Review: Love Hotel: The Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill

Built in 1924, this magnificent hotel, known for its distinctive blend of Antebellum, Georgian and Neoclassical architecture, was designed by award-winning architect Arthur C. Nash. This is an award-winning hotel that has maintained its AAA Four Diamond status for the past twenty years. It is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Carolina Inn is the perfect place to stay if you want to step back in time in moderation, without sacrificing the modern comforts you expect from a luxury hotel. Plus, hotel proceeds support the North Carolina Collection at the University of North Carolina Wilson Library!

[Tap the sliding images at the top to see more of The Carolina Inn]

Getting There: The hotel is located in the heart of downtown Chapel Hill, North Carolina. On the grounds of the UNC, Chapel Hill Campus, which currently owns the hotel. Chapel Hill itself is about twenty minutes from the nearest airport, RDU, and one hour from the Greensboro airport. If you’re flying from another state, you’ll need to rent a car or take a shuttle into town, but there’s plenty to do within walking distance once you’re there.

Your experience: The appeal of this hotel is hard to deny. It gives the impression of a magnificent old mansion set back among the trees, no small feat for being so close to the city center. The interior of the hotel perpetuates this sense of old-world elegance, from the fresh floral arrangements in the lobby to the antique-looking wood furniture in the rooms.

For me, the real star of the show was the restaurant. I had the chance to sample the new tasting menu and it was a truly phenomenal experience. Masami Ranch Beef Grilled Flatiron and Mafioso Chocolate Cake were my favorites from the fall tasting menu and new items are added every season. The chef did a great job applying his Michelin star experience to local ingredients and the staff helped create the kind of experience you would expect from a fine dining restaurant in New York City, but with warmth and charm. typical of the south. .

How to stay: Booking a room on the hotel’s website is a straightforward process. During the low season, the hotel even has reasonable specials and rates as low as $ 180 per night. However, due to its affiliation with the University, rooms fill up quickly around graduation and other University sponsored events, making things more difficult and expensive. It’s best to avoid the dates around graduation in May and parent’s week in October if you can.

Where to eat: The inn recently hired seven-time Michelin-starred executive chef Brandon Sharp to run the property’s restaurant, Crossroads Chapel Hill. The restaurant recently announced a new signature tasting menu, a six-course meal with optional wine accompaniments, which will change seasonally. They will also expand their offer of regular menus to reflect the gastronomic experience of their new chef.

If fine dining isn’t really your thing, there’s no shortage of delicious and low-key options in downtown Chapel Hill.

Advantages and disadvantages:

The inconvenients:

  • Rooms fill up quickly around UNC events. If you’re coming from out of town, the timing can seem a bit confusing.
  • During peak season, rooms can be a bit pricey, up to $ 350, depending on the type of room and the time of year.
  • Getting to the hotel can take a bit of advance planning, as the nearest airport is twenty minutes away.


  • The beauty of the hotel makes it an ideal location for a romantic getaway or dinner.
  • Just steps from the city center, the location is hidden enough to maintain a quiet elegance, even in the middle of a university town.
  • Off-season rates and specials are often surprisingly reasonable for a historic hotel, with $ 180 being the average price for a room.

[Tap the sliding images at the top to see more of The Carolina Inn]

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