Nicknamed the Port City of North Carolina by some and the Hollywood East by others, the wondrous treasure trove of Wilmington is laden with natural beauty, historic mysteries, Victorian architecture, and hip nightlife.
Travelers can immerse in the breathtaking beauty of North Carolina and indulge in contemporary pleasures, including world-class entertainment, elegant fine dining, upscale clubs, and luxury retail outlets. The port city is a fantastic destination for beach lovers, for Wilmington is surrounded by sleepy beach towns and breathtaking stretches of sandy shores and azure waters.
Finding the right accommodation is important to experience the small-town beauty and North Carolina’s gracious hospitality. We’ve compiled a list of the top 12 coolest hotels in Wilmington, North Carolina, from sophisticated boutique hotels and old-fashioned inns to contemporary loft-style accommodations and historic BnBs (in no particular order)...
1. The Hive – a colorful, trendy and vibrant place to stay in Wilmington perfect for Instagrammable moments
One of Wilmington’s most elegant boutique hotels, The Hive is a limited-service accommodation inspired by the independence and laid-back atmosphere of Airbnb rentals. Guests enjoy a simplistic check-in and living experience powered by tech-savvy access codes and an array of in-room smart appliances.
The Hive offers 15 tastefully appointed suites, and each accommodation features a unique interior profile and finely crafted furniture. The suites feature fully-equipped kitchens, opulently decorated master bedrooms, luxe bathrooms, and indulgent amenities.
Guests enjoy home-like comforts, checking in and out at their own comfort and convenience. The suites come with designated workstations and high-speed WiFi to support digital nomads and business travelers.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Hive
2. Hotel Ballast Wilmington, Tapestry Collection by Hilton – hip and modern hotel that blends a decor celebrating local maritime culture and Southern charm
Perched elegantly along the scenic expanse of the Cape Fear River, the Hotel Ballast offers an exclusive taste of opulence synonymous with the world-renowned Hilton brand. This ideal downtown location allows travelers easy access to Wilmington’s popular hangout spots and tourist attractions.
Hotel Ballast is home to 272 beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites, featuring state-of-the-art smart appliances, luxuriously comfortable bedding, fine linens, and custom-built furniture. The expansive windows offer stunning riverside views, while the ergonomic workstations are ideal for working with a phenomenal view.
Guests have access to incredible amenities, including a well-equipped fitness center, an outdoor pool, a cozy library, and an onsite restaurant, the Board & Barrel Coastal Kitchen.
3. The Verandas – a quirky-chic B&B housed in a historic grand Victorian Italianate mansion
The ultimate accommodation for history buffs and vacationers who adore period-themed decorations, The Verandas welcomes weary travelers to unwind in the sophisticated ambiance of a palatial-style Victorian mansion.
This luxurious venue has opulently appointed interiors inspired by the old-world charm of its Italianate structure. The period-themed accommodations play up a beguiling antiquated glamor with ornate decorations, exquisitely carved fireplaces, plush bedding, and rare antiques.
Guests enjoy sumptuous breakfast spreads in the award-winning garden and soothing moments of solitude in the mansion’s 4 sprawling verandas. Travelers can mingle and socialize in the grand living room or the piano room or soak up the sun and riverfront views from the terrace.
4. Graystone Inn – an upscale historic inn that offers a distinctive and unforgettable experience
The Graystone Inn is housed in a beautiful 1905 Victorian-style mansion with a rich historical legacy, offering travelers a unique experience and a splendid location to immerse in Wilmington’s old-world charm and cultural heritage.
One of the most elegant historic hotels in Wilmington, staying at this iconic landmark is a one-of-its-kind experience that will leave you humbled with the pleasures of traditional southern hospitality. The interiors have retained the original splendor and antiquated grandeur of the mansion despite undergoing extensive modern upgrades.
Guests can explore unique period-themed rooms, such as the St. James Bedroom, a sophisticated corner room overlooking manicured gardens. The Oleander Room is a splendid choice for travelers who appreciate finely crafted wooden furniture and intimate settings.
5. DREAMERS by DW – a cute and quirky-chich upmarket guesthouse ideal for a romantic stay
Housed in a thoughtfully renovated Victorian home situated a stone’s throw away from Wellington’s hip hangout spots and historic attractions, DREAMERS by DW welcomes travelers to a soulful and artsy retreat.
This design-focused establishment combines the elegance of a boutique hotel with the warm homeliness of an old-fashioned inn. This art-filled retreat offers tastefully decorated suites featuring high ceilings, custom-designed furniture, ensuite bathrooms, and luxury amenities.
DREAMERS delights its patrons with a simplistic vision revolving around minimalist comfort-accentuating spaces, an organic vision, and tropical-themed color palettes. All the living and lounging spaces are designed to combine home-like independence with resort-like indulgences.
6. Port City Guest House – a colonial-style bed and breakfast that is the perfect home away from home
Nestled in the heart of Wilmington’s old quarters, the Port City Guest House is a delightfully charming abode surrounded by vibrant cultural and colonial sites. This historic mansion is an iconic city landmark, and it offers four elegantly designed guest rooms depicting the artistic energy of Wilmington with commendable grace.
The Port City Guest House welcomes travelers to pamper themselves with the comforts and splendors of a home away from home. This historic hotel attracts solo travelers, families with children, and large groups with its well-appointed accommodations and in-room amenities.
The central location is perfect for enjoying the serenity of the Cape Fear River and visiting some of the most breathtaking beaches on the East Coast without traveling too far.
7. Aloft Wilmington at Coastline Center – a cool and contemporary hotel housed in a low-rise brick building
Aloft offers a modern upscale venue to immerse in the antiquated charm of the historic downtown district and the picturesque beauty of the Cape Fear River. This conveniently located venue surrounds vacationers with hundreds of hangout spots, museums, hip clubs, restaurants, and guided historic tours.
Guests can explore elegantly furnished, loft-style accommodations designed to maximize comfort and convenience with spa-like bathrooms, state-of-the-art appliances, and luxuriously plush bedding.
The onsite Atlantic Restaurant & Wine Loft enjoys immense popularity amongst locals and travelers for its elegant fine dining setting and delectable cuisine. Guests can also sip flavorful cocktails while admiring gorgeous riverside views at the rooftop WXYZ bar.
8. Front Street Inn – an award-winning boutique hotel set in Wilmington’s downtown business and entertainment district
An award-winning boutique hotel situated in the core of Willmington’s most action-packed entertainment district, the Front Street Inn is a luxurious abode of creature comforts and unpretentious beauty.
This quaint and charming inn offers a selection of uniquely appointed rooms featuring beautiful details like arched windows, Victorian-style clawfoot tubs, and glistening maple wood floors. All accommodations come with ensuite bathrooms, in-room appliances, custom-built beds, and well-furnished living areas, while some suites feature fireplaces and private balconies.
Guests begin their days with the hotel’s complimentary breakfast, served in the main lobby. Travelers only have to step outside the hotel to find themselves surrounded by an abundance of sites and attractions, including the Bellamy Museum of History and Design Arts and the Thalian Hall.
9. Market Street Loft B – easily one of the coolest hotels to stay in Wilmington perfect for Millennials and Gen Zs
A tastefully decorated loft nestled in the heart of all the action and entertainment of the historic downtown district, Market Street Loft B welcomes travelers to explore Wilmington from a convenient and fashionable location. Situated a stone’s throw away from historical sites, museums, and the Riverwalk, this upscale loft will reduce your commuting expenses considerably.
This thoughtfully designed condominium offers a delightful open-floor layout featuring a spacious living space, a dining area, a fully-equipped kitchen, and a master bedroom. Guests have all the appliances and amenities they need to enjoy a home away from home, set up a designated workstation, and entertain their guests.
10. Surfer’s Shack – a cool and charming hotel close to local attractions
The Surfer’s Shack is a well-appointed accommodation popular for its central location and pet-friendly guest rooms. This centrally located hotel positions travelers in the artsy downtown neighborhood, surrounded by historic landmarks, upscale dining spots, and vibrant nightlife.
The elegant venue offers a selection of well-appointed, air-conditioned rooms with private patios, ensuite bathrooms, and in-room appliances. Guests enjoy soaking up the sun on the sprawling terraces and mingling with locals and travelers in the cozy lounging spaces.
The Surfer’s Shack is a splendid spot for travelers looking to immerse themselves in the great outdoors and explore Wilmington with guided tours and cycling adventures.
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Scott started his travelling life back in 1999, when he headed off on a solo jaunt to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia with just a backpack, a camera and a spirit for adventure. After that, the travel bug bit hard and now he is always seeking to head off somewhere new. Over the years he has lived in Italy, Qatar, Ireland, UK and the US but his spiritual home will always be Rome as this is the city which most satisfies his unrelenting craving for culture, good food and great football. Scott loves nothing better than to be behind the camera and also runs his own blog and Instagram page. He also counts Melbourne, Cape Town and Tel Aviv among his favourite places. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @scottbalaam