A short hour and a half up I-85, the Charlotte city skyline gleams with possibility. With a plethora of professional sports teams, the U.S. National Whitewater Center, and diverse neighborhoods, the Queen City is well worth a day trip. But while the daytime amusements pay tribute to the city’s royal charm, the evening opportunities are its crown jewels.
To stay, skip the unknown of Airbnb or the predictability of a corporate chain and check into the elegance of The Dunhill. A boutique hotel offering a modicum of history, a bit of bar alchemy, and an abundance of superbly crafted cuisine at The Asbury restaurant, The Dunhill is located center city—an ideal spot for weekend getaways. It resides on the Historic Hotels of America roster in conjunction with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which recognizes the finest historic hotels in the country.
Royal Treatment // Enjoy the boutique charm of the historic Dunhill Hotel, which houses The Asbury restaurant helmed by celebrated chef Matthew Krenz. The hotel is located center city at 237 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, North Carolina. For more information about rates, call (704) 332-4141 or visit dunhillhotel.com.
Opened at the tail end of the Roaring Twenties as the Mayfair Manor, The Dunhill has reimagined itself many times over since 1929, all while retaining a dignified, charming sense of British and Old World style. The hotel’s architect, Louis H. Asbury Sr., bicycled through Europe garnering inspiration and influences; Italian cathedrals and the Gothic churches of England and France had a lasting impact on him. Mr. Asbury also held the distinction as the first professionally trained, full-time architect in North Carolina.
Once on site, sink into a sumptuous leather wingback chair under the framed Union Jack to check your email—there’s complimentary high speed Wi-Fi throughout the hotel—before heading to your room. There you’ll find a blend of traditional and modern amenities: armoires and iPod docks, deluxe Beekman 1802 products, ultra-plush bathrobes, and gleaming marble bathrooms. Even Sir Paul McCartney slept here.
The Lobby Bar is a favorite for hotel patrons, and locals keep it buzzing. Intimate, with a huge carved mirrored dark wood bar, the watering hole offers Old World and New World wine flights or inventive cocktails like the Nutty Old Fashioned (Cathead pecan vodka, black walnut bitters, orange, cherry) and Ghost Cider (The Dalmore 12 Year, spiced syrup, orange, lemon).
The Dunhill’s true treasure lies downstairs in The Asbury restaurant. There, Executive Chef Matthew Krenz assembles humble, often local ingredients and elevates them to the stratosphere. Krenz is a tenth generation rancher, and the Krenz Ranch provides all the beef served at the restaurant. His Southern, yet modern, menu inventions could include pan-fried lamb sweetbreads with carrot barbecue sauce, fermented chili-glazed pork belly with cornbread purée, or shrimp with coconut and green curry rice grits. Duck hearts, pork cheeks, and bison tongue may also grace the menu. Lunch offers casual fare—like a fried chicken sandwich layered with green tomato chowchow and caramelized onion aioli. Bar bites and in-room dining also feature Krenz’s deft touch.
The restaurant is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner with brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Each season, the menu transforms in conjunction with the artwork rotation at the Sozo Art Gallery, located just across the street in Hearst Tower. A smattering of theatres and museums also await within a few blocks of the hotel, an Uptown stay of regal proportions.