The Best Hotels to Book in Wilmington, North Carolina

Get a flavor of Wilmington, North Carolina with a walk down the River walk
Get a flavor of Wilmington, North Carolina with a walk down the River walk | © Rose-Marie Murray / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Sarah Warwick
5 December 2021
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Coming to Wilmington, NC? Good choice. Now make sure you book into one of our top hotels in the coastal city – all close to the best sights and all bookable on Culture Trip right now.

Wilmington might not be as well known as its bigger Southern sisters, Savannah or Charleston, but the former port is the loveliest small city in America. Along the cobbled streets of its waterfront, the weathered buildings of Chandler’s Wharf and the Cotton Exchange still remind visitors of its former importance as a gateway to the Deep South ‒ even if today they’re the place to go for coffee and souvenirs rather than bales of lint.

You might recognize many of its streets already – the city is known as “Hollywood East” for its frequent use as a film location in over 350 movies, from The Color Purple to The Hunger Games. Even aside from taking a tour of those, there is plenty to do, from the WWII battleship USS North Carolina to the Children’s Museum, cruising along the Cape Fear River on a paddle steamer to browsing vintage shops; and, of course, hitting the beach. When you’re done, lay your head at one of these: our top places to stay in the North Carolina port city.

The Hive in Wilmington

A living room area in one of the hotel rooms at The Hive in Wilmington
Courtesy of The Hive / Expedia
This upscale all-suite hotel has 14 residences for your consideration, all fully stocked with kitchens, king-size mattresses and original art. A lot of thought has been put into the latter, resulting in an uber-hip, boutique feel, but there is plenty of substance here as well as style. The check-in is smooth and keyless, the parking is included, the tap water is filtered, the location is smack-bang in the middle of downtown and your dog is welcome too. In short: we heartily approve.

Graystone Inn in Wilmington

A four-poster bed at the Graystone Inn in Wilmington, North Carolina
Courtesy of Graystone Inn / Expedia
If you’re looking for a more traditional vibe, look no further than the Greystone – a landmark of Wilmington since the early 1900s. The current bed and breakfast owners pride themselves on its “Turn of The Century grandeur;” the decor is dominated by four-poster beds, crystal chandeliers, and delicate antique furnishings. Stay at one of its nine rooms and wake to a gourmet breakfast on the verandah and a central Wilmington setting overlooking Cape Fear River. After a day of sightseeing, return to sit by the fire in the Library for a chess game or a glass of fine wine. It is a relaxing kind of place.

Dreamers Welcome a Vegan B&B

A blue room with big windows at the Dreamers Welcome hotel in Wilmington
Courtesy of Dreamers Welcome / Expedia
If we tell you this place was recommended as a top seven hotel for vegans in the whole of the USA, you’ll get a good idea of its vibe and clientele. If you’re a red-blooded meat-eater with a penchant for macho, traditional decor, this isn’t the place for you. However, if you’re happiest when enjoying nut milk, quinoa porridge and vegan pistachio scones for breakfast, downward dogging in an on-site yoga class, or simply basking in the knowledge everything from your bedclothes to your hand soap are 100% cruelty-free, this dreamily decorated B&B is for you.

Hotel Ballast Wilmington

A swimming pool at the Hotel Ballast in Wilmington, North Carolina
Courtesy of Hotel Ballast / Expedia
On the Riverfront, this Hilton is a landmark in the downtown area, with a name which nods to the maritime history of the town. Built in the 1970s – hence the pink, cruise-liner-esque facade – it was fully renovated in 2018, with several new bars and restaurants. The large outdoor pool now comes with cabanas, fire pits and an outdoor bar which is a popular spot on weekends, while Board & Barrel Coastal Kitchen serves local Southern favorites – ideally with a bourbon on the side.

Beau Rivage Golf & Resort

A golf course and buildings at the Beau Rivage Golf and Resort
Courtesy of Beau Rivage Golf and Resort / Expedia
Is it tee time yet? The answer is “always” at Beau Rivage – which means Beautiful Shore in French and delivers across 18 championship holes of rolling hills, wooded glens and waterways. The only stay-on-site golfing hotel on the Carolinas coast treats golf lovers to a tricky course, full of tight doglegs and narrow fairways, while non-playing guests can enjoy the tennis courts, outdoor pool and Tiki Bar.

Wingate by Wyndham Wilmington

Hotel
A swimming pool at the Wingate by Wyndham Wilmington
Courtesy of Wingate by Wyndham Wilmington / Expedia
If you’re looking for a hassle-free stay, this no-frills-but-plenty-of-perks option works. It is an easy win for both flyers and drivers just minutes from the airport and just off the I-40 and Route 17. Families are fully catered for – with multi-bed rooms, cribs and the outdoor pool, as well as being just a ten-minute drive from both the Wrightsville Beach and the Jungle Rapids water park. The hot breakfast is complimentary, as is the manager’s reception every night Monday to Thursday. It might not look swanky, but it works.

Homewood Suites by Hilton Wilmington/Mayfaire, NC

A kitchen, desk and bed in the Homewood Suites by Hilton Wilmington
Courtesy of Homewood Suites by Hilton Wilmington/Mayfaire / Expedia
Located on the edge of town in the suburb of Mayfaire, part of the Wilmington ‘Mall Belt,’ this all-suite option is just five minutes from the beach. There is a nice outdoor pool and more of a resort feel than the Downtown options. Shopping, chain dining and movie theatres are right on your doorstep, while the historic center and significant sights are around 10mi (16km) away. Bookend your day with complimentary hotel perks – the breakfast buffet will set you up for the day, while on Wednesday, there is a happy hour with drinks and snacks on tap.

Hilton Garden Inn Wilmington Mayfaire Town Center

A swimming pool with sun loungers at Hilton Garden Inn Wilmington Mayfaire Town Center
Courtesy of Hilton Garden Inn Wilmington Mayfaire Town Center / Expedia
Another Mayfaire option, off Route 17, this Hilton has its own swimming pool, restaurant, Garden Grille and a 24-hour pantry – helpful in case you’re peckish in the night. Equidistant between the airport, downtown and the beach, this is an excellent place to stay if you want to keep your options open and prefer to stay close to modern amenities, like the mall and IMAX cinema, in the picturesque center of Wilmington.

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