Known for its many universities (including North Carolina State University), its acres of lush parklands, stunning historic buildings and its Southern charm, the second largest city in North Carolina makes an awesome city break destination.
Discover the elegant Oakwood Historic Homes, take a wander around the charming Moore Square Historic District, taste the offerings at the State Farmers’ Market, go biking or hiking in the acres of beautiful parkland, dine out at one of the many great restaurants, and then spend the night at the hipster-friendly Warehouse District. Then find yourself somewhere amazing to stay!
From boutique inns to fun, modern and trendy, here are my favourite cool and trendy hotels in Raleigh, North Carolina (in no particular order)…
The StateView Hotel
Entering The StateView Hotel, I’m immediately struck by the beauty surrounding me. It’s minutes away from North Carolina State University Centennial Campus, the Lonnie Poole Golf Course, and the enchanting Pullen Park, creating an atmosphere that promises an unforgettable stay.
From the moment I hand over my car to the valet, the experience is seamless. I’m enveloped in luxury and convenience, every step leading me deeper into a world of serenity.
The hotel’s 24-hour fitness center is a haven. Surrounded by top-notch equipment and inspiring spaces, it’s the perfect spot to invigorate body and mind. And for business needs, the tech-savvy 24-hour business center caters perfectly to traveling professionals.
But it’s not all about work—there’s the heated outdoor saltwater pool. It is a tranquil oasis that beckons guests to unwind and rejuvenate in its crystal-clear waters. It’s a slice of paradise within this exceptional retreat.
Now, onto the culinary experience. The flavors here are a symphony, expertly crafted by culinary artisans. Every bite feels like a moment of pure culinary bliss, each dish a testament to their skill and dedication.
And let’s not forget the bar. Their signature cocktails are a must-try. The mixologists here are true artists, weaving magic into each drink. Every sip captivates my senses, leaving a lasting impression long after the glass is empty.
Signature cocktails at the bar by expert mixologists
Back deck area overlooking the pool
Views of the woodland and Lake Raleigh
Can get booked up
The Casso, Raleigh
The Casso, Raleigh, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, captivates with its personalized hospitality and meticulous attention to detail, ensuring an exceptional experience.
Stepping inside, I felt embraced by an ambiance blending modern aesthetics with the community’s essence.
The contemporary decor, cool and funky, showcased local culture, each corner a masterpiece of thoughtful design sparking imagination.
Locally sourced ingredients starred on the menu, elevating dining into a memorable culinary journey, satisfying and delightful.
Beyond stylish accommodations, a cutting-edge fitness center awaited, encouraging wellness routines.
Post-workout spaces dedicated to relaxation melt away the day’s stresses, fostering serenity.
With its skilled mixologists, the hip bar crafted inventive libations telling stories in each sip, be it a classic or an original creation.
At The Casso, Raleigh, I found the perfect blend of funky charm and exceptional comfort, creating an unforgettable experience.
Funky charm and exceptional comfort
Inventive and artfully presented libations
Restaurants offering a plant-based menu
In-room camping gear (for kids)
Pets allowed with extra charges
Some slow service
Graduate Chapel Hill
At the esteemed University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I found myself drawn to a captivating hotel, the oldest public university in the nation. Graduate Chapel Hill instantly became one of my favorite places to stay, thanks to its mesmerizing architecture and perfect location nestled amidst the city’s vibrant heart.
Stepping into this exquisite accommodation, I was struck by its meticulous design—every inch adorned with a vibrant and unconventional style that truly impressed me. The attention to detail was impeccable, creating a rare sensory treat that left me in awe.
The guest rooms were a haven of luxury, seamlessly blending comfort and style. Some even offered private balconies, inviting me to indulge in the scenic surroundings and soak in the area’s beauty.
A highlight of my stay was visiting the recently renovated Trophy Roo cocktail bar. Its vibrant ambiance and expertly crafted cocktails invited me to unwind and immerse myself in an experience that truly delighted and mesmerized me.
This hotel gem is situated in downtown Chapel Hill, surrounded by a lively tapestry of bars, restaurants, and shops, offering a vibrant atmosphere. Exploring the city’s culinary scene revealed hidden gems beyond the walls of Graduate Chapel Hill. I loved this funky spot!
Sleek vibes with an accessible location
Wood-paneled bar with a fireplace
Mod cons like an ultra chic carpeted basketball court
Not aimed at all ages
Parking is extra
The Longleaf Hotel
Stepping into The Longleaf Hotel was like stepping back into the swinging ’60s. It’s a blend of nostalgia and modernity that set me up for a truly unique experience.
The 56 rooms here have undeniable charm, offering spacious layouts that became a comfortable haven during my stay. The mid-century design and contemporary aesthetics made every corner feel like a curated piece of art crafted by local artisans.
The retro-style bar was a vibrant hub; sipping on their carefully crafted cocktails transported me to another era. And the patio was a perfect spot to unwind, basking in the sun while swapping stories with fellow travelers. Bluetooth speakers, flat-screen TVs, and minibars inside the rooms added a modern touch that made my stay even more comfortable.
Being just a 15-minute walk from Raleigh Union train station, the Longleaf Hotel became my ideal launchpad for exploring the vibrant city. Raleigh is a cultural, culinary wonder, and captivating attraction treasure trove.
The timeless ambiance and their impeccable hospitality made this place one of my favorite spots to stay. It’s a haven where nostalgia seamlessly meets modern convenience, creating an unforgettable experience that lingers in my memory.
Mid-century vibes with contemporary mod cons
A retro-style bar and an inviting patio
Bingos and live performances
Some noise at night time
No tubs in bathrooms
Hyatt Place Raleigh Cary
Stepping into the Hyatt Place, Raleigh Cary instantly felt like entering a chic oasis amid the bustling Raleigh Corporate Center Park. The vibe was contemporary yet elegant, perfectly situated near the vibrant downtown Warehouse cultural district, promising an unforgettable stay filled with sophistication and convenience.
Each morning, the delightful hot breakfast buffet set the tone for the day—a culinary masterpiece that awakened my taste buds and fueled me up for the day’s adventures. The spacious rooms combined luxury with functionality seamlessly, providing a comfortable space where modern design met practicality. The complimentary internet access made staying connected a breeze, navigating me through the digital landscape effortlessly.
And for those traveling with furry friends, the pet-friendly rooms were a thoughtful touch, allowing two beloved companions to share in the holiday adventure. Late-night cravings were easily satisfied by the 24/7 in-house convenience store and bakery, ensuring that no hunger pang went unanswered.
Exploring beyond the hotel’s walls revealed the city’s vibrant energy, where each street corner held the promise of new discoveries and unforgettable moments. Immersing myself in the city’s pulse added excitement to the stay at Hyatt Place.
Delightful hot breakfast buffet
Seasonal outdoor pool and jacuzzi
Indulge in the exquisite coffee and cocktail bar
Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel
I discovered a hidden gem in the form of the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel, quickly becoming one of my favorite places for a luxurious retreat. From the moment I stepped inside, I was enveloped in an atmosphere of sophistication, ensuring an unforgettable vacation.
The upscale rooms were a testament to luxury, seamlessly blending style and elegance. Opting for a room with a whirlpool tub was a game-changer, offering a perfect sanctuary to melt away the day’s stress in blissful serenity. What made it even more special was the exclusive access to the lavish lounge, which treated me to complimentary continental breakfasts and delectable evening appetizers.
Energy and flavors converged at the tapas lounge, presenting a symphony of tastes that delighted my palate. For a true Italian culinary experience, I savored traditional recipes transformed into culinary masterpieces at the hotel’s Italian-style eatery, leaving me yearning for more.
The recently transformed lobby emerged as a chic, artistic masterpiece. Stepping outside, I found a seamless fusion of indoor and outdoor elements, a visual delight where each corner revealed a story of artistic vision and impeccable taste.
Immersing myself in the allure of this opulent haven, every moment became infused with grandeur and refinement, creating an enchanting experience that lingered long after my stay.
Complimentary continental breakfasts and appetizers
Italian eatery and a lounge serving tapas
Free entrance passes to the Gold’s Gym
Pets are not allowed
Some paid extra
Aloft Raleigh Durham Airport Brier Creek
Stepping into Aloft Raleigh Durham Airport Brier Creek felt like entering one of my favorite places—where style and convenience seamlessly converge just moments from the bustling airport. The comfort and cutting-edge technology were evident in every detail, thoughtfully designed to meet my every need.
I love this – staying connected was a breeze with the best and latest in free wireless high-speed internet access. Navigating the digital realm was effortless from the moment I stepped through the door. The strategically placed plug-and-play connectivity throughout the hotel made charging all my electronic devices a convenient affair, ensuring I was always powered up and ready to tackle the day.
While visiting, I indulged in the lap of luxury at the WXYZ bar. Unwinding with my favorite drink in hand, I was surrounded by a chic and vibrant atmosphere that transported me to a world of relaxation.
The re: mix lounge offered a playful ambiance, and I couldn’t resist putting my billiards skills to the test against friends and fellow travelers.
While staying at this place, I found that the hotel’s exceptional amenities were designed with the health-conscious traveler in mind. Starting with a dip in the inviting indoor pool, I followed it up with a trip to the gym equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. It was the perfect way to stay in shape and invigorate my body and mind.
From the moment I arrived, Aloft Raleigh Durham Airport Brier Creek immersed me in a world of comfort, convenience, and unparalleled service. The experience was extraordinary, making it a memorable stay from start to finish.
Chic and vibrant atmosphere with relaxation
Indoor swimming pool with sun loungers
Free billiards and boards in the games room
Minor issues with housekeeping
Some rooms can be small
The Aloft Raleigh is special in my heart, just across from the prestigious NC State University campus and the Belltower. As soon as I stepped inside, I was immersed in a realm where art truly reigns supreme. It’s more than a hotel; it’s a canvas for the most incredible artworks I’ve ever encountered. The entire space is a dynamic gallery showcasing the exceptional talent of local artists. Each visit feels like a cultural expedition, with rotating exhibits that never fail to inspire.
One of my favorite features is the permanent mural and “The Overtones” sculpture by the renowned Thomas Sayre. This installation masterfully captures the essence of sound in a visual form, drawing you in and encouraging you to perceive beyond what meets the eye. It’s an experience that transcends the ordinary and leaves an indelible mark.
Beyond its artistic charm, every facet of the Aloft Raleigh exudes upscale comfort. The attention to detail is evident in every corner, ensuring a luxurious stay. But it’s not just about aesthetics; the hotel offers an impressive range of amenities, elevating the overall experience.
What truly sets this place apart is its invitation to embrace the city’s vibrant cultural scene. From the moment I arrived, I felt immersed in a world where creativity and sophistication harmonize perfectly. It’s more than a temporary abode; it’s a gateway to a distinctively Raleigh lifestyle. Each visit leaves me with unforgettable memories that linger long after I’ve departed.
Rooms with colorful accents and a modern vibe
A hip restaurant offering regular live music
Shallow-end season pool with sun loungers
Paid private parking
AC Hotel by Marriott Raleigh North Hills
At the AC Hotel by Marriott Raleigh North Hills, stepping into this European-inspired haven was like entering a timeless sanctuary. The elegance that enveloped me at every turn fused comfort and luxury seamlessly, painting an ambiance that resonated with sophistication.
One of my favorite places to unwind was the Level 7 rooftop tapas bar. The alfresco dining experience amidst panoramic city views was truly indulgent. I immersed myself in a world of culinary delights, from Spanish wines to craft brews and tantalizing handcrafted cocktails that teased my taste buds.
The hotel spared no expense in offering cutting-edge amenities and advanced technology, ensuring my productivity remained seamless. The abundance of event spaces catered perfectly to my professional needs, while state-of-the-art communication tech kept me effortlessly connected.
The family-friendly atmosphere was a pleasant surprise. Children could stay free and engage in various entertaining activities, including fun-filled games.
And for leisure, the pristine golf course was a haven. It tested my skills and provided moments of tranquility amidst lush landscapes.
Overall, the AC Hotel was an oasis where convenience, luxury, and comfort converged, creating an unforgettable stay that left me longing to return.
Stunning rooms with panoramic city views
Rooftop tapas bar with alfresco dining
Spanish wines craft brews and handcrafted cocktails
Pets are not allowed
Paid private parking only
THE STORE Raleigh
At THE STORE, I found a chic haven inviting discerning travelers seeking refined retreats. An outdoor courtyard embraced me with lush greenery, a serene sanctuary amidst Raleigh’s vibrant cultural tapestry. The carefully curated garden revived my senses instantly.
Seated in plush comfort, I relished captivating conversations amid flickering flames, a blissful oasis. Seamless connectivity through complimentary Wi-Fi and Ethernet kept me in touch, my world at my fingertips.
For audiophiles, an exceptional high-end audio system awaited, weaving a symphony of pure sonic bliss, syncing effortlessly with my favorite MP3s.
What stood out was THE STORE’s commitment to minimizing its ecological footprint. Embracing a conscious lifestyle during my stay felt natural, knowing every aspect aligned with integrated energy efficiency and waste reduction policies.
THE STORE’s ethos ensured not just travel but a mindful journey, resonating with environmental consciousness throughout my experience.
Vibrant cultural and entertainment tapestry
A relaxed lounge with a wood-burning stove
On-site Tennis court and a Golf course
Children are not allowed
Pets are not allowed
Upscale Downtown High-Rise
The Upscale Downtown High-Rise quickly became one of my favorite places during my stay in Raleigh. I love this haven for its personalized touch, making me feel like I had my own apartment in the city’s heart.
While visiting, I experienced the allure of luxury as the apartment welcomed me with top-notch amenities that catered to my every need. It felt like I was in a lavish hotel, and the complimentary private parking made my arrival seamless.
Stepping onto my private balcony was breathtaking, revealing a 360-degree panorama of the city’s magnificent skyline. It was a view that redefined my travel experience, merging luxury and convenience in one remarkable setting.
I enjoyed moments of conviviality around the inviting fire pit, where the crackling flames seemed to dance to the rhythm of our conversations. Engaging with fellow travelers in this upscale environment made my stay unique.
For those seeking a more challenging pastime, I tried my hand at billiards. It was a perfect way to test my skills and have some fun within the sophisticated ambiance of the Upscale Downtown High-Rise.
Venturing beyond the walls of this haven, I explored the scientific wonders at the Museum of Natural Sciences. I delved into the legislative foundations of the state at the North Carolina General Assembly. The proximity to these attractions added an extra layer of enrichment to my stay.
In conclusion, the Upscale Downtown High-Rise combines luxury, proximity, and entertainment into one neat package, making it an unforgettable part of my Raleigh experience.
Panoramic city vistas from the private balcony
Heated rooftop pool with beach chairs
Free billiards and board games
Smoking is not allowed
No cots or extra beds are available
Home with Outdoor Oasis
While visiting the Home with Outdoor Oasis in Downtown Raleigh, I found it to be one of my favorite places, a true idyllic retreat blending tranquil beauty with contemporary sophistication. Stepping inside, I was immediately captivated by the lush oasis that awaited, featuring a meticulously landscaped patio and a secluded garden that urged me to unwind amidst nature.
One of my favorite experiences was gathering with fellow guests around the flickering flames of the fire pit, sharing warmth and camaraderie in this enchanting setting. The attention to detail in each room was evident, with luxurious linens and towels providing a soft embrace, adding a touch of indulgence to every moment.
Staying seamlessly connected was easy with complimentary Wi-Fi, allowing me to navigate the digital realm effortlessly. For entertainment, a flat-screen TV stood ready to transport me into a world of captivating stories and immersive visuals.
Every aspect of my stay was meticulously curated, exuding a sense of quality and sophistication that made the experience truly extraordinary. Beyond the walls, the city’s picturesque parks unfolded, offering glimpses into Raleigh’s natural beauty. Exploring the vibrant city market became a personal highlight, where a tapestry of sights, sounds, and flavors awaited my discovery. I love this place for seamlessly blending luxury, nature, and the vibrant spirit of Raleigh.
Mid-century interior with home-like vibes
Outdoor oasis with a deck and gas grill
Free board games and books for relaxation
Parties/events are not allowed
Pets are not allowed
Best Hotels in Raleigh Compared
In the table below we have compared and ranked the top 12 cool and trendy hotels in Raleigh.
|Hotel Name||Location||Price Range (per night)||Fitness Facilities||Distance to Attractions (km)||Nearby Restaurants|
|The StateView Hotel, Autograph Collection||Alumni Drive||$282-$305||Yes||2.2||3|
|The Casso, Raleigh, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel||West Morgan Street||$339-$350||Yes||1.5||4|
|Hotel 83 Raleigh||West Morgan Street||Information not Available||--||--||--|
|Graduate Chapel Hill||West Franklin Street||$226-$339||Yes||0.1||6|
|The Longleaf Hotel||Dawson St||$207-$236||No||2||3|
|Hyatt Place Raleigh Cary||Corporate Center Drive||$157-$191||Yes||1.8||3|
|Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel||North Hills Street||$333-$372||Yes||6.1||4|
|Aloft Raleigh Durham Airport Brier Creek||Sellona Street||$191-$203||Yes||5.3||2|
|Aloft Raleigh||Hillsborough Street||$327-$412||Yes||0.7||5|
|AC Hotel by Marriott Raleigh North Hills||North Hills Street||$305-$339||Yes||6.3||4|
|THE STORE Raleigh||Devereux Street||$174-$213||No||1.7||3|
|Upscale Downtown High-Rise||South Blount Street||Information not Available||Yes||0.6||5|
|Home with Outdoor Oasis in Downtown Raleigh||Raleigh 27601-2304||$235-$261||No||3||3|
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Gaby Maia – writer and photographer
Born and raised in Brazil, Gaby has always had a taste for the intriguing, the off-beat and the far flung. After traveling around most of South America, living in Spain and Italy and then moving to England, her feet have stayed continually twitchy. Studying for a degree in Spanish translation and then learning five more languages only poured more fuel onto her traveling ardor. Gaby likes nothing better than discovering new destinations in her spare time and meeting the locals, tasting the cuisine and then writing about her favourite places. Her other indulgences include French cinema, boxing, photography, colourful manicures and soaking up the rays on a sun-infused beach. The places she loves the most include Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Turkey, Barcelona, Lisbon and Cornwall. Find Gaby on Linkedin or Twitter.