A Stay at the Washington Duke Inn

Recently, I made my first trip to Durham for a wedding and was able to stay at a wonderful hotel, the Washington Duke Inn, while there. Here’s everything you should know about this beautiful hotel!

If you are planning on going to a fun southern city, Durham is definitely a good choice. It’s got small-town charm with the most friendly people. I was really impressed with the Washington Duke Inn. It’s got such charm and gives you a very classic feel while inside the hotel.

They also have a ton of facilities on site which makes it an excellent choice whether you are visiting Duke for a game, want a great spot to play golf, or are planning on hosting an event. Rooms at this hotel start at $180 a night, which is a great deal considering it is a luxury hotel!

Disclaimer: The Washington Duke Inn was kind enough to give me an upgrade on my room and amenities after purchasing the room. As always, all thoughts are my own.

The Location

This hotel is in an excellent location! Since it is located right on Duke’s campus and a lot of Durham culture surrounds Duke, it is definitely an easy spot to stay when exploring. It’s also less than 25 minutes from the international Raleigh-Durham airport. I was able to reach downtown Durham in less than 15 minutes as well by car.

The hotel also has several places that are walkable. While I was there, I attempted to walk to the Sarah P. Duke Gardens (one of the top ten gardens in the US) as well as the Nasher Art Museum. It ended up raining and we drove instead but it’s do able in nice weather. Since it is on Duke’s campus, there is a lot to see on campus as well like the beautiful Duke chapel.

The hotel also is located in what feels like the forest and has a 3 mile walking trail through the woods that is really nice in warm weather. We walked a little of the trail because it was a rainy weekend. The grounds are beautiful, though, and very nice to walk.

Parking is free, and valet parking is just $15 overnight. Shuttle services are free and available to take you around Duke’s campus which makes getting around even easier.

The Facilities and Entertainment

There is a lot to do right at the Washington Duke Inn.

The hotel has an indoor pool and jacuzzi that you can enjoy year round with a sauna as well. Right next to the pool is a fairly large indoor gym with all types of equipment for use. There is also a large locker room where you can change and keep your things.

The one thing in the locker room I was unsure about was where to find a key. There was no one around the pool or gym, but all the lockers had locks that needed keys, so if you are concerned about locking up your things, make sure you ask at the front desk before going to the gym or pool.

One of my favorite things about this hotel was how many spots there are to just sit in quiet and relax. There are several spaces throughout the hotel where you can get a great view of the woods and just sit to read or work at your laptop. These spaces are often hard to come by when traveling and the Washington Duke Inn is not short of them!

The Washington Duke Inn also has in room service, a mini bar in every room, free coffee in the bar each morning, and tons of spots to read a book. They even have a free library where you are welcome to take books and leave a book. Next to this area is a station to print any papers you may need from a computer. Two other things make your stay even more luxurious – in room spa services and a very nice golf club. More on this later!

The Rooms

The rooms have such a classic and homey feel to them. They are all decorated in a similar style with pictures of Duke and North Carolina throughout the room. I was able to enjoy a suite on the sixth floor while I was there and loved it! All suites come with two TVs, a large closet, work station, couch, Keurig, living room space, and large bedroom. The two rooms came in handy when friends came to hang out.

The bed was very comfortable and I was glad to have pillows that were alternative down. I’m allergic to feathers and I don’t know how many times I have had to ask a hotel for other pillows and they haven’t had them.

The bathroom was also large and there was a light up make up mirror – ladies, you know how awesome these are to have when you are getting ready! I loved having it and felt way more prepared as I was getting ready than I do in most hotel rooms.

The Food

There are three restaurants at the Washington Duke Inn. We ate at the Bull Durham Bar for lunch as well as grabbing breakfast sandwiches at the golf shop. The best thing I had all weekend was the breakfast sandwich from the Vista Restaurant!

Definitely worth eating and only $4. It was a really great decision to grab a breakfast sandwich, free coffee in the Bull Durham Bar and eat a quick breakfast before starting the day. I’ve been told by locals it’s the best breakfast sandwich in town!

We also had two meals in their dining halls for events as part of the wedding. All of the food was enjoyable and the staff did a great job making sure everyone was well taken care of. Their facilities for group dining and the food for large groups was excellent.

The only food I would not recommend at the Washington Duke Inn is their coffee drinks such as lattes and macchiatos. We all got one during the weekend and were not satisfied with them. Stick to coffee and go out to get your nice coffee drinks!

The Washington Duke Inn also does an afternoon tea that sounds like a lot of fun. A friend and I tried to do it, but because of timing for the wedding and flights, we did not have time. Definitely look into this if you are going though because afternoon tea is always a fun experience.

The Golf Course

Thankfully, my friends were able to golf on Saturday and provide some insight on the golf course! Here’s what he has to say.

The course was fairly challenging but a lot of fun! It helped that the carts had GPS to give accurate distances. Be sure to bring your own clubs if you can, the rental clubs cost us more than the round! We got a recommendation from a Duke student to get breakfast at the outdoor snack bar, and got an incredible bacon egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast! Overall, it was an enjoyable, but fairly expensive way to spend the morning. If you’re not a golfer, be sure to stop by the pro shop to meet Arnie!

The Staff

I had nothing but great interactions with the staff at the hotel. I interacted with staff on my hotel floor, to ask directions, during meals, and walking throughout the hotel. The staff was kind, friendly, and helpful. The experience was a good one, and I definitely felt welcome at the hotel the whole time.

To book a stay, you can head over to the Washington Duke Inn’s website where you will find the best deals and rates! Adventure awaits!


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