Vising North Carolina’s Biltmore hotel at any time of the year is always a treat. But a visit during the holidays is always extra special.

The Biltmore is a 250-room French Renaissance chateau built on an 8,000-acre estate in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. It features an array of outdoor activities, including one-of-a-kind shopping, exceptional restaurants, a winery, unsurpassed hospitality, and easy access to the Blue Ridge Mountains.

But beginning in early November, the Biltmore begins a series of Christmas-related events and packages that make staying at the legendary resort a truly wonderful experience.

Take the opportunity to explore the Biltmore with candlelight tours. Check out the numerous Christmas displays set up throughout the hotel and within the resort’s gardens. Or just enjoy a fabulous meal.

Visit the Biltmore this holiday season for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Annual holiday display begins Nov. 4 with Candlelight Christmas Evenings starting Nov. 11

ASHEVILLE, N.C., Nov. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Known as one of the Southeast’s most beloved holiday travel destinations, Christmas at Biltmore begins Nov. 4, 2011, and runs through Jan. 1, 2012. Candlelight Christmas Evenings, offering evening candlelight tours of Biltmore House, take place Nov. 11 through Dec. 31.

Christmas displays throughout Biltmore House, the gardens and grounds will center on the countries George and Edith Vanderbilt visited at the turn of the century. Rooms in Biltmore House will feature the traditions and folklore of France, Germany, India, Egypt and Italy mixed with elements of the Vanderbilt family’s own Christmas traditions.

On Christmas Eve 1895, Vanderbilt opened Biltmore House for the first time to his friends and family. In subsequent years, the couple welcomed family, friends and the estate’s employees into the Banquet Hall for the annual Christmas party.

Biltmore’s modern-day Christmas celebration is modeled on that first Christmas, with an elaborately decorated, 34-foot tall Fraser Fir dominating the Banquet Hall. Guests will see 57 trees throughout Biltmore House, each intricately designed and decorated by members of Biltmore’s floral team. Miles of fresh garlands and wreaths create a yuletide scent throughout the House, with around 1,000 red and white poinsettias in the Winter Garden and other areas.

In Antler Hill Village, Santa will visit with children and families from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 5 thru Dec. 18, and the Friday after Thanksgiving. The Village links to the Winery, where visitors may take guided tours and enjoy free wine tasting. Christmas at Biltmore during the daytime includes tours of Biltmore House, the gardens and Antler Hill Village.

Candlelight Christmas Evenings, Nov. 11 through Dec. 31

Biltmore House takes on a warm glow during Candlelight Christmas Evenings creating a unique holiday experience. Local choirs and small musical ensembles stationed in the Winter Garden will perform music of the season. String quartets and other musicians will perform throughout the house as guests wander among the decorated rooms. The front lawn will glow with a 55-foot Norway spruce, lit by 45,000 tiny white lights.

Guests may also visit Antler Hill Village when they attend Candlelight Christmas Evenings.

Holiday dining and lodging on the estate

Guests may enjoy a festive meal at Bistro, Deerpark Restaurant, Stable Cafe, Cedric’s Tavern or The Dining Room at Inn on Biltmore Estate. For guests looking to extend their stay at Biltmore, the four-star Inn offers several packages for holidays, including special New Year’s Eve packages. Biltmore boasts retail shops, all perfect for holiday gift shopping. Other activities include taking a horse and carriage ride and exploring acres of landscaped gardens.

For more information about Christmas at Biltmore, visit www.biltmore.com.

About Biltmore

Located in Asheville, North Carolina, Biltmore was the vision of George W. Vanderbilt. Designed by Richard Morris Hunt, America’s largest home is a 250-room French Renaissance chateau, exhibiting the Vanderbilt family’s original collection of furnishings, art and antiques. Biltmore estate encompasses more than 8,000 acres including renowned gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture. Today, Biltmore has grown to include Antler Hill Village, which features the award-winning Winery and Antler Hill Farm; the four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate; Equestrian Center; numerous restaurants; event and meeting venues; Biltmore For Your Home, the company’s licensed products division; and Biltmore Inspirations, Biltmore’s home party business. To learn more about Biltmore, go to www.biltmore.com or call 877-BILTMORE.