More Room Types
More Room Types
Up-and-coming Durham is home to only a handful of 4-star hotels. There are some trendy boutique-type properties downtown, but for elegance and charming Southern service, the Washington Duke Inn is your best bet.
The hotel is literally on the Duke University campus surrounded by the tall pines of Duke Forest. Its focal point is a lush 18-hole golf course, the only Robert Trent Jones-designed course in the region. Interiors are very traditional but not tired -- think Persian rugs, lots of layered drapery, leather arm chairs and old photographs of the Duke family.
Rooms definitely feel AAA 4-Diamond quality with a big marble vanity in the bathroom, plush terry robes, twice-a-day housekeeping and a tasteful "Duke Blue" color scheme that's hard to ignore. If you are traveling solo or as a couple, the standard guest rooms are a good size. Families should check out the one-bedroom suites or even the specialty family suites that come with a bunk bed.
Besides golf, some of the nicest property features are a 3-mile running/walking trail that loops around the grounds, a traditional afternoon tea in the dining room and a weekend brunch -- but be warned, service is the dining room is very slow.
All this property seems to be missing is an outdoor pool (there is a small indoor pool) -- but next door to the hotel is the private Duke Faculty Club with two lap pools, a kiddie pool and a main pool with a slide. Washington Duke guests receive access to this club for $10 per person, per day.
The hotel is a 10-minute drive to downtown Durham and the Warehouse District, where old tobacco warehouses have been converted into eclectic shops, barbecue joints and breweries. Check out The Pit for authentic North Carolina BBQ. Another good pick for off-property dining is Four Square (five-minute drive from hotel) -- it is set in a regal, turn-of-the-century home with a wraparound porch and seasonal dining menu, and some of the rooms are said to be haunted.
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