About the property
- House4200 sq. ft.
- Half Baths1
- Minimum Stay1 - 5 nights
Grand Farmhouse w/2 kit. & LRs, view. Tucked in the woods 8 blocks to downtown.
Hidden Retreat is the closest 5-bedroom house to downtown Asheville that is listed with VRBO/HomeAway.
THE WOODED BUT CENTRAL SETTING
Less than two minutes off I-240’s downtown exit for Charlotte Street, this grand 100-year old gem is just two blocks up into the hills above North Asheville, hidden by banks of trees. But the tall house sits in an open field with light pouring in year-round, and is taller than the trees that protect it. So your in-town escape comes with relaxing (even breath-taking) sunsets and views of the ever-changing Smokey Mountains. At Hidden Retreat, you’ll feel miles from town, until you need that coffee and muffin awaiting you just two blocks down the hill at Starbucks and the award-winning City Bakery.
YOUR HOME IN ASHEVILLE
This is a big house: more than 4,200 square feet of interior and exterior living space. Its high ceilings and original “heart of pine” floors make Hidden Retreat seem even larger than it is. It was once a rambling single family home with open porches and decks off most bedrooms.
The main floor is a massive 1,800 square foot one bedroom/1.5 bath apartment, with a larger kitchen, separate outdoor BBQ area, giant living/dining space and a front porch with four traditional North Carolina rocking chairs. The bedroom on this level is a master and has the largest of the now-enclosed sun porches with light streaming in on three sides. There is a half bath with toilet and sink in the hall as well. Off the kitchen door is a flagstone patio with fire pit and chairs.
Sometime in the 1930s or 1940s the sun porches upstairs were enclosed, making the top floor much larger than the main floor. So two of the upstairs bedrooms have massive sun porches that double the size of the already large rooms and add additional light and air to the spaces. Later, a second kitchen and living space upstairs was added, and Hidden Retreat’s 2400 sq ft upper floor was transformed into its own 4BR, 2.5 BA house with a huge eastern and southern facing deck and a 12’ x 12’ open air viewing deck with western views of the Smokey Mountains!
Together, the floors create one unified space of l five bedrooms, 4.5 baths, two kitchens and two living spaces - a house so big it's easy to get lost!
I want you to be comfortable and relaxed in the house! Both floors have Internet wi-fi service, two large screen TVs each, cable service, and two central heat/ air conditioning systems controlled separately on each level. 700-count Egyptian cotton sheets, plenty of extra blankets and bedding, and a variety of pillows of different firmness.
I like to cook (have you seen my picture?), so both kitchens have all the essentials, but also a few upgrades. There are granite counter tops, place settings, serving pieces, glassware and silverware for 8 upstairs and 16 downstairs, so you won’t be spending your vacation washing dishes when clean ones run out. Both kitchens are fully equipped for major holiday dinners, with enough serving pieces and cookware for large dinners, and BBQ grills on both levels. There are two dishwashers, two coffee makers (12 cups each), two 4-up toasters, two coffee grinders, and a large and small blender.
ENTERTAINING AT THE HOUSE
Asheville is a destination city for weddings, family reunions, and annual gatherings of old college friends. As a college town, it also draws parents and extended families for graduation, homecoming and other events.
Hidden Retreat, with its ample public spaces and two kitchens makes a great place to host a family meal or throw an impromptu wine and cheese event. Feel free to show off the house and view for that casual slumber party after the newlyweds have departed, or that last minute brunch before friends scatter back to the spouses and children across the country.
ABOVE AND BEYOND
The home comes with two additional day beds, two futons and an Aero bed for extra guests, as well as a 'Pack & Play' folding crib for infants. This means the house could sleep 15-16 people if some are children. (While this is great for you, it creates a burden for my housekeeper who sometimes has five hours to launder all the sheets and towels and prepare the house for the next guests.) If you have more than 12, please be honest and let me know. There may be an addition rental or cleaning charge.
There is ample parking for 6-7 cars.
EXPLORING THE REGION FROM THE HOUSE
Hidden Retreat is about a five minute drive to the River Arts District, home to one of America’s largest and most diverse artists’ communities. I know several potters, painters and fabric and encaustic artists that I will gladly make introductions to.
There are brochures at the house for local inner tube rafting, zip lining, hot air ballooning and more. But there is also info on yoga, pilates, fine dining and golf for the less adventurous.
You are about three minutes drive north to the famous Grove Park Inn, where every visitor to Asheville should have lunch on the terrace with panoramic Smokey Mountain views. Ten minutes’ drive south instead of north takes you right to the front gate of the Biltmore Estate, Asheville’s (and America’s) most stunning single family home. The year-round tours are amazing, but the Holiday décor tours in November in December are staggering.
Want to see fewer buildings and more wilderness? The house is one parcel off Town Mountain Road, and the road up the side of the house takes you right there. That will connect you to the Blue Ridge Parkway in under ten minutes, where you will then have access to over 500 miles of scenic drive, protected US National Park, and some of the best biking and hiking trails on the Eastern Seaboard.
There is always something to do in Asheville! And Hidden Retreat is the perfect base of operations for all your adventures -- and a warm and inviting place to come home to after a full day of Asheville adventures.
As you can see, the configuration of the house leads to endless possibilities. Feel free to email or call me to discuss your specific needs.
- Response rate:
- Response time:
- within one hour
- English, Some Spanish
- Calendar last updated:
- May 20, 2018
About Mike Smith
I have lived in San Francisco since 1986 but recently started splitting my time between there and Asheville, where my parents, two siblings and their families have lived for more than 23 years. I love Asheville's arts scene , and there is so much to do outdoors! I am the co-founder the AIDS Memorial Quilt, which started on my back porch in 1987. (Younger people have no clue what this is, but a Google search should help...) I've been running AIDS or LGBT organizations my whole adult life and enjoy the community-building aspect of what I do. I recently retired as executive director of AIDS Emergency Fund and Breast Cancer Emergency Fund, two related non-profits that help low income people pay their basic living costs while disabled or going through surgery, chemo or radiation. Asheville is my escape space to de-stress from the fast pace of San Francisco. Whether it’s a gallery opening, dinner with extended family, or just watching the Fall foliage, I know I can leave the rat race behind here. And I am sure you can, too!
Mike Smith purchased this House in 2014
Why Mike Smith chose Asheville
Yes, it’s a wonderful house with a great view and natural light streaming in everywhere, but the exceptional feature really is its proximity to downtown Asheville. A two blocks walk down the hill in the morning to Charlotte Street lands you right in front of Starbuck’s and City Bakery (the best bread in town!). Within a quarter-mile are a bustling Trader Joes, Harris Teeter Grocery and a dozen fine restaurants. From Starbucks, it’s three block walk to Asheville’s Art Deco City Hall building and another three to the heart of galleries, cafes and shops. Tired of the crowds at the end of the day? You can be home in seconds and nestled in the woods above it all. This house is city living in the country. Or is it country living in the city?
What makes this House unique
I fell in love with this “Hidden Retreat” during the summer of 2014. I love old houses, and this one celebrated its 100th birthday in 2015. Situated in a hilly wooded area just a few blocks off busy Charlotte Street, the house is well hidden by the trees. It even took me two tries to find it at first. Perched on a hill, it gets sunlight year round from three sides, and is tall enough to rise about the trees that protect it from view. It is western facing – perfect for sunsets and gazing at the Smokey Mountains in the distance. At more than 4,200 square feet of house and decks, it’s a massive home. But my favorite space is the simple 12’ x 12’ open air viewing deck off the upstairs living room facing the sunset. The day I closed on the house, I poured a glass of wine and watched the mountains turn from green to blue to purple as daylight faded. Ahh.
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Great house, great location
For a two-family (8 person) visit to Asheville, I can't imagine finding a better place to stay. Comfortable, well-apportioned house with beautiful views & easy access to downtown.
Terrific Extended Stay!!
My husband I rented Mike’s house for April to be near our daughter and son-in-law for the birth of our first grandchild. The house was divine! Loved the creaky old floors, all the enclosed porches, and Mike’s whimsical and eclectic eye for decor and furnishings. Sunsets from the porch were a real treat!
Our other adult children and their partners came and stayed for several long stretches, filling this house and relieving my daughter from dealing with guests. We often cooked for 10-12 people and found everything I needed in the well-stocked kitchen. With the second kitchen upstairs, we easily managed a huge Easter Sunday feast.
Can’t say enough about the house, and Mike was always responsive and helpful. Looking forward to being back often to spend time with our grandchild(ren?)!
All that we hoped for.....and more
Near everything, located perfectly. Had no trouble getting from point A to point B.The
grounds were not as nice as I would have liked but didn't dwell on it. Steep driveway, a
little scarey. House was very conducive for family and friends. Plenty of bedrooms
and bathrooms although two of the three were within a bedroom instead of access
from the hallway. Again, you just make do. We all loved it.
Thank you for the comments. Your month-long stay gives you a unique opportunity to get to know the place in a way that week-long or weekend guests don't, so I appreciate the feedback. Since your stay I have added a bath and a half and paved the new driveway, so access is much easier and there are bathrooms for all!
The yard is mostly wildflowers, and by November is does get a bit past it's prime. I hope you'd come back again, when the yard is in bloom by spring!
Nice house with lots of room for extended families
We had 4 couples from Michigan, Florida, Puerto Rico and North Carolina come to stay and vacation together. There was more than enough room to spread out and everyone had space to be on their own if they wished. The location was great in that we could walk downtown within 20 minutes so there was no need to look or pay for parking. This was our first time renting a vacation home - we thought this would be much better than individual hotel rooms. The experience couldn't have been easier or better - Mike was extremely responsive from questions in the beginning right through our stay. We highly recommend this property - 5 stars!
This home is tucked away on a hillside, so you feel secluded but in a few short minutes you are in the heart of the city! The location was perfect for our visit to Asheville-close to hiking, tubing, shopping, The Biltmore and The Grove Park Inn. And yes, we did all of that in one week! When we returned to our retreat, everyone had space to relax-including the dog. Before we arrived, I reached out to Mike with a question and was able to speak him (that's right an actual conversation). He was responsive and so helpful.
A wonderful location and a wonderful home for our family reunion. The house is well-stocked and Mike is so easy to work with!