Jun 16, 2020 - Things to Do

Staycation guide: 7 Charlotte hotels to book — plus itineraries for each

ballantyne hotel pool

ballantyne hotel pool

Odds are if you had summer travel plans, you’ve had to postpone or cancel. If you’re itching for a change of scenery, book a staycation here in Charlotte — the hotel industry could use it.

Changing industry: From the long-awaited Grand Bohemian hotel opening in Uptown this summer to two new SouthPark spots, the AC Hotel and Hilton Canopy, Charlotte’s hotel scene continues to grow.

The Grand Bohemian will bring an art-focused boutique experience and four restaurants to Uptown, and the AC has one of two SouthPark rooftops (Restoration Hardware, which opened last week, is the other).

Coronavirus impact: The hospitality industry was one of the first to take an immediate hit during the coronavirus pandemic. Layoffs and revenue continue to plummet. The Observer reported at least 700 jobs at major Charlotte hotels have been cut due to COVID-19.

No RNC: Hotels certainly expected a bump in August with the Republican National Convention, originally expected to draw 50,000 people to town. The RNC was expected to have an estimated economic impact of at least $163 million. The 2012 DNC produced an economic return of about $164 million. About $91 million was in direct local spending. Now the RNC has relocated its main events to Jacksonville, Florida, leaving hotels and restaurants without the influx of business they were preparing and hoping for.

While travel is limited due to the pandemic, here’s where to stay, where to eat, and what to do on your Charlotte staycation based on your mood.

(Note: Amenities like spas and room service may not be available until later this summer. Check prior to booking.)

The Ivey’s Hotel

47-room boutique hotel at 127 N. Tryon St.

Perfect for: Travelers who love visiting big cities. Explore center city and treat yourself to a stay at one of Charlotte’s most gorgeous boutique hotels.

What to do: Start with a daytime mural tour or a self-guided history tour of Uptown. Then get dressed up for dinner at 5Church (opens June 22), followed by drinks at Sophia’s Lounge. For brunch, head to Fahrenheit for the views, or get treats and coffee to-go from Amélie’s or Community Matters Cafe and picnic at Romare Bearden.

Room rates: Starts at $229 a night for a room with a view, $329 for a room with a view and balcony.

[Agenda related guide: Neighborhood guide: 17 things to do, see, and eat in Uptown]

AC Hotel SouthPark


New SouthPark hotel with rooftop bar at 1824 Roxborough Road

Perfect for: A couple desperate for a low-key escape.

What to do: Start with a cocktail at Cordial, the hotel’s new rooftop bar (opens June 19). Then, grab Reid’s to go and have a picnic in Symphony Park. Finish the night with wine on the Foxcroft patio. The next day, explore the new RH Charlotte and do lunch on the rooftop.

Room rates: Starts at $132 per night.

[Agenda related guide: Neighborhood guide: 15 things to do, eat, and see in SouthPark]

The Grand Bohemian

ac hotel entrance in southpark charlotte
lobby at ac hotel in southpark charlotte
Ground floor lobby inside the AC Hotel
restoration hardware restaurant
Restoration Hardware’s rooftop

Luxury boutique hotel opening in August at 201 W. Trade St.

Perfect for: Those who want to pretend their international trips didn’t get canceled this year.

What to do: Spend time exploring the new hotel. Grand Bohemian hotels have globally inspired architecture and artwork throughout, and each city has a slightly different twist  — they’re like museums for design nerds.

The Charlotte hotel will have Argentinian influence with artwork selected by founder Richard C. Kessler, collected from his personal travels as well as pieced by locals.

When construction is complete, the hotel will have a Poseidon Spa on the 16th floor; a rooftop bar with fire pits called Búho; a ground-floor Starbucks; a South American-inspired restaurant called Mico; and a casual grab-and-go bistro overlooking a pocket park called The Bohemian Garden.

Room rates: Starts at $206 per night.

[Agenda guide: Grand Bohemian Hotel to open Uptown]

The Ballantyne

grand bohemian uptown construction charlotte
construction at grand bohemian uptown charlotte
courtyard at grand bohemian in charlotte

Perfect for: A romantic “getaway” or the ultimate self-care solo retreat.

What to do: Play a round of golf or tennis in the morning, and definitely book a spa treatment.

Get Oggi for dinner and some tiramisu to go. Then, head back to the room, put on a fluffy robe, drink some Champagne, watch your favorite movie, and eat dessert. (That’s what I did for my birthday last year, and it’s the most fun I’ve ever had.)

Spend the entire day lounging by the pool and order lunch poolside from Gallery, the hotel’s restaurant.

Room rates: Starts at $207 per night


outdoor pool at ballantyne hotel charlotte

Classic luxury hotel at 201 E. Trade St.

Perfect for: High rollers who like to go big when they vacation (or staycation).

What to do: Save this one for when the Punch Room and spa open (you’ll want to experience both). Also head to La Belle Helene for dinner, followed by a concert at Middle C Jazz.

Room rates: Starts at $569 per night.

Duke Mansion

Aqua Lounge

Historic inn at 400 Hermitage Road

Perfect for: A cozy romantic “getaway”

What to do: Book a picnic in the garden. For $85 you get a prepared picnic meal, blanket to sit on, and a bottle of wine or champagne then stroll the neighborhood (take our self-guided architecture tour). For dinner, split as many plates as possible and some wine from Stagioni.

Rates: Starts at $149 per night.

Canopy by Hilton

Duke Mansion Home Tour guest bedroom
Duke Mansion Home Tour garden

New SouthPark hotel at 4905 Barclay Downs Drive

Perfect for: A casual change of scenery

What to do: Get a Juicy Jay and soft pretzel at Legion Brewing and dine at the hotel’s restaurant, Fine & Fettle, headed by executive chef Daniel Wheeler (previously of Dot Dot Dot). Head back to Fine & Fettle in the morning for breakfast, sip your coffee, and read a book for a slow morning.

Rates: Starts at $159 per night.

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fine & fettle interior
Fine & Fettle interior
fine & fettle outdoor seating
Fine & Fettle outdoor seating. (Photos courtesy of Fine & Fettle)

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