherapy offerings.
The sports complex also has an indoor pool and an outdoor pool.
At the spa, I had a facial with Babor products. I know when a spa has a quality product line like this one from Germany that they truly care about their guests (and they know what they are doing).
The spa offers several different facial options, such as the Grove Park Classic Facial, which combines classic European aesthetic techniques with customized products.
Also, ask about the Therapeutic Wellness Pod, a unique egg-shaped pod that uses heat, vibrational therapy, gemstone therapy, colored lights and aromatherapy.
After my treatment, I enjoyed browsing the spa boutique, stocked with quality products and more items from Babor than I have ever seen in one place. You can also find candles, elixirs, gifts, teas, clothes, robes and more in the Spa Boutique.
You can make a full occasion out of the spa and order lunch at the Spa Café or you can eat a healthy meal (smoothies, fresh juices, artisan salads) by the pool.
No phones and technology are permitted in the Spa at Omni Grove Park Inn. Trust me, you’ll be grateful. Keep them in your locker and fully unwind and relax.
The History of Omni Grove Park Inn
The Omni Grove Park Inn’s history is another point of interest for guests. In addition to the region’s Native American ties, this hotel has attracted many famous guests over the years. Henry Ford, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, Helen Keller and Dwight Eisenhower, to name a few, frequented the hotel. The halls are lined with famous people who have stayed there for many decades.
The hotel is also supposedly home to a ghost: a young woman wearing a pink gown. Whether you believe this or not, it’s an attraction for ghost-hunters and curious travelers.
There’s also a fun story involving author F. Scott Fitzgerald, who supposedly stayed at the inn from 1935-1936. He had two rooms: one for sleeping and one for writing.
If you’re looking for a healthy and luxurious getaway, head to Omni Grove Park Inn and see what drew so many celebrities to this gem in the mountains.
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