Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge $$$
10000 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy., Charlotte
COST: Over $250 per night
The Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge has been voted one of the best places to stay in Charlotte, with good reason. The AAA Four Diamond–rated resort feels like a vacation destination all its own. The resort is part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts and includes 200 guest rooms and 14 suites ($199–459 d) in the main hotel, a separate 36-room luxe lodge, and a private four-bedroom cottage ($1,500).
Although there are pillow-top beds, marble bathrooms with soaking tubs, posh robes in the walk-in closets, and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the golf course, the rooms are not the main draw; it’s the upscale amenities that receive accolades. In just one night at the 2,000-acre resort, it’s possible to lounge around the outdoor swimming pool, take a tai chi class in the fitness center, experience a DiVine Wine facial in the spa, and admire the artwork in the on-site gallery.
The resort is also a golfer’s paradise. At the 18-hole Golf Club at Ballantyne, which has been called one of the “Best Places to Play” by Golf Digest, the Dana Radar Golf School offers lessons to golfers of all levels.
There’s no need to leave the resort for dinner. The Gallery Restaurant emphasizes farm-to-table cuisine and the adjacent bar has the largest single-malt Scotch collection in the state. Ask the bartender to recommend one of the 43 varieties or sign up for “Flight School,” in which guests who sample all 43 Scotches (there is no time limit) are awarded a personalized decanter that holds their Scotch of choice behind the bar for future visits.
One night at the Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge is all it takes to learn why Travel + Leisure readers voted the resort one of the world’s best hotels.
© Jodi Helmer from Moon Charlotte, 1st Edition