We have been staying at the "Wa-Duke" for years for Duke reunions. And in '09 we had my son's wedding reception there and all the out of town guests stayed there. Everyone loved it.
My husband thinks it is the best hotel he has ever stayed at, lol, and I do agree that it is extremely nice. One year by some fluke, we arrived and the person at the check-in desk said that somehow our reservation was messed up and they were going to have to put us in the Presidential Suite!! We were thrilled, needless to say. Unfortunately they have never had to put us there since, but we like the hotel rooms perfectly fine.
The furnishings throughout the hotel are like a grand home with antiques/reproductions and beautiful art. I love looking at all the old Duke family pictures throughout the hotel. The surrounding grounds are beautiful. I believe the reason my husband likes it so much is because you just feel "pampered" when you stay there. I feel as though i am staying in someone's home with a beautiful den, dining room, bar, leather chairs, etc.
If you have to go to Durham, this is the place to stay. If you have a Duke University connection, all the more reason to stay there!! It is convenient to everything at Duke, including the beautiful Duke Gardens, which should not be missed.