Situated between the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina and Smoky Mountain National Park, The Windover Inn in Waynesville, North Carolina is a lovely place to unwind. The inn is within walking distance from shopping and other attractions, and it's a short drive to the Biltmore Estate and the city of Asheville. The Windover Inn has 117 reviews on BedandBreakfast.com and maintains an overall perfect rating. Innkeepers Glenn and Jennifer Duerr took some time to tell us why travelers should consider B&Bs over hotels and what makes Waynesville and their inn so unique.
1. What do you enjoy most about being an innkeeper?
The joy we get from seeing our guests relax and enjoy themselves while staying with us and how the lifestyle that creates that atmosphere allows us to indulge in our passions like cooking and gardening. We also love experiencing the local art and culture and exploring the nearby mountains.
2. How long have you been an innkeeper?
For 4.5 years.
3. What was your inspiration for your creating your inn?
We wanted to be sure we had a place and atmosphere where our guests could truly feel like they have escaped their day-to-day lives and were able to reconnect with themselves, each other, nature, and art and culture. We wanted it to always be casual enough for guests to feel comfortable, like visiting friends they haven’t met yet, but luxurious enough to feel pampered.
4. Why did you choose this inn and this city?
Both are very welcoming and have great locations. The design of the house, from the wraparound porch to the rich wood of the interior, is warm and inviting. The house is large enough to have eight good-sized guest rooms with a layout that still allows it to feel cozy. The property allows for the inn to be tucked away in a garden sanctuary and still be within walking distance of downtown. The town of Waynesville is a quaint, historic town with true small-town Southern hospitality, unique shops and art galleries, fine restaurants, and an award-winning theatre. It is surrounded by mountain ranges, which provide breathtaking views from anywhere in town, including our property, and is close to entrances to the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Its location between popular spots like Asheville to the east and Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge to the west make it a perfect spot for exploring Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee.
5. What sets your B&B apart from others?
The authenticity of the 100-year-old historic features of the house inside and out are coupled with modern amenities. For example, five of our rooms have king-size beds and two person whirlpool tubs. Our property is unique for a mountain town, with one full acre of flat area allowing for individual outdoor living spaces for people to enjoy alone or with other guests, whether they are quietly relaxing with the sounds of nature, or using WIFI. We also have five rooms large enough to have a small table and chairs so we can serve guests a private in-room breakfast if they prefer, and coffee makers and tea kettles on each floor buffet for our guest’s convenience before breakfast.
6. Why do you think travelers should choose B&Bs over hotels?
Although the Internet has leveled the playing field for different types of accommodations to be found, it’s important for travelers to understand the different type of service and atmosphere B&Bs can offer them. With most innkeepers also being the owners of the B&B, the pride and attention the innkeepers take regarding their offerings to their guests increases the possibility of having a quality stay and personalized service. Whether it’s the cleanliness of the rooms, diet accommodations for breakfast, learning the history of the building, or knowing the ins and outs of local restaurants and tourist sites, the atmosphere provided by that personal touch is more welcoming and relaxing.
7. Does your B&B have any special history?
Our B&B was built in 1910 to be a family home and tourist home. It welcomed its first guest in 1911. Tourists would come to stay from May through September to enjoy the cool mountain air and mountain scenery. On Tuesday, January 18, 2011, the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce held a Ribbon Cutting at Windover to commemorate the beginning of a second century of tourism in the home and to celebrate our B&B’s designation as a Waynesville Local Historic Landmark by the Waynesville Historic Preservation Commission. Our B&B is not only historically significant because of its tourism history, but James Harden Howell, the first owner was also an important figure in Waynesville’s history, holding positions such as Post Master, Mayor and State Legislator.
8. What makes your town worth visiting-are there any interesting local attractions or activities?
Our historic town has unique shops and galleries that cannot be found elsewhere. The closest store we have to a chain store is a Mast General Store. We are 10 minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway, with the highest point of the parkway within our county borders and are 30 minutes from an entrance to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park area. Our county offers more hiking trails than any other area east of the Mississippi, and from May through October offers annual festivals, not only rich with Appalachian history and flavor, but Folkmoot Festival is North Carolina’s only international festival and hosts participants from all over the world! We also have an award-winning regional theatre, not to mention our location is only 30 minutes from Asheville and the Biltmore Estate.
9. Do you have any food specialties?
We do traditional breakfast dishes with our own twist, but stay away from over-the-top recipes. For example, our guests are constantly telling us how much they love our French toast because it is not stuffed, rolled, or covered in sauce. Our crustless buttermilk quiche is also a light, but delicious version of this well-known creation. We make everything ourselves from scratch. You won’t find Redi-whip or ReaLemon in our refrigerator, and we use freshly-picked herbs from our herb garden. In addition to cookies, we make snacks like cheddar cheese crackers and foccacia bread. We grind our coffee which we get from a roaster a few blocks from our inn, and we make our own tea bags from loose tea to give our tea drinkers the same fresh experience as our coffee drinkers.
10. Do you have any special offers coming up?
To celebrate the 100th birthday of our home at the end of 2010 and the 100th year since the first guests stayed here in 2011, we have rolled back our 2011 prices by 20% from January to the end of March!