Save the plane fare: 6 Charlotte hotels for the perfect staycation

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Courtesy of Cara McClenny

We all deserve a little rest and relaxation occasionally. However, we don’t always want to spend travel time or money to get it. Luckily, Charlotte is home to several places that will give you exactly what you need without having to go far.

A staycation is a vacation at home or near home, doing enjoyable activities or visiting local attractions.

For us, the perfect hotel staycation requires a few key elements:

  • A big, comfy bed that you can be lazy in as long for as you’d like;
  • Great food options on site or close by;
  • Amenities that make you feel as though you’ve truly escaped to a new destination;
  • A bar with amazing cocktails to always keep the party going;
  • Close proximity to fun adventures.

These 6 hotels and resorts check all of those boxes in Charlotte, and we think you will agree:

(1) AC Hotel

220 E. Trade St.

Courtesy of AC Hotel
Bedroom with balcony at the AC Hotel

Sitting above the Epicenter in Uptown, this hotel will definitely offer everything you need for a great vacay within the city. If you are an art lover, you will be excited to know that AC features several paintings throughout the property that benefit local charities when sold.

“Our entire hotel team is proud to support local artists like Stephen Wilson while impacting the mission of local nonprofit organizations at the same time,” said Carrie Duncan, general manager of AC Hotel by Marriot.

In addition to the art, you’ll find one of the best views around just 22 floors up at the hotel’s rooftop bar, Nuvole.

Courtesy of AC Hotel
The view from Nuvole 22 at sunset

[Related: How to have the ultimate staycation in Charlotte, from staying in a treehouse to blending your own wine]

(2) The Ballantyne

10000 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy.

Courtesy of The Ballantyne Hotel
The Rose Garden at The Ballantyne

Take a short drive down 485 to reach this property. This luxurious resort has everything you need and more — so that you literally won’t have to leave the premises.

Choose your adventure: spend a few hours in the spa getting pampered or spend your time on 18 holes. Sip cocktails by the pool or indulge in high tea while nibbling on delicious baked treats. It’s no surprise our favorite celebrities spend their time here when they visit the city.

Venture out for several nearby dining options: If you haven’t tried the red velvet waffle at Stewart Penick’s Terrace (formerly Terrace Cafe), well, what are you waiting for? You’re on vacation, after all.

(3) Great Wolf Lodge

10175 Weddington Rd, Concord

Courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge

Make your way up 85 North and into Concord for a family-friendly experience.

Who doesn’t love the option of an indoor water park steps away from your hotel room? Your little ones will thank you for this one. In addition to hours of water fun, there’s on-site cafes, arcades and plenty of other activities to keep your family moving during your visit.

Within a short drive, you can venture into downtown Concord, where you can wander up and down Union Street, checking out the shops. Grab a quick bite at Carm’s Cafe or dinner at Gianni’s Trattoria before you head back to the lodge.

[Related: 7 tips for planning the ultimate staycation with your family in Charlotte — and where to go]

(4) Hilton Charlotte University Place

8629 J M Keynes Dr

Photo by Melissa Oyler
The Shoppes at University Place

Sitting on the popular University-area boardwalk, this Hilton property is perfect for your in-town getaway.

Spend hours soaking up some sun as you lay out by the pool. Once you work up an appetite, you will have plenty of options just a few steps away.

Sit down for an authentic Italian meal at family-owned Ciro’s. If you enjoy Mexican, just a few doors down you will find Zapata’s.

Looking for something a little more active? Rent a paddleboat and cruise the lake outside of your hotel. If you need a few other ideas to help plan your staycation in University City, here’s how you can spend an entire day in the area.

Either way, you are just a short train ride from Uptown via the Lynx Blue Line.

(5) Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel

303 S. Church St.

Photo by Melissa Oyler
Relax in your Charlotte-themed bathrobe at the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel this summer.

This uptown hotel recently unveiled a hyper-local experience, The Stay Human Project. Guests who stay in room 801 through August 31 will get a custom stay that includes a menu fit for royalty, a mini polaroid camera to document their stay and several personal touches that highlight all things great about the Queen City.

“We’re in the heart of Charlotte and are perfect for a staycation,” Giovanna Slaughter, director of sales and marketing for Kimpton Tryon Park, told CharlotteFive. “You’re only an easy bike ride, scooter ride or Uber away from your next dining or brewery experience. Or, you can just stay here and cuddle up.”

During your visit, you can head out on one of the bikes (provided to guests) and explore more of the city. Or, without leaving the building, you can make your way down to dinner at Angeline’s or head up to Merchant and Trade for fun and cocktails on the rooftop. It’s also the ideal spot if you’d like to check out a show: Knight Theater is a two-minute walk away (pro tip: Falsettos debuted Tuesday night).

[Review: Powerful, poetic ‘Falsettos’ soars with tight-knit ensemble at Knight Theater]

Photo by Joan Marcus
The First National Tour of Falsettos. Falsettos debuted in Charlotte on Tuesday, June 25.

(6) Marriott Center City

100 W. Trade St.

Courtesy of Marriott City Center

You can’t get more centrally located than this place. Sitting right at the popular intersection of Trade and Tryon, the city is yours to explore from here. Set out on foot or hop on an e-scooter to explore some of Charlotte’s hotspots just minutes away.

Inside, you may be pleased to find the renovations made a few years ago give this hotel a look and feel that’s pleasing to everyone. Head downstairs for dinner and drinks at the in-house restaurant, Stoke — and save room for the doughnut that’s bigger than your head. Or, make your way to Coco and the Director for your favorite locally-roasted coffee favorite.

The fitness center has also been transformed — so you can skip your regular gym on this “trip.”

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