Earlier this month we were in Charlotte, North Carolina, and I absolutely fell in love with its charm! Charlotte provides a beautiful balance of city vs. country, complete with north meets south appeal. No matter where you’re coming from, you simply feel at home. One of the highlights of our time here was our weekend spent at The Ballantyne Hotel.
The Ballantyne Hotel is located just south of the hustle and bustle of Charlotte proper, and makes for the most perfect escape! There’s a fabulous spa, golf, great food, and an indoor & outdoor pool that you don’t want to miss.
The staff is particularly amazing, so before I even get into anything else I have to mention them. They are friendly, attentive, and proactive – from the complimentary valet to the front desk, to the spa attendants, and waitstaff in both the restaurant and room service areas – they were all wonderful. I wish I needed them more, just because they always seemed like such a pleasure, but they took care of everything so well that I never had to ask for anything! The term one step ahead never proved more true.
Your stay starts even before you arrive, via email, inviting upcoming guests to explore their curated Charlotte destination guide, and to connect with a concierge team member. Seriously, there’s nothing worse than wanting to book something pre-arrival and having to search around for who to contact. Here, it’s GIVEN TO YOU. I particularly loved their online spa booking tool. The Ballantyne made it completely fast and easy to book my appointment, and really, what more can you ask for?
I have to talk about my amazing spa experience, because it was one of my all time favorites. This isn’t one of those overpriced, stuffy hotel spas. Rather, The Ballantyne is located in a residential area, so in addition to travelers, it’s typical to run into locals here as well. There’s plenty on the menu as far as treatments go, and it’s easy to spend an entire day being pampered. A 50-minute Swedish massage is only $95, and I mean, come on! When I saw the price, I didn’t know what to expect, but I was FLOORED by it. I laid on that massage bed thinking, “THIS IS SO AMAZING I DON’T WANT IT TO END!”
The spa’s check in is located right off the main lobby, and once you’re greeted and escorted downstairs, an attendant sets you up with a locker before giving a tour of the facilities – the sauna, steam room, showers, etc, this place has it all. At check in, you’re also given a voucher for a complimentary wine, champagne, or mimosa to enjoy while relaxing. Just ask one of the attendants walking around to get it for you. Not to mention, guests can order FOOD to the SPA. You seriously do not have to leave or want for anything, and the menu is fantastic.
Just past the treatment rooms is the indoor grotto pool, and just outside from that is the outdoor pool. Unfortunately, the outdoor pool was closed for the season while we visited, but we were able to enjoy the indoor pool, which also has two small resistance pools and a hot tub. They were fixing up one of the resistance pool areas while we were there, so my pictures don’t really do the space justice, but here’s the hotel’s picture. It’s a day shot, but at night, when we visited, the pool really takes on that dark, mysterious grotto feel.
Another fabulous amenity is afternoon tea, which is offered Wednesdays through Saturdays 1pm-5pm. I’m so sad we didn’t have time to enjoy this! We passed by the lobby one day while it was going on, and it looked amazing! I HIGHLY recommend making time for it, and definitely keep your eyes open for special tea events. This past year alone they had everything from a Valentine’s Day princess tea, where attendees were encouraged to dress up in their favorite princess gown, to a Downton Abbey inspired tea. I NEED to visit again during one of these special times!
Onsite, in addition to the actual hotel, there’s an impressive 35-room hunting-style lodge, and a cottage! We stayed hotel-side, so that’s what I’m going to focus on. We slept in the ever-impressive presidential suite, and it seriously had everything you could ever want in a hotel room. From one and a half bathrooms to a full kitchen, we felt right at home!
Now this is a well-stocked fridge! I don’t need locked up candy and chocolates, give me plenty of water and choice of soda any day!
Our first night, we ordered a three-course room service dinner, just because we didn’t want to leave this fabulous room! They did a wonderful job at setting up our table (complete with tablecloth and fresh flowers), and I mean, that’s just wonderful service right there! The food was SO GOOD, and I don’t care how full you are, do not pass up the diner-style chocolate cake!
Notice anything in the above picture that you don’t see in most hotel rooms? TWO LUGGAGE RACKS perhaps?! THANK YOU!!!
When we arrived, Josh and I were greeted with crackers and cheeses, and this amazingness:
Locally brewed beer.
One of the things I loved most about The Ballantyne is that it doesn’t have that chain hotel feel, despite being a Luxury Collection Hotel, which is part Starwood (so be sure to sign up and collect those points). There’s a ton of local flare, especially in the artwork that’s located throughout! It’s definitely something to stop and admire.
Their onsite restaurant is called The Gallery, which, true to its name, is filled with amazing paintings that are also for sale. We ate dinner here our second night, and I plan on dedicating a separate post to that because it was so good!
Back to our room, the bed was completely heavenly!
I loved their turndown service! Despite having water already in the fridge, they still placed bottles on our nightstands (in addition to my favorite – chocolate!), and our slippers could always be found bedside. I’m not kidding when I say they took care of everything.
Our balcony was large and private, with sweeping views of the golf course. It was definitely a great place to unwind!
We already can’t wait to return!
I paid a minimal press rate to stay here for review purposes. My parents have stayed here twice now during their road trips to the south, the President has stayed here, and it was on Gilmore Girls. Seriously though, my love cannot be bought by anything other than fabulous service (and the mention of Gilmore Girls… j/k!).