Bed and Breakfast Garden

About the Innkeepers

Susan: My father was born and raised in Raleigh, and as children we spent our summers on the North Carolina shore, but my mother was the daughter of a diplomat and traveled all over the world. As a child, I listened to her stories and developed a case of wanderlust for myself. I was fortunate in finding a partner who felt the same way I did.

James: I came from a New York based family without any diplomats. However, early on I knew I wanted to work and be exposed to the diversity of living overseas. I don’t think I was aware of Susan’s wanderlust when we first met, but something must have clicked since we have been married for over 35 years and have three wonderful daughters.

Susan and James Murray

Now, after 27 years in Europe and Asia, we are happy to be settled in one place. We have been very fortunate in the places we have lived (Paris, Hong Kong, London, and Singapore) and have been able to travel extensively, collecting art and furniture along the way. This has all been augmented by family pieces. Susan loves the fact that the small Victorian what-not shelf in the parlor here traveled from her great-grandmother’s house in Charleston to her parents’ home in Connecticut, and then it circumnavigated the globe only to end up back in North Carolina. The portraits of James’ ancestors have a similar tale and now adorn the walls of various rooms at the inn. As expats, you learn to welcome all sorts of people into your life and to embrace aspects of other cultures, which augment your own. Paris gave us art and great food, Hong Kong and Singapore gave us exposure to Asian hospitality and warmth, and London and the UK gave us a love of green spaces and gardens. We hope to bring all of this together in the Carolina Bed & Breakfast to create a uniquely warm and welcoming home for our guests.

Sara is our Assistant Innkeeper. She has been with us since we bought the Carolina Bed & Breakfast in 2009.  Sara has lived in Asheville for more than ten years and was previously an Assistant Innkeeper at the Richmond Hill Hotel.  Her knowledge of Asheville and its surroundings is extensive and, although we have learned a lot about our city, Sara is still our go-to person for information.  Susan and Sara often work side by side in the kitchen.  She has helped develop some of Susan’s recipes and has a deft hand and imagination for canapes and hors d’oeurves.  Universally loved by our guests, Sara is an important member of the Carolina family and we know that if we can’t be there our guests are in good hands with Sara.

Meet Peat.  Peat lives with James and Susan in the owner’s quarters. He is never allowed in the main inn, although he may try to get there.  So while you won’t see him in the rooms or halls, you may meet him in the Garden or visit him back in our office.  He’s a little shy but curiosity usually wins out! Owner's Cat at the Carolina Bed & Breakfast

 

Our Guests Say...

Our room, the Mockingbird room, was large enough for two people with lots of luggage, and the bathroom was perfectly sized and extremely clean.

— Kyle, Nashville, TN

The difference between staying at a B&B and a hotel is the difference between being a stranger in a strange land and visiting good family! James and Susan were so accommodating and really know their town. Nothing could be better than this.

— Sally, Virginia Beach, VA

A Note from Your Host…

It’s hard to think of holidays and vacations when we are battling hurricanes on our coastlines.  Our hearts go out to those in the path of the storms.  In order to help in some small way, we will donate $10/night for any stay booked for the month of September with us.  Please mention the Hurricane Relief Effort when booking on the phone or online.

Christmas and the the holidays are just around the corner.  This year’s Biltmore Candlelight Evening is entitled “A Vanderbilt Christmas”.  If you have never seen the Biltmore in full holiday splendor it is a lavish and glorious display of lights, decorations and live greenery, including a 40 foot tree in the main dining room.  Visit our Specials Page for details about our Christmas Special.

Unable to visit us right now?  Bring a touch of the Carolina Bed & Breakfast to your home with a purchase of my cookbook, Our Family Table: Recipes and Lessons From A Life Abroad.  It contains many of the recipes our guests enjoy and request at our inn as well as some easy recipes for small or larger groups.  You can order it on Amazon or by following the links on this page.