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LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
 
FSA LogoThe Luxury Hotel Insider: Exclusive luxury hotel deals, features and special rates from the luxury hotel experts at Five Star Alliance. 
 
Named one of Tripbase's Best Luxury Travel Blogs for 2011, below are Five Star Alliance's newest articles featuring exclusive information on luxury hotels worldwide including special offers and deals at the world's best hotels.

An Insider Look at Carolina Inn

November 6, 2013
By: Lucy LeTourneau

Carolina Inn Exterior
A member of the Five Star Alliance staff recently stayed at Raleigh's Carolina Inn. The Inn is not only a beautiful and unique downtown Chapel Hill icon, but architecturally represents the history of the south. Blending elements of antebellum Southern plantation houses with Georgian and neoclassical characteristics often found in the northeast, the Inn was originally designed after the Potomac River front of George Washington's Mt. Vernon.


Built in 1924 by John Sprunt Hill - distinguished alumnus, successful businessman and University trustee - the Inn's original concept was "to provide for the special wants and comforts of the University alumni... and University visitors". In 1935, Hill donated the Inn to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with the stipulation that after meeting expenses, profits from the Inn were to be used for "the maintenance and support of the University library, and especially for the support of the collection of books and papers known as the North Carolina Collection." Mr. Hill's wishes are still carried out today as the Inn returns its profits to the University to support the University library.

Carolina Inn Guest Room

Here's the insider's report of her visit:

 

The hotel has a long history and dates to the 20’s and was part of University of North Carolina for many years. The updates they've made in recent years are really nice and keep the historic feel of the hotel along with tons of decorations detailing various faculty and sports memorabilia from the school. I found one placard explaining how Andy Griffith, a UNC alumni, was discovered at the hotel doing a comedy routine while he was a student.


The Inn was larger than I expected and had a huge living room style lobby and a lot of nice meeting space.



The
Carolina Crossroads bar was small but cozy. They seem to use the front porch for outdoor "tailgate" events. We didn’t eat at the restaurant but it gets a lot of accolades.

Carolina Inn


The room had two queen beds and was relatively spacious. The bathroom was small and there was no tub but it was nicely decorated. Because it's essentially part of the UNC campus, it's close to everything we needed to see at UNC and was also within walking distance of the downtown area for restaurants, etc. The free coffee in the am was a little bit of a walk from our room, but I managed. 

 

Rates at Carolina Inn currently start at $169 per night. 

 

View more rates, details, and more images of Carolina Inn >>

 

 

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Did You Know? The Fearrington House

July 17, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

The Fearrington House
The Fearrington House
 has award-winning gardens that meld the informal qualities of Fearrington’s farm heritage with the romantic landscape details of the European countryside. The grounds include about 60 garden beds, an herb garden used by the chefs at the Fearrington House Restaurant, several cutting beds used by our florists, and several greenhouses. A experienced year-round team of seven maintain the grounds, and they’re delighted to answer questions.

The Fearrington House

Fearrington’s gardens celebrate seasons, holidays, and special occasions and North Carolina’s rich horticultural traditions and plant diversity. The mild climate of the Piedmont region means our gardens are attractive and engaging throughout the year.

 

View rates, details, and more images of The Fearrington House >>

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The Top 30 Hotels in 2012: #14 The Umstead Hotel and Spa

December 18, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

In the last month of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 30 Luxury Hotels and Resorts worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!

Coming in the #14 spot is the Umstead Hotel and Spa which is conveniently located in Cary, North Carolina for those who want to get away or stay near the heart of it all. Here are a few fun facts about this luxury hotel:

- With its surrounding 12 acres of wooded land, gardens, and lake, The Umstead Hotel is a destination in itself with the cultural, corporate and recreational opportunities of the Triangle area moments away

- 24 hour business center available for guest use

- 10,000 square-feet of elegant meeting and event space featuring natural light and original artwork

- Signature Forbes Five Star, AAA Five Diamond restaurant, Herons, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch

- Dogs are allowed with an additional cleaning fee

- Seasonal outdoor pool

- The Umstead Spa, a 14,000 square-foot spa featuring ten treatment rooms, men’s and ladies relaxation lounges including sauna, steam and whirlpool and a coed relaxation lounge and meditation garden

Explore photos, availability, and rates at the Umstead Hotel and Spa here >>

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Go in My Stead: The Umstead Hotel and Spa

March 27, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

Spas are a funny thing. It's actually amazing to think that we live in a world full of all the modern luxuries, and yet we have to pay to escape to a simpler, more relaxed experience.  The spa is just that, too, quintessentially an escape, retreating inward to recharge the mind and the body during a moment's respite from the bustle of modern life. But, the fact remains, many of us are in desparate need of that retreat, and if you're looking to get away from everything, there's no better destination than the Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, NC. 

The hotel itself is gorgeous, was built in 2007, and features 228 oversized luxury guest rooms with all the modern amenities: flat screen TVs, Rivolta Italian linens, and many with balconies overlooking the natural flora.  World-class dining and a great respect for the local culture accent the property, with local artists featuring prominently and the down-home hospitality a guarantee.  

The real crowning jewel of the hotel is the spa.  The two-story building adjacent to the property offers ten treatment rooms where you can find the perfect personalized relaxation technique to wash the stress out of your body.  A meditation courtyard, whirlpools, and a steam room offer alternative ways to rejuvenate and recharge and the naturally lit interior spaces soothe the eyes as much as they do your soul.  The Umstead Hotel & Spa really is a wonderful place ot slough off your East Coast woes and embrace the healing powers of a day all to yourself.


Hotels with a History: Carolina Inn

January 17, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Built in 1924 by John Sprunt Hill, a successful businessman and alumnus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Carolina Inn was constructed “to provide for the special wants and comforts of the University alumni and University visitors.” In 1935, John Sprunt Hill donated the Inn to the University under the condition that all profits to go towards “the maintenance and support of the University library, and especially for the support of the collection of books and papers known as the North Carolina Collection,” and his wish is still carried out today.

The Carolina Inn is centrally located in downtown Chapel Hill within walking distance of shopping, art galleries, and the historic Franklin Street district, and it architecturally embraces the rich history of the south. The Inn was originally designed after the Potomac River front of George Washington’s Mt. Vernon, and it has elements of Southern plantation houses as well as Georgian neoclassical attributes. The Carolina Inn is a member of the National Trust’s Historic Hotels of America, and it is beautifully furnished with antiques and historical images. The history, culture, and warm story behind it make the Carolina Inn a luxury property worth exploring.