The Best Hotels to Book in Durham, North Carolina

Re-live your college days with a campus stay when you book a room at JB Duke Hotel
Re-live your college days with a campus stay when you book a room at JB Duke Hotel | Courtesy of JB Duke Hotel /
Photo of Nick Dauk
27 October 2021

You don’t need to be a Blue Devil to find welcoming hotels in Durham, North Carolina, but it does help to be a fan of the Duke University teams. If sports aren’t your thing, then you’ll be intrigued by the vibrant galleries, hip foodie scene, and young crowd that embraces the historical roots of the city. Whether you’re exploring this spot in The Triangle for the first time or revisiting your old college stomping grounds, these hotels in Durham – which are all bookable on Culture Trip – will make you feel at home.

21c Museum Hotel Durham, for in-house culture

A pink penguin decoration and two double beds with white sheets in 21c Museum Hotel Durham
Courtesy of 21c Museum Hotel Durham /
There are many hotels in Durham, but only 21c Museum Hotel is an interactive museum. This hip boutique hotel has more than 10,000sqft (929sqm) of exhibition space that you can explore at any time of the day or night. Need something easy on the eyes after a spa visit? Take a walk through the gallery. Want to be wowed after drinks at the Counting House? Stop in the foyer to admire the green marble and silver leaf ceiling.

The Durham Hotel, for city views

View over the seating area at the Durham Hotel with freestanding lamps and geometric design pendant lights
Courtesy of The Durham Hotel /
Drink in Durham in more ways than one from the rooftop bar of the Durham Hotel. It’s the spirit of the city that’ll consume you in this downtown hotel, and we’re not talking about the bourbon in your glass. Every room is brimming with North Carolina pride, from the Raleigh Denim blankets to the stately snack tray. With the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, the Carolina Theatre and Museum of Durham History nearby, your day’s agenda is right outside your window

Unscripted Durham, for a trendy stay

Bright blue and yellow geometric wallpaper with double bed, TV and well-designed chairs in a room at the Unscripted Hotels Durham
Courtesy of Unscripted Hotels Durham / Expedia

Write your own vacation story on the fly at Unscripted. This trendy spot is a choose-your-own-adventure accommodation: will you use the energy of the buzzing allday cafe to work on your novel or will you bob your head to the DJs spinning vinyl in the Studio lounge? Perhaps it’s the Patio rooftop pool where you’ll start or end your day, staring out at the Durham skyline where your next chapter awaits… after a rest in your poolside room, of course.

Hilton Durham near Duke University, for a pet-friendly retreat

A comfortable room with a cozy-looking double bed with a yellow headboard
Courtesy of Hilton Durham near Duke University /

Hang out on the vertex of the Research Triangle at Hilton Durham. While it might take 10 minutes to drive into downtown, your dog will be pleased that you chose this pet-friendly hotel. It might not be able to use the outdoor pool and you may have to sneak some table scraps from the Bluestone Grill, but its tail will wag once more when you head across the highway for a hike through Duke Forest.

Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, for sports fans

A classic indoor swimming pool with a hot tub at one end at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club
Courtesy of Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club / Expedia | Courtesy of Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club / Expedia
Don’t let your high handicap turn you off from a stay at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club. Although you’re welcome to hone your game on the Duke University course, there’s much more to do than hit balls. A fitness center, indoor swimming pool and adjacent trails through Duke Forest offer recreation and relaxation beyond the greens. For the younger ones who only want to grab a driver if they can hit it like Happy Gilmore, the family game room has air hockey, foosball and other fun games.

JB Duke Hotel, for a spot on Duke campus

A modern bedroom with a double bed and views onto tree tops
Courtesy of JB Duke Hotel /

Right on the Duke campus, JB Duke Hotel is the coolest place to stay near this school. The freshmen will be envious of your spacious guest room and bathroom that you don’t have to share. Your old college buddies will be jealous that you’re able to walk to Wallace Wade Stadium without fighting for parking in the wee hours of the morning. You’ll have no time to brag about one of the best hotels in Durham, though; you’ll be too busy with a post-game bowl of NC BBQ and pimento mac from the hotel restaurant.

Aloft Durham Downtown, for a sound sleep

Cosy communal space in Aloft Durham Downtown with grey, blue and orange colour scheme
Courtesy of Aloft Durham Downtown/

Aloft is so close to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park that you could just about roll out of bed and slide into home plate. You should sleep soundly on your platform bed, though, especially if you spend most of your evening knocking back beers and shooting pool in the lounge. If so, then you’ll appreciate the walk-in shower and oversized showerhead in the morning. Just be sure to stock your mini fridge with snacks from the 24/7 eatery before you hit the sack.

Courtyard by Marriott Durham, for a no-hassle stay

A bedroom at the Courtyard by Marriott Durham with a double bed and small sofa
Courtesy of Courtyard Durham Near Duke University/Downtown /

No need to battle through traffic, enjoy complimentary rides to and from Duke University throughout the week when you book a stay at Courtyard by Marriott. Perfect for game days and for those visiting a loved one at Duke Hospital, this hotel on the outskirts of town helps you make the most of your time in Durham with comfortable double guest rooms, quick cups of Starbucks coffee, and smooth cocktails that help you wind your evening down right.

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