Asheville without kids for a grown-ups only weekend? Yes, please. But where to stay and dine? Seems like Mission Impossible to decide between all the choices. You only need to know two words: Cúrate and Windsor. This restaurant and hotel will ensure that your adults-only visit will be a mission worth remembering.
The Wonders of Asheville
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to have an evening away in Asheville, North Carolina. (Cue Mission Impossible music). Yes, parents, I mean without the kids! I see you doing a happy dance at the idea.
But then it happens: you realize that there are too many excellent choices on where to stay and eat. How will you ever decide? I've got your back. You only need to know two words: Cúrate and Windsor. But hurry: this message will self-destruct in 5 seconds. (Kidding.)
Asheville is artsy, bohemian and creative, so I thought a poem would be in order:
Headed to Asheville? Then you're in for a treat!
Wondering where to stay and eat?
Making selections is quite a feat
I'd recommend two places for a grown ups retreat:
Cúrate-a delight to the palate so grab a bar seat
And Windsor Boutique Hotel to make your travel plans complete!
Where to Dine in Asheville: Cúrate
1. Cure yourself and
2. Eat Spanish tapas.
(And I would add: 3. Dang delicious dining!)
Specializing in Spanish dishes, executive chef Katie Button's pedigree is impressive: She's worked at Jean Georges in New York and elBulli, Ferran Adrià’s world-renowned Spanish restaurant. And she was named one of Food and Wine‘s Best New Chefs 2015!
The catch was we didn't have reservations despite my best efforts. But by simply checking in ahead of time, the restaurant takes your information and texts you when your table or spot at the bar is ready. Brilliant! We went to a nearby wine bar to have a drink, then an hour later, we returned to grab our seats at the 22-seat marble bar that overlooks the exhibition kitchen. And oh, what a show it was!
Sit at the Bar
Skip a typical table and go for the bar; it is food theater at its finest. Men worked the sauté station with such precision, carefully turning each shrimp individually. It caught our eye so much so that we ordered the dish (gambas al ajilio) –and it lived up to the hype of being the most popular tapa. Dishes range in price from $4-20; most were in the $ 12-16 range, when we visited in 2015. Our server said most couples order four to six tapas.
Another fun benefit to the bar: It's interactive. The couple next to us were from San Diego, in town for a wedding. They shared their patatas bravas (crispy fried potatoes topped with a slightly spicy brava sauce) with us. Thanks, neighbors!
The restaurant's website promises: “Cúrate brings the essence of Spain to downtown Asheville… one plate at a time.” If this is the essence of Spain, I need to pack my bags and get to Spain, like NOW! When I say this was the best meal we've had, I don't mince words. Don't worry: no calories for just looking! The best tapas by far were the shrimp and the squid/squid ink pasta.
If you are celebrating a birthday or anniversary, be sure to request the special dessert: a divine mixture of chocolate, raspberry, and pistacio.
Don't know what to order? No worries! Ask your server for tips or better yet, just watch and see what is being prepared and say, “I'll have one of those!” Brava!
Cúrate: 11 Biltmore Avenue (828) 239-2946
Sleep: The Windsor Boutique Hotel
From the moment we pulled in front of the Windsor Boutique Hotel, we knew we were going to be pampered. Upon entering the well-appointed lobby, everything oozed of elegance with a touch of French whimsy. Like little orphan Annie would say, “I think I'm gonna like it here!”
“Like it here” would be an understatement. How could you not love having a spacious, beautifully decorated suite to call home for a night? You can tell the renovations to this 1907 building spared no expense: the almost $3 million project took 18 months. Guests are the beneficiaries of this attention to detail in each of the 14 new unique luxury suites.
Each suite has the following amenities:
- Separate kitchen/living area, private bedroom (both king and queen available), private bathroom
- High-quality queen sleeper sofa with 6” mattress: great if traveling with family
- Washer and dryer
- Flat-screen TV in both family room and bedroom
- Wireless internet
- High-tech audio intercom phone/video security system
- Luxury sheets, bedding and towels
- Finely appointed furnishings and decor
- Fully functional kitchen
Selling points of the Windsor Boutique Hotel:
You are within walking distance of restaurants, bars, shops and all the action! So park your car and hit the bricks. Quite a blessing in a hip, urban city lined with wonderful places to wine and dine.
- All the comforts of home-–and then some.
Chocolate treats from the adjacent Chocolate Gems shop adorn the bed while local coffee grounds await you in the kitchen. Mistral toiletries infuse the scent of verbena to your spa-like shower. Sound machines are available at the front desk along with complimentary coffee, water and soft drinks. Not surprisingly, guests have frequently uttered the phrase, “I could live here!” That's the sign of a fabulous stay in my book.
A touch of class and history.
The hotel has its own art curator and houses an eclectic mix of art purchased in Paris and from artists in the local Asheville area. Original 1907 exposed brick walls and a blend of contemporary and French furnishings add to the charm. The wide-planked floors throughout are made of wood reclaimed from barns in Tennessee and Virginia. And the pièce de résistance is the stunning atrium, which features birch limbs of varying sizes. Illuminated at night, it gives the guest suites a more outdoorsy, dreamy quality.
The Windsor Boutique Hotel, 36 Broadway, 1-844-494-6376)
Prices from $ 244
Two night minimum for Friday and Saturday stays.
Need some ideas on fun free activities in Asheville? Asheville is WAY too fun to keep it all to ourselves without sharing with the kids-and fellow Traveling Mom Jennifer agrees in her post 5 Reasons Asheville, NC Is a Great Family Destination. So my next post will be about traveling to Asheville with the family for the holidays to see Grove Park Inn and Biltmore Estate in all their holiday splendor!