Review: Kimpton Hotel Arras in Asheville, North Carolina (PHOTOS) – Travelbinger

If you’re a longtime fan of Kimpton, you may not recognize Kimpton Hotel Arras, which officially opened in October 2019 in Asheville, North Carolina. Kimpton Hotel Arras is a great example of the newer, modern hotels Kimpton has been introducing lately.

In the past, before joining Intercontinental Hotel Group, Kimpton Hotels were a good three to four stars, somewhat modest, but colorful and smart in design. For me, Kimptons put all their focus in what they do best: woo dog owners. Not only is Kimpton known for being the most pet-friendly brand (there is no pet fee, and all animals that can fit through the door are welcome), they helped pave the way for pet travel, if not steered it.

Kimptons are also known for having great restaurants and friendly service, and they’re not what would come to mind for over-the-top luxuries like spas, grand lobbies and sumptuous suites or high-profile celebrities. Therein lies the charm: Kimpton actually feels like home away from home.

Things are changing for Kimpton, and they’re definitely a brand to watch in the future, especially the new Kimptons, like Kimpton Hotel Arras. From what I’ve seen and experienced, new Kimptons feel like they took all customer comments in the past five years and truly delivered. I’ve never had a bad stay at a Kimpton, and I absolutely love the direction of the brand’s new hotels. Kimpton Hotel Arras is a nice surprise in a small city like Asheville, and I”ll always be a fan (Ruby, too!). Like new Kimpton hotels, Hotel Arras is incredibly sleek and modern, yet still very cozy.

Take a look at Kimpton Hotel Arras in Asheville, where I had the pleasure of staying for two nights. 

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Kimpton Hotel Arrasa took over the former BB&T Bank building (which, apparently, locals were not a fan of, so everyone wins!). The hotel is so new, it has that new-hotel smell. It’s right in the heart of Downtown Asheville, with a killer location. You can practically walk to any attraction, which is one of its highlights. There are two entrances, including this front entrance, where valet greet you if you’re driving up in a car like we did. 

The front-desk crew were full of Southern charm and incredibly friendly. Note the minimalist, clean and modern design of the check-in desk. 

The lobby is modern with high ceilings, columns, sitting areas and tons of good energy. My friend Daniel and I visited over the holidays, hence the Christmas tree. Who doesn’t love ceiling art? I loved the extra design touches Kimpton added to a generally boring part of a hotel: the elevator bank!

My friend and I booked the Executive Suite, which is 750 square feet with a separate living area and gorgeous bathroom (however, standard rooms are still very spacious at 377 square feet), and they’re all furnished with floor-to-ceiling windows. I love fresh mountain air, so it was a nice treat that sections of the windows opened.

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Of course, the hotel is extremely pet friendly, and they offered treats at check in. Ruby received a plush dog bed as well as water and food bowl. She was stoked.

To give you perspective on how big the suite is, here’s the hallway that connects the living area to the bedroom. The living area has a large, mounted TV, artwork, mini-bar, sofa and great mountain views. I should also mention that both TVs allow streaming from your devices, so you can watch Hulu, Netflix, HBO, etc from your own accounts. The marble bathroom was my favorite part of the hotel suite. It had a rain shower, separate tub and a window with amazing views of downtown Asheville and the mountains. Honestly, we took like 60 photos. Here’s the bathroom with a view of the rain shower and tub. Kimpton provides shampoo, conditioner and body wash in large bottles, as well as samples from C & Co. Handcrafted Skincare, a local, all-natural spa shop around the corner, including a moisturizer, scented bath salts and pillow spray. Here’s another view of the Blue Ridge Mountains from our bedroom. I loved the view since it included an aerial perspective of downtown Asheville. The room itself is quite handsome, with hardwood floors, a natural color palette and soft lighting.
I loved the two hanging lamps by the bed that emitted a dark, amber glow. In line with the “modern” design aesthetic, there’s no headboard, but a fun design piece above the bed. Asheville is known for having vortexes (strong energy points), so the lighting conjured the spirit of Asheville. There was something special about the glow.
The main restaurant, Bargello, is on the main floor. It’s run by Peter Pollay (who owns local-favorite restaurant Posana across the street) and features Mediterranean-inspired dishes. We only ate breakfast here (not in the dining room but right outside since we had Ruby). Honestly? Speechless. I’m originally from Georgia, so I know Southern food, and the dishes here hit all the right spots.Here’s the lobby on the other side of the hotel. It’s an open concept lobby, meaning there are no walls between the restaurant or the bar, District 42, pictured. District 42 is quiet during the day, and you can get free tea and coffee. It’s where Kimpton’s famous happy hour for free wine takes place, and at night, it was always busy. District 42 is warm and inviting, and as you can see, it fits right in with the “modern” aesthetic. 
Downtown Asheville is quite small, and easily walkable. The view from my room, which extended all the way to the Blue Ridge Mountains, helped balance the contemporary feel of the hotel. You’re surrounded by nature here. Also, I should stress that when Kimpton Hotel Arras says it’s “pet friendly” it is *truly* pet friendly. The hotel is next door to a sprawling park, which was perfect for Ruby to roll in the grass and use the bathroom. I can’t tell you how many times I check into a “pet friendly” city hotel when in fact it’s the furthest thing from pet friendly (high floors, no green space within walking distance, etc). 

Have you stayed at Kimpton Hotel Arras? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!

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Jimmy Im has traveled to 113 countries, stayed in over 600 hotels and has flown a million airmiles. He lives in New York City.

One thought on “Review: Kimpton Hotel Arras in Asheville, North Carolina (PHOTOS) – Travelbinger

  1. We are staying here right now. All of the staff are super friendly and accommodating. You will never be ignored here. The rooms are beautiful, the lobby, restaurant and bar are amazingly modern without being overwhelming. So far our stay has been fantastic! The valet staff are incredibly attentive. Just had a great conversation with the bar keep, and she was very knowledgeable of Asheville history! I LOVE, LOVE the design choices here. Bed is super comfortable and pillows are great. Smart and sleek furniture with “no handles”. Modern yet calming color choices. Beautiful, friendly, great location. This hotel delivers!

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