November 10–12, 2019
Usher in the Christmas season with the magazine you love! We invite you to join us for an exciting getaway that brings the seasonal grandeur of our pages to life. Against the majestic backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, join Editor-in-Chief Phyllis Hoffman DePiano and the editorial team November 10–12 for an unforgettable escape to Asheville, North Carolina.
As featured in Victoria, retreat to The Omni Grove Park Inn, a four-star resort boasting more than a century of Southern hospitality. Amid all the pampering comforts of this historic hotel, sample chef-prepared, locally sourced cuisine and garner inspiration from our impressive array of keynote speakers: artist and entrepreneur April Cornell, interior designer Kathryn Greeley, and author Jan Karon. Plus, shop our cache of holiday gifts, including favorite titles, exclusive branded products, and an exciting new collaboration with April Cornell that will be unveiled at the event.
During a specially arranged excursion, become immersed in the myriad wonders of Biltmore, world-renowned for its incredible architecture and artwork. Tours of the mansion, dressed in its full holiday regalia, will alternate with a seating for afternoon tea at The Inn on Biltmore Estate, allowing our guests to fully experience the unmatched Gilded Age splendor of this storied destination.
Sunday, November 10
Retreat to the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains, where luxurious accommodations and pampering amenities await at The Omni Grove Park Inn, a four-star resort featured in our October 2016 issue. To launch A Victoria Holiday Event: Christmas in Asheville, North Carolina, join the editorial team for an afternoon welcome and meet and greet with Editor-in-Chief Phyllis Hoffman DePiano. Keynote speaker April Cornell, an artist and entrepreneur lauded for her eponymous line of romantic wares for home and fashion, will bring her creative talents to our opening session, culminating in the exclusive reveal of an exciting new product collaboration with the magazine. As the day draws to a close, enjoy a delectable menu of locally sourced fare during a seated dinner in the elegant environs of this historic hotel.
Suggested attire: Sunday dress.
Monday, November 11
Morning begins at The Omni Grove Park Inn with a refreshing breakfast and the opportunity to shop a dazzling assortment of holiday gifts, including our new book, Our Hearts Are in England, and a wealth of other favorite titles, exclusive branded items, signed books by featured authors, and an exciting new product collaboration with April Cornell. Keynote speaker Kathryn Greeley, whose Chestnut Cottage was featured in our October 2018 issue, leads the morning session. Discover this esteemed interior designer and author’s secrets for cultivating a gracious home, decorating for the holidays, and entertaining with ease. After this lecture, join Kathryn during a meet and greet and book signing for her classic volume, The Collected Tabletop. A break in the event schedule affords free time for shopping, enjoying hotel amenities, or pausing for lunch, if desired, in one of the on-site restaurants.
Early afternoon, we will embark on a glorious holiday excursion to Biltmore, which will be decked in its annual Yuletide splendor. Transportation will be provided to and from the property, as well as on the premises. Self-guided tours of Biltmore House will alternate with two seatings for afternoon tea at The Inn on Biltmore Estate, allowing our guests to become immersed in the marvelous Gilded Age lifestyle of Edith and George Vanderbilt. Late afternoon, we will return to The Omni Grove Park Inn, and you will be free to explore area options for dinner, as desired.
Suggested attire: smart casual with appropriate walking shoes.
Tuesday, November 12
Savor a leisurely and delicious brunch at The Omni Grove Park Inn. In this relaxed setting, keynote speaker Jan Karon, former Victoria Writer-in-Residence and author of the beloved Mitford series, takes the stage for an engaging conversation with Editor-in-Chief Phyllis Hoffman DePiano. After this lively repartee, join these two icons of publishing, along with the magazine’s editorial team, for a meet and greet and book signing before departing for home with a heart brimming with warm holiday memories.
Suggested attire: smart casual.
What will be provided:
Accommodations at The Omni Grove Park Inn from Sunday afternoon, November 10, to Tuesday morning, November 12
A welcome bag of Victoria treasures
Dinner on Sunday, November 10
Light breakfast on Monday, November 11
Transportation to and from Biltmore, as well as on the premises, for a holiday excursion on
Monday, November 11
Afternoon tea at The Inn on Biltmore Estate
A self-guided tour of Biltmore House
Brunch at The Omni Grove Park Inn
What will not be provided:
Transportation to and from the event
Lunch on Monday, November 11
Dinner on Monday, November 11
Optional hotel amenities not included in the event itinerary
Editor-in-Chief Phyllis Hoffman DePiano
Reviving Victoria more than a decade ago signified a return to loveliness. As host of this event, she invites the magazine’s faithful readers and new devotees to step into the enchanting world of bliss illuminated in each issue.
Artist and Entrepreneur April Cornell
Profiled in the March/April 2017 issue of Victoria, this talented watercolorist translates her vibrant paintings into romantic, timeless wares for table, home, and wardrobe.
Interior Designer Kathryn Greeley
The designer and author, whose charming Chestnut Cottage was featured in the October 2018 issue of Victoria, offers expertise for cultivating a gracious home, decorating for the holidays, and entertaining with ease.
Best-Selling Author Jan Karon
This award-winning author of the Mitford series and former Victoria Writer-in-Residence has delighted millions with her character-driven works, including fourteen novels and two Christmas-themed books.
Will I have to pay for airfare separately, or is it included in the event cost?
Travel to and from Asheville is not included in the cost of the event. Whether you fly, drive, or already live in town, it will be your individual responsibility to arrive at The Omni Grove Park Inn on the afternoon of November 10, 2019.
What expenses will not be included in the event?
While the cost of the event does cover any provided meals, hotel lodgings for November 10–12, speaker sessions, travel to and from Biltmore for an excursion on November 11, afternoon tea at The Inn on Biltmore Estate, a self-guided tour of Biltmore House, and various gifts, there are a few expenses that you may need to cover out-of-pocket. These include transportation to and from The Omni Grove Park Inn, hotel parking, meals that are not provided with the event (see below for a list of included meals), shopping, alcohol, and any additional hotel amenities.
When is final payment due?
Final payment is due September 1, 2019. If you put down a deposit instead of paying in full, you will receive an email notification alerting you when the remaining payment is due, and a link to your account will be provided. Payment must be completed by this deadline in order to secure your place at the event. Failure to do so automatically forfeits your place, and your deposit will not be refunded.
What is the nearest airport? How can I get from there to the event?
Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) is the nearest airport to The Omni Grove Park Inn, approximately a 25- to 30-minute drive away. The second nearest is the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP), less than 70 miles south. The largest nearby airport is the Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), approximately a 2-hour 15-minute drive east. Each airport has car rental services available.
How do I get to The Omni Grove Park Inn?
The event will be hosted at The Omni Grove Park Inn, located at 290 Macon Avenue, Asheville, NC 28804. View driving directions from I-240.
Does The Omni Grove Park Inn have a valet? Do they charge for parking?
Guests can drive up to the main entrance of The Omni Grove Park Inn and be assisted by a valet at the cost of $22 for overnight guests. Garage parking is available, with prices that vary based on time parked. View additional cost information on the resort’s website (select “parking” in the bar beneath the map).
Will transportation be provided for our excursion to Biltmore?
Yes, Victoria will provide a shuttle service to and from Biltmore on the afternoon of our excursion. While there will be a great deal of walking as we tour the vast estate, there will be some transportation provided on the Biltmore property, as well.
How do I register for the event?
If you have not yet registered, you may do so through our online shop. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign up for your spot before it’s filled!
How do I make my hotel reservation for the event?
Your hotel will be reserved automatically when you register for the event. If you have any special requirements for your room, they should be noted in your registration. If you have already registered, please contact us with any change requests. Please note that we may not be able to accommodate late changes.
What meals will be included in the event?
Victoria will provide various meals throughout your stay in Asheville. These include a seated dinner on Sunday evening, a light breakfast on Monday, afternoon tea on Monday afternoon, and a brunch on Tuesday. Guests will be responsible for their own meals for lunch and dinner on Monday. View a list of dining opportunities at the resort, including a 24-hour in-room dining service.
Will my dietary restrictions be accommodated in the provided meals?
Please note any dietary restrictions in your registration, and we will do our best to accommodate your food needs. If you have already registered, please contact us with any change requests. Please note that we may not be able to accommodate late changes.
I want to bring a travel companion, but he or she doesn’t want to attend the event. What room should I book?
If you plan to bring a spouse or another companion to Asheville, but this person does not wish to take part in the event, you will need to book a single occupancy room.
I want to bring a travel companion, but he or she doesn’t want to attend the event. What is available for this guest to do?
If you plan to bring a spouse or another companion on your trip to Asheville, but this person does not wish to take part in the event, there are still countless opportunities for him or her to remain entertained. The Omni Grove Park Inn resort has a spa, a sports complex, golf, pools, and a hiking trail. There are also various attractions off the property, including a lovely arts district, shops, and restaurants. View a list of concierge-recommended activities. Please note that if your guest plans to join us on our excursion to Biltmore, he or she will need to register and pay for the full event. Guests staying in separate rooms will need to book directly with the hotel.
Who will I meet at the event?
Keynote speakers for A Victoria Holiday Event: Christmas in Asheville, North Carolina, include artist and entrepreneur April Cornell, interior designer Kathryn Greeley, author Jan Karon, and Victoria Editor-in-Chief Phyllis Hoffman DePiano. The editorial staff of the magazine will also be present, and we are eager to meet you!
Will I have any free time?
We have planned a multitude of engaging activities and speakers for your time with us, yet we also know how important rest is, especially on a vacation. For this reason, we have planned free time for our guests after dinner on Sunday, before our excursion to the Biltmore on Monday, and immediately upon our return to the hotel that evening. For a full schedule of the event, click the Itinerary tab above.
What if I can’t make it to part of the event?
While we hope you are able to enjoy the entirety of the activities we’ve planned for our guests, we understand that there may be some time conflicts. You are free to arrive late or leave early from the event if you need to do so. However, there will be no discount to the cost of the event.
Does The Omni Grove Park Inn have a pet policy or other restrictions?
Guide dogs are welcome on the property, as well as at Biltmore, but they must be registered with the resort prior to arrival. Additional restrictions apply, and smoking is prohibited on the property. View a list of additional resort policies.
Is the event handicap accessible?
The Omni Grove Park Inn event rooms are handicap accessible. If you require a handicap-accessible room for your overnight stay, please indicate this in your registration form. If you’ve already registered, please contact us with your information. Please note that we may not be able to accommodate late changes. When we visit Biltmore, both the afternoon tea and the majority of the tour will be handicap accessible. The portions of the tour that are not accessible will be viewable by pre-recorded video. If you require a wheelchair or walker, we ask that you please bring your own.
What is the weather typically like in Asheville this time of year?
Asheville in November typically has an average high temperature of 58 degrees Fahrenheit, and a low of 37 degrees. We hope not to experience rain but suggest you check weather forecasts before packing. Please note that our activities will continue, rain or shine.
What happens if the event is canceled or I cannot attend after I have registered?
If for some reason Victoria must cancel the event, you will be notified and refunded your payment. However, we will be unable to refund any guest for an individual cancelation due to an emergency or sudden change in plans. Since the event fee is nonrefundable, we suggest buying trip insurance through a company such as Travelex. You can also check with your credit card company to see if travel insurance is provided. If you don’t purchase travel insurance, you agree to indemnify us against any charges that might otherwise be covered by your insurance. You further agree that we are not responsible for any costs of cancellation by you.