Having stayed at 21Cs before, we diverted from an I-95 road trip to stay there b'c we trusted their COVID protocols. Even with reduced meal options because of Thanksgiving, the cocktails were outstanding, and the dinners good. Everyone was mask compliant, more than I can say of many other places. The reno of the old bank was whimsical and interesting. Loved the terrazzo floors and nouveau accents.
Don’t go to this place! It is attractive and even “neat” in places but when they spent a ton of money on hotel decor they should have spent money on the sound proofing! It’s like sleeping in an office! The hallways are super loud and there is zero insulation from other rooms or outside! Don’t stay here if you want to actually sleep!
COVID has changed everything as far as i can tell. Limited services in the hotel, house keeping, etc. Yet after zero travel for so long this trip was a welcome respite! It was for a happy occasion, wedding, and overall it was great. We had a suite which was a great selection as it turned out because so many restaurants were take out only and the suite had a table and chairs! Staff were very nice and tried to help out as much as possible.
The staff Amy, Rob and Nancy are so very accommodating before you even arrive. They truly go out their way to make your stay is pleasant. Need coffee, clean towels just about anything Ms. V is there to greet you with a hello and a smile you can see even with her mask on and that you can hear in her voice. We went to see the location for our upcoming wedding and to meet with Jesse who was also very nice. The suites are roomy and we had no issues we couldn't call down to the front desk to resolve. I love how Covid19 conscience the property is and how focused on guest safety they are. The artwork is unique and a definite conversation piece. We will visit again.
I was fortunate to stay in the 21c Suite (the alleged best room in the place) for several nights. The suite takes up the 15th floor (there are technically two floors above the 15th but neither are used for guest rooms - looked like they were used for access to the roof/storage). The elevator doesn't technically open right into the suite but does open into a private hallway which contains the 1501 room. First the Good: The Room - Obviously the suite is big. You walk into a little foyer area that connects directly into the living/dining area. The couch is fairly comfortable and the entire place has a cool vintage vibe to it. A small area by the dining table is where the wet bar is (not great placement or very usable but still nice). Continue to the left and a pocket door separates the dining area from the bedroom and bathroom. Bedroom is a good size with windows all around and blackout shades for the windows. A cool but useless feature was the TV. It is hidden behind 2-way glass so the large mirror you see in the bedroom actually has a large TV behind it BUT I got it to work one time and never again. Could have been my own fault but I am tech savvy and couldn't figure it out. The master Bathroom (there are two bathrooms in the suite which I didn't realize) is pretty fantastic. Large shower, large sit down vanity, large double vanity with sinks. There is a second bathroom tucked away near the living area and it's fine but basically just a large closet with a toilet and a sink, still not bad though. The Views - The views were fantastic of downtown Durham. You can see into the Durham Bulls stadium from the balcony and the windows in the suite give you 360degree views of the rest of Durham. Sunrise or sunset you can watch them both. My favorite time was nighttime and watching the city lights and cars driving around. The balcony is a great space but also has some issues which I mention below. Chic & Vintage - The building is a renovation and is one of the older buildings in Durham. It is pretty cool with the art museum vibe and nice restaurant downstairs. It doesn't exactly fit like a normal luxury hotel would but that's because it wasn't created to be that way. It used to be a bank and now it's a hotel. So some parts are a little odd but I enjoyed that. Staff - Staff was super helpful and very nice. The restaurant staff was great, the front desk people were nice, and the one maintenance issue we had they came up and fixed immediately. You can park in the streets after 5pm or in the parking garages nearby after 7pm or on weekends. That'll save you from having to pay crazy amounts for the valet parking. Still it is Durham so street parking can't be considered "safe". NEGATIVES No coffee maker - Yes that is correct. The $36/nt Red Roof Inn has a coffee maker but the 21c Suite does not. It would make sense to put one where the wet bar area is but shockingly there was no coffee maker in this room. Where is the extra bedding and towels? - The room only had the bedding that came on the bed. 2 pillows, a sheet, a comforter. No extra pillows, no extra blankets, no extra sheets. Only a few towels in the master bathroom and no towels in the extra bathroom, definitely not enough for more than a night. It's a $700/nt hotel room, I shouldn't have to ask for bedding or towels. Lack of trash cans - 3 small trash cans (1 in each bathroom and 1 at the wet bar) are not enough. Get a medium size trash can and put it in the living area. No privacy on the balcony :( - for many years I'm sure the balcony with the cool soaking tub was a secluded place at the top of Durham. Unfortunately in the last couple of years a 27-story apartment/condo building has been built literally across the street. If you wanted to have a romantic evening up on the balcony, you're now going to be sharing it with a wall of glass windows and 200 people watching you. A simple fix would be to add a privacy screen to the left side of the balcony and give the space its privacy back. You wouldn't be blocking any of the great view because now the only view in that direction is of the giant building. In conclusion, the room is great and the hotel is great in many ways and I'm very happy about my time there. In my opinion the 21c Suite is lacking a little bit in the "luxury feel" for the price, but I would stay there again if I had the opportunity. I still gave it 5 stars because I believe that's what it deserves but truthfully it would probably be about a 4.5.…