Hallmark's latest holiday movie was filmed at the Biltmore Estate and various areas in Asheville, North Carolina
Located in Asheville, North Carolina, the Biltmore Estate is a 250-room property built for George Vanderbilt II between 1889 and 1895. Over the years, the estate, which is still owned by Vanderbilt's descendants, has become a major tourist attraction.
Notably, people flock to the estate during the holidays as its halls are decked for Christmas, including with a 35-foot-tall Fraser fir, a tradition that first started when Vanderbilt opened the home in 1895.
The stunning property has been the backdrop for many films over the years, including Richie Rich, The Swan, Patch Adams, Forrest Gump and now A Biltmore Christmas. Though Hallmark’s latest movie marks the first time the house has had a central role in the storyline.
Starring One Tree Hill alum Bethany Joy Lenz, the new film follows a screenwriter named Lucy Hardgrove as she plans on recreating a beloved holiday movie titled His Merry Wife!, which was filmed at Biltmore House in 1947. As she visits the estate for inspiration, she is transported back in time to when the original movie was filmed through a magical hourglass, setting into motion a series of mystical events.
Chase Pickering, Vice President at Biltmore and George Vanderbilt's great-great grandson, played a big role in getting Hallmark to film at Biltmore.
“The movie A Biltmore Christmas was the perfect collaboration between Biltmore, known for our Christmas celebration, and Hallmark Channel, known for their Christmas movies," Pickering tells PEOPLE. He explains that after previously doing a college internship with Wonya Lucas, now the CEO of Hallmark Media, when she was at a different company, the two stayed in touch and eventually reconnected in March 2022 when she visited Biltmore for the first time.
"I pitched Wonya the idea, she loved it and sent Hallmark’s development and production teams down to meet with us," he says. "Hallmark Channel welcomed [the Biltmore team’s] creative input during the storyline development and we were engaged throughout the entire process." After brainstorming the concept of time travel, Pickering says he referenced Vanderbilt's "spectacular hourglass" in his bedroom, which ended up being replicated for the movie prop.
"The movie overall is a beautiful showcase of Biltmore’s architecture, our culture of gracious hospitality, and the importance of taking time to connect with loved ones, especially during the holidays," he adds. "I hope this movie introduces new audiences to this extraordinary place so they feel invited to travel back in time with their own visit to Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina.”
Several other locations in North Carolina are spotlighted in the film. From the rooms at Biltmore to hot spots around the charming town of Asheville. Here are some of the most notable locations seen in A Biltmore Christmas.
Of course, one of the notable filming locations is the Front Lawn at Biltmore House, where a 55-foot-tall Norway spruce is wrapped with 55,000 lights. In the trailer above, Lucy can be seen walking on the lawn as she attends a night tour of the home, known as Candlelight Christmas Evenings during the holiday season.
As Lucy goes on a tour of Biltmore House at the beginning of the film, she steps into the banquet hall, the largest room on the property, which fittingly includes the largest tree inside the house, a 35-foot-tall Fraser fir.
The annual tree-raising, which usually takes place in early November, marks the beginning of Christmas at Biltmore. Christmas decor typically stays up through the first week of January, with this year's decor in place until Jan. 7, 2024.
One of the primary filming locations for the movie is the library, where Lucy interacts with the hourglass that transports her back in time. The prop from the film was inspired by one of Vanderbilt’s real hourglasses, which is on display in his bedroom.
In honor of the film’s release, the holiday decor in the library this year is based on the 1940s plot line, including a tinsel-covered Christmas tree in the center of the room. Hallmark’s hourglass is also exhibited in the library through the Christmas season.
There's also a special time-travel–themed tree decorated with clocks and hourglasses by Biltmore designer Anna Leonard. It's located in the vestibule of the entrance hall under the grand staircase.
The Grand Entry Hall
The grand entry hall played a major part in the movie as it's the location of Lucy's big "Cinderella moment" when she attends a party with Jack in a gorgeous vintage dress. During the party scene in the movie, the wives of two Vanderbilt family members have cameos: Chase Pickering's wife, Clary Pickering; and Ryan Cecil's wife, Rebecca Cecil.
Just outside the library’s doors is the tapestry gallery, where costumes from His Merry Wife! are showcased in the film. After time-traveling for the first time, Lucy appears in this room as she compares her call sheet to the one on display. Above the library’s doors are paintings of Vanderbilt and his wife Edith, whom he married in 1898 a few years after Biltmore was opened.
Another notable filming location from the movie is the winter garden, where Lucy interacts with Jack for one of the first times after traveling back to the set of His Merry Wife! On a tour of Biltmore House, it’s usually one of the first rooms you see.
During a late-night stroll with Jack, Lucy is seen walking in front of Biltmore's conservatory, which includes poinsettias and numerous exotic orchids during Christmas. For filming, the conservatory’s glass ceiling was lit blue to give it some extra holiday magic.
The Inn on Biltmore Estate
The place where Lucy stays while visiting Biltmore is The Inn on Biltmore Estate. Four rooms at the inn were used as film sets, including the lobby, the library lounge, and two guest rooms. Visitors can book room 580, where both Lucy and Jack stay in the film.
Additionally, the cast stayed at The Inn on Biltmore Estate as they filmed the movie over 15 days. In honor of the film’s release, several costumes worn by Joy Lenz are on display at the hotel (including the one featured above).
Antidote at Chemist Spirits
In the film, Lucy and several other characters grab drinks at an old-fashioned bar. This scene was not filmed at Biltmore but rather at a local bar in Asheville called Antidote at Chemist Spirits. The perfect setting for the 1940s location, the bar offers “1900s Apothecary Style & Aesthetics with a craft cocktail selection to match,” per their website.
Henderson train station
Towards the end of the film, Lucy goes to a local train station and convinces one of the stars of His Merry Wife! to rejoin the movie. Unlike other filming locations, this scene was filmed three hours outside of Asheville at a historic train depot in Henderson, North Carolina.
Lucy's office at the beginning of the movie was filmed at an advertising agency in Asheville called Market Connections.
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