Banner Elk Winery and Villa
What We Love
- Rate includes daily gourmet breakfast
- 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
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
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.
How to Get There
Banner Elk Villa is a rustic and cozy place to spend a few days. My husband and I stayed in a suite which had a great fireplace, jacuzzi tub and plenty of room to relax. Each morning, a breakfast is provided that has been cooked with the current guests in mind. Lots of delicious options. Staff are friendly but you really do not see them much which makes the place like having your own private villa! We did not want for anything and we will be back! It was just the type of place we were looking for. The villa also has common areas to enjoy as well. Villa guests are treated to a glass of wine or a tasting at the Winery that is a few steps away each day that they stay at the Villa. The Villa is a very short drive from downtown Banner Elk that has a lot of great places to dine. There are a lot of activities in the surrounding area to enjoy (hiking, skiing, etc). The Winery itself is a lively place with live music going on and outside family entertainment with a fire pit and the makings of s'mores provided. Again, though close to each other, the Villa and Winery are 2 separate places. I would recommend the Villa for a relaxing getaway.
My now husband and myself stayed here as part of an elopement package. We couldn’t have been happier with the whole experience. The inn was quaint and inviting. The winery was cozy and the staff treated you like old friends. We were married in the tasting room. We look forward to visiting yearly for our anniversary.
This was an amazing option for a quick girls wine weekend. The room was full of old world charm with great views. There was always a delicious pastry option waiting for us in the kitchen and the staff was more than accommodating. We enjoyed the breakfast cooked onsite each morning and the Banner Elk Winery was just a few steps from the Villa. Lisa was a great host and we recommend visiting Jensen at the winery if you want to really enjoy the full experience. Don't forget to roast some Smores by the fire at some point while you are there. We will be back for sure!
We had great expectations and were very disappointed. Upon arrival, no one was in villa and there were no directions to proceed to the winery for check in. Not what one would expect at this type of accommodation. Then, the staff at winery were not attentive. Gave us a piece of paper with particulars and sent us back to house.
No one came to check on guests that night. Other guests and ourselves discussed the lack of attention. We had to make coffee the next morning and just searched about for our needs. Other guests thanked us for making coffee! Really? Just a simple touch at a villa such as having coffee ready would have been nice. Staff arrived around 8:30 with a small child who was quite loud and watched cartoons in the great room. Again, not what one would expect at the villa.
We made coffee again that night and set up for the next morning. Staff was more accommodating the second morning but still not what one expects at an inn or villa. Personal touch did not exist from arrival to departure.
Very disappointed and will not return. Staying at a chain hotel would have been much better.
Was vacationing in Banner Elk this fall and decided to go for a wine tasting with friends. Beautiful setting and especially enjoyed the outdoor seating. The staff was very friendly and knowledgeable about their wines and what foods would go well with each one. Their Sangrias are amazing. Grab one after the wine tasting and head outside. Thumbs up from me.