AAA Review of the O.Henry Hotel in Greensboro NC
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We receive the prestigious AAA Four Diamond Award each year. Here is a feature written by AAA Go Magazine:
It is rare when the sequel is better than the original. The O. Henry Hotel, which opened in 1998, is an eight-story, red brick reincarnation that easily surpasses the luxury of the original hotel built in 1919 and torn down in 1979. Both named after William Sydney Porter, who died in 1910 at age 48 and whose literary classics, written under the pseudonym O. Henry, live on. A portrait of Porter, who was a native of Greensboro, hangs in the lobby.
Conveniently located near Wendover Avenue and Benjamin Parkway, two heavily traveled local roads, and next to the Friendly Shopping Center, the O. Henry is perfect for businessmen. The 1920s Georgian Revival style provides a hint of history for a modern hotel.However, it's today's amenities and style, including the attached Green Valley Grill restaurant and unique bar, that make it a perfect place for locals to hold weddings, celebrate anniversaries or go for a dinner and drinks with family and friends.
Entering through an electronic revolving door, the check-in desk, on the left fronts a wall of North Carolina honey-colored stressed pine that generates a warm homey feeling. Viewing the "social" lobby beyond with a 25-foot high carved wood ceiling, leather and mohair stuffed sofas and chairs, and a view through the 21-foot high window of the hotel's "signature" - the cloister garden adds to the ambiance.
Columns wrapped in climbing vines, flowers and shrubs surrounding the patio, and a centerpiece bubbling fountain, the garden is a great place for drinks, afternoon tea or to enjoy the sumptuous, free full scale morning buffet for guests. Adjacent to the cloister garden, is the Pavilion; a huge sunroom designed after an 18th century orangery where citrus would be grown. It hosts the morning buffet, which includes eggs, biscuits and gravy, grits, potatoes, cereals, danish, meats, juices - all consumed in a room with three walls of 10-foot high windows. You get your free daily paper here.
Social currents occur in the bar and Green Valley Grill, which is connected to the hotel. The flecked granite bar has one long wall of windows with shelves stacked with multi-colored liquor bottles and a facing wall of brick arcade and windows that are common with the Grill. The layout is so unique - and popular - that it is being patented.The bar window overlooks yet another possible nighttime dining area, a courtyard with illuminated trees, another central fountain and surrounding greenery. The Grill's 30-foot high ceiling and frosted glass separators atop the booths add to an Italian Tuscany atmosphere enhanced by a 22-foot wide arched cornucopia mural by local artist Frank P. Holton III above the wood-fired oven used to prepare many of the Grill's entree specials.
All this before you stay in one of the 131-rooms. A typical room boasts a separate dressing area with a granite vanity shelf long enough for a coffee maker, hand towels and real glasses with weighted bottoms. A wall-to-wall mirror overlooks the vanity and sink. A built-in luggage shelf sits atop four clothing drawers and is next to the closet, stocked with smaller pillows (in case the four on the bed don't suit), iron, ironing board and safe. Frosted glass panes on the bathroom door allow privacy and can serve as a suffused night-light when closed. Black and white-checkered tile comprises the bathroom floor and the black/white theme surrounds the cast-iron soaking tub. In one corner sits the glass-walled shower. The nine-foot cove molded ceilings continue the feeling of space and openness found throughout the hotel. The multi-purpose armoire includes a refrigerator, microwave, glasses and water shelf, clothing drawers and a swivel 25-inch television easily viewed from almost anywhere in the room.The ample sized desk has two very comfortable cloth-covered chairs and variable lighting. A foldout couch and stuffed chair, coffee table, two bedside tables and a bed with an arched wooden headboard filled in with green padding, rounds out the furniture.
Special features: High-tech rooms with speaker phones, voicemail and high speed Internet; afternoon tea from 2 p.m.-5 p.m.; historic prints of Greensboro lining the hallways; grand piano in the social lobby; windows that open; plenty of parking and 100-channel TV. There is also an eight-machine exercise room overlooking a small outdoor swimming pool and a business center.
Reprinted with permission from AAA Carolinas.