Welcome to the #AtoZ Blog Challenge and a Tour of Hotels & Inns
Where do you go at Christmas time that it wouldn’t be Christmas if you didn’t get there? For a number of years, my answer has been….The Carolina Inn. I first stayed at the Inn in 1992 when visiting Chapel Hill, NC. It is a quintessentially southern experience, gracious and welcoming. The hotel was built in 1924 by UNC alumnus John Sprunt Hill, a major benefactor of the university and designed by award-winning architect Arthur C. Nash, who designed a number of other university landmarks. Hill gifted the hotel in 1935 to the university.
The Carolina Inn is architecturally significant, blending elements of antebellum Southern plantation homes with Georgian and neoclassical features. The building’s original front was modeled after George Washington’s home at Mt. Vernon on the Potomac River. Nash’s design brought to fruition Hill’s dream of an inn that resembled Mount Vernon with its long portico, cupola, and roof balustrade. The inn continues to serve as a meeting place and hostelry for friends of the university and a destination for guests who check in and stay awhile.
This photo is a gingerbread-house version of The Carolina Inn. Throughout December, The Inn is decorated with The Twelve Days of Christmas including two turtle doves in a birdcage. A beautiful Christmas tree welcomes you in the stunning lobby. If you want to experience a gracious southern lifestyle, I recommend time at the Inn. PS: When I wrote the novel, Facing East, it comes complete with a scene set at the Inn.