The Umstead Hotel and Spa—plus Herons, the hotel's fine-dining restaurant—was one of the only properties in the world to earn triple Five-Star status from Forbes Travel Guide's 2021 awards. Here's what you need to know!



Tucked into 12 acres of woodlands overlooking a private lake in Cary, N.C., a world-class getaway awaits—literally! As it turns out, a soothing spa, five-star cuisine, gracious staff and 150 spacious guest rooms and suites are a recipe for a big success.

The Umstead Hotel and Spa—previously recognized by AAA as a Five-Diamond property and by Condé Nast Traveler as the third-best hotel in the U.S.—has earned another major accolade. Forbes Travel Guide has named The Umstead Hotel, its fine-dining restaurant Herons and The Umstead Spa as Five-Star award winners, the highest-achievable ranking. The 63rd annual awards were announced on Tues., Feb. 16.

How big of a deal is that? No other hotel, restaurant or spa in the Tar Heel State earned a Five-Star rating, and The Umstead is one of the only properties in the world to earn triple Five-Star status.

According to Forbes, 75% of a property's rating is based on its service and genuine care and concern shown by the staff, while 25 percent is determined by the quality of its facilities (beautiful beds, thoughtful amenities, memorable meals and more).

The Umstead Hotel and Spa

Opened in 2007 in a scenic location just a short drive from downtown Raleigh, The Umstead is often described as an "oasis" or a "retreat," combining natural beauty with stunning architecture and first-class service. Privately-owned and impeccably maintained, the hotel boasts stunning interiors accentuated with a privately-curated fine art collection, fresh flower arrangements throughout the property and a gift shop filled with exquisite finds.

Herons—one of only 42 Forbes Five-Star restaurants in the country—is led by executive chef and James Beard Award semifinalist Steven Devereaux Greene.

The Umstead Hotel and Herons

Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, the intimate, 98-seat dining room features a full-view kitchen, original artwork and floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the outdoors. The bar and lounge area offers signature cocktails, a wine cellar stocked with selections from around the world and live music in the evenings.

For dinner, you can select from either a three- or four-course prix fixed menu or indulge in The Art Tour, an eight-course special chef's tasting menu inspired by The Umstead Hotel's art collection and that's been described as "the meal of a lifetime."

The spa—open to non-hotel guests Mon.-Thurs. (and hotel guests seven days a week)—is 16,000 square feet of relaxation and rejuvenation. Massage therapies, facial treatments, a sauna, steamroom, therapeutic whirlpool, outdoor current pool and meditation courtyard are the stars of the show, and the space incorporates natural elements of river rock, granite, bamboo and glass, heralding The Umstead’s location near William B. Umstead State Park.

The Umstead Hotel and Spa

The Umstead Hotel is located at 100 Woodland Pond Dr. in Cary, N.C. You can read about the Wellness in the Woods Retreat package, which includes a two-night stay, a four-hour spa day, a guided hike at Umstead State Park, daily breakfast and more. You can also browse other seasonal packages on the hotel's website.

Note: Authored by David Menconi, this piece has been produced in partnership with Raleigh Arts. Menconi's latest book,... View More

During the holiday season, the Raleigh area is aglow with light displays, tree lightings and other seasonal presentations. Below... View More

The most wonderful time of the year is here! And a new ice skating rink at downtown Raleigh's Red Hat... View More

A 200-foot-long, 21-foot-tall dragon has invaded Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, N.C. Yes, after a year away due to COVID-19,... View More

Big news for visitors to downtown Raleigh—the new AC Hotel Raleigh Downtown is now open (and a rooftop bar with one the... View More

Ready to brighten your holiday season? The WRAL Nights of Lights drive-thru light show is making its way back to Dorothea Dix... View More

Every two weeks, we send out a newsletter that includes the best of the best upcoming events. If you sign up for our E-magazine,... View More

There's no surer sign of the holiday season quickly approaching than the return of one of Raleigh, N.C.'s best (and... View More