Two new hotels in southern Appalachia opened in September to guests and eventgoers. Both offer immersive local programming for breakouts and regionally inspired cuisine as catering options for groups.
Foundry Hotel: Set in Asheville, North Carolina’s former steel foundry, known for forging the steel used in the Biltmore Estate, The Foundry Hotel features 4,000 square feet of historic indoor and outdoor event space, including the Eagle Boardroom, which can seat up to 14 people; the 2,400-square-foot Event Lawn, which can be tented upon request; and the 1,800-square-foot Savoy Ballroom that can accommodate 120 guests.
Iron & Clay, the hotel’s regionally inspired farm-to-table restaurant led by famed local chef John Fleer, is available for all-event catering.
Locally inspired breakout sessions include the following:
• Wildflower Bouquet Making: interactive classes that honor the diverse wildflowers in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
• Herbal Apothecary: local certified herbalists courtesy of Alchemy Asheville that educate groups on the benefits and uses of Appalachian Mountain herbs and essential oils.
• Eco-Friendly Leaf Peeping: land, air and/or sea sightseeing via the hotel’s chauffeured Tesla house car, eco-friendly balloon rides with Asheville Hot Air Balloons or private paddleboat rides along the French Broad River with French Broad Boatworks.
Bristol Hotel: The first and only boutique hotel in Bristol, Virginia, The Bristol Hotel is in one of the city’s striking 1925 architectural landmarks and reflects design elements from Bristol’s past industries of glass, leather, steel and denim.
For meetings and events, guests can book Lumacs Rooftop Bar; the historic 1920s Arcade; The Reynolds Boardroom, named after the original hotel structure’s builder, Hardin Reynolds; or the King Ballroom and the Shelby Ballroom, which both honor the original town owners, James King and Evan Shelby.
Event catering is cooked on-site at Vivian’s Table, the hotel’s soulful restaurant that showcases locally sourced, southern Appalachian cuisine. Group programming will include the following:
• Banjo Lessons: musical breakout session with Tami Stoughton of Banjo Hangout.
• Local Denim Making: a class in how denim is produced in which participants can customize a denim jacket at Bristol’s longest-running family business, L.C. King’s denim factory.
• Appalachian Wildcrafting: wildcrafting classes led by a local herbalist to teach guests about using native Appalachian herbs as natural remedies.