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The Dunhill Hotel in downtown Charlotte, NC

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The Dunhill Hotel, Charlotte, NC

Rating:
Star4
Star
Star
Star
Star

I recently enjoyed a relaxing three night stay at The Dunhill Hotel (www.dunhillhotel.com) complete with Chef Stormy (my wife).

We seriously needed to get away and this was the first time in 2 1/2 years we were ever away from baby Chef Rania for more than one day! We honestly have been wanting to just head to downtown Charlotte and walk up and down the streets while enjoying a nice stay. We selected a luxury, boutique hotel as we just were not in the mood for a grandiose hotel this particular weekend. The history associated with the Dunhill is remarkable. And we knew we would get the opportunity to enjoy some wines at local places and then walk home in the cool spring air.

"Since 1929 the Dunhill Hotel has played host to literary giants and international luminaries, building a reputation as the leading choice among Uptown Charlotte, NC hotels through personalized service and unique amenities. The Dunhill successfully combines the elegance of European luxury hotels with an American sense of comfort and service, creating a place where the standard of guest experience is unsurpassed. The historic hotel is one of North Carolina’s Historic Hotels of America and one of its first luxury establishments. Designed by architect Louis Asbury, Sr., the hotel originally opened in 1929 as the Mayfair Manor. The ten-story hotel has been fully restored and is a landmark in the arts community and cultural district. Its refined architecture with neo-classical embellishments adds character and a distinctive shape to the Uptown skyline. The charmer is one of Charlotte’s few remaining historic landmarks from a distinctive period in history. The lobby and guest rooms feature elegant 18th-century European furnishings, hand-sewn draperies and original works of art by North Carolina artist Phillip Moose (all over the hotel). The Penthouse Suite retains its original marble floor with double balconies offering panoramic views of Charlotte."

The historic display cases downstairs on the way into the hotel are magical. I wish they showcased them more up on the main floors and developed a tour around the entire property centered on history.

We ordered hot chocolate one night (which is not on the menu) and they were so kind to make it anyway and bring it up to our room. We were doing nothing other than having pillow fights and laying around in pajamas - so it was fun! However, by the time it arrived, it was warm - or cold chocolate. Obviously they had let it set there and get cold. Additionally, when I am paying 200+ per night I expect table service in the morning to not be helter skelter, missing silverware at select tables nor begging for coffee. The first morning (Saturday) I gave up and walked out into the lobby, got two paper cups of coffee and carried them back in to maintain coffee flowing at my own table. Ridiculous and childish, kid-like behavior, from untrained and unsupervised youngsters - is not the place nor time for a fine hotel. This is not the place for guesswork or haphazard work. On Sunday and Monday morning, staffing levels and professionalism returned to proper decorum.

The linens in the rooms were fine and delightful, the television too small and too few channels to select from. Since I own an inn and have managed resorts worldwide - including a 1500 room hotel, I know the financials behind the mirror - and smoking people with less than 200 channels doesn't make sense to me. Nor does a tiny TV or broken arm on the desk chair.

However, I could have moved into the shower! Gorgeous and beautiful along with top amenities of triple jets and more. Great job to the design and building of that - I must say, it was a highlight daily! As was the mini-Keurig machine in the rooms - ahhh, yes, hot coffee when you wake up. My recommendation here is to just bring a small creamer with you, sucre and a box of keurig pods! The standard issue one cup each is never enough and it would be unfair to think the hotel should provide more. Dunhill, great job on the Keurig!

Young staff hiding behind the counter tend to clamor and gossip instead of coming out from behind there and greeting guests when they come in. The young staff are always afraid of more mature folks. One night we came home and a gentleman who appeared in his 60's came out from behind the counter, pushed the elevator button for us, smiled and greeted us! It was so refreshing to see gray hair on a more mature worker wearing his vest and uniform. Hats off to you Dunhill, great job.

We did not incline to dine at the Asbury Restaurant but did enjoy the bartender in the lobby, randomized free-fall pianists sitting down, well-to-do dressed folks kindly talking and the shapely appearance of the turn-of-the-century feel. Right up our alley. Wonderful.

Breakfast was delightful with homemade sausage patties, fresh buckwheat pancakes (an all time high since my mom made me eat Buckwheats cereal), excellent syrup, good coffee, potatoes and more. I had the buckwheat pancakes twice while there - love em'!

I mentioned the door at the back of the garage being ajar when I checked in, "there is a door in the back that says to be shut at all times." It was still open when I left and propped ajar.

We enjoyed ourselves at the Dunhill and would recommend it to anyone desiring a special stay in a lovely, turn of the century palace. If you enjoy the antique style of life and appreciate historic architecture - put the Dunhill on your list. It is within easy walking distance of the Wells Fargo Museum (fascinating and get your free gold coin), the food trucks parking around the plaza in front of the Mint Museum, oceans of other museums and the Epi-Centre to enjoy.

Your friend,

Chef Marti

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