5 Star Hotels in North Carolina

by KJ Henderson

Every year Forbes Travel Guide issues the much coveted Five Star Award to hotels around the world that demonstrate the highest level of quality and service within the hospitality industry. Forbes rates hotels according to a thorough inspection of an establishment's facilities, including cleanliness, physical condition and location, as well as services, consisting a 500 checkpoint evaluation. In 2010 only two hotels in North Carolina were awarded five stars.

The Umstead Accommodations

The Umstead Hotel and Spa is a luxurious retreat in the town of Cary, North Carolina. The hotel’s mission is to present art and nature in “awe-inspiring simplicity and intricate detail.” It is situated upon 12 acres of meticulously maintained landscape. The property includes sculptured gardens and a specially designed Chihuly glass. For an added sense of privacy, woodlands and a lake surround the Umstead. Each of the 150 guestrooms and suites are outfitted with deep soaking tubs, double vanities and high quality linens. Guests also enjoy 42-inch plasma-screen TVs, iPod docking stations and complimentary wireless Internet access. Maids come twice a day, including turndown service.

The Umstead Dining and Spa

Herons Restaurant is the signature dining room of The Umstead Hotel and Spa. Specializing in Southern American cuisine, breakfast consists of gourmet creations, including short rib hash. In addition, a la carte, vegetarian and wellness, and five-course chef tasting’s menus are available. Forbes Travel Guides suggests The Umstead as an ideal spot for a romantic getaway. The Umstead Spa offers private treatment rooms complete with balconies overlooking a three-acre lake. Professionals are on staff to administer a variety of beauty treatments. The facility also offers a eucalyptus steam room, dry sauna and whirlpool.

Fearrington House Accommodations

Situated in Fearrington, a planned community built on the grounds of a historic farm in the quaint town of Pittsboro, North Carolina, Fearrington House Country Inn comprises 32 individually styled guest rooms. Designed in an elegant country décor, guests access their room through a private courtyard garden. Rooms include marble vanities, feather beds and Molton Brown bath products. Antiques and original artwork populate the space. Every stay with the Fearrington House Country Inn includes a full gourmet breakfast, traditional English afternoon tea service, and port wine and chocolate at turndown. Complimentary daily newspaper delivery and high speed wireless Internet access is also provided. Smoking is prohibited in all guest rooms.

Fearrington House Dining and Spa

Althought no dining establishments are on site at Fearrington House Country Inn, the Fearrington House Restaurant is just across the road. Serving an eclectic menu of meat and seafood dishes, this establishment also provides a well-rounded wine list. Throughout the year, the Fearrington House Restaurant also offers cooking classes. The Spa at Fearrington opened for business in October 2010. The 5,000 square-foot facility offers beauty treatments, such as facial, manicures and massages. In addition, guests may indulge in the proprietary Massage Bliss for Two, a couples massage administered in a private spa suite.

About the Author

KJ Henderson has more than a decade of HR and talent acquisition experience. He has held roles at a Fortune 100 investment bank, a media conglomerate and at one of NYC's largest executive staffing firms. He currently heads recruitment sourcing at a major movie studio. He read literature at Oxford.