The Carolina Inn
Just got back from an ultra-quick work trip to North Carolina and Duke. I have to say even though I didn't use an LL package, I did look for lodging recommendations on LL and picked The Carolina Inn as a result. They had a GREAT spring deal and I jumped on it.
If you have to go to the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area, this is a good place to stay. It is right in the middle of the UNC campus and is within walking distance of most of the UNC medical complex. I usually base the places I stay at on convenience and location, so this place is ideal for UNC visitors. The only slight negative is that I think Frat/Sorority Row grew up around this Inn, so it's always busy and packed with students and family. Also, parking is at a premium here and there is a self-parking charge, which I'm not a fan of. Basically the Inn is in a historic building that was given by one of UNC's alumni generations ago. I stayed in one of the older rooms; I think they are in the middle of updating some of the Inn. They have kept a very soft yellow, light blue chintzy but elegant feel which I think highlights its historic and very Southern roots. Tasteful pictures and stories of historical figures in the Inn's past are all over the walls. The staff was all incredibly welcoming (rare in young college aged adults, must be due to good old Southern hospitality!) I felt like I was visiting a very well-to-do family's home at all times, especially in the lobby, which felt like a living room but on a very elegant scale. They even managed to have a birdhouse exhibit in the lobby while I was there and somehow the lobby maintained its elegance!
The rooms were nothing special, basic but attractive furnishings, again with a chintzy feel. The age of the building showed in the plumbing fixtures, but everything worked and was very clean. The only thing missing was one thing I actually needed--the room service menu! Room service quickly brought me a menu when I requested it and I had one of the best salads of my life even though I ordered late, around 10 pm. My only other gripe was that you could not get a diet soda from any of the three vending machines available (and listen up, Carolina Inn management--not all of us like Pepsi products!) -but that may be due to its nearness to Sorority Row. So if you're looking for a convenient place to stay in the Research Triangle/UNC area and you want somewhere that's friendly and welcoming without needing all of the resort-type amenities, choose the Carolina Inn.
Very nice report and good description. We will keep this one in mind next time we head up North.