You get your first taste of the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel, in Charlotte, North Carolina, when you pull up to the bell stand and spy the sleek black Maserati SUV parked in the valet circle. This is the car the staff uses to ferry guests around the city within a three-mile radius of the 217-room hotel. It’s meant to impress, as is the design of the airy, three-story lobby, with its clean lines and subdued palette of gray, white, and black enlivened by bright pops of color from contemporary artwork.
“The Tryon Park is a luxury hotel that reflects the regal heritage of the Queen City,” says General Manager Robert Hannigan. Located in the Third Ward, the most modern of Charlotte’s neighborhoods, or wards as they are known, that ring Uptown, the first hotel here by Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants (opened November 2017) boasts a sophisticated aesthetic that echoes this modern city and its high-tech, banking, and automotive industries.
A key card is required to access the elevator, and, for extra security, it is keyed only to the third floor (meeting rooms), the fourth floor (fitness center), and the floor on which your room is located. Inside the elevator, there are no buttons to push. The futuristic computerized system automatically takes you to the floor you indicate on the keypad outside the elevator.
Our spacious corner room overlooks Romare Bearden Park, named for Charlotte’s native son and renowned African-American artist, through a high window wall. Just beyond, we have a great view of BB&T Ballpark, home field to the Charlotte Knights.
The lobby’s color scheme continues in the guest rooms, with sparks of purple, blue, and silver to lend majestic notes of what Hannigan calls “understated luxury.” A clever design element, a freestanding wall in the middle of our room holds a flat-screen TV on both sides. One side, outfitted with drawers and a mini-bar, faces the bed; the other side offers a work desk. The marble-tiled bathroom contains a deep soaking tub and shower all in one glass enclosure.
“Luxury without the attitude” is how Hannigan describes the hotel’s service. Indeed, every staff member we have contact with is warm and authentic, without any hint of stuffiness. The desk staff assumes the role of concierge, filling most any request from giving directions and recommending the best local haunts to making theater reservations.
Top-flight amenities include pet-friendly accommodations (no additional fee or size restriction) and a 24/7 fitness center with an outdoor yoga deck. Every evening at 5pm, the hotel hosts a wine and hors-d’oeuvres reception in the elegant living room space adjoining the lobby.
Expect mixologist-crafted cocktails and a wraparound outdoor seating area with a city view up at the hotel’s rooftop bar, Merchant and Trade, which can only be accessed via a dedicated elevator—with security staff to check IDs.
Off the lobby, Angeline’s chic dining room tenders a taste of Italy. “Our restaurant is not just a hotel amenity,” says Hannigan. “It’s designed to compete with the best restaurants in Charlotte.” And it does. House-made pappardelle with a guanciale-studded Bolognese sauce and a perfectly roasted whole branzino with red pepper coulis exemplify the exceptional cuisine.
All around, it’s a courtly experience fit for a Queen City.
Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel, 303 S Church St, Charlotte, NC. (704) 445-2626, tryonparkhotel.com. Average rates for a standard room range from $159 to $259.