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It's the largest city in North Carolina and a hub for banking, so it's no surprise that Charlotte draws leisure and business travelers from all over the world. Charlotte’s famous NASCAR races, museums such as Discovery Place or the Mint Museum, as well as its fantastic shops and restaurants are just some of the things to do and see in the city. While Charlotte has a number of well-executed chain hotels, for a change of scenery you’ll also find a handful of boutique and historic properties. Want some insider recommendations on where to stay? Here are the best places sleep when you're overnighting in Charlotte.
Best Overall: Homewood Suites by Hilton Charlotte Ballantyne
A comfortable stay in the upscale neighborhood of Ballantyne, The Homewood Suites by Hilton is a popular overall choice for families, couples and business travelers. The 117 suites are spotless and spacious, with modern décor, a kitchen with a full-sized refrigerator, microwave, two-burner stove and a dishwasher. A free hot breakfast is included in every stay, while Monday through Thursday the hotel hosts an evening social hour. Guests can relax by the lovely outdoor pool and water fountains, exercise in the fitness center or shoot hoops at the basketball court. There are several restaurants and a popular bar within walking distance of the hotel.
Best Bed and Breakfast: Duke Mansion
Travelers who enjoy the experience of a bed and breakfast will love the Duke Mansion, a historic 20-room home set on four acres of beautiful gardens. Built in 1915 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the mansion invites travelers to relax on one of the screened porches, curl up with a good book in the library or stroll the picturesque grounds. Most rooms have shared sleeping porches, goose down pillows, luxurious baths, high ceilings and elegant Southern decor. TripAdvisor members raved about the fantastic breakfast buffet and the beauty of the mansion. The mansion is located about two miles from downtown Charlotte.
Best for Romance: Ivey’s Hotel
The dazzling, 42-room Ivey’s Hotel pays every attention to detail and its elegant style and service make for a fantastic romantic getaway. Located in the heart of uptown Charlotte, the gorgeous hotel welcomes guests with a complimentary wine and cheese hour in the lobby lounge. Room decor features reclaimed, 400-year-old French oak floors, custom-designed lighting fixtures and a mix of Parisian and Art Deco-era artwork, plus spacious bathrooms that feel like luxurious spas. A continental breakfast with locally sourced pastries and coffees is included, but guests can also dine at the fabulous restaurant and bar.
Best Budget: Home 2 Suites Charlotte University Research Park
There are a number of budget hotel chains in Charlotte, but the Home2 Suites by Hilton is a cut above the rest, making it an all-around, good option at an affordable price. Bright and cheerful decor is used in the lobby, fitness center, business lounge and breakfast area (a buffet is included in the rate). Guests can relax in the outdoor lounge with a fireplace and barbecue grills or go for a swim in the indoor pool. The 105 guest rooms have colorful furnishings, fully stocked kitchenettes, iHome docking stations, separate living areas and soft, Serta bedding. The hotel is steps away from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. TripAdvisor members loved that the neighborhood was full of shops and restaurants.
Best Boutique: Dunhill Hotel
Built in the 1920s, the 60-room Dunhill Hotel maintains its historic charm and is ideal for travelers seeking a boutique hotel in a great location. Perched in the popular uptown neighborhood within walking distance to museums, restaurants and art galleries, the hotel embodies the era of the Roaring Twenties, but offers modern amenities. Rooms have lavish bedding, marble baths, premium bath products, Keurig coffee makers and iPod docking stations. An on-site restaurant serves local, Carolinian dishes for lunch and dinner, but in-room dining is also available. Rates include a free shuttle, shoe shine, turndown service, breakfast and a pass to the local YMCA gym (there is no fitness center on the property). Parking is additional.
Best Luxury: The Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge
The luxurious Ballantyne offers a sprawling resort experience with a championship golf course, full-service spa and outstanding service. Located in the swanky Ballantyne neighborhood, the 244-room Starwood brand hotel is the perfect retreat. Rooms have marble entrances, oversized windows or private balconies, soaking tubs and plush bathrobes. Guests can play tennis, take a dip in the indoor or outdoor pool, take a bike out for a spin or get a workout in at the fitness center or jogging track. The main restaurant serves Southern-American cuisine, but there’s also a lobby café and a sleek and sophisticated bar and lounge.
Best for Families: Drury Inn and Suites Northlake
Families staying in Charlotte will love the trusted hotel brand, Drury Inn and Suites where kids stay free. The 180-room, pet-friendly hotel is located in the Northlake neighborhood near the shopping mall and Lake Norman, but 15 minutes from most downtown Charlotte attractions. Kid-friendly amenities include free soda and popcorn, an indoor swimming pool and whirlpool, as well as free hot breakfast. There’s also an hour in the evening set aside for snacks and mingling. Modern, basic rooms include mini refrigerators, microwaves, and Wi-Fi, while suites have a pull-out sofabed and a separate living area. TripAdvisor members gushed about the friendly staff that made them feel at home.
Best Business: Embassy Suites by Hilton Charlotte Ayrsley
A perennial favorite for business travelers, the Embassy Suites by Hilton Charlotte Ayrsley provides a convenient location and comfortable stay. The hotel has more than 13,00 square feet of meeting space, a 24-hour business center and a gym. After a day of work, unwind in the outdoor seating area with fire pits, cool off in the swimming pool or join the complimentary evening reception with snacks and drinks. Spacious suites include two separate rooms, contemporary decor, microwaves, mini refrigerators and free breakfast. The hotel is within walking distance to shopping, restaurants, a 10-lane bowling alley and a movie theater. Free parking and charging stations for electric vehicles are also available.
Best Nightlife: Le Meridien
In the heart of uptown Charlotte, the Le Meridien makes an ideal base for travelers who want to enjoy a trendy nightlife scene without having to go far. The rooftop bar is a happening place for after-work cocktails and fantastic views, but the outdoor pool area and adjacent social club are also great spots to mingle. Other popular bars include a speakeasy-style club and a martini and wine bar. The 300 guestrooms and suites have a minimum of 300 square feet of space, skyline views, original artwork, mini refrigerators and Illy espresso machines. Several dining options are available on the property, including Evoke, a hip restaurant with fresh, local dishes.