Loading your recommendations…

Shine Bright Like a Four Diamond Hotel in Durham

Make the kids jealous by picking one of Durham's luxurious AAA Four Diamond hotels. We promise that refueling your soul > refilling your tank.

Posted By Discover Durham Staff on Jan 30, 2024

You've heard of the Grammys, the Tonys, the Oscars and the Emmys, right? Well, guess what? Hotels get awards, too. The coveted AAA Four Diamond rating means a hotel has “upscale style and amenities, enhanced with the right touch of service.

Every year, the American Automobile Association (AAA) sends its inspectors to thousands of hotels in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean to conduct in-person evaluations. Inspectors pose as guests and check the level of comfort, cleanliness and hospitality at each hotel while also focusing on design, decor, menus, creativity and quality of service. The evaluations help AAA members find the best places to stay, and AAA publishes the Diamond Awards for their members on their websites and travel guides.

These are not your typical run-of-the-mill hotels; they are luxurious in every way. Whether your taste is modern, classic, or funky, you'll find a place that fits your needs in our round-up of four AAA-approved Four Diamond hotels in Durham.

Artfully Stylish Stays in Downtown Durham

21c Museum Hotel111 N. Corcoran St.

It’s no surprise that 21c Museum Hotel received the prestigious Four Diamond rating from the AAA rating committee. Located in the heart of downtown Durham and occupying the historic Hill Building, 21c Museum Hotel Durham is a 125-room boutique hotel, 24-hour contemporary art museum, cultural civic center and home to Counting House restaurant.

The exterior of the 21c hotel in downtown Durham. A flag flies to the right of the door; windows above lit with purple light.

21c Museum Hotel. Photo: Chris Cooper

Explore the stimulating and active museum spaces, enjoy executive chef Stephanie Klos Cajun-inspired local cuisine, and book a getaway in one of the hotel’s spacious rooms with high ceilings, large windows and custom furnishings.

A view of the lobby lounge and bar area of the Counting House restaurant at 21c. Paper art hangs from the ceiling.

The lounge and bar area of Counting House Restaurant in 21c. Photo: The Herald-Sun | Christine T. Nguyen

21c has also caught the attention of Conde Nast Traveler, ranked as a top hotel in the South by the esteemed publication for multiple years.

Traditional Excellence and Award-Winning Golf

Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club3001 Cameron Blvd.

Overlooking the championship golf course on the campus of Duke University, the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club is designed to reflect the quiet elegance of an English country estate. With spacious lodging, world-class golf and award-winning dining, it’s known for its luxury facilities, internationally recognized service, the award-winning cuisine of the Fairview Restaurant, and of course, the Four Diamond rating. For those looking to relax and unwind, enjoy an elegant afternoon tea service in the Fairview Dining Room or order a cocktail from the Bull Durham Bar to enjoy on the Terrace on the Green.

The entrance of Durham's Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club

Photo: Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club / Discover Durham

It’s only a five-minute drive to downtown Durham, and guests can easily walk or take a quick drive to attractions on Duke University Campus, like Cameron Indoor Stadium, Sarah P. Duke Gardens, the Nasher Museum of Art and more.

Afternoon tea at the AAA Four Diamond luxury Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club

Elegant afternoon tea service at the Fairview Dining Room at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club. Photo: Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club

Not to be outdone, WaDuke has also earned accolades from U.S. News & World Report and Forbes as a top hotel, in addition to awards of excellence provided by Wine Spectator for the impressive wine selection available in the Fairview Restaurant.

Historic Charm and Luxurious Comfort

Arrowhead Inn106 Mason Rd.

Resting on six acres of gardens and lawns, this Four Diamond bed and breakfast has been carefully renovated to provide luxurious comfort. Built in the 1700s, the Arrowhead Inn has all the charm and tranquility of a colonial estate, with the modern amenities of a contemporary hotel.

The exterior of Arrowhead Inn at sunset. A white, two-story colonial home with four columns on the front porch.

Arrowhead Inn at sunset. Photo: Arrowhead Inn

Pamper yourself in one of the elegant guestrooms offering fresh flowers, spa whirlpool tubs, rejuvenating steam showers and cozy fireplaces. Awake to a full gourmet breakfast of homemade scones or pastries, fresh fruit and a hot entrée.

Arrowhead Inn Bed & Breakfast

Outdoor dining at Arrowhead Inn. Photo: Jumping Rocks Inc / Arrowhead Inn

Modern Comforts in the Heart of Campus

JB Duke Hotel230 Science Dr.

All things cozy with modern décor and sophisticated style meet in this Four Diamond hotel conveniently close to Duke Hospital. Guestrooms and suites at the JB Duke Hotel provide a tranquil retreat in the heart of Duke University’s West Campus.

Indulge with spa-inspired guest bathrooms, with warm and neutral tones showcased alongside modern amenities in each room. Treat yourself to delicious cuisine at the contemporary MarketPlace Barista Bar, offering new American classics, and enjoy luxurious amenities that make for a comfortable and convenient stay.

A bar with grey upholstered stools and televisions playing sports in the background. A lounge area with chairs to the left.

The bar at the JB Duke Hotel. Photo: Chad M Davis / JB Duke Hotel

These four hotels may have caught the attention of industry heavy hitters, but lots of great Durham options are available to satisfy any style, location or amenity you need to make your stay truly memorable.

About the Author

Discover Durham Staff