Winter 2021 at Biltmore: Story Ideas, Photo Slideshow Resources & Historic Milestones

Winter Wellness Experiences (New!)

Biltmore’s founder George Vanderbilt envisioned Biltmore as an oasis where one could escape from the daily rigors of the world. That legacy continues, and starting this January, Biltmore is offering new wellness experiences designed to connect guests with nature and the great outdoors. The following new activities are now available through the estate’s Outdoor Adventure Center.

Winter Bird Watch Sessions

In these guided sessions, guests will participate in an ongoing research project to count and identify birds at the estate’s winter feeding station. The survey is part of Project FeederWatch through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology that gathers a continental data-set of bird distribution and abundance across North America.

Morning Meditation

Calm your mind and focus your thoughts and energy with a gentle guided meditation experience. Guests will enjoy a beautiful setting on the manicured lawns of the Historic Horse Barn (or indoors in case of inclement weather).

Guided Mindfulness Nature Hikes

In this energizing sensory journey, participants will interact with nature to cultivate a sense of peace, calm, and connection in the beautiful setting of Biltmore’s grounds. 

Nature Games

Perfect for families, this activity includes National Park Monopoly and puzzles.

Winter Mood Lifters

Step into the Conservatory

Biltmore’s Conservatory horticulturist Todd Roy recently told Carolina Home + Garden Magazine that he and his team “want to create the impression for guests that they are walking into a lush, tropical rainforest, and not a greenhouse.” We can say that that’s exactly how it feels stepping through its doors, especially on a cold winter day. A mix of woodsy, floral scents and humidity envelops you, warming you to the bone. Biltmore’s storied orchid collection is in full bloom and top color in this space right now.  

Gardening/Floral tips from the experts

Force bulbs for flowers inside while snow is on the ground outside. Floral Display Manager Lizzie Borchers can offer how-tos for the home gardener. Along similar lines, Biltmore Conservatory horticulturalist Todd Roy can offer tips for growing and caring for orchids at home. Let us know if we can connect you with Lizzie or Todd.

Pop culture tie-in

Learn the game of chess, thanks to Netflix’s uber-popular series “Queen’s Gambit.” Remind your audiences that Biltmore is home to a chess set once own by Napoleon Bonaparte. NPR recently reported that chess sets were hard to come by in time for holiday gift-giving because of the series. Napoleon’s chess set, which resides in the Library of Biltmore House, is a guest favorite. The set and the gaming table it sits upon were gifts to George Vanderbilt on his 21st birthday. More about this extravagant and historical gift is available here.

Preserving America’s Largest Home

Preservation of Biltmore is an ongoing mission. A large conservation project that has been in the works – the Oak Sitting Room Restoration – will come to its conclusion later this year. Biltmore’s Museum Services Team is wrapping up the final elements, which have called for more than a little detective work.

Biltmore Wines

March is National Women’s History Month and it’s worth a visit to Biltmore’s female-led winery within the largely male-dominated beverage industry. Consider introducing your readers to Biltmore Winemaker Sharon Fenchak who joined the wine team in 1999 and took charge as head winemaker in 2018. Referring to her pursuit of winemaking, Sharon says, “My love of science at a very young age helped shape what would become my passion for winemaking, and I fell even more in love with the idea and romance of wine when I was stationed in Vicenza, Italy. I am proud of the wines I handcraft for Biltmore, and honored to be part of the small percentage of women winemakers in the world.”

Lodging Packages

Two distinctive hotel properties await guests on Biltmore’s Blue Ridge Mountain oasis, and the following packages are available this winter.  

Morning at Biltmore House: Jan. 10 – March 30

Available at The Inn on Biltmore Estate and Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate.

Exclusive to this package is a morning tour, allowing guests to explore Biltmore House with a guide in the quiet morning hours. This rare, limited-availability experience features rooftop views unseen on any other tour.

Cozy Winter Warmer: Jan. 10 – March 30

Available at The Inn on Biltmore Estate and Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate.

Inspired by peaceful winter days spent cozied up with loved ones, this escape includes a complimentary book, blanket and bottle of Biltmore Wine to warm body, mind, and soul.

Mountain Oasis Weekend: Jan. 10–March 31

Available at The Inn on Biltmore Estate only; For Friday and Saturday stays.

Designed to free guests of stress, this package offers seclusion with a restorative retreat to Biltmore’s mountain oasis. Guests participate in two wellness activities, gentle yoga stretch and a guided nature stroll, and explore the estate on bike.

Long Weekend Savings: Jan. 14–March 30
Available at Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate only; For Thurs. and Fri. arrivals.

Why limit a weekend stay to two nights when a third night is FREE? Relax into a long winter weekend at the cozy Village Hotel tucked into 8,000 acres of Blue Ridge Mountain beauty.

Biltmore Historic Milestones

February

The month that Gifford Pinchot arrived at Biltmore in 1892 to start America’s first scientific forestry program that led to Biltmore Forest School and Cradle of Forestry designation. Read more here.

March

The Inn on Biltmore Estate is celebrating its 20th birthday. The four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate was the first of two hotels built on the 8,000-acre estate. We know from letters in the estate’s archives that George Vanderbilt considered construction of a hotel nearly 125 years ago, shortly after he completed Biltmore House. In the letter, he sketched plans for a 50-room inn. In that spirit, led by Vanderbilt’s great-grandson Bill Cecil Jr., the 210-room Inn on Biltmore Estate took shape in 2001 on a secluded hilltop just a few miles from Biltmore House. The intent has always been to give estate guests a glimpse of what it was like for guests of the Vanderbilts to stay on the estate. The Inn today is a top-ranked hotel in the luxury category and is lauded for world class hospitality. The estate’s lodging offerings have expanded to include the more casual Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate and two historic cottages, the Market Gardener’s Cottage and the NEW Dairy Foreman’s Cottage.

Photo Slideshows Available for High-Res Download

Guest & Employee Safety

Top of mind is Biltmore’s commitment to guest and employee safety now in this time of COVID-19.  More information about our safety protocols may be found here.