Sipping on award-winning wines beside the tasting room’s large stone fireplace
The extensive in-room spa treatment menu
The deluxe concierge services, such as a private bonfire and s’mores picnic
The dramatic backdrop of the lush mountain range
Sweet-scented Molton Brown bath products, including a handy mini lip balm
What To Know
Between North Carolina’s Beech and Sugar Mountains, it’s a winding 90-minute drive on mountain roads from the nearest city or airport
The winery is a short walk from the villa
Although well-appointed, some rooms are small
No on-site restaurant; a private chef prepares daily breakfast and can cook private lunches and dinners with advance reservations
Parking on site
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
Tuscan-style villa escape on a North Carolina vineyard, with farm-to-table dining, wine tastings and a spa
Opened in 2006 by co-owners Dick Wolfe and Angelo Accetturo, Banner Elk Winery and Villa uncorks rustic romance that can be enjoyed year-round. In a rustic Tuscan-style barn, the Banner Elk Winery is the estate’s main draw with multiple vineyards, a pick-your-own blueberry orchard and a tasting room that’s open almost daily. There’s also a catch-and-release pond with a firepit that’s perfect for evening bonfires and seasonal marshmallow roasts.
Bed and Bath
Up in the hilltop villa, the eight lavishly appointed rooms are named for the owner’s favorite wines, from the Bourdeaux Suite to the Pinot Grigio. Starting at a petite 156 square feet, the cozy rooms have wooden four-poster beds, luxe white linens and elegant country decor that mixes well with the mountain views. Bright bathrooms are equipped with plush towels, bathrobes, travertine marble tubs and high-end toiletries that smell like sugar cookies. Need room to spread out? Opt for the basement-level Fireplace Suites, which have living areas with gas fireplaces and doors that lead to charming outdoor patios.
Although the property lacks an on-site restaurant, daily gourmet breakfasts and monthly farm-to-table dinners are served by the firepit on the outdoor deck, and there are inviting common rooms and living areas for afternoon lounging. A large kitchen is always open for light snacks and drinks, and, should the mood strike, you can pick up a bottle of wine anytime to enjoy in the privacy of your suite. Whether you plan to schuss down snowy Blue Ridge terrain, kayak calm rivers or traverse a wildflower-freckled mountainside for a tasting at the winery, there’s no bad time to visit.
In the Area
From arranging private tasting tours and horseback riding to picnic lunches and couples massages, the staff at Banner Elk is quick to customize and prepare any experience. Or go it alone and take the short and scenic 15-minute drive down to nearby Valle Crucis, where the original Mast General Store operates in the same building as it did 130 years ago. Don’t miss the by-the-pound self-serve candy bins or a Pepsi and a Moon-Pie on the back porch, where you might catch locals playing fiddles. On the foodie front, channel your inner chef with a cooking class at the Kitchen at Little Pond Farm. Its Farm Kitchen Program offers weekend cooking classes with local chefs; you’ll learn how to sharpen knifes, can plum butter and prepare an elegant meal like grilled beef tenderloin with espresso sea salt and sun-gold tomatoes. Alternatively, head to the 50-seat Artisanal Restaurant for hearty local fare in a rustic setting.
Banner Elk Winery and Villa
60 Deer Run Lane
Banner Elk, North Carolina 28604
How to Get There
Flights are available to Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) and Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) from major U.S. cities on a variety of carriers. Transfers to/from CLT, about 87 miles away, and AVL, about 75 miles away, cannot be arranged through the property. Taxis are available to/from CLT for approximately $200, each way. If you’re renting a car for the transfer, self-parking is free.