Top North Carolina Resorts, Hotels and Inns

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    Ten Fantastic Places to Stay and Play in North Carolina

    The Umstead Hotel and Spa
    ••• The Umstead Hotel and Spa. Courtesy of The Umstead

    North Carolina offers visitors many exceptional resorts, hotels and inns, from some of the world's top award winning golf resorts to scenic mountain retreats and idyllic oceanfront escapes. If you are planning a visit to North Carolina, here are ten of the state's best places to stay and play, with an array of options for your golf getaway, family vacation, romantic weekend, culinary adventure, corporate meeting or convention.

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  • 02 of 11

    Pinehurst

    Piinehurst
    ••• The Carolina Hotel at Pinehurst. Courtesy of Pinehurst

    A Legendary Golf Resort in the North Carolina Sandhills

    Pinehurst is world renowned for its eight world-class golf courses making it the largest golf resort in the nation, as well as the resort of choice for more championships than any other golf course and the only site to host all five of the USGA’s major championships. In 2014, Pinehurst will host both the U.S. Open and the U.S. Women’s Open Championships.

    In addition to the famed golf facilities, Pinehurst guests may enjoy many other recreational options including tennis and lawn sports, a lakeside beach club, swimming pools, fishing, special family activities and a seasonal KidsClub. The award-winning Spa at Pinehurst offers massage, body treatments, salon and fitness services. Several signature treatments are enhanced with fragrant and soothing regional delights such as pine, peach blossom and magnolia.

    Three hotels offer lodging options: The elegant Carolina is a 230-room AAA Four Diamond hotel and is listed on the National...MORE Register of Historic Places; The Holly, opened in 1895 as Pinehurst's first inn, offers 82 guest rooms as well as the resort's AAA Four-Diamond 1895 Grille. The 42-room Manor offers casual lodge accommodations. Pinehurst dining options range from upscale fine dining to casual.

    Location: 80 Carolina Vista Drive, Pinehurst, North Carolina 28374

    Check rates and user reviews on TripAdvisor

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  • 03 of 11

    The Fearrington House Inn

    Fearrington House Inn
    ••• Courtesy of Relais & Châteaux

    An Elegant Country Inn

    Among the many top accolades and awards garnered by The Fearrington House Inn, both the inn and the restaurant are AAA Five Diamond rated, the inn is Forbes Five Star rated and it was also selected by Forbes as the top U.S. luxury hotel for weddings. Centrally located, approximately 16 miles south of Chapel Hill and 36 miles west of Raleigh, this celebrated Relais & Chateaux member inn is situated on a former dairy farm in a charming, upscale village setting.

    Each of the 32 English country inspired guest rooms features a distinct design, appointed with antiques, luxurious bed linens, regional artwork, fresh garden flowers and other luxurious amenities. Located near the inn, the Spa at Fearrington offers facials, massages, pedicures and manicures. The award-winning and Green Certified restaurant features farm fresh seasonal selections and is a standout dining destination on its own. Outdoor gardens and pastoral views add to the enchanting ambiance.

    Location: 2000...MORE Fearrington Village, Pittsboro, North Carolina 27312

    Check rates and user reviews on TripAdvisor

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    The Inn on Biltmore Estate

    The Inn on Biltmore Estate
    ••• Courtesy of The Biltmore Company

    On the Expansive Grounds of Vanderbilt's Opulent Asheville Estate

    The Inn on Biltmore Estate opened in March 2001, and although it is not a replica of Biltmore House, it was designed to recall the elegance and hospitality of the Vanderbilt's home. Perched on a hill within the grounds of the spectacular 8,000-acre estate, the hotel overlooks Antler Hill Village and Biltmore Winery, with sweeping views of the mountains and Biltmore House. Each of the 210 spacious guest rooms and suites features luxurious appointments and amenities.

    Hotel amenities include a lovely outdoor swimming pool and hot tub, fitness center, fine dining restaurant, lobby bar, library and a spa. Estate activities include seasonal celebrations and events, nature walks and hiking, kayaking and float trips, fishing, carriage rides, off-road Land Rover adventures, shopping and more. Hotel guests may enjoy convenient shuttle service to and from the Inn and to other popular stops on the estate.

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  • 05 of 11

    Sanderling Resort

    Sanderling Resort
    ••• Courtesy of Sanderling Resort

    Casual Coastal Luxury on the NC Outer Banks

    There are many wonderful places to visit along the various Southeast U.S. coastlines, but there is nowhere quite like the Outer Banks; and, on the Outer Banks, there are no other resorts like Sanderling Resort. Located in the upscale town of Duck, which sits between the Currituck Sound to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the 16-acre Sanderling Resort has received numerous awards and accolades including the prestigious AAA Four Diamond Award.

    Resort features include 95 guest rooms and suites designed to recall a seaside style of casual elegance, five rental homes, spectacular ocean views and access, a lagoon style family pool and an adults only tranquility pool, hot tubs and cozy fire pits, plus several dining options with a focus on locally sourced food. The intimate resort spa offers an array of body treatments, massage therapies, skin care options and salon services. Several signature treatments are inspired by the bounty of...MORE nature's resources that are indigenous to the Outer Banks.

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    The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte

    The Ritz-Carlton Charlotte
    ••• Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Charlotte

    An Upscale Uptown Hotel in the Queen City

    Conveniently located in the heart of Uptown Charlotte, this luxury, eco-friendly Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte is the first green hotel in the greater Charlotte area, as well as the first LEED-built hotel within The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. Among its many awards, the hotel has received a LEED Gold certification and an AAA Five Diamond rating.

    Opened in the fall of 2009, the 146-room contemporary hotel features a bi-level penthouse spa and Wellness center, spacious guestrooms with sophisticated style and stunning cityscape and uptown Charlotte views and several dining options and bars with a focus on organic, freshly-grown local foods. On scheduled days, Cocoa Lab presents pastry and dessert cooking classes. The hotel is situated within easy walking distance of many of Charlotte's popular attractions, including the EpiCentre (a mixed-used entertainment complex), the Time Warner Cable Arena, NASCAR Hall of Fame, and many cultural options.

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  • 07 of 11

    The Omni Grove Park Inn

    Omni Grove Park
    ••• Courtesy of Omni Hotels & Resorts

    A Historic Mountain Inn and Resort

    The Omni Grove Park Inn, which opened in the summer of 1913 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a sprawling resort situated on the slope on Sunset Mountain, just 1.5 miles from the center of Asheville. Built of rusticated granite stones, the architecture alone is notable. Immense granite fireplaces anchor the enormous lobby (one with a tiny elevator behind it), original Arts and Crafts furnishings are displayed throughout the hotel and panoramic views of Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains may be enjoyed from large terraces, balconies and many guest rooms.

    Resort amenities include the Donald Ross designed Grove Park Inn Golf Club and a stunning $50 million underground spa. The spa design elements of fire, rock, water, and light create a fantasy ambience throughout the romantic, cavernous spaces with cascading waterfalls, natural daylight and moonlight, fireplaces, flickering candles and a series of relaxing pools.

    Throughout...MORE the year, the Omni Grove Park Inn offers many special entertainment events, concerts, holiday celebrations and activities with options for romantic couples, as well as for family members of all ages.

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  • 08 of 11

    The Umstead Hotel and Spa

    The Umstead Spa
    ••• Courtesy of The Umstead

    A Tranquil Retreat in the Heart of the Triangle

    Conveniently located in an idyllic, wooded setting next to Umstead State Park, The Umstead Hotel and Spa is a member of Leading Hotels of the World and Leading Spas of the World, as well as an AAA Five Diamond and a Forbes Five Star recipient for both the hotel and the signature restaurant, Herons. Inspired by the beauty of art and nature, the hotel design features natural building materials, tranquil surroundings and landscaping, an extensive collection of original art, attentive yet unobtrusive service and fine contemporary furnishings.

    The top rated spa offers a full menu of services in an atmosphere of tranquil elegance, including ten treatment rooms, relaxation lounges and a meditation courtyard garden. Outdoor amenities include poolside cabanas, a cozy terrace fireplace and several hiking trails.

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  • 09 of 11

    High Hampton Inn and Country Club

    High Hampton Inn and Country Club
    ••• Courtesy of High Hampton Inn and Country Club

    A Special Place to Unplug in the North Carolina Mountains

    Set on 1400 idyllic acres surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina, High Hampton Inn and Country Club is truly a special place to unplug, relax and enjoy the splendor of nature. Rustic accommodations include guest rooms and suites in the historic main lodge, as well as a selection of charming cottages dotted around the property, most with lake or mountain views.

    Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, High Hampton is steeped in time-honored traditions that entice generations of guests to return year after year. Near the main lodge, an heirloom tree garden was planted over 100 years ago with an award-winning Frasier Fir (one of the largest in the nation), a Ginkgo tree, Bottlebrush Buckeye, Bald Cyprus and a gorgeous Copper Beech. Also on the property, visitors are able to enjoy a lovely Dahlia Garden, also first planted more 100 years ago. Ample on-site recreational opportunities include golf,...MORE tennis, a spa and health club, hiking, lake swimming, fly fishing and many seasonal special activities and events. Breakfast and lunch, served in the dining room are casual; however, as tradition reigns, there is a dress code for dinner.

    In keeping with the historic and nature focused setting, High Hampton guest rooms and cottages do not have televisions or telephones, although wireless internet service, televisions and telephones are available in the lobby, many rooms and common areas. Also, you will find neither elevators nor air conditioning here, which the resort management acknowledges may not appeal to everyone. If, however, you enjoy falling asleep to gentle night sounds of the forest and fresh mountain air from an open window, and waking to the melodies of birdsong, High Hampton may be the ideal choice for a memorable family vacation or romantic mountain escape.

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    The Swag

    The Swag
    ••• Courtesy of The Swag

    An Intimate Mountaintop Escape

    The Swag, an award-winning country inn, sits atop a majestic ridge that forms one of the boundaries of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Originally built as a family home, this intimate inn offers 14 guest rooms and suites, many with wood burning fireplaces, private balconies, steam showers and saunas. Three separate cabins feature sitting rooms, fireplaces and porches. Design features include 17th and 18th century hand hewn logs, local field stone and rustic antiques.

    The views from this mountaintop property are spectacular with vistas including four of the six highest mountain ranges in North Carolina. There are several on-site hiking trails as well as direct access to the adjacent national park. Other recreational amenities include a swimming pond, lawn games, a regulation racquetball court and seasonal special events. Room rates vary by accommodation and three meals (including a packed lunch) for two guests are included in the rate.

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  • 11 of 11

    Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort

    Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort
    ••• Courtesy of Caesars Entertainment

    A Premier Casino Resort in the Great Smoky Mountains

    Located on 56-acres in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina, Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort features a 21-story hotel, casino, restaurants including a Ruth's Chris Steak House, a buffet with flavors from around the world and several others, an on-site spa and retail shopping. A 3,000 seat Event Center hosts big name shows and concerts.

    In addition to on-site activities and amenities, hotel guests may receive special rates and privileged access to the Sequoyah National Golf Club. With over 1,100 hotel rooms and suites, the resort offers the greatest number of hotel accommodations in the state.

    Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort is owned by The Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation. Caesars Entertainment is the managing partner for the resort.

     

    As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with some complimentary stays and meals for the purpose of reviewing those services. While it has not influenced this article, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.