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 the best cool and unusual hotels in Raleigh, North Carolina (in no particular order)…
1. The StateView Hotel, Autograph Collection – a trendy and modern hotel that offers gorgeous upscale accommodation
This brand new, ultra-modern hotel is conveniently located minutes from the North Carolina State University Centennial Campus, the Lonnie Poole Golf Course, and popular attractions like Pullen Park.
But the hotel is set in such a picturesque setting overlooking the tree-lined, sparkling shores of Lake Raleigh, and the activities and amenities on offer are so convenient and relaxing you’ll find yourself enjoying your stay without having to go anywhere else.
You will be spoilt with valet parking, a 24-hour fitness center and the latest tech-savvy 24-hour business center. Relax in style at the heated outdoor saltwater pool, swimming or sunbathing on a lounge chair on the hotel pool deck.
Take lunch on the restaurant’s outdoor patio with spectacular views over Lake Raleigh or order a signature cocktail from the bar, hand-crafted by the hotel’s expert mixologists.
- To book, check prices or availability for The StateView Hotel, Autograph Collection
2. The Casso, Raleigh, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel – a fun Instagrammable hotel perfect for fun-loving Millenials and Gen Zs
This cool and funky hotel with striking contemporary decor inspired by the local area is located in a great central location just 1 km from the State Capitol.
The The Casso, Raleigh, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel has a personal feel and pays a lot of attention to detail including locally sourced food available at their trendy on-site restaurant, an impeccable design and friendly customer service.
There’s also a nod to wellness too with an onsite gym with state-of-the-art fitness equipment and a relaxed ambience.
Add in a hip bar, a 24-hour front desk, pet-friendly rooms, and luggage storage space and you’ve got a great choice for funky accommodation that won’t break the bank.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Casso, Raleigh, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel
3. Hotel 83 Raleigh – a cool and chic upscale boutique hotel in Raleigh located in the vibrant Warehouse District
The Hotel 83 Raleigh is an upscale, refined place to vacation, located close to plenty of local culture in the energetic Warehouse District.
You are in walking distance of vibrant foodie and techie destinations like CAM Raleigh with its fascinating contemporary art exhibits, the Raleigh Union Station, and the North Carolina Museum of History. Other popular attractions close by include the Marbles Kids Museum and the Museum of Natural sciences.
The hotel is surprisingly well child-oriented, with activities like in-room camping gear for the kids on request and you can bring your fur babies on vacation, too, with the hotel’s welcoming pet-stay policy.
The hotel’s trendy plant-forward restaurant menu showcases the best local ingredients from both land and sea.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel 83 Raleigh
4. Graduate Chapel Hill – a hip, cool and funky hotel located 40 mins from Raleigh near the University of North Carolina
Although it’s a little further out of the city if you’re in Raleigh visiting or staying at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (the country’s first public university) then the Graduate Chapel Hill is the perfect choice!
It’s also a great choice for lovers of cool and unique design as soon as you walk into the accommodation you’ll definitely appreciate the effort that’s gone into the decor! Here you’ll find a bright, exceptional and very funky design.
Other hotel highlights include luxurious guest rooms, (some with balconies), Trophy Roo, a freshly renovated cocktail bar and a very friendly customer.
The hotel is located in the centre of downtown Chapel Hill which is around a 40 minute drive from Raleigh and surrounded by awesome bars, restaurants and shops.
- To book, check prices or availability for Graduate Chapel Hill
5. The Longleaf Hotel – a hip retro-chic boutique which was once a former motor inn from the 1960s
A hip and unique retro-chic boutique hotel which has a great location at the northern gateway to downtown Raleigh. The Longleaf Hotel was once a motor inn (during the 1960s) and today it captures that nostalgic vibe but with a modern twist.
Expect 56-rooms – some pretty spacious – with a mid-century design and contemporary aesthetics some made by local artisans. Amenities include a retro-style bar, a patio, Bluetooth speakers, flat-screen TVs and minibars.
Just a 15-minute walk from Raleigh Union train station, it’s a great place to base yourself for exploring the city.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Longleaf Hotel
6. Hyatt Place Raleigh Cary – a LEED-certified hotel located in the heart of Raleigh’s Corporate Center Park
The Hyatt Place Raleigh Cary is a stylish, contemporary hotel located in the Raleigh Corporate Center Park, close to the downtown Warehouse cultural district.
Your stay will be serviced with every convenience including free amenities like an airport shuttle, free parking and a hot breakfast buffet daily, room service, free internet access, and a 24-hour front desk with express check-in and check-out.
Even better, your best friend can holiday with you, with pet-friendly rooms catering for up to two of your little fur babies. You can dine on-site at The Placery, located in the lobby and there is an in-house convenience store and a bakery for snacks, pastries, and light meals to cater to your every appetite 24/7.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hyatt Place Raleigh Cary
7. Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel – a distinctive place to stay where guests can enjoy a modern and inspiring environment
For a luxury vacation, you need to consider the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel. It offers stylish upscale rooms and upgrades are available if you are wanting a whirlpool tub and access to the lounge with free continental breakfasts and servings of evening appetizers.
For something cool and different to eat, the hotel has a tapas lounge, and an Italian-style eatery. The hotel’s recent lobby transformation features a chic artistic design that brings the outdoors inside, blending seamlessly with the beauty of the hotel’s outdoor surroundings.
Guests can dine in at the 41Hundred restaurant and unwind after a full day in a relaxed setting where you can enjoy creative cuisine and a craft cocktail or a choice of the hotel’s in-house aged whiskey.
- To book, check prices or availability for Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel
8. Aloft Raleigh Durham Airport Brier Creek – a hip, fun and trendy hotel based in an upscale location
Located just minutes from the airport, this stylish hotel embraces comfort and technology from every angle. The hotel caters to every need with the best and latest in free wireless high speed internet access and plug and play connectivity stations for charging all your electronics.
Relax in luxury in the WXYZ bar, play billiards in the re:mix lounge, or score a quick and healthy snack from the re:fuel Aloft 24/7 pantry.
For the healthy-minded, there is the indoor pool and the re:charge fitness center. Even your pets get special treatment with the hotel’s (animals are Fun) ARF program welcoming them with a complimentary ARF kit which includes tasty treats, a bowl, pet toys, a dog tag, their very own bed and of course some poop pick-up bags. Even dogs feel like VIP guests at an Aloft Hotel.
- To book, check prices or availability for Aloft Raleigh Durham Airport Brier Creek
9. Aloft Raleigh – a colorful, kitsch, and fun party hotel with quirky-chic decor
For a celebration of local contemporary art and distinctive lifestyles, stay at the Aloft Raleigh which is located right across from the NC State University campus and Belltower, in downtown Raleigh.
It is a showcase for local artists with a rotating art gallery featuring local talent. Integrated into the hotel building is a permanent mural, and “The Overtones” sculpture by Thomas Sayre, which visibly represents how ringing bells make a sound.
This uniquely stylish hotel insists on upscale comfort for its guests. For exploring the downtown area and taking in the local attractions, take advantage of their free bike-share program to get around.
After a busy day, wind down in the WXYZ bar with a mix of trivia and live entertainment while enjoying hand-crafted cocktails, or relax in the re:mix lounge which has a glass wall onto an open-air terrace with spectacular views of the iconic Memorial Bell Tower and downtown Raleigh.
- To book, check prices or availability for Aloft Raleigh
10. AC Hotel by Marriott Raleigh North Hills – an elegant European-inspired hotel that provides great amenities
Conveniently set in a retail park in the North Hills neighborhood, this refined hotel is surrounded by restaurants and shops. Not far away you can take in the Museum of Natural Sciences and concerts and sporting events at the PNC Arena.
The hotel’s timeless design is European-inspired, with comfort and luxury a prime feature. Guests can chill out at the Level7 rooftop tapas bar where you can enjoy alfresco dining out on the terrace overlooking panoramic city views with a choice of Spanish wines, craft brews or handcrafted cocktails.
Modern business travelers will find all the most convenient amenities available with plenty of event space and communications technology. For family visitors, kids stay free and there are plenty of children’s activities and even a golf course.
- To book, check prices or availability for AC Hotel by Marriott Raleigh North Hills
11. THE STORE Raleigh – a former local grocery turned into a charming guest house
For travelers wanting accommodation that is exclusively for adults, THE STORE is the answer. This chic guest house is nestled in an upscale residential neighborhood close to all the cultural and entertainment opportunities that Raleigh can offer.
Communal amenities at the guest house include the outdoor courtyard and the garden, and an inviting, comfortable lounge with a wood-burning stove.
For guests seeking the best technology features, THE STORE offers free Wi-Fi and Ethernet and you will be spoilt with the PowerPoint projector/screen and the high-end Audio system which is MP3 compatible.
THE STORE is committed to environmental sustainability with fully integrated energy efficiency and waste reduction policies.
- To book, check prices or availability for THE STORE
12. Upscale Downtown High-Rise – a contemporary apartment that features stunning city views
For someone preferring their own apartment for a business or vacation stay in Raleigh, the Upscale Downtown High-Rise has all the answers.
This luxury apartment offers a basketful of upmarket amenities for your convenience. Just as if you were in an upscale hotel, there is free private parking, free Wi-Fi and a 24 hour front desk in the lobby.
Outside, there is a lovely terrace and outdoor swimming pool and a private balcony with great 360o city skyline views. You can relax around the fire pit or play on the pool table and create something delicious for dinner on the outdoor grill.
This downtown cozy studio apartment is close to many attractions and popular destinations including the North Carolina Museum of History, Museum of Natural Sciences, Marbles Kids Museum, and the North Carolina General Assembly.
- To book, check prices or availability for Upscale Downtown High-Rise
13. Home with Outdoor Oasis in Downtown Raleigh! – an upscale holiday home perfect for longer stays
If garden surrounds and privacy are what you need for your getaway in Raleigh, the Home with Outdoor Oasis in Downtown Raleigh! has a lot to offer.
This upscale holiday home has a lovely patio and secluded garden with a deck, gas grill and a fire pit along with plenty of modern conveniences for a comfortable stay. It comes with a fully equipped kitchen, linen and towels, free Wi-Fi and a flat-screen TV.
The stylish and tasteful mid-century décor sets the tone for a quality vacation escape, conveniently located in walking distance from local attractions like parks, the city market, cultural museums and Fayetteville Street.
- To book, check prices or availability for Home with Outdoor Oasis in Downtown Raleigh!
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Born and raised in Brazil, Gaby has always had a taste for the intriguing, the off-beat and the far flung. After travelling 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 travelling ardor.
Gaby likes nothing better than discovering new destinations and meeting the locals, tasting the cuisine and hearing about the local stories. Her other indulgences include French cinema, boxing, photography, colourful manicures and soaking up the rays on a sun-infused beach. She counts Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Barcelona, Lisbon and Cornwall as her most favourite places in the world.