On the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
When T.S. Elliot wrote, "Home is where one starts from...", he might have been sitting in a deep cushioned armchair as dusk approached through a bay window ("There is a time for the evening under starlight/a time for the evening under lamplight") at the Carolina Inn.
Few American hotels inspire the kind of old-home gravitas one feels at this iconic landmark, long considered the "living room" of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. The Inn opened its doors in December 1924 to provide for the "special wants and comforts" of alumni and distinguished visitors to the nation's first private university, chartered in 1789. Nested among UNC's ivy-laced brick buildings and old oak trees, the Carolina Inn is a place of deep history and Southern comfort.
The Inn's architecture draws on colonial America and antebellum South (most notably George Washington's Mt. Vernon and the early 19th century Richland Plantation in Louisiana), the classical symmetry of the English country house and picturesque elements of French romanticism; one of its early architects studied at L'Ecole des Beaux Arts. Within, the décor is an eclectic mix of fine antiques from Europe, Asia and the American South, tastefully arranged, scatterings of oriental rugs and polished marble floors. Corridors are wall papered in subtle tones or pinstripes and lined with framed photos memorializing UNC's history, its illustrious presidents and alumni.