We traveled up to Asheville last weekend and stayed at this lovely bed and breakfast called The Reynolds Mansion. It was built back in 1847 by Colonel Daniel Reynolds on Reynolds Mountain. The 1500 acres of land was a wedding gift from the bride’s father. They had 10 children and had to build a third floor in order to accommodate their family. Senator Robert Rice Reynolds, who was probably the most well known Reynolds had five wives. None of his marriages lasted long, either due to the death of the wives or divorce. His last wife was the daughter of Evelyn Washington McLean, who owned the Hope Diamond. Sadly, she died young of a sleeping pill overdose. It is believed her death was part of the curse of the Hope Diamond. They have a lovely display in the mansion with a replica of the Hope Diamond along with a portrait of his wife wearing it. I found the story fascinating.
When you arrive at the mansion the owner, Paul, brings you some cold water with lemon. He asks if you would like a tour and we, of course, said yes. He relayed much of what I wrote about along with the fact that the mansion left the care of the Reynolds family in the 1960s. In 1972 it was first opened as a bed and breakfast after some renovations. The basic structure of the house remains unchanged from its building in 1847, besides the addition of bathrooms. Each guest room has its own bathroom and is named after a woman. Their website is fairly detailed, with good pictures of each room. There is only one room on the ground floor and it is not ADA compliant due to is historical nature. They also have a Carriage House with three larger suites that is not connected to the main house.
We had to make sure to let Paul know about any allergies or food issues that we had for breakfast. We let him know that my boyfriend eats like a 5 year old. He likes everything plain. We could tell Paul was taken aback by this statement, but was not deterred. Paul showed us the back yard and let us know that a bear had visited the night before and caused some havoc to the trees and one of their beehives. We were excited the we might have an opportunity to see a bear! He also let us know that not all the rooms were occupied and if a door was open, we were welcome to look inside, but asked us not to sit down anywhere. I love to explore and after we dropped off our bags in our room that is exactly what I did! All the rooms were a little different, but had the same basic set up with interesting paintings and knick knacks.
We settled in early and Jef took advantage of the library and did some work on his computer. I stayed in the room and watched a silly movie. It was a relaxing evening. We were not prepared for breakfast the next morning. I have never stayed in a bed and breakfast, but I never expected a four course meal complete with beautiful silver and china that was different each morning. The first morning we sat at a small table in the dining room and there were five other guests seated at the very long table. The first course was a fruit smoothie served in a juice glass with a tiny spoon, the second was a plate of beautifully cut fruit, the third was a hot dish, usually some form of egg and meat, and the fourth was a dessert. It was unbelievably good every single day. However, we are not used to eating so much food at breakfast and had a tough time finishing our meals. On the plus side, we didn’t need to eat lunch. My favorite breakfast plates were: a potato pancake with shredded zucchini, tomato couscous, ham, and a poached egg on top with hollandaise (it was a tower of deliciousness), a fresh made sweet roll with candied orange, and pancakes with blueberry sauce and warm honey butter syrup. It was all overwhelmingly good.
I would highly recommend staying at this bed and breakfast if you are planning to visit Asheville. It was the highlight of our time there. It’s only four miles from downtown Asheville and only slightly farther for the Biltmore. There is also a cute little area that you can walk to from the mansion with a couple of places to eat.