Members Recommend
Very Good 957 Reviews
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This Hotel meets our standards
Our editors have been here and it has met our standards

What We Love

  • Oversize rooms with plush furnishings and seating areas, and some with outdoor patios
  • Sense of seclusion on 12 acres of wooded grounds
  • Impressive art collection, with 95 pieces of commissioned artwork
  • Free access to spa’s sauna, steam room, whirlpool and lounges
  • Chef’s distinctive five- and three-course tasting menus

What To Know

  • The Umstead is a 15-minute drive from Raleigh and 25-minute drive from Chapel Hill
  • Outdoor heated pool is seasonal, open March through November
  • State park setting is removed from downtown area, so come here for nature, not nightlife
  • Pets are accepted but there's a $200 fee
  • No nearby public transportation; renting a car is recommended


  •  Bar
  •  Free WiFi
  •  Gym
  •  Handicap-accessible
  •  Parking On Site
  •  Pet-friendly
  •  Pool
  •  Restaurant
  •  Spa
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
Lobby flooring home door


The Review

The Umstead knows how to mesh luxury with comfort in a sleek environment. Although its hard exterior might leave a bit to be desired, the Umstead’s interior is elegant, with a warm, friendly ambience and a lush back yard. The lobby’s centerpiece, an impressive Dale Chihuly glass sculpture, hints at the hotel’s classic style, while an art gallery with seasonal exhibits displays work by local artists.

{“type”:”img-inline”,”src”:”/static/images/product/properties/editorialreviews/9995/pgal-86853-1295374893-full.jpg”,”width”:”275″,”caption”:”The Umstead sits on 12 acres of wooded grounds has a quarter-mile of hiking trails.”}The Umstead exhibits nature photography in public spaces, and there’s a three-acre lake just beyond the 46-seat terrace at Herons restaurant and outdoor seating areas warmed by an outdoor fireplace on chilly nights. The 12-acre property has a quarter-mile nature trail and is across the street from the Umstead State Park, a fitting escape for hikers and joggers. And visiting cyclists don’t need to bring the Schwinn — the hotel provides free mountain bikes and helmets for exploring nearby trails.

The 123 guestrooms and 27 suites are posh enough for celebrities like Michael Jordan. The guestrooms have home-style amenities such as plush furnishings, seating areas and relaxing earth-tone colors. The same color scheme warms the 14,000-square-foot spa, where you can customize treatments to meet your personal needs. Like the rest of the hotel, the spa emphasizes nature, with a meditation garden and floor-to-ceiling windows in the lounge.

The Umstead’s signature restaurant, Herons, got a face-lift in 2010 that included a glass-encased Montague Cooking Suite, which gave executive chef Scott Crawford an updated workspace. The menu features local produce and meats, as well herbs from the Umstead’s private garden. Crawford offers both a five-course chef’s tasting menu and three-course wellness and vegetarian tasting menu, each of which consists of his signature dishes.

Centrally located, the Umstead is within 15 minutes from Raleigh, 25 minutes from Chapel Hill, easy reach of nearby attractions and businesses in the Triangle area and about a 10-minute drive from the North Carolina Museum of Art, home to one of the country’s largest Rodin sculpture collections. But at the end of the day, a quick trip to the sauna and a soothing cleanse with botanical bath products is what will leave you feeling refreshed.

How to Get There

The Umstead Hotel and Spa
100 Woodland Pond Dr
Cary, NC 27513 United States


4.5 Very Good 957 Reviews
Smooth stay
Reviewed 1 day ago

This hotel is the way it should be done... the staff is professional and kind, the interior is artsy, but not at the expense of staying warm, the grounds are beautiful.
Everything during our stay was top notch... Looking forward to the next!

Reviewed 3 days ago

We stayed briefly while in town for business. The service was excellent. The surroundings were quite beautiful. We didn't have time for the spa or to really explore, but I will save that for next time. Room was enormous and the bathroom was gorgeous!

Luxurious and warmly decorated hotel and spa
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Opportunity to stay overnight at the Umstead in Cary on the recommendation of colleagues who live in the area. Hotel is nicely situated in a wooded area and is about 10-15 minutes from Raleigh-Durham airport. Arrival was met promptly by the front staff who shepherded me to an unfettered check-in and warm welcome - that included showing me the premises. I should say that staff throughout the premises were attentive, polite, professional and charming in their interactions with their guests. Assigned room was tastefully decorated and adorned with all the necessary amenities, re: coffee maker, fridge, safe, umbrella etc. Room was bright and nicely laid out with a walk-in shower that provided good pressure; bed was very comfortable. I have to say it is a room where I can actually stay in for a protracted period because it was so comfortable and nicely decorated. An i-pad next to the bed allowed for access to a myriad of services ranging from managing the lights to ordering room service - and that worked. Food at the bar (and room service) was excellent and presented beautifully. I will definitely try to revisit at the next opportunity.

Wonderful Hotel!
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I stayed at the Umstead for two nights recently in connection with a meeting my company had at the property. I absolutely loved the hotel and did not want to go home! My room was gorgeous, spotless, and very quiet. The bathroom was spa-like with lovely amenities. The staff is completely wonderful and I have to give a special shout out to James in the hotel bar who was just terrific. The food that was catered for our meeting and the food at dinner in the bar area were so delicious! Not typical hotel fare. I did not have time to use the spa, unfortunately, but the property and staff alone are worth another trip back! I will just have to stay longer next time!

More 4 Star Hotel Then 5 Star
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

From the moment I drove up, I felt so good and that I was entering luxury. The staff greeted me with smiles and conversation that seemed very genuine and I was handed champagne. The check in went very smoothly and the hotel looked very beautiful which is from inside and out. I have been to many 5 Star hotels, I actually seek them out because I love new experiences. The room was very beautiful and the balcony view was amazing. When you look over the balcony whether it’s morning or night you feel so peaceful like you’re in another world where nothing else matters. The food was great, I enjoyed dinner and breakfast sitting outside on their terrace.

The reason I say the hotel should be 4 stars is because every 5 Star hotel I have stayed at has been on point with basically not a hair out of place. My issue is the room they put me in had big spot stains on the carpet like someone spilled wine or something. 5 star hotels don’t have visible stains like that, they would have made sure the room looked completely fresh and clean, like new. It was actually very disappointing from the 5 Star perspective but still I really enjoyed my stay.

*So, make sure you ask for a spotless room if you’re picky like me even though you shouldn’t have to ask at a hotel like this.