Checking out

The Durham Hotel, Durham, North Carolina, USA

by Steve Hartridge | January 2018

"From checking me in to arranging my taxi to the airport, the staff were exemplary. They also provided local insights into what to see and where to eat in Durham. I loved the little touches: the morning pot of freshly brewed ground coffee left outside my room, the Free Burt's Bees lip balm in the room and the homely breakfast items. It’s not the only place to stay in Durham, but it is hard to imagine anywhere more enjoyable"

THE BACKGROUND: This stylish and funky six-storey, 53-room downtown hotel opened last summer. It occupies a building used by a former bank.

THE LOCATION: It’s a short stroll away from shops and restaurants. On local tourist maps, downtown Durham is divided into seven districts, but all are an easy walk or a short Uber ride away. These include the Warehouse District, with its fine restaurants, and the Brightleaf area, where old red-brick tobacco warehouses have been converted into shops, eateries, bars and cool clubs.

THE ROOM: I stayed in a deluxe king room. Splashed with bright reds and mustard yellows, it was bright and exceptionally clean (the deep-pile blue carpet smelt brand new). The king-sized bed was very comfortable; there was a large flat-screen TV, a work table and two large windows offering expansive views of the city. The bathroom featured a walk-in shower with a Japanese hinoki stool and oversized bottles of toiletries.

KEY FACILITIES: There’s a 24-hour fitness studio – complimentary yoga classes (to guests) take place on the rooftop (heated in winter) on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. There’s free WiFi throughout. The lobby has a bar and plenty of couches, tables and chairs for working or relaxing.

RESTAURANTS/BARS:The rooftop restaurant and bar offers great views of the town and a kitchen overseen by top chef Andrea Reusing. She prides herself on using ingredients produced by local farmers and other suppliers. Guests are offered a continental- style breakfast in a corner of the large and bright and breezy reception area (pictured). Items include boiled eggs, homemade granola and buckwheat sugar cake. .

RATES: A deluxe king room starts from around $250 a night for a weekend stay in May 2018.

THE DETAILS: A: 315 East Chapel Hill Street, Durham, North Carolina, 27701, USA W: thedurham.com T: 00 1 919 768 8830

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