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“Great Option for Duke”

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R. David Thomas Executive Conference Center
Ranked #47 of 71 Hotels in Durham
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Great Option for Duke”
Reviewed June 1, 2012

This is a great place if you are doing work or visiting on campus at Duke. Don't be put off by the mediocre exterior of the guest room area, they are quite good for a conference center and they more than fulfill all your business needs. The service is beyond top notch and the location is nestled away, which made it possible for me to bring my family--including a baby--along and them be happy with their clam, quite retreat. The highlight is the alternative to in-room refershments: Complimentary snack lounges with decent snacks and drinks! Beware, everywhere on campus is a bit of a hike (literally) and anything in Durham is a good 10+ minutes drive, so I would never go here for generally Raliegh/Durham/Chapel Hill visit. But, I will choose this place again next time I am on Duke's campus. If Trip Advisor allowed my real rating would be 3.5 stars.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank brlukath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
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English first
US
Level Contributor
86 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed May 1, 2012

Location: on a quiet cul-de-sac right across the street from the Duke athletic fields/stadiums and the shortcut footpath to the center of campus. Next door to the Fuqua Business School and also a couple minutes walk to the restaurant at the Washington Duke Inn. If you have a meeting at Duke, it seems likely you'll find this place listed in any materials you receive. But since this is the first TripAdvisor review best I can tell the hotel seems to be 'hiding in plain sight' if you're searching on the web but I imagine that will change over time - especially if they rename it "The Duke University Hotel and R. David Thomas Executive Conference Center".

Setting: blends in nicely with the surrounding woods and it was kind of an oasis to come back to after a long busy day.

Facilities: as this is affiliated with the graduate business school, there are some very clever and nice touches: hands free door-opening (sensors); snack-raid pantries located across the hotel full of complimentary bottled beverages AND Ben & Jerry's ice cream; desk/work surfaces in the room that are wall-mounted with lots of space to spread out work, and so on. Climate control in the rooms was good, although it was a Spring visit.

Service: this is where the hotel really stood out. In the restaurant, I came by after closing and remarked that I had hoped to grab some fruit salad so as to eat healthy while on the road. The gentleman dropped what he was doing and brought me out a fruit salad from the kitchen. The following morning I came to grab a banana before heading to the airport. Again, someone stopped, went to the kitchen and brought out 'better bananas that just came in'. The food overall was pretty good by the way.

The most funny, and impressive, service anecdote was upon checkout. The person asked us, "And how did you like your rooms?". I replied "What do you mean, roomS? [plural]". She said, "Yes, we saw that we couldn't provide you with the 2-bed room that you reserved so we booked a second, adjacent room for you free of charge [because the 2-bed rooms were being renovated]". I started laughing and said, "They didn't tell us that last night. They just said that they didn't have any 2-bed rooms and we scrounged up a rollaway bed." Before I could say anything else, the bill was reduced on the spot. I was really impressed by management and staff's thoughtfulness throughout our stay. Even the odd error or service hiccup had impressive 'recoveries'.

So I came away a fan and regret not having taken pictures.

Room Tip: Find out where the nearest 'snack fridge' and working printer to your room are. Wish I'd...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SERUs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about R. David Thomas Executive Conference Center

Property: R. David Thomas Executive Conference Center
Address: 1 Science Dr, Durham, NC 27708-0001
Location: United States > North Carolina > Durham
Amenities:
Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #47 of 71 Hotels in Durham
Number of rooms: 111
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The JB Duke Hotel (scheduled to open in January 2017) is located on campus, adjacent to The Fuqua School of Business. The new hotel encompasses the R. David Thomas Executive Conference Center, 198 guest rooms and suites, a full service restaurant, two bars, a fitness center, and other amenities. ... more   less 

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