Biltmore Estate – Trip Review Part 1 – Asheville, North Carolina

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Part 01 – The Biltmore Estate and Stables Restaurant

[Watch Part 02 – Biltmore Gardens, Grounds, Conservatory and Antler Village]

Should Your Family Plan This Trip?

As with any of our trip reviews, we believe that YOU have to make that decision for your family. However, our corresponding video is intended to show you what the Biltmore Estate has to offer. The venue appeared to be clean and well staffed. The facilities at the time of our visit as a whole appeared to be well cared for and executed for your visit.

Here are some of our thoughts for families (especially foster and adoptive families):

Things to Watch Out for:

  • Lack of Temperature Control
    As we mention in the video, the Biltmore home was not built with central air conditioning or heat. We were told that servants actually new the windows to open during various stages of the day and season to utilize the natural mountain breezes through the ventiliation system in the house. However, the ventilation system is no longer open and the fire places do not hold fires any longer. The estate does a great job of keeping blinds pulled and fans running to create breezes. However, during the hot summer days or severe cold winter days, your family is going to have to be ready to endure the temperatures.
  • Partially Handicap Accessible
    We will admit right up front that we did not watch for this like we should have while reviewing a venue. However, the Biltmore website does note that the 3rd floor and basement are not accessible to folks in wheelchairs. Thus, folks unable to see these areas can get reduced price tickets and will be able to watch a video of the unaccessible floors in a rest area on the 2nd floor.

Strong Points:

  • Plenty of Running Space Outside
    Before you head into the home or the restaurant, there is a large open front lawn area. This is an ideal place for your child to run around and get excess energy out before having to be calmer in the Biltmore home. This area is still fun for caregivers to look around at beautiful views without having to worry about kids minding their P’s and Q’s to the fullest.
  • Audio Guides
    For an added fee you can get an digital audio guide device which will give you details and history of each of the rooms you enter in the home. There is a script created for adults and one created for kids from the perspective of the family dog.
    Since many foster/adoptive kids tend to be lower academically or emotionally than their actual age, it might be a good idea to ask a staff person how to change the script on the device from adult script to child script. Actually, any staff member in the house can change the device for you.
    We found the audio guides to give us greater insight to the history of the home in general but it also allowed our lower level readers to better enjoy the experience. Also, our elementary school aged child had no trouble working the device on his own.
  • Friendly Staff
    We often comment and pay attention to the staff in our reviews. However, we find that unpleasant and unaccommodating staff can ruin a trip. The Biltmore staff were superb.
    As we mention in our video, the staff in the estate were able to answer any questions along our self-guided tour. The staff even knew about the various events that took place in the fictional youth book, Serafina and the Black Cloak, and could tell us where the fictional characters of the book took part in certain events.
    The hostess and waitress at the restaurant were excellent as well. They were very friendly and engaging with our family. Our waitress was also very knowledgable about dietary needs and was very accommodating to any changes we needed for dietary needs.
  • Early Times – Less Crowds
    During our couple of visits to the Biltmore our family has always done better to get to the estate as soon as it opens and be one of the first cars in the parking lot. The crowds are thin during the early opening hours and in the summer the temperature tends to be comfortable. With less crowds your family will be able to navigate the house better and children with sensory issues will not have to deal with noisy crowds or being bumped into by strangers.
    All of these points are also true for the Stables restaurant – families will do well to get to that destination at 11am before the lunch rush.

How Was Your Experience?

Comment below and let us know your advice or suggestions for helping foster or adoptive families in visiting this venue.


*Note: Transfiguring Adoption is grateful to a donor/fan that made this trip and review possible. If you would like our crew to review a trip destination in your area, please contact:
darren@transfiguringadoption.com


[Watch Part 02 – Biltmore Gardens, Grounds, Conservatory and Antler Village]

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