From its roots in the tobacco and textile trade, Durham has blossomed into a city that welcomes technology and culture while retaining its historic character. Now, two new boutique hotels downtown have opened their doors so visitors can savor the many distinct flavors of this dynamic Southern city.
The Durham Hotel
A six-story, 53-room property at 315 E. Chapel Hill St. in the heart of downtown, The Durham Hotel embraces its namesake’s creative culture with style and taste. The hotel’s bar and restaurant feature the work of James Beard Award-winning chef Andrea Reusing, known for casting classic American flavors in modern light.
Los Angeles-based design firm Commune has transformed a mid‐century Home Savings Bank into a chic place to unwind and experience imaginative amenities complete with an expansive rooftop that is open year‐round and offers morning yoga. The rooftop provides a scenic backdrop to the bar, open‐air lounge and private penthouse, where cocktails and selections from the raw bar reap additional pleasures. The restaurant and bar serve lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, and you can enjoy a complimentary in-room breakfast and coffee program from Durham-based Counter Culture Coffee.
Rooms feature regional artisans’ work such as handcrafted blankets by Raleigh Denim, a welcome amenity from nearby Burt’s Bees and a minibar stocked with snacks selected by NC MADE. A streetside newsstand sells regional and niche publications as well as vinyl records from local indie music producer Merge Records.
Other amenities include:
- Ground-floor dining terrace
- Business center with two private office suites
- 24-Hour fitness center
- Complimentary shoe shine
- The Rooftop at Durham, raw food restaurant and bar
- Complimentary rooftop yoga classes
During your stay, head out to explore the nearby restored tobacco warehouse district, take in a show at Durham Performing Arts Center or Carolina Theatre, or stroll in Durham Central Park. Room rates from $199.
Contemporary design harmonizes with original architecture in 21c Durham, a new boutique hotel housed in Durham’s historic Hill Building at 111 North Corcoran Street. Located in the heart of downtown at the intersection of Main and Corcoran streets, 21c Durham offers:
- 125 rooms, including 18 suites
- 10,500 square feet of exhibition, event and meeting space
- Fine dining at the Counting House restaurant
- 21c Museum, featuring contemporary art and free admission 365 days a year
- The Spa at 21c
- Fitness Center
New York-based architect Deborah Berke Partners incorporated many of the building’s original features into her design of 21c Durham, such as the Art Deco-inspired elevator lobby with marble walls, terrazzo flooring and silver leaf vaulted ceiling. The 17-story Hill Building, completed in 1937 and designed by Empire State Building architects Shreve, Lamb and Harmon, in association with Durham architect George Watts Carr, was named for John Sprunt Hill and built to accommodate the Durham Bank & Trust Company.
21c Durham’s spacious guest rooms and suites feature high ceilings, contemporary furnishings, original terrazzo floors, large Art Deco windows and steel accents set against grey tones and copper details. Guests can choose from a deluxe king or double queen; luxury king or double queen; a deluxe or luxury suite; or a 21c suite.
The Counting House restaurant showcases a menu of seasonal ingredients and regional dishes designed by Executive Chef Josh Munchel, who comes from 21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati’s Metropole restaurant.
21c Museum’s art collection, curated by Vice President and Museum Director Alice Gray Stites in collaboration with founders Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, exhibits paintings, sculpture, installation, photography, film, video and digital art created by artists from all over the world to portray a global and contemporary culture.
“Downtown Durham is energized with art, culture, education and a dining scene that has been recognized as one of the best in the South,” says Steve Wilson, CEO and Founder of 21c Museum Hotels.
Rates from $149.