The Story, Old and New, of Hill House Bed & Breakfast
A once-grand private home on the northern edge of downtown Asheville, North Carolina, Hill House Bed & Breakfast, opened its doors in 1996 as a stylish,10-room boutique inn, .More than a century earlier, in 1885, furniture manufacturer and wholesaler, James Hill, built the home as his family residence. It incorporated a pastiche of Victorian and Queen Anne design elements common to the period and features a classic wraparound front porch. Check out the architectural similarities with the Deland (FL) Country Inn, built in 1883. https://roadtrippers.com/us/deland-fl/accommodation/deland-country-inn-bed-breakfast
The building had three more long-term owners, one who operated it as a boarding house during World War II. Around 1970, a new buyer subdivided the building into apartment units. After a couple of decades, the building had deteriorated badly. Mattresses could be rented for 25 cents for an evening on the porch.
In 1994, local real estate developers Carol Ann Winter and Albert Ganzenhuber bought the property and opened it as Hill House Bed & Breakfast, following a lengthy renovation. Californians Bill and Terry Erickson took over in 2003, and in February 2012, one-time Floridian David Raphael Smith became the inn’s third (and current) owner.
The former home’s downstairs today has three guest rooms, the staff kitchen, the staff office/bodega, and the incomparable front porch. Upstairs are five guest rooms. The parlor and dining room, closed because of COVID, have been incorporated the Jackson and S&W guest rooms (now guest suites).
At the rear of the property’s one-acre lot in a townhouse that Terry and Bill built as their personal residence, now are two additional guestrooms — the downstairs Pisgah apartment and upstairs loft-style Hideaway suite. And then there’s the big green fescue lawn and Appalachian gardens.
Meet the People Behind Hill House Bed & Breakfast
Hill House Bed & Breakfast’s owner David Smith had previous careers as a banking/real estate journalist in Washington, D.C., a commercial real estate appraiser in Tampa Bay and Orlando, and a restaurant waiter in New Orleans. He has an MBA from Rice University and a BA in Journalism from the University of Georgia. David grew up in Pensacola, Fla., and has family roots in Louisiana.
Innkeeper and Day Manager Carey Jackson has had many roles here at Hill House. She was the Resident Manager for five years until the fall of 2019 when she moved off property and took on the role of managing the daily operations and staff at Hill House. She has been in Asheville since 2001 and has been with Hill House for the past five and a half years. Carey has an A.A.S. degree in Automotive Technology which means she is a mechanic by trade. Carey has worked in construction as a project manager and applies those skills to her work here at Hill House. She is our handy-woman and house mama. Carey has a real love of cleaning and cooking and finds great joy when doing those things. She is also a mother of three (two of which are grown) and an avid Yogi.
Tyler Mack has been with Hill House since 2014. Tyler is an excellent cook and is one of our housekeepers. He can be found many evenings singing and/or playing guitar with either his longtime band Supatight or his more recent wedding ensemble the Diamond River Band. That’s when he’s not at home doting on his young son Theo. He’s a Durham native and studied music at East Carolina University.
Uma Wallis-Johnson is a native Ashevillian and is a cook and housekeeper at Hill House. Uma is an excellent cook and has a great eye for detail. Uma lives on property with her partner Riley who is our Resident Manager. Together they love to hike and enjoy the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina.
Resident manager and concierge Riley Jackson likely will check you in upon arriving to Hill House. Riley grew up in Asheville and has been with Hill House since the fall of 2019. Riley lives on property with his partner Uma. Riley has a love of drawing, design and building things with his hands and is also an accomplished guitar player.
If you’re a guest at our B&B in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, rest assured that the innkeepers will talk endlessly among ourselves about you and what they need to do to have you leave feeling warm and satisfied. And know that each of us are always coming up with small ideas about what they might do to build on the awesome foundation that Carol Ann, Albert, Terry, and Bill have delivered to them at Hill House Bed & Breakfast.
Our Commitment to Diversity and Economic Justice
We especially like to emphasize that with 10 rooms and a single owner/general manager and professional staff, we’re something more of an inn than a B&B. Yet we strive to be very personal and make Hill House Bed & Breakfast feel like the home it once was. We also do our best to act local but think “worldly” and to be welcoming to guests who are diverse as our entire planet. And all Hill House staff are paid a certified “Living Wage,” so that you, our guests, can be their concern while on the job.