I had the amazing opportunity to stay at the Ballantyne Resort in Charlotte, North Carolina last week for the Smart Meetings one day event planner conference. But let me start from the beginning…
I drove up in my rented Prius, which by the way is the best car for a roadtrip since it’s gas efficient and drives really smooth, after being in the car for about four hours to this place that seriously looked like it should have been on a peninsula to itself. As I pulled in, my concierge Alan greeted me with a smile and made me feel instantly comfortable. He inquired about my stay, showed me where registration was and waited for me as I picked up my key and chatted with the registration managers. As I walked to the gold doors of the elevators, I looked in awe at the beautiful architecture of the not even 10 year old hotel. It had all the splendor of Southern charm with its dark woods, large bay windows, views of the golf course, and traditional afternoon tea…I’ll get to that later.
Alan proceeded to tell me a little bit of history about the hotel and the area and how it was all developed by one guy over the course of the last 20 or so years. We arrived to the second floor which over looked the lobby area and proceeded to my room. You know when you watch movies and things seem to move in slow motion? As Alan opened the door to my room and showed me everything the room had, it was like it was in slow motion. He showed me the private balcony overlooking the 18th hole of the golf course. He opened the double doors of the elegant bathroom which featured a garden tub, marble floors, and a marble pedestal sink. He told me about the in room snacks and the complimentary beverages. I asked me if I wanted a full tour of the hotel once I got settled in, to which I replied, “Absolutely!”
When I go to a hotel or resort or on vacation, I like to make myself feel right at home…after all, that IS the point right? I have a habit of taking out all of my clothes and styling them, I take out my shoes and neatly lay them near the foot of my bed. I stage my toiletries in the bathroom for ease of access. I always feel like if I take everything out and place them neatly, when it’s time to go, I won’t forget anything. Color me weird…
Once I got settled in, I found my way back down to the concierge desk to which Alan was waiting for me. He took me on my own private tour and told me all about their traditional Southern tea, which takes place between noon and two every day. Most days they have a theme. Like the Downton Abbey theme they were having as I left on my last day.
He took me to all the ballrooms, telling me that the hotel could accommodate up to three or four weddings on any given day and rarely do the brides run into each other. He took me to the ultra swanky Gallery Restaurant & Bar which also featured its own humidor and cigars. He showed me to the grand stair case, which was definitely grand. He showed me their beautiful outdoor pool which featured a private cabana bar and grill…unfortunately it wasn’t open, sad face. He then proceeded to take me to their spa on the opposite side of the resort. When I first arrived, I was seduced by something extremely fragrant. I love aromatherapy and use it often, so coming into this zen like space with its waterfalls and feng shui coupled with the soothing aromas made me want to book my next spa treatment. The spa is connected to their indoor pool area which also has two resistance pools plus a Jacuzzi….I wished I had brought my bathing suit.
Everything about the Ballantyne screamed Southern Hospitality…even when the faucet of the garden tub mysteriously came off as the housekeeper was cleaning the tub for me so I could use it, they were quick and courteous about correcting the problem and making me confident in using the tub. Oh and yes, I did luxuriate in that garden tub…felt like I was in Pretty Woman. Their service and great conversation made me feel at home even as they escorted me to Red Robin via their luxury shuttle.
It’s funny, being from Atlanta and travelling to Charlotte really made me notice how much of our Southern charm we’ve lost. Atlanta is like the sister who went to school in New York and came back home a slightly different person, where as Charlotte is like the older sister who stayed in town with the parents…she retained her cultural traditions. I really enjoyed seeing everyone’s smiling faces, the hospitality, and of course the relaxation. The food was delicious, compliments of Smart Meetings (which was the entire reason I was there) and the service was amazing. I would recommend a weekend getaway at the Ballantyne to everyone who wants to go somewhere quiet with a ton of charm.
Special thank you to Alan at the concierge desk for making my stay that much more special!
Check them out for yourself by visiting www.theballantynehotel.com and get some inspiration from my pictures below.
**Notice: This is not a sponsored post. The opinions and views expressed in this post are my own. I was not compensated to stay at the Ballantyne Hotel Charlotte**