I spent President's weekend looking around Asheville, NC as a possible retirement location for me. Not looking at retiring anywhere in the near future, but thought that I might look for a place that I'd want to buy now or in the somewhat close future. Seems that Asheville hasn't been affected by the housing issues that the rest of the country has been... looking at condos downtown found some very, very steep prices for a 2 bedroom/2 bath! Going outside of downtown, brings it down quite a bit...but that's not what I'm looking for. Will need to continue my search.
Anyway, we stayed at the Ren... no upgrade even with request, recognized as a Plat but no coupons for anything.... CL was closed due to lobby renovation. Received no breakfast coupons (except for Monday), no drink/appetizer coupons, no nothing! They closed the CL and moved the bar/dining room there during their renovations. The lobby was a dirty, dusty plank wood mess... I have never seen a check in desk so primative!
We had no access to internet either to print boarding passses. Which I will get to later.
MRI Gift Request was for the 1/2 bottle of wine and the cheese platter. What a joke... checked in early noon and requested that it be delivered around 5pm... got back to the room around 6pm and it was not there. Called for delivery... got 2 glasses of wine and 1/2 of a very small round of brie with a small box of water crackers. Not anything near to the wine and cheese gifts that I've received at other properties. How very sad that I have to compare one property's "gift" to another's. Shouldn't they amount to the same, even recognizing regional differences?
Room was clean but very small for a 2 Queen bed. Bathroom was very old and very small. Toiletries were ok but no bath gel.
We were 2 people sleeping in 2 different beds. However, only 1 bed was turned down each night and chocolate was only left on that bed each night. It was quite obvious that there were two people staying there in two different beds...
And, there was no 'Do Not Disturb' sign on the door. I had to call to request one be delivered. However, after an hour, I didn't have anyone deliver one.... finally, after a couple of hours and checking, I found one on the outside door... and it wasn't pointed to the Do Not Disturb side.
The CL is closed while the lobby is being renovated. So there is no where to access a computer. While talking with one associate at the front desk and inquiring as to how we could print boarding passes, he said " I will check into it and call you in your room." Never heard anything from him! Later, while at the front desk trying to settle my bill with my gift cards, I overheard a man asking that the front desk not only print his boarding passes but get his seat assignment changes! Hearing that, I asked if we could check in/print boarding passes and were told "Of course!" We were lead to the back office, did our stuff, and came back to the front desk and the guy that didn't call our room looked a bit embarrassed but didn't say a word.
Big shout out to Chef Jesse...he was great! Didn't eat in the restaurant but he was at the front desk when we spoke to a few of the employees there. Mentioned that I was interested in checking Asheville as a retirement option and he was just so full of information! Great guy, great information! Thanks, Jesse!
Some restaurants we ate at were:
Bistro 1896: in Pack Square, it was great! Split the apple/pear/walnut/gorgonzola/etc. salad and their great BLT for lunch!
Fiore's ristorante Toscana - wonderful dinner!!!
Luella's BBQ - you must, must, must go here for lunch!
Bouchon - very busy, very nice. Enjoyed our appetizer, one enjoyed the duck, I found the Bouchon steak tough.
Corner Kitchen - fabulous! Make a reservation! Sunday brunch and mimosas!!!
Vincenzo's - great music, good food, great atmosphere, close to the Ren
If you're down that way again, you might ck. out Spartanburg, SC Ren. They often have bonus pts. for that location. There wasn't a CL there even when we stayed a few years ago. But Spartanburg is in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mtns. and is quite nice, as is Greenville, SC. Housing prices might be better there, too, as well as taxes for sr. citizens.
If in Asheville again, ck. out the farmer's market. They had a big array of cheeses even. And did you see the McDonald's in Asheville that has been shown on fabulous fast food programs on PBS? Chandeliers, fire place, and a piano if I remember correctly.
Thanks for the tip on Spartanburg and Greenville! Not yet a Sr. Citizen... have at least 8 years before I retire! :-)
I did see the McDonalds. It is across the street from the Grand Bohemian hotel in Biltmore Village. Didn't go in so didn't see the piano, etc. But had to google it after you mentioned it! Not your standard Mickey Dee's for sure!
Didn't have time to get to the Farmer's Market but Chef Jesse did recommend it also! Thanks!