‘Tis the season to marvel at the Biltmore’s winter wonderland this holiday.
With 62 hand-decorated trees, 175 poinsettias, more than 14,000 ornaments, 45,000 lights, and 1,000 feet of garland, the beautiful Biltmore Estate, located in Asheville, North Carolina, spares no expense when it comes to decking the halls.
In the episode, “A Biltmore Christmas,” Hornacek goes on a behind-the-scenes Christmas tour into the 250-room French Renaissance chateau – which includes 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces.
George Washington Vanderbilt first visited Asheville in 1887, where he considered the area to construct his own country mansion and estate. Vanderbilt decided to open the grand doors of Biltmore on Christmas Eve, since the holidays were always a “special time” for him and his loved ones.
Inside the luxurious chateau is the Entrance Hall, where guests are welcomed. The country retreat is marvelously decorated annually and is full of festivities for Vanderbilt’s friends and family.
Next, Hornacek takes a peek inside the Biltmore’s billiard room, where guests would relax after Christmas dinner and cozy up by the fire. Almost all the priceless objects throughout the estate are from the Vanderbilts’ original collection – from the leather on the furniture to the masterpieces of art.
The oak from the furniture came from the surrounding states, such as Virginia and Georgia, and was handmade at the Biltmore mansion.
In addition, there are seven full-time designers who are in charge of the Christmas decorations for the Biltmore Estate. The staff prepares to design the 250-room chateau a year in advance, just in time for the holidays.
The Biltmore displays 62 Christmas trees inside the mansion and presents a different theme every year. This year the theme is dedicated to Christmas carols, with one room dedicated to the “12 Days of Christmas.” The designers hung five golden wreaths, representing the rings, along with handmade silhouettes to represent dancing ladies and drummers included in the song.
The Biltmore had two rooms for eating – the Banquet Hall was for formal dining, and the breakfast room for more informal dining. The Banquet Hall is the largest room in the mansion and currently showcases a 35-foot-tall Christmas tree.
Other spectacular rooms in the estate include a music room and a soaring glass Conservatory with a vast array of exotic tropical plants.
Since 1895, Biltmore has combined the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, majestic house and lush gardens to allow guests to escape from everyday life — especially during the holiday season where every room is filled with Christmas cheer.
For more behind-the-scenes of “A Biltmore Christmas,” join Abby Hornacek as she continues her journey through the winter wonderland that is the Biltmore Estate.