Like many Americans during the pandemic, I resparked my love of domestic travel. Not only are these trips easier to schedule, they’re also more budget-friendly and help reduce your carbon footprint. On top of that, you can feel good knowing you’re supporting local economies that, in turn, support our national economy.
That’s the case with Charlotte, North Carolina. I visited for the first time last fall – after my pal and celebrity hairstylist Dhiran Mistry decamped from New York City to the Queen City – and fell for its vibrant community and unhurried pace of life. From the best facial I’ve ever experienced with aesthetician to the stars Toska Husted to The Goodyear House’s famous Goopy Burger, it’s easy to see why people are beelining to Charlotte in droves.
As for where to stay? While there’s no shortage of large hotel chains in town, it’s tough to top The Ivey’s Hotel. Below, all the reasons why you should book the charming boutique property for your next trip to Charlotte.
Background in Brief
Opened in 2017 by MRK, a family of boutique properties in Charlotte, Asheville, and Miami, The Ivey’s Hotel is in the city’s bustling uptown district and bridges the old and new with a noteworthy address. It’s just a block from the intersection of two historic Native American paths, Trade and Tryon, and occupies the structure that once was home to the J.B Ivey & Company Department Store (hence the hotel’s name).
Though The Ivey’s Hotel isn’t new, it’s remained a firm favorite for discriminating business and leisure travelers with its warm, yet unobtrusive service – the staff is ever-present to open doors, offer chilled water, and answer any requests you might have – and world-class amenities in an intimate setting.
There’s just 47 rooms and suites, ranging from Atrium Rooms to Balcony Suites. No matter which category you book, though, you’ll be rewarded with accommodations designed squarely with comfort in mind. Forgoing a trendy aesthetic, The Ivey’s instead surrounds guests with classic Parisian flair. From the chic amethyst and silver palette to the custom velvet chairs to the reclaimed wood flooring, every accent was carefully selected for a timeless feel. Even the bathrooms were highly considered with their spa-like layouts, crisp marble, and Mistral toiletries.
Staying in my Balcony Suite, for example, felt more like retreating to a spacious and airy urban residence than a typical corporate hotel. Incredibly thoughtful, personal touches like the impossibly snuggly throw by the hotel’s sister brand Sunday Citizen and chilled bottle of Taittinger Champagne – I was coming off an exceedingly stressful international commute – went beyond the usual welcome amenities of bland chocolates and fruit, and helped me realize, even before unpacking my suitcase, that I’d come to the right place.
One of the biggest perks to staying here is that you won’t have to venture far for quality food and drink. Sophia’s Lounge is the signature restaurant, serving up a hearty breakfast and deeply craveable dinner of globe-trotting shared plates (think mini crab cakes topped with tobiko, fried chicken and waffles drizzled with bourbony maple syrup, and duck confit sliders). And because everyone loves pizza, Sophia’s offers two creative riffs on pillowy naan bread: the Margherita stars pesto, mozzarella and gruyere cheese, and roma tomatoes, while the “Triple P” is a meat lover’s feast with pork belly, ham, and bacon.
The cocktail program is exceptional as well, with a mix of classics like the Ivey’s Margarita spiked with blood orange liqueur and original libations such as The Crown, which is shaken with rum and pineapple. For the special seasonal cocktail available just this winter, the bar created The Chateau, a warm blend of Maker’s Mark, apple puree, and chocolate bitters.
You’ll be hard pressed to find a hotel fitness center more spotless or well-equipped in Charlotte than the one at The Ivey’s Hotel. In addition to being accessible 24 hours a day, the 1,500-square-foot facility sports the latest equipment, such as Octane XT Ellipticals and Hoist strength machines.