The Carolina Hotel at Pinehurst
What We Love
- An elegant hotel at a historic golf retreat in the Sandhills, with your choice of spa and golf perksTeeing off at a resort that’s hosted more single golf championships than any other site in America
- Enjoying a complimentary smoothie while relaxing poolside at the award-winning spa
- Exploring the 2015 Travel + Leisure 500 pick’s culinary program, staffed by a team of more than 100
- Splitting up days on the golfing green with trips around the Village, housing croquet and tennis courts, shops and more
What To Know
- Free valet parking and WiFi throughout
- Rocking chairs on the veranda are the best place to unwind
- The on-site Pro Shop has surprisingly decent prices for such a historic golf resort
Have the fairway your way at The Carolina Hotel, a century-old, AAA Four Diamond gem dubbed “the Queen of the South.” This elegant hideaway is part of the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence-winning Pinehurst Resort, a mega-historic golfing retreat in the North Carolina Sandhills. The resort boasts a whopping nine courses, with a wide range of styles and by a wide range of designers (Donald Ross, Tom Fazio and Jack Nicklaus are three). They include one where Tiger Woods won the 1992 Big I Junior Classic (No. 7), one that dates back to 1898 (No. 1) and three that appeared on Golfweek’s 2015 list of the best in America: No. 8, No. 4 and No. 2. The latter has been described as one of the two places in the world that every golfer should visit – by Ben Crenshaw, no less – and hosted both the US Open and US Women’s Open in 2014.
In fact, Pinehurst has hosted a lot of single golf championships – more than any other site in America. It also houses a golf academy that Golf Digest called one of the best of 2016. And you might say that the accommodation, dining and wellness offerings are, ahem, on par with those in the golfing department: The various residences are elegant and comfortable, the seasoned culinary staffers number more than 100, and the spa provides treatments like a sweet-tea sugar scrub and marine mud wrap. The Village of Pinehurst, with its charming shops and historic homes, is just steps from the hotel. All this, plus biking trails, shops and courts for tennis, croquet and lawn bowling, make this property a true luxury-travel destination, worthy of its spot in 2015’s Travel + Leisure 500. So whichever of those world-class fairways it is that brings you here, consider it your fairway to heaven.
Traditional accommodations at The Carolina Hotel are exactly what you’d expect from a century-old, AAA Four Diamond winner: elegant and sophisticated, with classic details like a wood-and-wrought-iron headboard and calming neutral hues. Don’t worry, there are plenty of modern touches, as well, from the LCD flat-screen TV to the complimentary Wi-Fi.
With a staff of more than 100 culinarians, Pinehurst is able to offer a first-class dining program, one whose restaurants run the gamut from the AAA Four Diamond 1895 Grill at the Holly Inn to a tavern and a coffee shop. The formal dining room is under the supervision of Chef Thierry Debailleul, a graduate of Paris’ prestigious Ecole Jean Ferrandi who cut his teeth at various Michelin-ranked and Mobil-rated restaurants around the world, and its breakfast is widely considered one of the best in the golf world.The Carolina Hotel itself is home to Carolina Dining room, serving seasonal fare for breakfast and dinner in a super-sumptuous setting. You can dine on unique American dishes at Ryder Cup Lounge, open Monday through Saturday from 11:30am to 11pm and Sunday from 11:30am to 2pm. Carolina Coffee Shop is also on hand for coffee to go or a casual pastry or sandwich.
If swinging around that iron leaves you with some kinks to iron out, put yourself in the skillful hands of the Spa at Pinehurst therapists. Various massages are on offer for sore golfers, including the Champion’s Massage, which incorporates a golf ball. Of course, these are just a few of the many treatments on the spa menu, which run from a contouring seaweed wrap to a customized aromatherapy soak. Salon services are on hand, too, such as haircuts, manicures and waxes.
In the heart of the North Carolina Sandhills, Pinehurst Resort is one of the world’s most iconic golf resorts, featuring multiple Golfweek Best Courses in America 2015 and the legendary No. 2, where the US Open has taken place and which Bob Crenshaw described as one of the two places in the world that every golfer should visit. Golfing is just one of the activities that you can enjoy here, however, with biking paths and tennis, lawn-bowling and croquet courts also dotting the grounds. There’s also some shopping to enjoy in the Village at Pinehurst, and the streets of historic homes make for a lovely setting for a leisurely stroll.
How to Get There
I have stayed here many times before and always enjoyed my stay. This place is different now. Just no common sense.
First the facilities are clean and well maintained. Four star. And the vast majority of staff are super courteous. But this place is rules crazy to a fault. I walked from the Carolina to the spa for a simple workout in the gym (only adequate at best). When I asked to use the men’s locker room to change I was told that the lockers were only available for those using the spa. I was not aware of this policy and initially I thought they were kidding. They were dead serious. No spa no lockers. No exception. No workout after a long day on the golf course unless I walked back to the hotel and changed in my room and then returned. I left and called the hotel manager who apologized but that was it. I also told him that a friend of mine who lives in Pinehurst had driven to the hotel to leave a gift for me at the front desk. When he pulled up to drop off the gift at the front entrance to the Carolina he was told he couldn’t park there even if it was to simply run in and drop off his gift. He offered the bellman his keys but was told again to park in the main parking lot. My friend who also happens to have a Pinehurst membership was shocked. Again no common sense.
I explained to the manager that these trips are not inexpensive and one does not expect such ridiculous rules and treatment. Whereas the golf is nice I won’t be coming back. There are plenty of other choices in Pinehurst such as Pineneedles and Midpines for golf. I’ve also been to the Greenbrier and the Homestead. For now on I’m spending my time and vacations elsewhere. Also whatever price you are quoted please note that you should add in another 20% for taxes and resort fee. For that one would think that the gym would include the locker room!
Our annual golf tournament of 32 college and law school buddies was at Pinehurst this year. We stayed in the Donald Ross villas right next door to the Carolina Hotel. The villas were fantastic. Modern, clean and laid out perfectly for golfers. The common living room was huge and had 2 televisions. The putting green was right behind our villa. We played courses #9, 2 and 8. All were in excellent condition. Our favorite part of the weekend was playing "The Cradle". It is truly the REAL Top Golf!
Golf, fine dining, shopping and spa...what more can you ask for? One of the very best golf destinations in the US. Playing #2 is a must. Bring your short game! The cradle, which is a par 3 course, will test you. #8 and #5 are also very challenging tracks.
Friendly and efficient staff!
Will definitely come back!
The staff here is so invested in you having a great time with your stay! Everyone is friendly and helpful. What a fun place to stay. The breakfast buffet is unbeatable. Spa and Golf are world class. Wonderful place for a meeting. They understand hospitality.
Took 11 customers to Pinehurst. Everything was perfect. They stayed in 4 person Villas next door to The Carolina. We played #6, #8, #1, #2 and The Cradle (par 3 Course) too many times to count. They also have an 18 hole putting green, Thistle Dhu, that was a great way to have some fun.
Every employee went out of their way to make sure all our needs were taken care of.
I also can’t imagine a better experience then walking Course #2 with a caddy.