When the O. Henry Hotel re-opened in 1998, its new owners had a clear vision in mind: they wanted to retain its traditional place as a community-centred hotel while still providing modern luxuries. The boutique hotel in Greensboro has now become a landmark in the city with its exterior modelled after the original O. Henry Hotel that was built in 1919.
Its neoclassical design and bare-brick wall help it exude an overall classical, old-world ambience. But far from being a relic from a bygone era, the hotel boasts modern facilities and exceptional staff service that makes it an AAA Four Diamond award-recipient and part of the Southern Living Hotel Collection.
The establishment pays homage to its roots by naming itself after world-renowned short-story writer William Sydney Porter. Born in Greensboro in 1862, the prodigious author went under the pseudonym O. Henry. He was often seen loitering around hotel lobbies while observing and talking to guests to gather ideas for his writing. Today, a portrait of him hangs in the hotel's lobby, which cannot be a more than appropriate spot for him to observe the transient guests of the hotel.
The O. Henry is ideal for business travellers, given that it is situated near Wendover Avenue and Benjamin Parkway, both of which are heavily travelled local roads. Individual tourists will be within walking distance to the popular Friendly Shopping Centre. Coupled with sumptuous meals and regular jazz concerts, guests will be able to enjoy the southern hospitality shown at the O. Henry.
The hotel has an outdoor pool that is surrounded by lush landscaping and lounge chairs for guests to exercise even while on a trip. Outdoor shower and toilet facilities are found nearby.
The fitness center is open 24-hours a day for gym enthusiast to get a good workout at anytime of the day. Some of the equipments include upright bicycle, recumbent bicycle, treadmill, and free weights among others. The cardio machines come with personal viewing screens so that users can multitask while getting a good workout.
1.Rooms & Suites
Its 131 guestrooms and suites feature 9-foot ceilings that make the interior look spacious as well as double walls to ensure that proper soundproofing. In keeping with old school charm, the décor is kept traditional with wooden furnishings, leather sofas and mohair club chairs. Alongside, it is also equipped with plenty of modern amenities, including complimentary wireless internet access and flat screen cable TV.
One of the highlights is the custom-made Magi bed found in every room that is designed to ensure a good night's sleep. The mattress has been tweaked to provide extra comfort for its users and wrapped around with Egyptian cotton sheets and pillowcases. The fibrefill and hypo allergic blankets were customized by a family run pillow specialist based on the hotel's specific requests.
All bathrooms are extra roomy for it comes with separate shower and soaking tub, as well as a detached private dressing room. The dressing room comes with a 32-inch granite vanity table, a built-in luggage rack, drawers, closet and safe that guests could spend time pampering themselves.
Its largest offering is the two-bedroom Magi suite suitable for holding small meetings or a luxurious holiday. The living area is furnished with a gas fireplace, dining room table and a granite-top bar that makes it suitable for entertaining or relaxing in, while the bedroom comes with a king-size bed and wooden desk. There are four of these suites located on the four corners of the top floor overlooking the city of Greensboro. Some of the rooms come with unattractive view of commercial properties or the highway. Ask the receptionist for better views when making a booking.
Additional perks that come with all room rates are complimentary breakfast buffet and airport transfer. Every morning, a Southern-style breakfast spread is available in the Pavilion. Serving both hot and cold items, hearty options include homemade biscuits, sausage and gravy, and stone-ground local grits, or alternatively, go for lighter fare including pastries, fruits, cereal and yogurt. For guests arriving to or leaving for the Greensboro PTI Airport, free shuttle services are available from 6am to 11pm every day. Enquire at the reception for more details.
The Green Valley Grill is an informal fine dining establishment that offers Mediterranean and European style dishes. The restaurant offers two different dining settings. The main dining room is a grand, imposing room with a 30-foot high ceiling modelled after the Tuscan Revival style. The neighbouring Copper Dining Room offers a more relaxing dining environment featuring copper walls and floor-to-ceiling windows to give it a sleek, industrial look.
The kitchen has also partnered with local farmers and producers to bring in fresh and local ingredients for their dishes. On the lunch and dinner menu, guests could choose to start with starter plates that include rib sliders, truffle fries and calamari fritti. Main dishes rotate seasonally, though some of the mainstays would include the Parmesan crusted chicken paired with mashed potatoes, salad and topped with fried capers and lemon garlic sauce.
Together with its exquisite food selection, the Green Valley Grill also offers hundreds of wine selection and 75 by the glass. In 2015, Wine Spectator awarded its extensive wine list with an Award of Excellence, in particular highlighting its selection of California wines. Round things off with a sweet desert! For those who cannot make their mind, pick the dessert sampler that puts together mini sizes of four different offerings.
Enjoy a dainty afternoon tea session with friends and family at the O. Hotel's lobby. Guests will be able to leisurely enjoy the British aristocratic tradition amidst the ornate wood panelling, tall ceiling and beautiful decorations that are reminiscence of the yesteryears. The three-tiered trays offer a selection of sweet and savoury bites, together with warm scones paired with clotted cream and curd, all washed down with a cup of tea.
The bar area inside Green Valley Grill features a long wall of window that brings light and greenery from the courtyard to indoors. Guests can sit in the booths for intimate conversations or hang out by the granite top bar. The bar has an extensive cider, beer and wine selection, including 75 by glass. Alongside are more than 10 cocktail offerings, including the Grand Chocolatier that is a mix of Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur, Gran Marnier Orange Liqueur and cream topped with chocolate shavings.
Every evening, cocktails are also available at the hotel's lobby from 5pm onwards. As an added bonus, there are also live jazz performances on Thursdays and Saturdays to entertain guests.
3.Weddings & Meetings
The hotel has five event rooms offering a total of 6,000 square feet of event space for business meetings or events that could hold up to 150 guests. The rooms are equipped with the latest audiovisual equipment as well as high-speed internet access. A 24-hour business centre is also onsite. Event professionals are available to assist with catering requirements, room set-up and customization of details.
The O. Henry hotel has been part of the Greensboro wedding industry for more than 10 years and is a site not only for holding professional wedding venue but also for creating a lifetime-worth of memories. Indoors and outdoors spaces could be flexibly arranged to hold ceremonies, receptions or bridal showers. One of which is the Don Rives Cloister Garden that adjoins the outdoor pavilion. Both spaces can be combined for a cocktail party and dinner or solemnization ceremony and dinner.
Onsite wedding planners are at hand to assist couples with ironing out the details of their big day. From customization of menu to decorative details, the hotel promises that its staff will deliver old-world Southern hospitality to make the couple's dream wedding come true. They are also able to recommend vendors, including reliable photographers, florists and musicians.
Back to: Best Things to Do in Greensboro, North Carolina and Best Romantic Weekend Getaways in North Carolina
624 Green Valley Road, Greensboro, NC 27408, Phone: 336-854-2000
Romantic Getaways in NC: O. Henry Hotel in Greensboro