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Hilton, The King’s Daughters and caring staff - oh my!

As a wedding professional I often get invited to view new wedding venues and see new additions to our already incredible array of unique wedding locations in the area. Last week there were two such open houses and I was lucky enough to get to visit both.

The first was the Hilton Durham near Duke University and although the hotel has been there 22 years, I didn’t even know it existed. Sitting not far from the intersection of Hillsborough Rd. and Hwy 15-501, it is nestled in a wooded lot and has a quiet, unassuming facade.

But unexpected fun, sprawling size and helpful staff await you inside. The hotel has been completely renovated. The lobby contains a very large sports bar, BLUE Sports Bar and Grill, (most appropriate for a location near Duke University and UNC) with a great ambiance and a huge bar that surely can handle anything you might request of it. 

A Starbucks Lounge, serving real Starbucks coffees, sits next to their open-air restaurant, Tipton’s Chop House, serving good old American fare.

The rooms are standard rooms or suites.

For those with a sweet tooth, among many other delicious-sounding options, they also make a to-die-for crème brûlée with a Bananas-Fosteresque topping... yum!

With so many board rooms, executive meeting rooms and ballrooms, you are sure to find something that suits your fancy and your needs. Call or email the Senior Catering Sales Manager, Sarah Huggins, at 919-564-2908, to speak with her for your event. She will be sure to do everything she can to make your stay an enjoyable one.    

(All photos have been used from the hotel’s website with permission from Ms. Huggins.)


Now for a total change of pace; 

I went three days later to the Open House of the wonderfully charming The King’s Daughters Inn, in the historic Trinity Park area of Durham. Open only 10 months, it is an exquisitely decorated, warmly inviting Bed and Breakfast.

From 1926 to 2006, this building was a Christian retirement home for single, elderly women. Coming under new management only a short while ago, this Historic Landmark has thankfully been restored and “reborn as a seventeen room luxury inn. Wherever possible the important historic elements have been restored and preserved,” with each distinctive room having its own unique decor. Each room I visited was more amazing than the last and photos of some of them are included here (used from their website with their permission). 

the Rigsbee Suite...

the Tyree Room...

and the Woodard Room...

There are so many incredible aspects to this building, which is far larger than it appears from the front. I especially liked the grand staircase when you entered, the wonderful sunroom...

and the charming old dining hall.

Although not set up for large weddings, it is an elegant setting for smaller, intimate weddings and events and can accommodate up to 150 guests for receptions. And did I mention the food?! Because they are a B and B, their fare is lighter and more suited for breakfasts and brunches, which is why they allow you to bring your own caterers if you prefer. For the Open House they had set out many a tasty treat and all of us in attendance were oohing and aahing over everything on display. They are experts at beer, wine and food pairings and in evidence of this they had wines and liqueurs on hand that blended perfectly with all the foods, especially the decadently delicious, handmade chocolates “in the European tradition,” created by Sandra Ackerman of Serious Chocolates. (My palate has now been awakened and I can never go back to Hershey’s chocolate again!) You can reach Sandra by email or phone, 919-358-3218.

The Proprieters, Deanna and Colin Crossman, have taken great pains to recreate the charm of an era gone by and blend it with the best of the new and modern elegance. Throughout, they have used the most current green technologies to keep the whole building as environmentally conscious as possible. Their Marketing and Events Specialist, Michelle Alarcon, is completely amenable to helping you create the dream event you have in mind. You won’t be disappointed.


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