The Best Hotels in North Carolina for Every Traveler

You can't miss a visit to the Biltmore Estate on a trip to North Carolina
You can't miss a visit to the Biltmore Estate on a trip to North Carolina | © Christy Schaffer / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Nicholas Grantham
4 January 2021

When looking for reasons to visit North Carolina, the old North State has no shortage of answers. From the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains in the west to the clear waters of the Outer Banks in the east, NC is filled with a diverse natural landscape, perfect for exploring. With so much to discover, you’re going to need a superb starting point for your sightseeing adventures – here are some of the best hotels on offer for your next stay in the great state of North Carolina.

Umstead Hotel & Spa

Resort
Map View
The Umstead Hotel & Spa
Courtesy of The Umstead Hotel and Spa / Expedia
Hidden away among the Carolina pines and with a serene setting over the lakeside, the Umstead Hotel and Spa is an ideal spot for some well-deserved rest and recuperation. Based in the small town of Cary, the Umstead is the only Forbes-rated, five-star hotel in the state – and it’s easy to see why it achieved such a prestigious score. The suites are elegantly designed, including individually curated art works and thoughtful features, such as a deep soaking bath tub, VertuoLine Nespresso coffee machine and complimentary wifi for every guest.
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The Inn at Biltmore Estate

Inn
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Courtesy of The Inn on Biltmore Estate / Expedia

Housed on the historic Biltmore estate, first founded by the renowned Vanderbilts, the Inn has every bit of the luxury and opulence that made the family famous. With sweeping views of the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains, it’s easy to forget you’re just a short drive from the bustling city of Asheville. The Inn’s interiors are traditionally furnished, reflecting the rich history of the estate – but it’s the fantastic in-house facilities that truly make the hotel shine. These include its very own winery, a world-class spa and even a charming model railway in the botanical gardens.

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The Ritz-Carlton Charlotte

Bed and Breakfast, Spa Hotel, Hotel
Map View
The Ritz-Carlton
Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte / Expedia
In downtown Charlotte and a short distance from many of the area’s cultural highlights, the striking Ritz-Carlton hotel is a sanctuary from the lively city center. Designed with sustainability in mind, every aspect of the hotel has been touched by this ecofriendly ethos. The restaurant uses ingredients grown on the rooftop garden, the spa only uses organic materials for their huge array of treatments and even the rooms’ mini bar is stocked with locally sourced beverages. Outside of the green-minded greatness, the hotel has a curated contemporary design, offering the very best in modern comfort.
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Siena Hotel

Chain Hotel, Boutique Hotel
Map View
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Courtesy of The Siena Hotel, Autograph Collection / Expedia

Inspired by the idyllic towns of southern Italy, the Siena Hotel brings a piece of that classic European elegance to the town of Chapel Hill. Modeled after a Tuscan villa, it’s easy to see the influence in the hotel’s suites – with their hand-picked Italian furnishings, marble floors and grandiose columns. A true high point of the hotel is the on-site restaurant, Il Palio, which serves a delicious menu of authentic Italian dishes, using the best of local ingredients and consistently rated 4 diamonds by the AAA.

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Proximity Hotel

Independent Hotel, Boutique Hotel
Map View
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Courtesy of Proximity Hotel / Expedia

Based in the charming city of Greensboro, the Proximity Hotel is a modern take on the classic hotel experience. The employee-owned hotel goes to great lengths to be as eco-conscious and sustainable as possible – it was the first hotel in America to receive a LEEDS Platinum green rating. A popular choice for wedding parties looking for a contemporary ceremony, the hotel has huge loft-like suites featuring specifically commissioned furnishings, breathtaking event spaces and a delectable menu from the in-house Print Works restaurant.

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Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville

Chain Hotel, Boutique Hotel
Map View
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Courtesy of Grand Bohemian Asheville, Autograph Collection / Expedia

The Grand Bohemian sets itself apart from other hotels in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains through its fierce individuality and fascinating aesthetic. A wild spirit channels itself through the worn leather furnishings, curious antiques and carefully curated art works. The unorthodox aesthetic runs through the guest rooms, each channeling a 19th-century hunting lodge – but with up to date amenities. Be sure to check out the Red Stag Grill restaurant, which offers a creative blend of European comfort foods with Carolina sensibilities – it’s frequently touted as one of the best restaurants in town.

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21C Museum Hotel Durham

Hotel
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Courtesy of 21c Museum Hotel Durham - MGallery / Expedia
Offering guests a truly one-stop shop for culture and comfort, the 21C Museum Hotel is part art museum, part event space and part boutique hotel. Found in Durham’s historic Hill Building and first opened in 2015, 21C has been welcoming guests to it’s captivating exhibitions and eclectic event calendar ever since. Don’t worry though – the hotel itself is well worth a visit in it’s own right, with its original Art Deco interiors brought up to date with modern touches such as complimentary wifi, 42-inch HDTV and Malin + Goetz toiletries as standard.
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The Durham

Hotel
Map View
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Courtesy of The Durham Hotel / Expedia
Located right in the center of the city, the Durham is a prominent mid-century hotel with a gorgeous design, embodying the energetic atmosphere of its namesake. Each of the rooms play up to the hotel’s heritage and feature a crisp retro interior with lovingly sourced local touches – such as Raleigh denim blankets and a coffee set from a local roasting company. A real bright spot in Durham’s excellent offering is the in-house rooftop terrace, with picture-perfect views of the city and a bespoke cocktail menu – sourced with seasonally suitable ingredients and spirits.
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  • Grand Bohemian Hotel Charlotte

    Chain Hotel, Boutique Hotel
    Map View
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    Courtesy of Grand Bohemian Hotel Charlotte, Autograph Collection / Expedia

    In the very heart of Charlotte’s animated uptown, you’ll find the prestigious Grand Bohemian Hotel – a perfect jumping off spot for exploring the city’s many nearby attractions. Well-suited for sports fans, the hotel is a short distance to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Spectrum Center and Truist Field. If you’re feeling like you need a pamper, the hotel has a great selection of facilities – including a fully equipped fitness center and dedicated on-site spa, with an eclectic collection of recuperating treatments, body scrubs and massages.

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    Kimpton Cardinal Hotel

    Chain Hotel, Boutique Hotel
    Map View
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    Courtesy of Kimpton Cardinal Hotel / Expedia

    Originally built in 1929 and serving as the architectural ancestor of New York’s Empire State Building, today the Cardinal Hotel still offers its guests a traditional Southern hospitality with a 21st-century spin. Playing on its Art Deco origins, the hotel itself is a fantastic blend of the classic and contemporary, with spacious suites, elegant ballrooms and an energetic in-house eatery. A Southern take on a traditional French brasserie, the Katherine has an appetizing menu of fresh seafood, American classics and delectable drinks.

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    Grand Old Lady Hotel

    Independent Hotel, Inn
    Map View
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    Courtesy of Grand Old Lady Hotel / Expedia

    First opening its doors over 100 years ago, the Grand Old Lady definitely lives up to both its name and reputation. Set amongst the peaceful Smoky Mountains, the hotel has a calm and restful atmosphere, with pleasant and personal service. Each room is traditionally furnished, with luxury linens, an ensuite bathroom and even an authentic clawfoot bathtub. Make sure to try the complimentary three-course American breakfast, served in the hotel’s ample in-house dining room.

    Sanderling Resort

    Resort, Spa Hotel
    Map View
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    Courtesy of Sanderling Resort / Expedia

    A few steps away from the pristine beaches of the Outer Banks, the Sanderling Resort is the perfect option for guests looking for an escape to the ocean. The hotel has a choice of traditional hotel suites in their North & South Inns, as well as private beach houses – well-suited for family breaks or romantic weekends away. With a true focus on wellness, the resort features an excellent on-site spa with a number of signature treatments and classic therapies available for guests to book.

    These recommendations were updated on January 4, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.