North Carolina

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About North Carolina

The south-eastern state of North Carolina stretches from the heights of the Appalachian Mountains in the west to the narrow, sand-spit beaches along the Atlantic coast. In between there are, literally, thousands of farms - especially pig farms! - as well as cities with cutting-edge, hi-tech industries. So it's a state of contrasts, and the best places to stay in North Carolina let you choose which type of locale you prefer.

Some of our North Carolina collections:

If you want a city-based holiday, Raleigh offers a range of state museums including the North Carolina Museum of Art - from ancient Greek to contemporary, plus a sculpture trail - and North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. At Asheville, you'll find Biltmore Estate, the magnificent mansion and gardens built in 1895 for shipping and railroad heir George Washington Vanderbilt ll. He - modestly - decided to base the design on a combination of several grand, European chateaux.

And if you yearn for a bit of action, head to Charlotte, the state's largest city, to the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing where you can test your skills - and your nerves - in a race car simulator. Or see how quick you can react as a member of a pit crew.

Durham is where to stay for visitors to Duke University - one of the country's top academic and research campuses - and it also boasts a great basketball team and lively scene.

Greensboro is a good base for all the family in the centre of North Carolina. It's easily accessible and offers a wide range of attractions for all ages from amusement parks to art galleries.

After that, you might crave some peace and solitude. You can find these on some of the beaches that run down the 300-mile-long coastline. Many are delightfully underdeveloped and un-resorty offering beach towns with a relaxed, family-geared vibe; nothing flashy. If you want real solitude, head to the Outer Banks, a series of windswept, barrier islands - more like sandbars - separated from the mainland by lagoons and waterways, and linked by bridges and ferries. On Ocracoke Island, you might spot wild ponies as well as fishermen hauling in their catches of shrimps and oysters.

Several lighthouses are open to the public and offer spectacular views, or head to Jockey's Ridge State Park to climb the coast's highest sand dune. Don't miss the Wright Brothers National Memorial where a boulder marks the spot where the remarkable Wilbur and Orville Wright launched the world's first air flight (all of 12 seconds) in December 1903. A drive down Highway 12, which links many of the Outer Banks islands, is a must.

In the far west of the state there are equally stunning scenic routes through the Appalachian Mountains. Cloaked in hemlock, pine and oak trees, the mountains are cool and refreshing with an air that positively fizzes with energy. Here you can hike, climb, go rafting, fly-fishing or try and spot deer, black bears, owls and cougars. In Mount Mitchell State Park, you can hike - or drive - to the top of the highest mountain east of the Mississippi.

And if you like sport, what better night out than watching the Duke Blue Devils hammer it out with the Carolina Tar Heels on the basketball court. Barbecued ribs at the ready! Our choice of the best places to stay in North Carolina will get you started.

The Best Places to Stay in North Carolina

The Best Places to Stay in North Carolina For the beach

  • Overlooking the beach, Sanderling Resort offers the best mix of luxury and ocean-side tranquillity. As well as a spa, there are three pools and four restaurants to choose from, and the night skies are wonderfully clear.

The Best Places to Stay in North Carolina For the mountains

  • With stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the 10-room Gideon Ridge Inn offers the perfect hideaway. Rooms mix contemporary furnishings with original features plus there’s a dining terrace for romantic dinners from the gourmet restaurant.
  • Equally romantic, The Swag, on Smoky Mountain, offers above-the-clouds, hidden views. Rooms are cosy and rustic, some with hot tubs on private balconies.

The Best Places to Stay in North Carolina For a city stay

  • Both contemporary-art museum and hotel, the 21C Museum Hotel in Durham mixes contemporary styling with the building’s art-deco design. There’s also a spa, steam room and swanky bar.
  • The stylish, environmentally friendly Proximity Hotel in Greensboro works for families and couples as well as business guests offering large, loft-like rooms, fantastic city views, gym and outdoor pool. There are complimentary bicycles to borrow to explore the city plus there’s a charming courtyard for relaxing with drinks before dinner in the Print Works Bistro.

For more choices, browse our full list of the best places to stay in North Carolina, or contact a friendly guru for advice.

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Monthly Weather in North Carolina

Best Hotels in North Carolina

  • The Mast Farm Inn Banner Elk, North Carolina 7 rooms from £108

    Local markets  -  Ashe County Cheese is North Carolina’s oldest cheese plant.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Opulent

    Welcoming guests since early 1800s this mountain boutique is something of an institution. The historic elements and southern hospitality create a unique atmosphere, with cozy rooms, modern facilities, flickering fireplaces and stunning views. Creative, award-winning dishes for all guests. See More

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  • Sanderling Resort Duck, North Carolina 120 rooms from £116

    Surfing  -  Surf lessons for the whole family, or check out the new craze - Stand Up Paddleboards.
    Kayaking  -  During the day or at sunset, kayak tours on the coastal marshes are a great trip
    Birdwatching  -  The Pine Island Sanctuary is home to more than 170 bird species.
    Sailing  -  Nor'Banks Sailing offers rentals or lessons.
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    Natural beauty and ocean meet at this luxury resort. Contemporary rooms are comfortable with all the expected luxuries. Rejuvenate in the Spa, plenty of unique treatments on offer. With four restaurants and three pools to tempt you, be sure to make time for some epic star gazing at night. See More

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  • The Durham Hotel Durham, North Carolina 53 rooms from £133

    Local exploring  -  An impressive hotel in the heart of the city, ideal for exploring
    Views  -  Rooftop terrace bar gives stunning views of the city
    Lakeside  -  Falls Lake located about 15 km away
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    A trendy boutique hotel set in downtown Durham, whose design nods to the thriving cultural scene with original touches and emphasis on local arts and crafts. The restaurant headed by an award-winning chef draws on local produce, while the rooftop bar offers stunning city views. See More

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  • Gideon Ridge Inn North Carolina 10 rooms from £140

    Great walks  -  Short scenic walk includes views of Grandfather Mountain, Table Rock, and Hawksbill.
    Back to Nature  -  Secluded setting with spectacular walks and views.
    Restrictions on children  -  Children over 12 years welcome.
    Full of character

    A secluded mountain hideaway. Rooms feature open fireplaces, 100% cotton Frette sheeting, feather down pillows and plush bathrobes which leave you feeling pampered. French doors lead out to stone terraces with sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The gourmet restaurant is second to none. See More

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  • ARRIVE Wilmington Wilmington NC 48 rooms from £152

    Groups  -  There's a young and communal feel here with a laid back restaurant and gazebo bar, perfect for groups of friends
    Sights nearby  -  Walk the decks of the Battleship Willmington, a WWII relic

    A chic neighbourhood hotel with a young, laid back, vibe in the heart of Wilmington. Contemporary rooms have hardwood floors, crisp white linen, graphic wallpaper and private terraces. A lively all-American restaurant serves hearty fare and the outdoor bar slings some great cocktails. A fun stay. See More

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  • Old Edwards Inn & Spa Highlands, North Carolina 84 rooms from £155

    Great walks  -  The Wild Food Foraging Adventure is all about learning what you can and can't eat in the wilderness.
    Sights nearby  -  Explore the waterfalls all around.
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Full of character

    A European-style hotel in the mountains that offers gourmet meals and adventures for all. Luxurious, comfortable rooms in natural tones with soak tubs and fine linens. Chef Chris Huerta is a whizz in the kitchen, whipping up gourmet and innovative dishes. Relax at the spa, play golf or explore. See More

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  • 21c Museum Hotel, Durham Durham, North Carolina (North Carolina) 125 rooms from £155

    Artworks  -  The hotel boasts its own contemporary art museum
    Local markets  -  Durham Farmers Market
    Spa
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    A boutique hotel with an integrated contemporary art museum located in a gorgeous 19th century building with an art-deco feel. Bedrooms have a smart, contemporary look with chic designer furniture. Relax in the swanky hotel bar or explore this lively little neighbourhood. See More

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  • The Cardinal Winston-Salem 174 rooms from £158

    City Style  -  An elegant Art Deco skyscrapper turned glamorous hotel in Salem's newly hip downtown district
    Sights nearby  -  The Downtown Arts District is well worth wandering around- check out the cafes, galleries and breweries
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    A cool and collected Art Deco masterpiece in Winston Salem's newly revived downtown. Simple and comfortable rooms and suites with subtle design features and in room yoga mats. The restaurant is a refined French affair with a lively atmosphere, and the games room features a 2-story spiral slide. See More

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  • Black Walnut B&B Inn Asheville 4 rooms from £168

    Active Holiday  -  With easy access to great nature spots from Asheville, there are good opportunities for trekking and cycling for active guests
    Romantic Break  -  The opulent feel of this heritage hotel is perfect for a romantic weekend away; book the Walnut Suite for added indulgence
    Local exploring  -  Asheville has a vibrant arts scene and there are lots of museums, galleries and boutiques to explore close to the B&B
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the Biltmore Estate, a mansion that comprises a museum and gardens built for George Washington Vanderbilt
    Recommended by  -  Chambres d’hôtes de Charme CHC

    This B&B is located in a turn-of-the-century property in historic Asheville. Interiors reflect the inn's heritage, with antiques peppered throughout and plush linens in the suites. There is a focus on luxury materials, from silk drapes to pink marble and vintage velvet, making this an opulent stay. See More

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  • Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville 104 rooms from £172

    Business meetings  -  Host your function across 470 square metres of event space. Elegant rooms include a ballroom with Swarovski crystal chandeliers
    Local exploring  -  There is something for everyone; trek and bike in national parks, golf, take a food tour of Asheville or visit a local brewery
    Sights nearby  -  Explore the historic Biltmore Village. Key sites include the Basilica of St. Lawrence, Biltmore Village and NC Arboretum
    Full of character

    Characterful hotel just outside Asheville's historic Biltmore Village. The mock-Tudor exterior complements unique over-the-top interiors - think antler chandeliers & deep velvet sofas. Spacious rooms continue the modern hunting lodge theme. Excellent restaurant, spoiling spa & art gallery too! See More

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  • Washington Duke Inn & Golf Durham, North Carolina 271 rooms from £172

    Families  -  The prime location on the Duke University Campus makes this is a perfect base for families visiting university students
    Business meetings  -  The hotel offers 24,300 square feet of meeting venues and host up to 1,000 people across 20 different break-out spaces
    Weddings  -  Known as a classic wedding destination in the region, the team here know what they are doing. Expect silver service!
    Golf  -  The 18-hole championship Duke University Golf Club is the only Robert Trent Jones-designed course in the region

    271 room hotel located on the Duke University Campus & Golf Club. Spread over 300 acres, including leafy grounds and forests, the property is perfect for weddings, meetings and conferences. Rooms are spacious and classic. In addition to the golf course there is an indoor pool, gym and 3 restaurants. See More

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  • The Carolina Inn Chapel Hill, North Carolina 192 rooms from £172

    Business meetings  -  Located 30 minutes from Raleigh-Durham International Airport, there is a range of very pleasant meeting and conferences spaces
    Weddings  -  The hotel can arrange weddings that range from intimate to grand, across a large choice of indoor and outdoor venues
    Families  -  Guests can rent cribs, high chairs, strollers and toys from BabyQuip and they will be delivered straight to the room
    Local exploring  -  The property is a short walk from shopping, art galleries and the historic Franklin Street district

    Hyatt-run historic hotel located on the University of North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill. Designed by famous architect Arthur C. Nash, the property was built in 1924 in a mix of Southern, Georgian and neoclassical styles. The 192 rooms are cosy yet classic and there is an excellent restaurant. See More

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  • Tapoco Lodge Tapoco, North Carolina 27 rooms from £181

    Back to Nature  -  Dine by the river rapids, read in a hammock, soak in an outdoor hot tub and enjoy views of Yellowhammer Creek
    Active Holiday  -  Stay in the middle of nature's playground; hike, bike, fish, raft, kayak and canoe in stunning environments
    Families  -  There's a huge emphasis on kids; indoor and outdoor play equipment, books, games and DVDs
    Kayaking  -  The area is renowned for kayaking and canoeing on the legendary Cheoah River

    Historic lodge nestled amongst 120 acres of Nantahala National Forest in the Great Smoky Mountains, on the banks of the Cheoah River. There is a restaurant, bar and pizza oven. 27 cosy rooms are split between the main lodge and cabins; many feature beamed wooden roofs and views of the outdoors. See More

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  • The Foundry Hotel Asheville 87 rooms from £184

    City Style  -  A unique and characterful property that combines historical architecture, contemporary dining and spacious rooms
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the city's River Arts District to experience local artist's studios and galleries
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.

    Stylish contemporary conversion of a former steel factory. Original materials combine seamlessly with paired-back glamorous & modern interiors. Rooms boast high ceilings, red-brick walls, floor-to-ceiling windows & snug sleigh beds. There's spacious grounds, vibey sit-out areas and romantic dining. See More

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  • Engadine Inn and Cabins Asheville, North Carolina 11 rooms from £199

    Hideaway  -  Only 15 minutes drive from Asheville's city centre, yet this feels like a rural idyll wonderfully cut off from the world
    Weddings  -  The easy-to-access yet rural location, plus stand-alone accomodation, makes this a perfect venue for intimate weddings
    Back to Nature  -  Live out fantasties of cabin life and enjoy the peace and quiet from being surrounded by fields, woods and farmland
    Active Holiday  -  Kayak, rock-climb, hike and zip-line nearby

    Rustic country retreat in rural Asheville. Situated over 12 acres, the property is made up of rooms in the Queen Anne-style inn and private one and two-bedroom cabins; those after peace & quiet will prefer the latter. Expect cosy living rooms with burning fires, wrap-around porches & full kitchens. See More

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  • Proximity Hotel Greensboro (North Carolina) 147 rooms from £202

    Great walks  -  Great paths for jogging and walks in the Greenway.
    Lively  -  Hip and happening.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    Whether it be business or leisure that brings you to Greensboro, be sure to check out this chic and stylish contemporary hotel. Large rooms are cleverly designed with sustainability in mind. Guests have access to a gym & outdoor pool. Print Works Bistro is all about local, freshly made fare. See More

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  • Chestnut Street Inn Asheville 8 rooms from £221

    Foodies  -  The property's eclectic breakfasts - fusing the owner's French and Mexican heritage - were featured in Food & Wine magazine
    Local exploring  -  It's a 10 minute walk to downtown historic Asheville and the surrounding Chesnut Hill area is also worth exploring on foot
    Great walks  -  The property can pack your breakfast as a picnic if you want to head out first thing and explore
    Sights nearby  -  All of Asheville is reachable on foot. Visit Basilica of Saint Lawrence and Botanical Gardens

    Historic owner-run inn situated in Asheville. The property's 8 rooms vary from a stylish and contemporary 2-bedroom suite to period-style rooms with federal-style canopy beds, patterned wallpaper & antique rugs; there is something for everyone. Spacious flower-filled gardens surround a pretty porch. See More

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  • The Ballantyne Charlotte 199 rooms from £226

    Business meetings  -  A strong option for events or conferences due to the large ballroom and range of unique breakout spaces, such as the Rose Garden
    Weddings  -  An impressive wedding venue offering a range of indoor and outdoor spaces, picturesque grounds and excellent event dining
    Spa breaks  -  Check-in and indulge with two pools, impressive fitness centre, spa dining, beauty treatments, sauna, steam and massages
    Golf  -  PGA 18-hole golf course that features a practice area, outing pavilion and tuition at renowned Ballantyne Golf Academy

    An impressive resort with top-of-the-range facilities located in Charlotte. 199 newly-designed spacious and elegant rooms will suit guests coming for golf, wellness, meetings, weddings, leisure, activities or family time. All spaces, including multiple dining venues, feel fresh and contemporary. See More

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  • The Duke Mansion Charlotte 20 rooms from £233

    Families  -  Unusually for luxury inns, children are welcome. There's books, games and helpful equipment provided to make a stay comfortable
    Business meetings  -  The high-tech yet atmospheric high-ceilinged meeting spaces and brilliant culinary team can host events for up to 300 people
    Weddings  -  Large grounds, on-site executive chef and Southern Belle historic facade make a memorable backdrop for weddings
    Great walks  -  Go for a scenic stroll in the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens

    Grown-up and tasteful Southern Belle. Built in 1915, this Greek Revival mansion B&B is surrounded by four acres of beautifully kept gardens. Dripping in old-world charm, expect glossy checkered floors, double-height-ceilings, glittering chandeliers and distinguished family portraits on the walls. See More

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  • Albemarle Inn Asheville (Grove Park) 11 rooms from £251

    Local exploring  -  The location means that both outdoor mountain activities and cultural, historical and gastronomic pursuits are all possible
    Romantic Break  -  Romantic rooms have mountain views, four-poster beds and fireplaces
    Sights nearby  -  Biltmore Estate - known as America's largest home - which recently featured in Downton Abby, is a short drive
    Great walks  -  Stroll around the property's beautiful two-acre English country-style gardens

    Greek Revival Southern mansion lovingly converted into an 11 room inn. Built-in 1909 and now run by welcoming hosts, the property's white clapboard facade, Corinthian columns, wide veranda, period-style lounges and country gardens offer a historic retreat in Asheville's suburban Grove Park area. See More

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  • Inn on Biltmore Estate Asheville 210 rooms from £264

    Families  -  Children will stay occupied for days with carriage-rides, river float trips, craft demonstrations and the Pisgah playground
    Riding  -  There is an extensive equestrian centre. The Blue Ridge Mountains are rated the 3rd best place for riding in the world
    Active Holiday  -  Hike, bike, fish, ride, kayak, try falconry, clay pigeon shoot or try the Landrover experience - all on the estate
    Back to Nature  -  North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains are an outdoor lover's paradise throughout the year

    A large modern inn located on Asheville's 8,000 acre Biltmore Estate. Traditionally styled rooms and suites are classical, elegant and luxuriously appointed. Plus there is a heated outdoor pool, gym and spa. Choose between fine dining or more relaxed atmosphere in the library lounge. See More

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  • The Umstead Hotel & Spa Cary, North Carolina 150 rooms from £266

    Spa breaks  -  With a deluxe inhouse spa, it's perfect for a weekend spa break.
    Great walks  -  Go walking along the nearby pine tree trails.
    Opulent
    Spa

    Luxury abounds at this excellent, modern five-star hotel in North Carolina. Consistently stylish and comfortable from the premium room to the presidential suite, it ensures optimal relaxation for guests. Something to suit all tastes from hiking trails to reclining in the extensive spa. See More

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  • Omni Grove Park Asheville 513 rooms from £273

    Rafting
    Conference facilities
    Sit-out Terrace
    Historic

    Historic and extraordinary landmark hotel in the hills of North Carolina, with fabulous views. See More

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  • Inn on Montford Asheville 8 rooms from £274

    Romantic Break  -  Cosy fireplaces, romantic spa baths, dual aspect rooms which offer views from bed and in-room massages make for a special stay
    Local exploring  -  Walk into Asheville to explore restaurants and shops, or venture further afield to one of the many nearby wilderness parks
    Sights nearby  -  Make sure to visit the historic Biltmore Estate, home to America's largest private home and winery
    Minimum Stay  -  There is a 2 night minimum stay

    19th century Arts and Crafts inn located in outer Asheville designed by the same architect as nearby Biltmore Estate. Surrounded by gardens, 11 period-style rooms are split between the main building and carriage house, many have kitchenettes. Take breakfast in the dining room or the outdoor porch. See More

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  • Fearrington House Inn Pittsboro, North Carolina 32 rooms from £279

    Sights nearby  -  Check what is on at the Carolina Performing Arts during your stays - music, theatre and dance.
    Great walks  -  Walk around Coker Arboretum at the university for 5 acres of manicured gardens.
    Fishing  -  Head to Jordan Lake.
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Recommended by  -  Relais & Chateaux

    Belted Galloway cows in the picturesque garden welcome you to the luxury boutique hotel with spa treatments for days. Large, light rooms with all the mod-cons and comfort expected of a spa-hideaway. Inventive menu and local produce at the restaurant with a fully stocked bar. Relax, explore, unwind. See More

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  • The Swag Waynesville (North Carolina) 14 rooms from £371

    Views  -  The property offers breathtaking views over the surrounding countryside
    Hideaway  -  Above the clouds, stunning views and a notable absense of TVs.
    Birdwatching  -  Hummingbirds can be seen from the comfort of the porch.
    Great walks  -  Nature Trail is a two mile stroll around the grounds.

    This Smoky Mountain retreat 5,000 feet above the clouds, is the true meaning of a romantic hideaway. A private hot tub on your balcony adds to the experience here. Hunger doesn't feature with seasonally-inspired picnics, gourmet dining and al fresco setting. Location and views are spectacular! See More

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  • Ritz Carlton Charlotte Charlotte 146 rooms from £386

    City Style  -  The location in Uptown - Charlotte's Central Business District - offers great city views and key sites within walking distance
    Business meetings  -  As well as dedicated Design Studio and Urban Garden, the property has over 12,000 sq. ft. of meeting space
    Spa breaks  -  There is a 13,000-square-foot bi-level penthouse spa with a salt room, Aqua Lounge and organic treatments
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the city's Mecklenburg Library or Charlotte Bobcats Arena, both under 300 metres from the hotel's lobby

    Slick and contemporary luxury hotel located in Charlotte's vibrant downtown. Rooms and suites have every luxury amenity guests could want and are decorated with art by local artists. A rooftop garden, two-level spa and range of excellent bars and restaurants make this a top-class urban retreat. See More

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  • Westglow North Carolina 11 rooms from £390

    Total relaxation  -  Idyllic and tranquil location, top class spa, gourmet dining and luxury rooms for a complete relaxation experience
    Romantic Break  -  Scenic and secluded, this is an ideal choice for a romantic getaway
    Hills & mountains  -  Spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains
    Cooking classes  -  Cooking classes are available with the chef team at Rowland's gourmet restaurant
    Recommended by  -  Relais & Chateaux

    This luxury resort and spa is located just minutes from Blowing Rock in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Housed in a restored Greek Revival mansion, guestrooms are impeccably appointed, with heritage features like original fireplaces. A full-service spa guarantees total relaxation. See More

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