Blind Tiger Asheville, Lark Hotels' newest outpost, just opened in June with 14 rooms in the city's Chestnut Hill neighborhood.
"This is a funky artist's home for someone living and working in Asheville, and their home is an evolving, active piece of art," Rob Blood, founder of Lark Hotels, told Travel + Leisure of his newest hotel, Blind Tiger Asheville. Lark operates boutique hotels across New England, California, and now, North Carolina, choosing one of the country's best food cities for its next outpost.
Blind Tiger Asheville aims to deliver a distinctly local — and residential — experience to its guests. In a former 1889 private home in the quaint Chestnut Hill neighborhood, minutes from downtown Asheville and surrounded by lush gardens, the guesthouse has seven rooms and common areas, plus three more buildings with an additional seven rooms. Blood is adamant about not calling it a hotel, saying, "We want people to live their lives here, through the lens of a local."
Beyond the main house, guests can choose from a one-bedroom standalone cottage with a cozy double-sided fireplace, private patio, and moody decor; an all-white artist loft with a four-poster bed, high ceilings, and a striking rainbow-colored desk chair; or a modern attic room with contemporary art.
"We're really trying to channel the different personalities of the city throughout the property," Blood explained, noting that furnishings were sourced primarily from vintage and antique stores.
"Asheville is very eco-conscious and evolved. And so we didn't want to put brand-new things in here. We feel that the highest form of sustainability is reuse and repurpose," Blood explained. The same approach was used for the original artwork lining the walls of the guesthouse — all the pieces were sourced locally — so it further expands on the conceptual narrative of the property.
A 24-hour pantry with complimentary local snacks and beverages, a bar room (the property doesn't have a liquor license but provides cocktail mixers and tools for guests to craft their own drinks), two lounge rooms with fireplaces, and a sunroom add to the guesthouse's residential feel.
But the Blind Tiger Asheville's most unique amenity is its "host" program, pairing local tastemakers with the property's guests. When travelers arrive in their rooms, they find a letter from a local Ashevillian welcoming them to the city and suggesting a curated itinerary.
One of the "hosts" is acclaimed James Beard-nominated chef Jacob Sessoms, owner of Asheville's Table and All Day Darling, who, in his letter, shares his favorite things to do in Asheville on his day off.
"We'd like to think Asheville is the biggest amenity — and the connection to our local hosts is the piece that really makes this place special. It gives our guests an opportunity to see through the lens of someone who has chosen to live in Asheville and wants to share their experience with people who are coming to visit," Blood explained.
Nightly rates at Blind Tiger start from $249, and you can book your stay at larkhotels.com.
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