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The Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn and Spa is settled in Asheville's Montford Historic District. Described as having a colonial revival style, the house is over 100 years old and has been dubbed the Jackson-Peyton house. It serves a multi-course breakfast every morning and has extensive gardens on the premises. In 2021, TripAdvisor rated the property as the number two bed and breakfast in the United States and number seven globally.
The Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn and Spa consists of the Main House, the Carriage House, and several gardens. Among its two houses, it boasts a total of eight guest accommodations, five of which are rooms in the Main House and the remaining three suites in the Carriage House. Like the bed & breakfast itself, each of these is named after an English garden. Additionally, there is the living room, dining room, foyer area, expansive porches, and the spa.
Each of the eight guest accommodations is complete with a king-sized bed and a full-sized bathroom with a shower and a whirlpool tub. Additional amenities and features include refrigerators, specially-filtered water, wall-mounted televisions with music and movie channels, high-speed wireless internet, and Comphy Spa sheets on each of the beds. Also, so that guests may control the temperature in their given room, each of the rooms and suites has a fireplace and an individual room climate control system.
The five guest rooms in the Main House consist of St. James', Kensington Garden, Kew Garden, Queen Mary's, and Regents Park. Though Kew Garden is the most rented room in the house, St. James' is perhaps the most popular. Unlike the other rooms, it has a two-person jacuzzi tub and its own coffee and tea center. Another reason this room is unique is that Nick—one of the owners—decorated this room for himself. Because of this, it is described by one of the property's staff members as "a little masculine but not overly so."
The three suites in the Carriage House are Eaton Square, Hyde Park, and Grosvenor Square. In addition to the amenities and features included in each room, each of these has its own private entrance, and the latter two both allow dogs. Eaton Square is the largest of all the guest accommodations on the premises. Able to sleep up to five people, it has two bedrooms with king-sized beds, one and a half bathrooms with a two-person jacuzzi tub, and a kitchenette. However, Grosvenor Square is described as "the most romantic of the suites in the Carriage House" by Kyrie, who runs day to day operations. It is also known as "the honeymoon room."
The dining room is relatively large, complimenting the multi-course breakfasts served each morning. It has two dining tables that can each seat eight people. The decorated living room houses a grand piano among several chairs, couches, desks, and a game table, where guests are free to interact with other patrons and the staff on Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast. The foyer—designed to be a spacious room to entertain guests—displays many of the various awards the inn has received over the years. It also has a small boutique where guests can purchase a variety of souvenirs such as personalized mugs and wine glasses. Additionally, they can buy products that are locally sourced or made in-house, like lotion, bath grains, shampoo, and conditioner. Guests might also spend their time lounging on the expansive porches on the property overlooking the gardens. Or they might head to the house parlor to find the in-house spa, which offers various services from deep tissue or hot stone massages to aromatherapy and facials.
As mentioned above, the Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn and Spa serves a multi-course, sit-down breakfast every morning. Whether it's sweet or savory—something they switch every day—most of the products they use are sourced locally or from their very own garden, and everything is cooked in-house. They do this in an effort to support their community and provide an organic and healthy breakfast for their patrons. Every day at five o'clock, they also have Social Hour, a time when guests can come together to socialize while being served locally sourced cheeses from the Western North Carolina Cheese Trail. Additionally, they will serve a variety of beers, hard ciders, and wines.
The Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn and Spa, along with being, and having rooms, all named after English gardens, actually has seven English gardens on its premises. They are the Shade, Chartreuse, Vegetable, White Rose, Oriental, Mom's Rose, and the Lower Garden. Kyrie says that "the gardens are planted thoughtfully and specifically in the English style" and that they "have something that blooms every season of the year." These gardens are National Wildlife and pollinator certified gardens because they use no pesticides or chemicals to maintain them. There are many pebble paths that guests can take to explore the gardens, as well as an antique gazebo covered in flowers and vines that they sometimes use for weddings.
The Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn and Spa culture that the business and staff try to emulate is one built on three tenets; service, detail, and locale.
Nick and Kyrie, among the other staff, have a background in the retail industry. These careers have helped them feel that "service is very important." Examples of how they try to serve their guests include providing two luggage racks in each room, sound stations, charging stations, and the individual room climate control system. They ask each customer their dietary preferences in an attempt to better cater to them, to which Kyrie said, "you name it, we've heard it." Overall the business tries to provide service to their guests in an effort to make them feel comfortable.
The tenet of detail has to do with getting to know each of their guests. Kyrie talks about how higher amounts of communication make for better connection. To cultivate this connection, they send out a letter welcoming their guests before their arrival, detailing their stay, and recommending places to eat and activities to do in the area. When their guests arrive, they greet them at the car and help bring in their luggage. A sign on the front door reads, "what I love most about my home is who I share it with." The staff leave notes in the rooms that say, "Welcome home! Yes, we cleaned under the bed too." They celebrate birthdays and anniversaries with chocolate and congratulations cards. After their guests leave, they send them a note thanking them for their stay and inviting them back at a later date. Kyrie said how many of the hospitality ideas they have implemented come from some of the staff being Greek and treating the guests as they would family coming to visit. She also mentions that all the letters, notes, and pamphlets given to their guests are handwritten to provide a more personal touch.
The final tenet the Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast strives to emulate is locale. The staff knows that they only have so much time with the guests during their stay and that this is their chance to show them the property as well as their part of western North Carolina. To complete this tenet of their business, the inn does several things to introduce their guests as much as possible in regards to locale. They try to promote the local economy by sourcing their food locally and cooking everything in-house. They showcase the many talents of the artists in Ashville in the second-floor gallery of the home and facilitate sales for those local artists. They also partner with the Biltmore Estate and other places in the area to provide discounted tours and activities to their patrons. Kyrie talks of how many people who stay at the inn are coming to see what it is like to live in the city of Asheville. Because of this, they want their guests to experience what it would be like to live there during their stay.
Besides being known for the tenets it tries to uphold—service, detail, and locale—the Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast has also been given various awards. Chief among these is that Trip Advisor rated them as the seventh in the world for B&B's and second in the US. Kyrie says that the inn was awarded this because of their attention to providing luxury and romance in the historic house, and upholding the tenets of their business. However she distinguishes that perhaps the most prominent reason they were rated so highly is because of the inn's staff. Nick, talking about his staff, said, "they're amazing! I am very fortunate and could not do what I do without them."
The inn is open year-round but reaches its "high season" closer to October. The demographic of the guests that stay at the inn is varied, but the majority of them are couples. Kyrie mentioned that, on any given weekend, they have couples staying there for their honeymoon, first anniversary, twentieth anniversary, and their fiftieth university. An abundance of these guests are return customers as well. Guests will often mention the quality of the breakfast and the cleanliness of the rooms. Many also express their opinions that the staff is friendly and hospitable, especially Nick.
Besides spending time at the inn itself, many patrons might enjoy the various activities or places to go in the nearby area. The inn is just ten minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Blue Ridge Mountains, in addition to being near the Pisgah National Forest, the Smoky Mountains, and the highest peak east of the Mississippi River, Mount Mitchel. Because of this proximity, guests might participate in an abundance of outdoor activities such as waterfall hunting, hiking, biking, cycling, kayaking, paddleboarding, and driving the Blue Ridge Parkway, among others.
Guests might also enjoy the city of Ashville around the inn, which has a wide arrangement of things to see and do. Described as "bohemian" by Kyrie, she says the town is full of music, artists, and freethinkers; a place where you can find buskers and music on the streets at night or enjoy the scenic nature around.
The Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn and Spa is located in Montford Historic District, which guests can explore. It is also partners and near the Biltmore Estate, an 8,000-acre property famous for its preserved historic homes and gardens. Guests could also spend time at the River Arts District nearby, which features many local artists, or the North Carolina Arboretum, which houses abundant botanical gardens.
Three places to eat near the inn that the staff recommend to their patrons include the French restaurant Bouchon, the bar and American restaurant Chestnut, and Cúrate—a local Spanish restaurant owned by chef Katie Button that has won the James Beard award three times. Guests looking for a drink can also visit one of the many breweries and wineries nearby, such as the Sierra Nevada Eastern Seaboard Distribution Center and Brewery or the New Belgium Brewery.
The Main House of the Abbington Green Bed and Breakfast Inn was built more than one hundred years ago, in 1909. It was designed by Richard Sharp Smith, the leading architect of the famous Biltmore Estate. Very unusual for the Colonial Revival style, Mr. Smith chose to forgo having a center stairwell, which allowed all of the other rooms to be made much bigger as it didn't break up the foyer and other large areas of the house. Initially built for a wealthy merchant couple named the Jacksons, they resided in the home for fifteen years before selling the property to the Peyton family. Mr. Peyton was the Postmaster in town, an elected official, and he or his children stayed in the home for over fifty years.
After the Peyton's sold the property, it passed through two more owners until it was purchased by Valorie and established as The Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn and Spa in 1993. She did much of the "heavy lifting" to create bed and breakfast, converting seven bedrooms with three bathrooms into five bedrooms and bathrooms. She was also the person that Nick and Steve, who are the current owners of the inn, purchased the property from in 2014.
Because of this history, the house was dubbed the Jackson-Peyton House and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior. It also won the Griffon Award from Preservation Society for its excellence in historic preservation. The legacy of the Peyton's reaches the house to this day. Nick and Steve still host Grace Peyton, who was married to the Peyton household's late youngest son. She is 94 years old and spends Thanksgiving there with her children and grandchildren. Kyrie said that Grace has told them some of the "secrets of the house."
Nick talks of how owning The Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn and Spa started with a dream. When he was young, his parents always taught him he only had one life and to figure out what he needed to do to make his goals a reality. Much of his love of inns came from traveling so much in his field, during which he made a list of the features and amenities he would put in his own one day.
Nick has a cousin that is in the lodging industry in Greece. Being Greek and able to speak Greek, the original idea was to do this same thing on the island of Santorini, Greece. By the time he turned fifty, however, Nick had still had not yet achieved his dream, and the economy in Greece was not at a level he felt comfortable owning a business in. Because of this, Nick started to look in the US.
From his home base in Florida, Nick took a real estate trip up the east coast, searching for his dream. He traveled through Virginia Beach, St. Augustine, Charlestown, and Charlotte, to name a few, until he was ultimately led to Ashville in North Carolina. Nick speaks of how he wanted his inn to be in an area, like Ashville, that had a year-long attraction season, and he already knew the city well because of work. Impressed with how Asheville was progressing and loving the surrounding area, he looked at eight different B&B's in the area and fell in love with the Jackson-Peyton House.
After buying it, he quickly updated the inn, striving to maintain the historic house while also providing guests with modern conveniences, amenities, and features, as well as the variety of ideas he had planned over the years to implement in his bed & breakfast. Nick talks of how he is now making his dream come true, saying it was a "step in the right direction," and, "I'm one of the lucky people who got to live a dream."
Nick Poulos & Steve