As one of the premier hotels in the Raleigh-Durham area, The Umstead Hotel and Spa makes it hard for us to choose our five favorite things about the hotel. Would it be the tranquil wooded view or the comfortable lounge? The breakfast pastries in the morning? Or maybe the piece of chocolate on the pillow at night? Here’s how we broke it down:
1. The contemporary art-museum vibe. From the glass Dale Chihuly sculpture in the lobby to the rotating art exhibit in one of the first-floor hallways, The Umstead Hotel and Spa has a special affection for aesthetics.
2. The outdoor terrace with a fireplace. Simply put, it’s one of the most romantic spots in the Triangle. Order a cocktail from the bar and wander outside, where the cozy outdoor seating and a crackling fire could keep you there all night.
3. The eclectic gift shop. Who knew this hidden shop is one of the best places in town to buy gifts? The upscale inventory ranges from delicate glass birds to polished pottery. And if all you need is a Band-Aid or bottle of ibuprofen, the shop has those too.
4. The gorgeous grounds. You might arrive with the intention of lounging around all day, but that’ll change as soon as you see the paved trail around the three-acre lake or the delicate Butterfly Garden.
5. It’s one-of-a-kind. There’s simply no other place like it. The Umstead Hotel and Spa embodies an art museum, boutique hotel, lodge and romantic retreat. That’s hard to find anywhere else.
Photo courtesy of The Umstead Hotel and Spa