8.08.2012

Pack Your Bags: We’re Heading to the King’s Daughters Inn in Durham, N.C.

As the dog days of summer came upon us, I was in desperate need of a “parent-cation.”  You can’t find that word in the dictionary, but a good definition is “I want to think of my children fondly while away at a gorgeous inn and not have any parental responsibility, i.e., breaking up fights over who gets to sit in the crack of the sofa, guiding little feet back to bed at 3 a.m., or making breakfast, even if that does involve just heating up an organic toaster pastry.”

Our last “parent-cation” was 160 days ago in Charlotte, where we drove three hours one way to get away from our children.  This time we drove a short 30 minutes to Durham, North Carolina, to the best-kept sophisticated secret in the Triangle area … The King’s Daughters Inn, a luxury Four-Diamond award-winning boutique bed and breakfast.

King's Daughters Inn in Durham, NC

Will and I loved packing our overnight bag and having an effortless car ride to our destination near the campus of Duke University, an area that we’ve never really explored.  Durham is quickly becoming a mecca for foodies and is getting the reputation of having some of the best restaurants in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area, as well as North Carolina.  The King’s Daughters Inn is only steps away from some of the best restaurants and from the area’s thriving cultural arts scene in the revitalized Downtown District.  It’s definitely an urban retreat in the heart of the action.





The King’s Daughters Inn is also rich with history.  Built in the 1920s with funds donated by the Duke family, the King’s Daughters Home provided dormitory-style housing for single, elderly women.  The aging, rundown facility closed its doors in 2006, and innkeepers Colin and Deanna Crossman undertook an extensive green renovation to turn this 17,000-square-foot building into the 17-room luxurious inn that welcomes guests today.

The renovations are magnificent. The inn is so elegant, and no two rooms are alike, but yet they all complement each other.


The Tyree Room at King's Daughters Inn

We stayed in the Tyree room, which is lush in décor with rich peach accents, a large walk-in-closet, a good-size bathroom with the best water pressure I’ve ever seen in a historic property. It is also equipped with its own iPad, which is actually complimentary for every room, not just ours. 



Bed and breakfasts usually have an informal feeling about them, as if you are staying with family.  In a huge home like this, the Crossmans create intimacy by keeping all of the unoccupied rooms open for guests to explore.  It feels open and gives guests the feelings of staying with a friend, who just happens to own a mansion.  You also can have a simple afternoon tea in the parlor or on the porch.



Deanna joked with me and said keeping the doors open enables guests to pick a favorite room for their next visit.  I really liked our room and its location on the second floor, but the room next door did take my breath away.  It was occupied when we arrived, but the guests staying must have been early risers and out the door long before checkout.  I got a peek of the Moss Room on my way to breakfast, and I think it could be my favorite room.  Rates for this room, overlooking Duke’s East Campus and historic Trinity Park, start at $225, depending on the season.


Will and I were the last to arrive to breakfast before service stopped at 10 a.m.  I love the late breakfast time that the inn has for weekend guests.  I like bed and breakfasts a lot, but I don’t always love having to run down to breakfast by 9 a.m. or earlier.  I think we made it by 9:30 a.m. and were greeted with smiles, coffee, and homemade goodies.

The inn specialty is chocolate chip waffles.  Need I say more?


Chocolate Chip Waffles are a King's Daughter's Inn speciality
I honestly did not expect a breakfast this good. I think I was thinking “continental” with cereal, yogurt, and a few pastries, which would have been fine, but this breakfast menu was a gourmet showstopper.   You can have as much or as little to eat as you want. I was full all day.



The King’s Daughters Inn is the perfect place to stay while visiting Duke University, or on business.  The inn offers many packages throughout the season, including a babymoon package for those parents-to-be who will one day need a “parent-cation” just like us. Truthfully, I think I’m starting a trend, and the inn needs the Hines-Sight Blog “Parent-cation” package. 



After a luxurious night at the inn, you do go back home the next day as a rested, better parent.  Even the daily argument of who gets to sit in the sofa crack didn’t bother me as much after my night at the King’s Daughters Inn.

Will you vote for the "parent-cation" package?

Want to Go:
King's Daughters Inn
AAA Four-Diamond Award and Select Registry Inn
204 N Buchanan Blvd
Durham, NC




I was a media guest of the King's Daughters Inn, and I thank the inn for sponsoring this "Pack Your Bags" segment.

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