Whether your group prefers water, mountains, big-city action or small-town charm, North Carolina has it all. In Wilmington, on the Cape Fear River, a new Embassy Suites and a new Tapestry Collection by Hilton beckon. In Charlotte, a number of hotels are sprucing up, and the convention center is expanding.
Recent Additions in Wilmington
The 186-room Embassy Suites by Hilton Wilmington Riverfront Hotel debuted in January adjacent to the Wilmington Convention Center. The property, overlooking the Cape Fear River, features 6,600 square feet of meeting space, an indoor pool and a fitness center. The Cloud 9 rooftop bar overlooks the historic downtown, and the signature restaurant, Steam, presents a menu of farm-to-table dishes and local seafood.
The 272-room Hotel Ballast, a Tapestry Collection property from Hilton, has finished a $10 million renovation that updated all guest rooms and 20,000 square feet of meeting space, as well as the lobby, the outdoor pool and public spaces. The hotel's Board & Barrel Coastal Kitchen serves its private-label Edgar's Truth bourbon alongside local dishes such as fried tomatoes, boiled peanut hummus, local Joyce Farms chicken and assorted specialty sandwiches.
Around the State
A $110 million expansion of the Charlotte Convention Center
will begin in the spring, adding 26,000 square feet of breakout space, 24,000 square feet of prefunction space and a pedestrian bridge to the Westin Charlotte hotel.
The 374-room Omni Charlotte Hotel
has completed a $26 million stem-to-stern renovation. The redesigned 3,000-square-footrooftop pool deck is a highlight. Truck to Table
One of Raleigh's top food trucks, Pho Nomenal Dumplings, has put down roots in City Market. After winning Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race, Pho's all-female team used the prize money to open Mofu Shoppe
, serving the requisite pork and chive dumplings on a full menu of Asian-inspired delights.Rustic Chic
At the 513-room Omni Grove Park Inn
in Asheville, the new 3,200-square-foot Seely Pavilion echoes the style of the 1913 main building, The property now has more than 58,000 square feet for meetings.
American Airlines, which has run limited nonstop Saturday service from Dallas to Wilmington, will expand to daily service beginning Dec. 19.
Group properties in town include the 272-room Hotel Ballast, 186-room Embassy Suites by Hilton Wilmington Riverfront Hotel and 127-room Holiday Inn Wilmington.
Lovely raw space with old brick walls and white rafters marks Bakery 105, which was built as part of the American Bakeries complex in the late 1930s. The former bread-loading dock is now a 3,400-square-foot garden courtyard; along with the 4,500-square-foot main room, the facility can hold up to 225 people for a reception. (910) 399-1709
Thalian Hall, on the National Register for Historic Places, opened in 1858 to house the town government, the library and an opera house seating 1,000 people -- which was fully 10 percent of Wilmington's population at the time. The facility is comprised of the historic Thalian Hall Main Stage, whose technology and interior were recently upgraded, seating up to 546; the two-story-high City Council Chambers and Ballroom, with arched windows, which holds up to 200 for a reception, and the Ruth and Bucky Stein Studio Theatre, which recently underwent a major upgrade and seats 60. (910) 632-2285
Getting Here and There
Wilmington International Airport, four miles from downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, $13; by Uber and Lyft, $8