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North Carolina hotels where you can live like the Vanderbilts

Special to The Los Angeles Times

As back-to-basics as a North Carolina mountain vacation can be, modern luxury is not lost. Here are a few places where you can kick back in style.

HIGH HAMPTON INN In the picturesque town of Cashiers, the inn is on a 1,400-acre estate. Its guest rooms have no telephones or televisions. But don't let its simplicity fool you. High Hampton Inn has a spa, golf, serves afternoon tea, and guests must dress for dinner (coat and tie for men, no jeans). The activities are nature-driven; the "pool" is actually a 35-acre mountain lake. The inn is open from April to December. A no-tipping or service-charge policy applies.

1525 Highway 107 S., Cashiers; (800) 334-2551, Doubles from $284.


The Biltmore Estate epitomizes North Carolina wealth, and the Inn on Biltmore Estate offers a chance to stay where the Vanderbilts played. (Biltmore House is the historic home of George W. Vanderbilt and is one of America's largest private homes.) The inn draws on the Biltmore's own gardens, livestock and winery in its cuisine. The estate receives nearly 1 million visitors each year. The Biltmore vineyards, historic horse barn and outdoor activity center are also on property within walking distance of the inn. As one guest said, "They should charge for this view."

1 Approach Road, Asheville; (828) 225-1600, Doubles from $189.

GROVE PARK INN RESORT & SPA The resort dates to 1913. Its 120-foot lobby has 24-foot ceilings, and its elevators are enclosed in the chimneys of two massive 14-foot stone fireplaces. Those with a penchant for decadence should request the Gatsby-themed guest room and the Chef's Table nine-course dinner. For dessert, try the Carolina Mud Pie Wrap of warm fresh-water mud, essential oils, lotions and warm stones, found in the Spa at Grove Park.

290 Macon Ave., Asheville; (800) 438-5800, from $325.

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