Members Recommend
Very Good 929 Reviews
Jetsetter Verified
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 929 Reviews
Reviewed 4 days ago

Very disappointed in the customer service at this restaurant. We arrived with a party of six to have breakfast, however, all the large tables were occupied. They tried to seat us at separate tables and we asked if we could all sit together, they said no. We asked if the two tables could be pushed together to form one larger table to which they said they were unable to move the tables. There were at least 10-12 tables empty in the middle of the restaurant and this should not have been an issue. How good can a restaurant be if they cannot even accommodate their guests? Never had this happen at a restaurant before, so disappointing not being able to enjoy a nice breakfast as a family. Will not be returning.

Magnificent hotel
Reviewed 1 week ago

Stayed at the hotel for 4 days during Nov 2018. This is a lovely hotel that matches the very highest international standards. A beautifully appointed hotel, it’s facilities and excellent staff make for a most delightful stay.

5 stars without any hesitation!

Spa review
Reviewed 1 week ago

Spotlessly clean (and kept so with frequent service coming through!). Treatment was very good (not excellent but very good). Few dining options on-site (only have two and one requires business-casual attire). Maybe could consider offering dining in the spa area, even if just for light bites; this is done at other prestigious spas. Just a thought... inconvenienced as I had to leave the premises just to get food. They do have a gym, sauna, steam room, and pool all available if service price is met— these really make “the experience”. Both the sauna and steam room have infusions - amazing! The naturally lit showers are also delightful - feels like a real escape! The little treats/ refreshments in the lounges were also nice, and the cool cucumber cloths for the face/ eyes were a nice touch. The ladies at the front desk and in the back are wonderful: very helpful, friendly and efficient. Despite some letdowns still gave a 5/5 because of the overall experience. Would definitely visit again but request a different therapist!

A Moore
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We visited for our anniversary and had a fantastic time! The room was amazing and food was unmatched! I highly recommend this to anyone wanting who is celebrating or just wants a night away! Try to go early enough to enjoy the pool area as well.

Property is getting tired....needs a refresh plus better Heron's service
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We've been staying at the hotel since it opened.

For the most part, they still maintain the original bedding and over the years the beds have lost their support. They sag greatly.

Also, Heron's food and service has deteriorated greatly although with Zuzana (sp) back perhaps service will improve.

Cold eggs and toast, coffee suboptimal....so many better choices in area vs. the hotel.