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The Gorgeous Umstead Hotel in Cary, NC

November 20, 2013

Yes, we all know that CARY is an acronym for “containment area for relocated Yankees,” but I guess the northern invaders needed a nice place to stay?! Or maybe it was the SAS corporation?! Whatever the cause, the Umstead Hotel is world class.

Umstead autumn morning

Umstead autumn morning

Super courteous and warm welcome. Amenity arrival within minutes. Southern hospitality and laughter. Light and grace.

Chocolate? Well some people like that.

Chocolates made in house.

Chocolates made in house.

A bottle of wine and a note balance things out.

Amenity table.  Wine and chocolate.

Amenity table. Wine and chocolate.

Auto upgrade to a lake view room (216) with a balcony. Too bad it gets dark so early these days!

Balcony in the morning.  Nice place to read the WSJ.

Balcony in the morning. Nice place to read the WSJ.


The room is nicely appointed and the design, though a rectangle, is well done.

IMG_0532

From the bathroom.

From the bathroom.

The shower is not plastic in the least.

Not a plastic shower.

Not a plastic shower.

Huge tub for no apparent reason.

Huge tub for no apparent reason.

All told, we’re at five shower heads. Stay here.

Dinner at the nearby An restaurant was delightful. Very good seafood and an excellent and quirky wine list.

Mixology at the Umstead is OK. Very good for a hotel bar, but nothing to write down. The Sazarac experiment was a wash—literally. But the service is excellent if not obsequious. Great place to unwind.

Incredibly great dinner after a long day with students (and two talks, one of which was a surprise) at Poole’s Diner. Wow. Best dinner in NC ever. Simple, but supremely well constructed. And the bar made a fantastic Sazerac. The Sazerac is a difficult drink to make properly:
Ice down a tumbler. In a second glass mix:
1 t simple syrup
3 oz cask strength Rye (Sazarac 18 is a good bet, or Rittenhouse 100)
7 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters
Stir down. Empty first glass and rinse with absinthe. Strain mixture into first glass. Express generous lemon slice over glass. See? Easy, but NOT easy at all to do well.

One Response to “The Gorgeous Umstead Hotel in Cary, NC”


  1. […] to ultra luxury in NC we’re thinking high three showerheads. We’re also thinking TOO MUCH […]


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