The Best Hotels in the Triangle, North Carolina

A visit to Chapel Hill gives you the green light for Raleigh and Durham, too
A visit to Chapel Hill gives you the green light for Raleigh and Durham, too | © Ian G Dagnall / Alamy Stock Photo
Nick Dauk

It may be hip to be square, but North Carolina’s Triangle is where you’ll find the South’s burgeoning trends. From Durham to Raleigh to Chapel Hill, this is the home of the state’s best beers and barbecue. Triangulate your dream stay in the state’s prime eating, drinking and shopping area with our hand-picked list of the very best options for a hotel in the Triangle.

1. 21c Museum Hotel Durham


A pink penguin decoration and two double beds with white sheets in 21c Museum Hotel Durham
Courtesy of 21c Museum Hotel Durham /
Color your stay more than comfortable in 21c Museum Hotel in Durham. This artsy space in downtown Durham transformed the former Hill Building into a living gallery. Sandwiched between the foyer’s silver-leaf ceiling and terrazzo floors, contemporary art exhibitions rotate through the year. You’ll also find a menu full of bourbon, pasta and sweet desserts tucked securely in the building’s original bank vault, now the buzzy lounge of the Counting House.

2. The Umstead Hotel and Spa


A homey guestroom at Umstead Hotel and Spa with a double bed, and a desk and seating area next to a large window with tree views
Courtesy of the Umstead Hotel and Spa / Expedia
The next best thing to eating barbecue in the Triangle? Becoming the barbecue at the Umstead Hotel and Spa. Forgive us for slathering on the silliness but there’s truly no better feeling than getting rubbed down with a cherry blossom treatment, and flushing out your pores with an afternoon in the steam room. You’ll leave feeling so tender and loose that you’ll fall straight to sleep when you saunter over to your spa-level suite.

3. Graduate Chapel Hill


Graduate Chapel Hill bar with wooden floors, mural on the wall and original art on the walls
Courtesy of Graduate Chapel Hill / Expedia
Need a Chapel Hill hotel that receives high grades? The Graduate will take your stay to the top of the class. Tailor-made for Tar Heels – so be sure you’re sporting the right shade of blue – your queen or king suite has a comfy bed, cozy sitting area, desk, and sofa without a couch surfer – a far cry from the digs in the dorms. Want a meal that tastes like coming home? The Frito pie in the Trophy Room will warm your soul.

4. The Durham Hotel


View over the seating area at the Durham Hotel with freestanding lamps and geometric design pendant lights
Courtesy of The Durham Hotel /
Downtown Durham is your playground at the Durham Hotel. You’ll get a taste of the city as soon as you arrive, with a snack tray of North Carolina goodies in your room. A taste of the city can also be had during photography exhibits, live music and other special events on the rooftop. Your first drink? Make it a Durham with cognac, tawny port and Durham city views.

5. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Raleigh-Durham Airport at Research Triangle Park

Chain Hotel

DoubleTree by Hilton outdoor pool on a sunny day with seating area, trees and loungers
Courtesy of DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Raleigh-Durham Airport at Research Triangle Park / Expedia

DoubleTree might as well be called the TripleTree since it keeps you close to all three Triangle cities. A free shuttle scoops you up from the Raleigh-Durham Airport and the rest is up to you. Munch on a warm cookie in the lobby and ask them where the best Chapel Hill barbecue joint is. Grab a brew at the Lobby Bar while waiting for your cab to the Canes game or spend the night dining in at Vintage Carolina Restaurant.

6. Marriott at Research Triangle Park

Chain Hotel, Business Hotel

Marriott at Research Triangle Park twin room with pattern carpet, floral wall art and wooden headboards
Courtesy of Marriott at Research Triangle Park / Expedia

Get business done the Durham way at Marriott. This hi-tech hotel in Research Triangle Park has fast wifi, AV equipment and ergonomic workstations in each room. No need to lose valuable work hours hunting for food; Newton’s and the Corner Pantry downstairs will keep you fueled with delicious food. When you’re ready to loosen that tie, grab a job on the outdoor fitness trail before cooling off in the indoor pool.

7. Millennium Hotel Durham


Millennium Durham exterior at dusk with flowerbeds, trees and driveway
Courtesy of Millennium Durham /

Millennium Hotel in Durham will keep you comfortable while the nationally acclaimed healthcare workers at Duke University Hospital keep your loved ones cared for. The business center comes in clutch for last-minute work emergencies, though there’s plenty of space to set up a remote workspace in your room. Need a few minutes to collect your thoughts? Quiet walking trails are just across the street.

8. JB Duke Hotel


JB Duke Hotel lobby with thick wooden table and stools, orchids, modern fireplace and colourful carpet
Courtesy of JB Duke Hotel / Expedia

If you don’t mind bunking with a few Blue Devils, then you’re always welcome at JB Duke Hotel in the Triangle. Right on Duke’s campus and a hail mary away from Wallace Wade Stadium, this stylishly slick hotel runs deep with blue, from the accents in each suite to the Fight, Blue Devils song hummed by the staff. No need to come ready with a campus meal plan; just bring your appetite for comfort food in the MarketPlace.

This is an updated rewrite of an article originally written by Paige Watts.

Looking for more places to stay in North Carolina? Check out our pick of the best hotels in North Carolina for every traveler.

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