An Upscale Side of Raleigh

If Raleigh is looking to be diverse and appeal to all, then I would love to see more upscale category brought to Raleigh. I know there are a few higher end restaurants, but I would love to see a four seasons, or Ritz or some sort of upscale boutique hotel, or high end bar with beautiful dark woods and nice chairs brought to Raleigh. Believe it or not, there is a market for it. There are people all over that desire upscale facilities and would go to them. Everything doesn’t have to be a cornerstone or dirty bar with high prices. If they brought a high end hotel to Smoky Hollow Phase III, that would be awesome! To have a hotel that has height, beautiful views of Raleigh, an upscale, bar/restaurant, and spa, would be great!

If you ever go to Umstead you see there is definitely a demand for more upscales services in the area. Their spa is always booked, their bar is always busy.

What do we need to do to appeal to these higher end business owners to invest in Raleigh?


I would also like to see these things. It makes me laugh when people talk like everything downtown is so high end and for the rich. I’m a scientist in my 30s. I’m not exactly rolling in money and I still can live 10 minutes from downtown and visit the restaurants and bars and breweries with regularity. I guess we’ll see what Raleigh can support.


Upscale hotels require visitors who will pay their rates. As a state capital and tech town, there’s probably not a pipeline of people who are willing to pay those rates to keep them open.
Cities like Charlotte have the pro-sports world that likely keeps those rooms filled. Also, their industry is banking, not tech.
I’d rather see cool, interesting boutique hotels and hip brands come to downtown before worrying too much about luxury brands. Frankly, I’d just like to see more hotel rooms in general so that we can market to larger conventions!
That said, I can imagine a spa that’s extricated from a hotel brand doing well because it’s not dependent on visitors.


I think an opportunity was lost when it was decided not to convert the Sir Walter back into a hotel. I would love to have seen a historical renovation/restoration of that hotel back to its original glory or even better. A comparable property would be the Virginian Hotel in Lynchburg, VA.


Oh, I completely agree with that! Sir Walter was a dropped ball in the end zone.


Has anyone heard of any sort of higher end hotel or anything coming to Raleigh? I continue to say… there is such a demand for it, but no one is catering to it. Umstead is constantly busy and booked weeks out. A high end Hotel downtown with a nice restaurant and spa would be fantastic. We have more than just the millennial market in Raleigh.


Cary at the new Fenton is getting a 175-key boutique hotel. Not exactly sure how upscale it will be. Not exactly in Raleigh but just across the freeway.

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The highest end other than Umstead we are getting is Westin brand - one in Brier Creek and one tentatively for Crabtree. Downtown hotel projects are all sub 200 keys and 2.5-3 star category

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