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The Carolina Inn 4.0

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Historic 1924 inn with Southern charm and UNC accents
  • Right across from UNC in the heart of Chapel Hill
  • Elegant, individually decorated rooms with four-poster beds
  • Roomy bathrooms with subway-tiled walk-in showers and bathrobes
  • All rooms include iPhone docks, mini-fridges, and coffeemakers
  • Restaurant serves seasonal dishes using local ingredients
  • Charming bar features craft cocktails and local beer
  • Grab-and-go cafe offers quick bites for breakfast and lunch
  • Gym with modern weight-lifting and cardio equipment
  • Room service and dedicated concierge (limited hours)
  • Free shuttle to local destinations and free Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • Breakfast and parking cost extra fees
  • Limited wellness facilities -- no pool or spa
  • Entry-level rooms are on the small side
  • Rooms lack some upscale perks, like minibars

Bottom Line

The Carolina Inn is an area favorite because of its location (right across the street from the UNC campus), history (it was built in 1924), and vintage southern charm (think antique wood furnishings and chandelier lights). The upscale hotel has exceptional staff, a stylish restaurant and bar serving local and seasonal dishes, and a cute grab-and-go cafe, in addition to meeting and event space. The hotel's 185 rooms are slightly on the small side, but are all individually decorated, featuring four-poster beds, subway tiled walk-in showers, and amenities like flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and bathrobes. Downsides? Parking and breakfast cost extra fees, and wellness facilities are limited to a small gym. Those looking for more modern, boutique flair should consider The Franklin nearby.

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Scene

Historic 1924 hotel with Southern Charm and expansive front porch

Guests looking for an alternative to the standard chain hotel are likely to enjoy The Carolina Inn, a character-filled local establishment with traditional southern charm and luxury touches. Built in 1924 in the style of a classic southern plantation, the Inn's main building features a red brick facade accented with green shuttered windows and top dormers. An expansive porch looks out on centuries-old oak trees that dot the property's beautifully manicured lawn. Decor throughout is elegant and traditional with antique wood furnishings, chandelier lights, and framed photos of historic UNC scenes and alumni. In the lobby, rich wood floors are accented in floral rugs. Plush couches and high-backed upholstered chairs are arranged in sitting areas, where guest might gather before heading to a football game or attending an special occasion on the premises. (It's a popular spot for weddings and baby showers.) Guests are often UNC students, parents, or alumni, though others are here for special events or to visit the UNC Hospital.

Location

Excellent location in heart of Chapel Hill, right across the street from UNC's campus

The Carolina Inn is situated in heart of Chapel Hill, right across the street from The University of North Carolina's beautiful campus and about a five-minute walk from Franklin Street's restaurants and bars. Ackland Art Museum is just down the street, a three-minute walk, and the planetarium is an eight-minute walk. For guests looking to catch the Tar Heels, Kenan Memorial Stadium is about a 12-minute walk. The UNC Hospital is about a 15-minute walk, or guests can take the free shuttle, which goes anywhere within a three-mile radius. Raleigh-Durham International Airport is about a half-hour drive. Valet and self-parking are available, but both cost extra fees.

Rooms

Individually decorated, traditional rooms with four-poster beds and modern amenities

Rooms are individually decorated with charming, traditional decor -- think four-poster beds with pillow-top mattresses, classic wardrobes, and writing desks with turned legs, all made from rich wood. Soft mossy greens and creams are common colors used in textiles, and many rooms have hardwood floors. Antique details add a homey, local feel; the framed pictures of UNC history are a sweet touch. Bathrooms tend to be fairly roomy, with spacious walk-in showers, stylish subway tiling, and vanities topped in marble. 

At 200 square feet, entry-level Traditional Single Queen Rooms can feel a bit small, though there are a huge variety of room sizes including Double Queen, King, and Suite Rooms, all of which add more space. Suites add even more room, like living areas with bright, floral wallpaper; some also have bathtubs. The largest Premier King Suite is a spacious 765 square feet.

All rooms have desk space, free Wi-Fi, and 32-inch flat-screen TVs, in addition to laptop safes and iPhone docking stations. Rooms also have mini-fridges and in-room coffee/tea service. Bathrooms are stocked with individual Nest toiletries and bathrobes. The hotel offers nightly turndown service and room service. 

Features

Charming restaurant and bar and free shuttle service -- but limited wellness facilities

Like the Inn itself, this property's extra features have class and charm. Crossroads at Chapel Hill is the Inn's restaurant and bar, which serves up seasonal dishes using local ingredients and a dash of southern style. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are offered, as well as a Sunday brunch and afternoon tea (though reservations should be made in advance for the latter). Note that breakfast is not included in the rate, though buffet and a la carte options are available. The buffet features hot and cold dishes, like fresh baked goods, grits, sausage, and eggs. The bar has local beer on tap and serves up craft cocktails in addition to wine and smoothies. Cozy outdoor seating is also available. 

For something quicker, the hotel has a grab-and-go market, Pittsboro Street Provisions, a stylish little cafe-style shop with a honeycomb-tiled floor. It's open from the morning into the late afternoon and serves up coffee drinks plus quick breakfasts and lunches to go. Guests also report free cookies in the afternoon during check-in. Room service is available during limited hours.

Unlike some other four-pearl properties, the hotel has no pool or spa, though it does have a small wood-floored gym with weight-lifting equipment, medicine balls, and cardio machines with individual screens (including two ellipticals and three treadmills). There's also a small business center with three computers for guest and a printer. The hotel also has a dedicated concierge, and guests find the staff exceptional. Shuttle service is available locally free of charge, though on-site parking (self- and valet-) costs an extra fee. Dry cleaning is available on weekdays for an extra fee and the hotel has meeting and event space. For guests traveling with children, the hotel uses Babierge to rent out cribs, strollers, Pack 'n Plays, and more, though these cost extra fees. 

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Address

211 Pittsboro St, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27516-2739, United States

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