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Very Good 996 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


Beautiful hotel - great service

Stayed here for business. Every staff member I passed thanked us for staying at the hotel and were truly gracious. The rooms was beautiful and immaculate. The gym was not fancy but was clean and adequate. The bar was nice and breakfast delicious. I would welcome a return visit.

Not bad but expected more

Visited for a weekend with my wife and infant son.

We arrived 3pm promptly and our “executive lake view balcony suite” wasn’t ready. We weren’t offered glasses of bubbly that someone was pouring and arranging neatly behind the front desk. So we walked out back on the patio which overlooks the pool and lake (pond). The first thing that struck me out back was that the resort actually backs up to Interstate 40– not the expanse of the Umstead park/recreational area. In fact, the whole back side of the building (pool, bar, balconies, etc) are quite drowned out by the constant roar off of the roadway. Interesting. Unexpected.

Our room was ready shortly and we were ushered to the elevators, this time with glasses of bubbly. Our room was spacious and high-tech and fell short of Ritz carlton/Four seasons quality but was nice nevertheless. The mini bar was well stocked. The electronic control system with iPad was cool. The bathroom was marble and was nice.

We utilized room service 3x during our stay and it was overpriced but tasty, not too fancy. I would recommend the lobster roll and the warm cookies.

One evening we opted for the bar and lounge restaurant only to be told that they had a 25-30 minute wait. There were clearly 5-6 open tables and the hostess was rather insulting when I pointed that out. Not sure what happened here but I would surmise a general failure of management on the part of the venue.

The front desk failed to really process my further inquisition into this so I ended up going out for takeout which I brought back to the room...lest we have a screaming 5 month-old in the lobby bar.

The pool space is nice (there is a roar from the I-40 nearby) but we found good service and nice cool waves and shade here.

We did not utilize the spa. We did not utilize the fancy restaurant on site (think foams, exotic critters on the menu).

Valet parking guys were fantastic throughout our stay and went the extra mile.

I think the resort is nice but overpriced for what you get. Set your expectations accordingly. Next time we will try the spa.

Excellent Service - Beautiful Spa
Stephanie M

We arrived from Houston for one night - quick girlfriend get away before traveling to see family ! The Umstead did not disappoint.. Before we flew in the concierge was extremely helpful and made our dinner reservations..

After dinner we enjoyed the bar and ended the evening with warm cookies and coffee...Our waiter was extremely attentive and accommodating.. Our cookies were cold but he bought out more so that they would be served warm.

Our room assistant was wonderful - she came in while we were at dinner to straighten our room ! It was nice to return to an organized room..

The spa was beautiful, well maintained and the pool areas were very clean and comfortable.

I had a massage and I was disappointed in the massage. It didn’t seem to be the quality that I would expect in their level of spa. My masseuse was extremely friendly . But her technique was not good at all. Spas are my thing and I’ve had excellent massages at high end spas . This massage was massage envy level at best ..

My cousins massage was excellent and she had no complaints! The spa has whirlpool areas and a small outdoor pool and of course the steam and sauna ..

Overall we had an excellent stay. The staff was attentive and the property is beautiful!