In March of 2018, I went on a day trip to Hillsborough for the first time. While I was wandering around the side streets, I came across a beautiful building that had chippy paint, gorgeous double front porches, and these big amazing windows. I wrote the message below in that blog post:
The Colonial Inn has been in Hillsborough since 1838 where it has been through various transitions names and businesses. It went out of business in 2000, and has since been let go. Someone bought it with the intention of fixing it up, but it is pretty far gone at this point. It is on the historic registry for Hillsborough, so it cannot be demolished without permission from the government. What a shame that it is in the state, because I can imagine how amazing this would be renovated as a boutique hotel.
What I learned was that in January of 2018, the building was purchased with the intention of preserving the history and creating a memorable stay at a new boutique hotel right in downtown Hillsborough. I am thrilled to share my experience at the Colonial Inn Hillsborough NC.
Places to Stay: The Colonial Inn Hillsborough NC
The Colonial Inn is located on King St. in historic Hillsborough and is in walking distance to art galleries, local shopping, and delicious restaurants. The Inn has so much charm, is rich in history, and provides such a hospitable experience making it the perfect spot for an overnight getaway. The pillars of business at The Colonial Inn are kind, warm, welcoming, inclusive, and inviting and guest truly experience this even before checking in. Keep reading for more of my stay at The Colonial Inn.
The Colonial Inn in Hillsborough NC – Accommodations
There are 28 beautifully furnished rooms with a personalized hospitality experience. The rooms vary in size and layout and are immaculately designed and furnished. I appreciated the calming blue hues throughout the space. I stayed in a queen suite which came with a sectional and desk, two queen beds, and a spacious bathroom. The bathroom finishes are amazing including a rain shower head!
Prior to checking in, the hotel reaches out to gather preferences for your stay including your preferred room temperature, mattress firmness, and any extras such as pillows, blankets, and toiletries. I received a call prior to check in and then a follow up email with those questions. There are additional visit enhancements that are available for add-ons including a historic tour of the Inn or a mystery getaway.
The Colonial Inn in Hillsborough NC – Amenities
The Colonial Inn offers high-speed Wi-Fi, free parking, in-room steamer, and a Dohm sleep machine. The sleep machine and in-room steamer were welcome surprises for me as amenities and a really nice touch! In the suite, there was a TV both in the area where the sectional was located and another on the wall by the bedrooms. Room service is available for food and drinks within designated times.
In the mornings, premium coffee and famous, homemade cinnamon buns are served in the common space. Don’t skip this! It’s delicious and a great way to enjoy the space in the main building.
The Colonial Inn in Hillsborough NC – Spencer’s Tavern & Brunch
Prior to the transition to the boutique hotel, the Colonial Inn was a staple restaurant in town and brunch was a crowd favorite. Brunch is being served again on Sundays from 10:00-1:30 in the event space. Reservations are required and I’ve heard the fried chicken is the must-try dish!
Spencer’s Tavern is located on the first floor of the main building and contains the original fireplaces and is a small, quaint space for enjoying cocktails inspired by Hillsborough. It’s a fun spot to take in the history, enjoy a drink, and a starter after checking in! It opens at 3:00 and the kitchen begins serving at 4:00.
The Colonial Inn in Hillsborough NC – Art, History & Other Notable Features
The team that worked to restore and preserve the Inn maintained the skeleton of the Inn and its original features. There are oak beams with handmade nails and ax marks in the bar area. There are so many features from the various owners and uses of the building and despite all of that, there are still questions about the structure and its date of origin. I look forward to learning more as the team continues to interpret and preserve the history of the structure.
One of my favorite touches of the Inn was the extension of Hillsborough artistic community. The Colonial Inn Art Initiative brings local art from Hillsborough and surrounding areas into guest rooms and throughout the Inn. There was a call to local artists to submit their work for review and the pieces on display were chosen as reflections of the Inn’s mission and vision, as well as a focus on history, Hillsborough, nature, and inclusivity. All art is available for sale and 100% of each sale goes to the artist. The art is optionally rotated every 6 months and offers an opportunity to continue making each room unique with its curated collection.
In addition to the food, beverage, and accommodations, it’s also a beautiful event space. Whether you’re looking for a space for a bridal or baby shower, a corporate meeting space, or a wedding venue, it’s a gorgeous location with a lot of charm, tasteful modern touches, and an attentive, personable team to make your vision come to life.
I’m thrilled to welcome the Colonial Inn to North Carolina and am honored to have experienced a night at the Inn! Here are the before photos I took in 2018 and the after from my stay in April 2021. This is stunning historic preservation and absolutely worth the trip to see for yourself!
Photos by Glory Roze Photography
Thank you to the Colonial Inn for hosting us. As always, all opinions are my own.
Have you ever been to The Colonial Inn Hillsborough NC before? What is one of the best inns you’ve ever stayed at? Let me know in a comment below!
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Jack oakes says
The Colonial inn has become our favorite place for great drinks, delicious food, and friendly service….such a pleasant place to relax and enjoY time with others, including owners and staff.
RH smith says
Beautiful but sadly the the weekday food is terrible. Overcooked meats and wrong ORDERs, bland soup and sparse charcuterie.
Touchy feeley Waiter in tee shirt and jeans.The brunch is good because it’s CATERED out. Get a professional local chef and up the Management SKILLS.
Natsuko Martin says
It has done this old girl’s heart so much good seeing a childhood staple come back to life. On SUNDAYS after Church meeting family and friends. It was a place of pride that welcomed all people .It is so great to watch it come alive for generations to come.