Could Iron Man Be Staying at The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, NC?

The Triangle is a little star struck because Iron Man III is in town filming this week. I don't know anything that you don't, but I thought it would be fun to take a look at one of the Triangle's top luxury hotels.  Let's just say that many celebrities have gone through these doors. Could they be pampering some super-heroes this week? If so, I am sure that Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Downey, Jr. will be pleased with their stay.  Let's take a look at the Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, North Carolina. 

Originally published August 2011
Those of you who have been following my blog for a while now know that I like to talk about luxury hotels.  Since having two kids, I have not walked through the doors of as many luxury hotels as I would like, but that just gives me more opportunity to make my “wish” list even longer for the time when the Hines get back on the road.  I make lists for hotels all over the world, but sometimes the best gems may actually be in my own backyard, so to speak.

The lake at The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, NC

Case in point is The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, North Carolina. 

The grounds at The Umstead Hotel and Spa
This artistic, and serene, AAA five-diamond property is nestled on twelve acres of lakeside grounds that give guests easy access to any location in the Raleigh-Durham area, yet as soon as you step onto the grounds, you immediately feel an oasis of tranquility and luxury comfort.  Since the property is fifteen minutes from my home, I’ve not experienced the hotel as an overnight guest, but several of my friends have checked in for an “overnight getaway” from their children recently, and their experiences have made me absolutely pea green with envy. They shared some of their glorious experiences over a glass of wine.

“Leigh, we sat by the pool, had drinks and an early dinner on the terrace.  We felt as if we had been transported a million miles away,” my girlfriend told me.

The pool

The Terrace

That’s all I needed to hear.  I admit that my original envy started as soon as she told me she and her husband were checking in to the hotel, but the stories of the comfy beds, delicious food, rest, and relaxation caused me to come home immediately and add The Umstead to my list under a new category of “sitters can keep the kids overnight” list.

It’s no surprise that this local hotel is so grand, and welcoming.  The Umstead is also a member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World, a hospitality organization representing 450 of world’s finest hotels, resorts, and spas.  This Cary gem has received The AAA Five Diamond award since its opening in 2007, and its signature restaurant, Herons, recently received the The AAA Five Diamond honor for 2012, which is one of North America’s most respected symbols of culinary excellence and the highest honor bestowed by AAA for a restaurant establishment.  For those of us who don’t necessarily talk in culinary speak, I’ll translate into what we do know.  It’s melt-in-your-mouth fancy cuisine, worthy of holidays and special occasions.  If your wallet can swing it, a regular old night of the week would be nice, too.  Nothing I serve at home looks this beautiful. 

Spiced Seared Venison

Chocolate Date Pudding

Even my burgers don’t look this good.

Fresh Ground Kobe Beef Burger
I know.  You’re thinking: Burger?  You’re talking about a five-diamond restaurant, and you’re showing me a burger?  It’s not just a burger.  It’s a ground Kobe beef burger with heirloom tomatoes and house-made pickles.  What I’m trying to say is that some of my best dining experiences on my vacations have been casually, in different parts of the hotel, where you experience the same five-star quality and service that you would receive in the signature restaurant.  This is true for The Umstead, too. 

Guests at The Umstead can enjoy spectacular, locally sourced seasonal delights by the pool, at a cozy table in The Umstead Bar, while lounging in the spa, or in the comfort of their guest room.  If you are out shopping locally and want to have a more casual meal, then the lounge is ready to serve.  Weekend brunch at Herons really delights and can add some sparkle to your Saturday or Sunday, if you are living in the area.  All menus at this luxury hotel are planned and prepared by Executive Chef Scott Crawford and Chef de Cuisine Steven D. Greene.

Want to GO: 
The Umstead Hotel and Spa
100 Woodland Pond Drive, 
Cary, NC

Do you have one of your own gems in your own town? 

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