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My Stay at the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel: A Weekend in Charlotte

Ah, Charlotte, you are a queen. A bustling business hub in North Carolina where Southern charm meets modern sophistication. Amidst its skyline, I discovered a slice of what could only be called an urban oasis at the Tryon Park Hotel. This Kimpton property is woven into the fabric of Uptown Charlotte and offers a blend of luxury, and style, with Italian accents and warm Southern hospitality.

No two Kimptons are alike. So let's explore this one!

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Andi outside the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel with Level8 Freeloop Suitcase
Jacket: Quince Linen | Shirt: Orvis | Pants: Chico's | Shoes: Converse | Suitcase: Level8 Freeloop

Disclosure: My 2-night stay at the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel was hosted. As always, ALL opinions are my own.

“Uptown”

The term “Uptown” wasn't coined out of thin air. Its origins trace back to Charlotte's early days as a trading post at the intersection of Trade and Tryon streets.

Positioned on a ridge between Irwin and Sugar Creeks, early Charlotte residents would travel uphill, either on foot or by horse, to this bustling hub to trade goods. They commonly referred to their journey as going “Up to Town,” which over time was abbreviated to “Uptown.”

As Charlotte expanded during the Industrial Revolution, the area became known as “downtown,” like many other cities. However, to rejuvenate and rebrand the city center in the 1980s, the nostalgic term “Uptown” was revived.

As a connoisseur of the unique and a devotee of the good life, I found my latest adventure steeped in the sort of opulence that could only befit a Queen… City, that is.

A Royal Welcome

From the moment we stepped into the lobby, the Kimpton Tryon Park whispered (or rather, stylishly declared) a blend of contemporary chic with nods to the local culture.

The interiors were a feast for the eyes. With towering lobby windows that fill the space with natural light, bold art installations, a striking crystal installation cascading from the ceiling, and plush furnishings, there is an ambiance that dances on the edge of a modern art gallery and a luxe living room.

In the lobby of the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel
Jacket: Quince Linen | Shirt: Orvis | Pants: Chico's | Shoes: Converse

Every corner of this hotel whispers of bespoke elegance, from the textured gray and indigo hues with touches of royal purple to the pristine white Italian marble underfoot.

We treated this weekend as a staycation, a gift to ourselves with no real agenda planned except enjoying the hotel. Keep reading to follow along!

“Queen City”

Charlotte was named after Queen Charlotte who was married to the King of England in the 1760s by pro-British colonists who wanted to curry favor with King George III by naming the new town after his wife, Queen Charlotte Sophia. There is a statue of Queen Charlotte on the corner of Trade and Tryon uptown.

Rooms for Royalty

The rooms? Oh, the rooms! Ours was gorgeous and so comfortable. Floor-to-ceiling windows offered sweeping views of the city’s heartbeat…and Truist Stadium where Friday and Saturday night the Charlotte Knights (Triple-A team for the Chicago White Sox) played.

Being the baseball fan that I am, I was able to watch portions of the game from our room – the pitch, the hit, the runs. Sure, if I wanted to see it in detail I needed binoculars, but I was so happy to be in proximity (I swear it felt like I could catch a ball) of the stadium!

Andi watching the baseball game from her Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel room
Watching the Charlotte Knights warm up with my SPARTER Portable Soft Cooler and champagne – bien sĂ»r!

Our room was the perfect backdrop for our lazy weekend, the sun casting gentle patterns through sheer curtains, coffee in hand (from the wonderful coffee station in the lobby), and not a single plan to disrupt our serenity.

Truly, la dolce vita!

The Italian ethos of appreciating the little things comes alive at the Tryon Park Hotel. As I took in the details: a striking piece of local art here, an incredibly comfortable bed, just simple pleasures that elevate everyday experiences.

Little known fact, Mr. Misadventures is a pillow snob. So when I wake up to the hubby ripping off the pillowcase to investigate the pillow's brand, filling, and casing…you KNOW it's a good pillow! Our room had the down alternative pillow, and yes, you can buy them! (And Mr. Misadventures is gonna!)

We enjoyed 2 incredibly restful nights of sleep. I always sleep well, the hubby not so much, so it was a real treat to see him so happy!

I was happy too!

Andi in bed at the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel with Quince Silk Pajamas
Enjoying the bed at the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel in my Quince Silk Pajamas

If the pillow was his favorite thing about the room, then mine was the Atelier Bloem (bloem means flower in Dutch) bath and body collection which is created exclusively for Kimpton hotels. By the weekend, we were also ordering a bottle of the mandarin and citrus body wash!

Eats + Treats

Kimpton properties often feature vibrant social scenes, with popular restaurants and bars that attract both locals and visitors. They aim to create a sense of community and connection among guests, which is a signature aspect of their brand identity.

At the Kimpton Tryon Park, the stars of the show are Merchant + Trade rooftop bar and Angeline's restaurant.

Kimpton's Wine Hour/Social Hour

But first, what’s a stay at a Kimpton without a little mingling? The evening wine hour, one of our favorite experiences when we visited our first Kimpton in Winston-Salem is a hallmark of the Kimpton brand. It transforms the lobby into a social hub, buzzing with stories from travelers around the world.

Here, we found ourselves amid laughter, tales of travels, and the clinking of glasses—a modern-day salon where connections were as plentiful as the wine poured.

Bonus! From time to time they also serve seasonal cocktails. That wasn't the case the evening we attended, BUT they offered pizza from Angeline's, a treat!

Pre-dinner Aperitivo at Merchant + Trade

Merchant & Trade is a sophisticated rooftop bar, loved by locals and visitors alike. This sleek, modern venue offers stunning panoramic views of Charlotte's skyline, creating a perfect backdrop for an evening out. It's even ranked in the Top 50 best rooftop bars!

We waited our turn at the lobby elevator, had our IDs checked, and ascended to the lounge for a pre-dinner drink.

They have a small menu that features an inventive mix of Southern-inspired small plates, crafted with a focus on local and seasonal ingredients. And for the bar, the cocktail program shines with unique concoctions that blend classic flavors with unexpected twists, alongside a thoughtful selection of wines and local craft beers.

I ordered the Scottish Missionary which is scotch whisky, fresh pineapple, and lime, house-made cinnamon grapefruit demerara syrup, local honey, and fresh mint. We enjoyed deviled eggs (hard to resist in the South) as we didn't want to ruin our appetite for dinner.

The indoor-outdoor design works perfectly with Charlotte's balmy climate, making it a majestic spot to sip cocktails under the stars. If you time it right, you can enjoy the fireworks at the ballpark after the game!

Angelines Restaurant at the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel

Angeline's Restaurant: Che buono! 

Angeline's offers a delightful taste of Italy in the heart of Queen City. The restaurant combines a modern, inviting ambiance with a menu that celebrates the rustic flavors of Italian cuisine. From wood-fired pizzas and handmade pasta to fresh seafood dishes, every plate is a reflection of traditional Italian cooking techniques paired with locally sourced ingredients.

The vibrant, open kitchen adds a dynamic flair to the dining experience, allowing guests to watch as chefs craft their meals with passion and precision. Angeline's also boasts an impressive wine list, featuring both Italian classics and local favorites, curated to complement the rich and diverse flavors of the menu.

Truth be told, Mr. Misadventures and I are kind of picky when it comes to Italian food, so our expectations were low. We have had amazing meals on various trips to Italy and those experiences (here, here, here, and here) are hard to compete with.

We were blown away by our dinner!

We made one misstep with one of our starters. Mr. Misadventures ordered the Calamari Semolina as he can never resist a good fried calamari dish. I think if we hadn't had our mind set on Italian, the starter would have been just fine, but we were in an Italian frame of mind, so we found the breading heavier, more Southern style, than our preferred fritto misto.

But the starter I ordered made up for the slight disappointment with the calamari. I got the whipped ricotta which came with a lavender Honey drizzled on top with lemon oil and lovely crunchy pieces of pistachio. It's served with some excellent house bread. Never in my life have I ever had a ricotta this smooth! So ultra-creamy! And delicious.

We had died and gone to cheese heaven!

After that, we were excited to see our main courses!

I ordered the Cacio e Pepe. This was a test. This pasta dish is so simple, 3 ingredients, that it is easy to mess up. It is pecorino cheese and pepper typically with spaghetti. Angeline's version uses Lumache a small, ridged, shell-shaped pasta with pecorino and toasted black pepper.

It was superb. I think the toasting of the pepper adds something! It wasn't too cheese and the pasta was cooked perfectly. A hit!

Mr. Misadventures will always order a fish dish if it's available and there was a special for the evening with halibut. A perfectly grilled piece of halibut on top of a corn purée with okra. A great melange of Southern and Italian flavors. It got a big thumbs-up!

We went to bed that night with huge smiles on our faces.

The next morning we sprung out of bed (after an excellent night of sleep) to head back to Angeline's for breakfast. I still had that life-changing ricotta on my mind and decided to bookend my meal with ricotta waffles. I had never had ricotta pancakes or waffles so I was curious.

As we waited for our meals (avocado toast with egg for the misters) we chatted about the Italian culture and lifestyle over coffee. Mr. Misadventures is French and I am a francophile, but we have always appreciated that Italians are just happier people. There is a difference between joie de vivre and la dolce vita and we want to dig into it more.

Great book by Maria Pasquale

We were so impressed with the food at Angeline's!

Local Touches

As with the Cardinal Kimpton in Winston-Salem, I really appreciated the local touches. The brand is renowned for its commitment to integrating local culture into each of its properties, offering guests a unique and immersive experience.

Each hotel's décor is thoughtfully curated to reflect the history, art, and spirit of its location, often featuring works by local artists and craftsmen.

The staff at Tryon Park are adorned with a Rook and King hornet lapel pin. This nod to Charlotte’s fierce spirit—the “Hornet’s Nest” of rebellion—was a subtle yet powerful reminder of the city’s tenacious past. You can read more about the local designer, Jeremiah Allen, here.

Rook & Hornet hornet lapel pin

“The Hornet's Nest”

Charlotte proudly bears the nickname “The Hornet's Nest,” a moniker born from its fierce resistance during the Revolutionary War.

British Commander Lord Charles Cornwallis once described the city's spirited defiance against British rule as “a veritable hornet's nest of rebellion.”

Embracing this sting, the city adopted the hornet as its symbol, weaving this emblem of resilience into its identity.

A Great Location

When we ventured out, the heart of Charlotte awaited. Nestled in Uptown, the hotel is just steps away from cultural institutions, buzzing eateries, and verdant parks. As we were walking around we stumbled upon the Taste of Charlotte food festival! Charlotte is a big sports town too: baseball, football, and basketball.

We walked around Romare Bearden Park a bit too and watched locals enjoying the park all weekend long.

North Carolina's oldest art museum, the Mint Museum, is nearby. There are local and internationally renowned artists; Chihuly's “Royal Blue Mint Chandelier,” and a focus on fine crafts such as glass, pottery, wood, and jewelry. Right next door, you'll find the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. The museum's architecture is stunning, and it's home to works from major artists like Picasso and Warhol. Plus, if your weekend starts on the first Friday of the month, you can catch one of two jazz shows.

Andi at the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel with her Level8 Capture Carry-on

In Queen City, the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel stands out as a jewel. Each of Kimpton's unique siblings reflects its locale, but Charlotte’s version—so airy and regal—feels especially crafted for those of us who cherish beauty, from the grand to the minute. So, if you are ever heading to Charlotte, consider this royal retreat for a taste of Southern hospitality mixed with cosmopolitan flair. After all, isn't life about enjoying the majestic views from the top?

How about you? Have you visited Charlotte? Have I interested you in a stay at the Tryon Kimpton, a drink at Merchant & Trade, or a meal at Angeline's? Have a recommendation for Charlotte? Do tell!

Book Your Stay at the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel: 

Booking.com | Expedia | Trip Advisor

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women in front of Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel

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10 Comments

  1. Wow, that is one beautiful hotel. Even the food looks amazing. Looks like you enjoyed it too.

  2. tara pittman says:

    I too am a pillow snob. I sometimes pack my pillow for vacations.

  3. This hotel sounds amazing, thanks for the rec

  4. Thank you, Andi, for such a detailed and vibrant review of the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel! Your description really brought the place to life, and I can’t wait to experience that blend of luxury and Southern hospitality myself.

  5. Charlotte always brought to mind old towns steeped in history and your post highlights so many aspects of this beautiful place that i am yet to visit .. and this hotel is so tempting as well (i know i want to try ricotta waffles now)

  6. Wow! The view from your room is amazing. My husband is also a baseball fan and I am sure that he would enjoy this. Happy to know that you had a great time in your stay.

    I can so relate about ripping off the pillowcase. I did a few years back and yes, they are also down alternative pillows which I totally love that I replaced the ones we had at home after the discovery.

  7. We’ve been to Charlotte many times but they were all just day trips. I would love to stay in that hotel. It looks so nice!

  8. This sound amazing place to visit. I always wanted to go there. Thanks for sharing this amazing post with us.

  9. Looks fabulous! The rooms look so comfortable, which is just what you need from a hotel.

  10. I’ve only passed through charlotte or went thru the airport on a layover. But I’ve never stayed there. I don’t have any plans to go to the east cost but if I did I’d go to Emerald Isle NC.